My wife loves dogs; I get along with them. For several years, we had two Shih Tzu dogs. Tina was adopted when she was a pup and was a pretty good companion. Did not mind very well and had an obsession with food, any kind of food. Also loved to eat rabbit poop which did not agree with her digestive system all the time.
By 14 years old, she was definitely showing her age. Early in April 2020 she really started to decline. She used to bark at my wife to get treats and stopped doing that. Then stopped eating and drinking. She could still walk slowly but that was getting difficult. She mostly stayed in her bed and did not move much. She developed a weird smell and the various signs we noticed pointed to organ failure.
We had discussed that when such a time came, we were not going to make heroic efforts to intervene medically just to extend her life a couple of months, which probably would not be vey pleasant. Time cannot be reversed.
Over a weekend, she seemed to be hovering on not being able to hang on much longer and we were looking into where to take her for a humane end. On a Monday, she seemed to rally a bit but on a Tuesday, she seemed to be in really bad shape. She had crusty eyes and something odd was oozing out of her mouth. We decided that it was time.
At this point, she was not moving and the smell was getting bad. Since I am not the emotional one, I took her to a dog shelter. I wrapped her in a blanket and put her in the back seat of my car and drove the 20 minutes or so to the shelter. This was as the COVID pandemic was quickly ramping up so a lot of places were closed and traffic was lighter than normal.
When I got there, I scooped her up and carried her to the front of the building and read a sign that said that there were to be no pets brought in. So back out to the car, back onto the back-seat, windows rolled down slightly and I went back to the building to fill out more paperwork (had some printed out already) and pay the fee.
I was told to drive around to the side of the building where I would meet a worker to hand over Tina. I did and the worker came out, I picked up Tina, handed her to the worker, petted and stroked her for a few seconds, said goodbye and left.
The strange thing is over the 45 minutes or so from picking her up at home to handing her over, she never whimpered, whined, moaned or shook. She did at least some of those if we took her to the groomer. When I handed her over, she never growled or made any sounds and seemed so peaceful as if absolutely nothing was wrong. One would never guess how bad she looked two hours earlier. Did she know that her last breath was perhaps about 30 minutes away?
It was a tough day, very hard on my wife.
We have the second dog, Miss Bella. She is a few years younger, we think. Being a rescue, nobody knows. She took it very hard as well and has not been the same since. Who knows when her day will come?