Seven's Euthanasia and Cremation
Three days ago we heard the confirmation that "Seven" has Lymphosarcoma, the third most common cancer for canines. The cancer is advancing rapidly and Adam's lifelong family companion is in his final hours. The Vet explained to us that other dogs treated for the same illness, dogs that aren't even to this advanced stage, have undergone extensive Chemo and sometimes radiation, living for 6 months to 1 year at best. Putting Seven through all of the timely, painful treatment, may only extend his life for a few months if we are lucky.
After being with the vet for an hour, discussing diagnosis and options, he took his glasses off, crossed his hands on the table and asked if he could ask a personal question. After I said, "Of course", he asked, "Are you a Christian?" I, of course, answered, "Yes", then he said, "In the bible, God says that we do not have dominion over humans, but we do over the animals. We can decide for them when to die, and in this case the best thing for Seven is to put him out of his pain." You can imagine my feelings, and all I could think of was my son.
The next step was coming home and telling Adam. Adam has experienced so much loss in the last 3 years. The tween years are difficult and confusing enough and it is a heavy dose of trauma for any person, especially a person so young, to endure. I explained it all to him, and what our only option is. He requested that Seven be euthanized at home and after cremation, we keep the ashes and spread some in various places of fond memories of Seven. Oh, and Adam does want to feed him chocolate and chicken bones before he goes under. He claims that Seven must experience chocolate before he dies!
How We Need Your HelpI researched and found a trusted Veterinarian, Dr. Dan Turner, in the Terrell area, that will do it for us on short notice. He is even willing to drive the 30 miles, so we are headed home, to my family's ranch outside of Dallas on Monday to meet with him. Dr. Dan will put Seven to sleep, amongst love ones, in his most favored surroundings. Surprisingly, a house call is only $100 more to euthanize and cremate than it would me in a cold, unfamiliar facility, so of course we will make this happen but we can't do it without help. How this will happen is, after a small memorial (per Adam's request) Dr. Dan will give Seven a sedative so that he slowly falls asleep. Then he will intravenously put him to rest, take the body, cremate it, and return the ashes to us. Seven turned 11 last month, which makes him 77 yrs. old. 7 Is a biblical number, and those of you who had the privilege of Seven's presence, know how magical he is.
Adam was 2 yrs. old when when we decided he needed a dog to grow up with. Adam and I went to the Harlingen SPCA on Saturday, January 27, 2007, in hopes to find that magical dog. Ideally, we wanted a puppy, and and only certain breeds were an option; ones that I had researched that were compatible with childen, playful, etc. The SPCA canine area in Harlingen is organized in rows. The front row are puppies, which incidentally is closest to the outside doors where the dog runs and the outside "human/dog interaction" area is. The rows are then organized by most desirable to least desirable being the last row. Of course, how this is determined has many factors, including how long the dogs have already been there. After playing with the puppies, still no striking decision; they all looked the same...very cute! Then we started walking each row, one by one...nothing. When I saw an employee, I asked, "Do you have any Border Collies? I heard they were great with children and we are looking for one", and I named off a couple of other breads, including Boxer. The employee said yes, and led us to the last two rows. To the right of me, on the 2nd to last row, 48 hours from being euthanized, was the cutest, very excited boxer, and to my left, on Death Row, less than 24 hours from being euthanized, was this timid Border Collie tucked far away from the gate against the wall with zero excitement. I requested that we take both out to the dog run to meet them. The Boxer practically drug the employee to the door, but the Collie had to be picked up and carried from the very back, only after urinating in fright. Once outside, the Boxer was rambunctious, (as Boxers usually are) and kept knocking Adam over. The Collie lit up; a complete 180 with life. My first reaction was to take them both. So I asked Adam which one he wanted and he pointed to Seven and said, "This one, Mommy." I told him that this is a big decision, one that must be thought about carefully, and that we would go home, sleep on it, and decide the next day.
We went back on Sunday and it was quite busy. We approached the Collie's cage and before we were directly in front of it, the Collie saw me and Adam, ran and jumped on the cage, whimpering. I immediately said, "We are here to take you home!" We adopted and microchipped him that day. I had almost named Adam Seven (that was a period when people where coming up with crazy names for their newborns) so considering we 'luckily' saved the dog in just hours from being put to sleep, I named him "7". We soon learned that he was frightened by humans, mostly men. It was obvious he had been abused and unwanted, hence the name he came to the shelter with "Blooper"; who would name their pet that!? He had tremendous anxiety and chewed up my leather furniture and my carpet padding, but he soon learned to trust again, although never fully, and turned out to be and still is to this day, the absolute smartest, sweetest creature ever to touch our lives. We were the lucky ones; truly blessed.
What Seven Means to Us and How Grateful We Are
Seven has been with the children growing up, putting up with them pulling his tail, and riding him like a horse, and the cats antagonizing him. He has accompanied many camping trips, chasing away critters (even the deer), scaling mountains and swimming the rivers. He even contracted heart worm and went through the treatment like a champ, all the while, never whining. We are going to miss him terribly, especially Adam. Whatever you feel in your heart to do, know that we appreciate even your kind thoughts and words. I will be sure to keep updates available through the weekend. I Also want to wish everyone a wonderful Mother's Day and make sure to give much love and light every day…
Amy, Adam, and Seven
Amy and Adam
Love your story. I know how devastating it can be. You'll see him again someday.