The loss of my best friend

We have not been posting as much as we want to in the past few weeks. As you probably know by now we were in a pretty serious accident a little while ago and have spent a lot of time just recovering.

We have both started physical therapy and are working to get back in shape. But progress is slow. We are not able to do much heavy lifting or go for long walks yet. So far we have been able to take the bus to the city for a few hours, but that is enough, especially for me. Pia is in much better shape, but still has a lot of pain in her lower back.

But for the past two or three weeks since I got out of the hospital, I have been struggling with another thing too. It has taken up almost all my energy and focus and I am still struggling to deal with it.

Our family dog Amigo has been getting old. Closing in on 14 years. And since I got out of the hospital we have seen him in more and more pain every day. So we took him to the vet last week and they told us that he is in a lot more pain than what we think and that it was time for us to do the humane thing and put him down.

This was devastating for all of us. Of course when you get a dog you know the day will come eventually, but it is impossible to prepare.

So we took a few days to say goodbye to him before we had to put him down this week.

I know this may sound strange to some people, but I find animals so much more valuable than people, and Amigo has been my best friend for 14 years.

He has been there for me whenever I have felt sad and never complained about anything. Being able to go hiking in the mountains and the forrest with him has given me some of the best moments in my life. So when bringing him to the vet it felt like I was executing my best friend.

The day before we took him for a walk in the forrest behind the house so that he could enjoy his last day in nature. It felt so strange knowing that it was his last walk.

The next morning when I was leading him into the vet I could see in his eyes that he knew something was about to happen. He usually never minds the vet, but now seemed very nervous.

I could not stop crying and he was still there trying to comfort me, but with a very different look in his eyes than usual.

As he was falling asleep I looked into his eyes and it felt like he was asking me “Why did you do this to me? I thought we were friends!” Of course I know this is me anthropomorphising him, but that is what it felt like.

People keep saying that it was the right choice. The most humane thing to do. I am not sure I can say that.

If it had been a human we would not say that. And to me, dogs are so much better than humans. We don’t even allow humans to die if they want to, but we kill animals out of mercy. That just sounds messed up to me.

He was in pain, but he was still happy to go for walks, still had a good apatite and still loved to play.

According to the mercy argument I should have been executed as well instead of being in so much pain after the accident.

I kind of wish I was so I would not have to experience the killing of my best friend.

If he had been sick it would be different, but he was just a bit old. They still do surgeries and whatever they need to to help 85 year old humans in pain. Why are we not humanly killing them instead? Why is the euthanasia of a dog seen as mercy, but of a human it is murder? Who decided humans are more valuable than animals? We all stem from the same process of evolution. We got a bigger brain, but dogs and Wolfes got better instincts and sense of smell. Why is a bigger brain more valuable when deciding life or death?

After he was dead we got help from a friend to dig a grave for him in his favour place and mine. The mountain where our cabin is. It is very important for me that all of the energy in his body, the energy that has given so much happiness to everyone who met him, could go back into the place he loved the most. The knowledge that he will now be fertiliser for trees, plants and fungi and become part of the nature that he enjoyed so much for the coming years or decades is helping me a lot to cope with the loss. In a few years I can look at the trees and plants around his grave and know that they are using energy that partly comes from Amigo. This is the circle of life.

I will always miss him, and coming back to the cabin will never be the same. But at least I know that he is literally a part of the nature I love so much.

This loss has affected us a lot, and we have spend several days grieving. But we are noticing that the more time we spend grieving the worse it feels. So we have to actively change our way of thinking. We have to change focus to remember all the great moments we had together with him, instead of just feeling sad for the loss.

And we have to get back to planning our journey again, with all the new things we have to think about. Hopefully we will start to feel good enough to go camping again in a month or two. It will be interesting to see how I cope with camping life with only half my colon. Time will tell.

I will miss Amigo for the rest of my life, but I am so grateful for every second I got to spend with him. Life goes on.


Amigo when he was still in good shape in 2018