November 08, 1994 - April 11, 2009
The two weeks from the time of her injury to my decision to put her down on Saturday were such an intense roller coaster ride. The narcotics used the first week to manage the pain (tramadol, something IV and a phentenol patch) all caused dysphoria and my sweet, sweet lovely girl was in distress and unable to be alone and without me in her sight - nothing like herself and quite emotionally hard for me. The second week saw an improvement in her ability to walk and her overall pain level, however she continued to have painful spasms in her right leg (the vets didn't really know what might be causing this) which would leave her crying and her mental fragility seemed increasingly affected.
I had decided after one week to put her down and then she rallied and I really felt I should give her a chance. There were many ups and downs and my decision to put her down on the Thursday was changed by the fact that she seemed to be doing better. Given that it was the Easter weekend, I decided I would see how she did over the weekend and possibly wait until Easter Monday. Gryph had a stellar day Friday and then totally bottomed out. By Friday night she was in agony and could not walk. Saturday morning she still couldn't walk. I knew I couldn't wait.
This whole concept of euthanasia is indeed a tough one. I am more emotional by nature and I know that I wanted to give Gryph the chance to recover, and, honestly, I was having such a hard time letting her go (my fantasy of her just going to sleep one day and not waking up is a naive one). I also didn't want her to suffer anymore. We took her in on Saturday morning and I cried (and have cried) so unabashedly.
My girl Gryph was an intelligent, curious and kind dog, full of love and joy and playfulness. Typical of the standard poodle breed, even up to the day she fell, she would romp outside - despite her rear end weakness - and display a puppy like sense of mischeviousness. I miss her muppet eyes, her Gryphie smell and that insistent push against my hand to give her a rub. Companion dogs are such a gift of unconditional love, acceptance and loyalty. Gryph let Nick beat up on her when he was a toddler and she followed him around the farm yard making sure he was safe. She laid beside me during the worst times of my illness and she played hard and so tenderly with Ed.
I am so thankful that I was fortunate enough to be such a large part of her journey. I miss her so much right now.