Friday, June 23, 2006

For Crichton

It is a sad day for the Arnold family. I am writing this while waiting for a vet appointment this morning. I have to put our wonderful family Labrador Retriever, Crichton, down this morning.

Crichton is 13 years old and arthritis and Cushing's disease have taken too much a toll on her. She is just the best dog. We got her right after Anita and I got married and moved to Montgomery, AL. She and Anita were best pals. Until Maria was born, Crichton was Anita's companion when I was gone. Crichton offered a very special ministry to Anita during my 2.5 years in grad school at night while working full time.

Crichton loved to chase golf balls that Anita would hit in the yard. When Anita became pregnant with Maria, quitting work to be a full time mom, they would hit balls everyday rain or shine until the time when Crichton just couldn't do it anymore which started a couple of years ago.

Anita is very upset and Maria is so sweet and mature about this. "Mommy, it is alright. She will feel so much better now. She will get to be a puppy again in heaven and play with Tess." Tess was a Labrador stray that we adopted just before Maria was born and had to put to sleep last year due to health issues.

Right now I feel like both the father and the son in The Yearling.


JMG said...

I am so sorry about your loss. The decision to end your beloved pooch's suffering is an agonizing one. A couple of years ago, we did the same with our black Cocker Spaniel, Charlotte, who suffered from congestive heart failure. She, too, was 13, and was my companion from the time I was 19 years old.

Maria is right. I recently heard someone say that he believes that our pets go to heaven because God honors love. How much more unconditional can love get than that shown by our pets?

Despite the sadness of today, you'll feel better tomorrow when you wake up and don't see Crichton suffering.

Tony Arnold said...

One of the hardest things for me right now is the visual comparison in my mind of how she has looked over the last few months and how she looked as the medication took affect today.

She just relaxed and starting looking like she did in her prime. It wasn't until those few short minutes did I realize how much pain she must have been in. Such a slow progression you don't notice just how much your pet is going through, plus Lab's are so stoic. Never wimper or moan.

It was nice to have my last view of her looking like she did in her prime while resting. And it hurts thinking about how much discomfort she has endured.


jettybetty said...

I know this is tough--I will be thankful that you got to see her look peaceful--but the next few days might still be hard. Grieving for a pet--is very real grief!

Amy said...

I'm so sorry. Crichton sounds like a special friend. God's blessings on you as you grieve losing her.

Jana said...

I'm so sorry for both you and Anita. What a sweet daughter you have, already sharing the gift of encouragement at such a young age.

Sarah Beth said...

I am so sorry about your loss. I know its a hard one, we all loved Crichton very much. Give Anita and Maria my love.

Ayatollah Mugsy said...

I am so sorry about your family's loss. You and Crichton will be in my prayers.

Tony Arnold said...

Thanks for all the kind comments.

I have to admit that I was very down yesterday coming back from business trip to an empty house. That is when I really miss her. Anita and Maria were in KY. I really noticed Crichton's abscense last night.

I realized yesterday, that if I counted up all the days of my life when I did not have a dog, it would probably not even add up to one year.


Malia said...

I'm sorry to hear about this. I hope you are all coping well. ((hugs))

SistaSmiff said...

Hey Tony

Sorry I missed this. How ironic that we had to do the same thing with our 15 year old dog the next day?

I still look for her. Still finding myself going out by her grave out under the tree in the front yard (she did always have a liking of getting outside that fence!) and getting choked up.

I'm so sorry for your loss.