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This Saturday at one o’clock, I will load Tater Tot up in the car for one last ride. We will stop by Burger King for a plain French Fry Burger then on to Albany for her very last appointment at the vet. I will be with her, holding her as he gives her that last shot and she leaves me, with my heart broken, knowing I failed her. I could not fix the damage done in the first three years of her life.
Tater spent those first years with a man who struggled with the demons of alcohol. She spent her days on a chain while he worked and her nights in the crate while he drank at the bars. She more than likely missed many days’ meals and almost surely was physically abused. This man lived in our neighborhood and one day he asked my husband if we could watch her for a week while he went on a trip. I quickly agreed as I thought it was my chance to give this sad little dog some well needed TLC. He dropped her off on a Saturday morning and never came back.
That was ten years ago. It has been a difficult road. Tater resource guards and attacks both humans and canines with not so much as a growl or any warning. But through lots of hard work and diligence we have made it through. Until Now. I am finally accepting my veterinarian’s advice and releasing her from her fear.
TaTot, I have to believe that there has been as much happiness for you as fear. Days spent with you tirelessly jumping in the pool to get the ball. If I was taking too long to throw it, you would pick it with your mouth and throw it yourself. You loved that pool more than anything. But interspersed were visits to emergency rooms for both human and dog injuries inflicted by you. Caledonia almost lost her life and GG an eye. Daddy and I both have scars from you.
I have tried everything I know. None of my training experience, prescription meds, calming collars, natural remedies, nothing has had any lasting effect on you.
I have known for at least a year the kindest thing to do would to be to let you go but I selfishly have kept you here because I cannot bear the thought of not seeing those beautiful brown eyes with the blonde eye-lashes, or that cute little bob-tail shaking around when it’s time to go outside.
Your behavior has escalated with at least one incident every day and sometimes you just sit and tremble and it breaks my heart. After I made the appointment the other day I swear you looked at me as if to say “Thank you Mommy, I am ready to go”.
I can only hope and pray I am making the right decision and when I come to that rainbow bridge one day, you will be there waiting impatiently for me, with your beloved ball in your mouth.