My dog PyttMarch 31, 2022

The evening before yesterday, my dog Pytt persistently shoved a toy into my hand. I threw it across the room a few times and then stopped. She persisted, but I didn't throw the toy again.

That evening when it was time to turn in, Pytt just stood next to her bed. She has gone to sleep next to me for five thousand nights, and this night she just stood.

Overnight and into the morning, it was apparent something was wrong. When I picked Pytt up to put her in the car, she didn't squirm and flail like usual.

She spent the day alone in some plastic kennel in the veterinarian's office. I asked if I could sit there with her while we waited for the doctor, but they said they "weren't equipped" for that.

Pytt was lying in the sun on a nice bed when we arrived at the veterinarian's office. She didn't get up, but she was lucid enough to know we were there.

The doctor asked me to sign some papers before they began, and as I got up...Pytt followed me with her eyes, and it looked like she might try to stand. I hastily made some decisions about how she would be taken care of after she died, and then I signed the papers.

When she was sedated, she started snoring the way I have always known her to when she is in a deep sleep. I loved it so much I managed a smile and a chuckle.

Then Allison and I said goodbye and left. When we got outside, I turned around to get another look at her through the window. She was sound asleep in the sun. The way she spent most of her days.

Last night, as I reflected on the day, I thought about how I checked the "group cremation" box. I started to panic about what would happen to her. I pictured her getting thrown into a pile of nameless dogs, and the sadness in me was overwhelming.

I called the vet this morning when they opened and asked if it was too late to change my decision. I didn't even have to finish my sentence before the woman on the phone told me to wait on hold while she went to check on where Pytt was. She was still there. I managed to read out my credit card number through sobs. Now I can do something with her remains, and I feel like I will be able to get some closure.

I am devastated. This dog was a pillar of my life; I feel like 15 years of experiences have been ripped out of me.

My connection to this dog was unique among my relationships with any dog or human.

I don't have any regrets. I only wish I had more time with her, and I hope beautiful memories of her soon replace this tremendous feeling of loss.

I love you, Pytts.