My dog died of old age around 2 AM today. He was a Cocker Spaniel named Benny. I got him from the Santa Clara County Animal Shelter on September 12, 2001. He had been turned into the shelter by his former owners who stated they were moving and didn’t want to take him with them. They listed his age at nine. Oh yes, another thing: Benny was completely deaf.
The Shelter representative at first counseled me against adopting Benny. He said the dog had health problems. I said, I don’t care, I want the dog. I got him.
Since Benny was old, I figured I’d get to share his company for two or three years, tops, before he passed on. He was with me one month shy of seven years. He collapsed in the backyard last night and began howling in pain. I had to spare him from the pain and took him to the emergency pet clinic in San Jose where they administered the fatal injection.
When you get a pet, you know going in that this day will come: the day when you wash his bowls and put them away and clean up his chew toys and hang up his leash. That day always seems comfortably in the future, but the future has a way of sneaking up on you. The grief of their passing, however, is more bearable when you know they lived their full life span and that you enjoyed their company to the fullest. Still, I will miss my friend.