Today I had Gracie put down, put to sleep, euthanized, what have you. It was pretty much one of the most difficult things I have had to do. She had been slowing down so much in the past few days and her body was full of fluid. I don't know if she was in any pain, but I hope not. She was the smartest dog I ever had. Gabriel cried this morning and hugged her, I cried this morning when I made the decision and when the doctor injected her with the anesthetic that caused her to drift quickly into sleep then death. One minute she was alive and the next she was gone.
Afterward, I took her home and dug into the soft earth, through rocks, roots, and clay to make a place to lay her head down and her body to rest. It almost gave me a coronary to dig the small hole for her. I am completely out of shape. Then, I laid her down with one of her toys and a small stick. (Gracie loved to chase sticks) Doing this gave me some sense of closure, and made me feel very human, very close to reality. All my bullshit was gone out of me. I hope that the experience will help to make me a better person. I know that my life was enriched by her presence. Her absence from our lives leaves a hole. We miss her, she was part of our family and too young to leave.
Thank you to the people who commented earlier and sent their kind words and wishes to Gracie.
I did some drawings of her and will post them along with some photos when I get them scanned.