Monday, 31 January 2011

The Dog Days are Over

So here we are at the end of January. I intended to blog much more than this but once again life overtook me and I seemed to spend most of the month dealing with other people's insanity (it's saying something when I find myself the sanest person in my immediate surroundings), tax returns (more on that when I summon the super human strength required to speak the words Unique Tax Reference Number without suffering palpitations) and arranging to have my mum's dog killed.

Let me explain (and before I do this please note that this blog post, whilst humorous, talks about a dog dying, I think we've already established that. So if you're not in the frame of mind to cope with Canine Loss, then log out now).

Anyhow, this was a dog, well known on this blog, that should have died long, long, LONG ago. It was the dog that after 16 joy filled happy years (well more like 15 actually) now spent every moment of its conscious life either trying to rip my children limb from limb (fortunately it could only detect them if they moved so if I shouted FREEZE and they obeyed it would stumble, confused, into a kitchen cupboard) or spraying the world's MOST PUNGENT AND FETID URINE everywhere.

There are no words for the smell of this dog. Visitors to the house were sometimes caught standing in a corner, facing the wall, panting shallowly, because in trying to escape the smell they had ended up pinned there and couldn't face walking back through the fug to truly escape.

At one point my mum actually took it to the vets about the smell and they just shrugged their shoulders and said it was probably hormonal.

Hormonal?! Cripes. I mean I get pretty hormonal at times but I can hand on heart state now that I have NEVER smelt like that. I've never smelt anything like that. Anywhere. Anyplace. Anytime.

I think by hormonal they meant 'rotting from the inside out and covered in wee soaked fur' but were too polite to say it.

The dog was very very well loved and had a very very happy life but if things had been different it would have gone to the big dog basket in the sky about a year ago as its Happy Days were well and truly over (as were those of anyone spending time within about 50 foot of it). However what with my dad being ill and dying and my mum trying to come to terms with the big hole in her house she couldn't really be coping with the dog dying too. She couldn't be coping with the dog's stench or increased violence either but sometimes it's easier to live with a problem than deal with it.

The rest of us though were at breaking point and, having skidded in reeking dog piss one morning too often, I told mum that if she couldn't do it then I would take it all from her hands and call the vet.

She thanked me profusely and promptly rushed out to the washing line (which I think is where she goes for little secret cries).

So there we had it. I was now the Official Dog Executioner. My life's just one feelgood happy-trip after another....

I called the vet's and made an appointment for the next day.

At this point I thought it best to mention to the children that the dog was going to be 'going on'. Fore warned is fore armed.

'Children, I think the time has come where this here dog is very very very very old and I don't think it will be here for much longer'.

'Why mummy?'

'Because I'm taking it into the town in the car and arranging for it to be pumped full of deadly poison so that I never again have to choke back my own bile every time I enter this house' (no not really, that would kind of mess with their heads. Especially as they aren't guaranteed continent themselves).

'Well because she's had such a long and happy life but now she's so poorly and she doesn't like this life any more so she wants to go and have a really big rest'.

'Oh right, Ok. So like she's going to live with with God then?'.

'Errr yes' (whilst thinking, crikey, I presume the whole gist of God is that he's not that picky but surely there is no place in Heaven for anything that smells THAT bad?).

'Can I have a Mini Roll?'.

And that was that.

Until we went to leave.

'Say goodbye to Grandma'.

'Goodbye Grandma. Oh and hello Dog. Do you know what? You haven't got many days left now until you die! Now isn't that interesting?'.


For once the dog didn't attack.

And so the day came and I ensured the dog had a very dignified, peaceful end. Which she did.

The vet then turned to me and asked me if I wanted to take the body home with me.

'Good heavens NO!' I recoiled, 'errr I mean sorry but no, I think it's best I don't'.

('Hi mum! I'm home! Could you just get me a chemical protection suit so I can wrestle the dead dog out the boot of your car?').

'Ok then, well we will just leave you in here with her for a while then, so you can have some time alone together'.

I blinked, confused, at the vet as she backed out of the room (and presumably straight out the back door into the cool, fresh, sweet smelling air).

And then there I was. Standing under a strip light with the corpse of a stinking dog (dead of alive, it still stunk) which I had just carried to its death. With nothing but a small box of tissues and it's collar in my hand.

I mean how is one supposed to act in these situations? 'Time alone together' with a dead dog is not a relationship I have ever explored before.

All I wanted to do was run, very fast, after the vet. But that somehow didn't seem 'right' and so I felt it wise to spend some time, alone, with the, now defunct, dog.

But how much time? What is the right thing to do in these situations? How long do other people stay? What is respectful? 5 minutes? 10? 20? On into the night before having to be carried wailing to the car?

And how do they spend this time? I mean I wasn't really in the frame of mind of falling to my knees and sobbing into her fur, and there was no one there to read a poem to or reminisce about the 'good old days when she could chase a squirrel straight up a tree and clear a gate with a single bound'.

So I settled for as long as I could safely hold my breath, muttered, 'well done old girl, must be getting on' and retreated to the reception area, where I was handed another box of tissues, a sympathetic look and a bill for £118.......

So there we go.

There's a lot of money in dead dogs.

My mum was sad but relieved all at once and for the time being she still has one other very old (but very kindly) dog living with her. However this dog seems to have decided to take up the mantle of making my life that bit more unpleasant already. Yesterday I knelt on the carpet to pick up some toys only to find both my knees extremely wet.

'Mum' I shouted 'I think the dog's weed on the carpet!'.

'No darling' she trilled 'I think it's actually been a little bit sick'.

So that's alright then......

Dog Number 2, be warned, I have contacts and I'm not afraid to use them.....


  1. So sorry you had to go through this. I had to do it with our rabbits and you feel like the Lord High Executioner regardless of whether it's in the pet's best interest.
    Sue xx

  2. I know it's not funny at all but that was really really funny. Not laughing. Really. But then I'm not big on dogs. Can I laugh? What the hell......

  3. Sorry I know I shouldn't laugh at your sad loss - but it's the way you tell them!

  4. This had me chuckling, and chuckling, and chuckling...

    Highly inappropriate reaction.

    Thank you x

  5. A very sad story, but very funnily told.

  6. I'm sorry to hear that the dog has passed on, and I'm sat here with tears in my eyes - mostly from crying with laughter at your telling of the tale.
    Look, I never said I was a sensitive type, ok?

  7. In memory I will plagerise if I may from Pheobe Buffay.
    Smelly Dog, Smelly Dog what are they feeding you? Smelly Dog Smelly Dog its not your fault.
    RIP Smelly Dog

  8. Well, the dog will be more comfortable now I'm sure, poor old thing. And at least the kids weren't overly bothered, I've just had to contend with hysterical 6 year old about the hamster dying...and it hasn't as yet, she's just sad in advance!!

  9. ...remind me again why I will never, ever have a dog...?

    Brilliant as always, Stickhead!