Saying goodbye to a sweet dog
I euthanized Biscuit on Tuesday.
It was the right thing to do. Cancer and heart disease had left my 13-year-old dog whimpering and struggling to breathe, but days later I still feel terrible about it.
I knew the end was near when Biscuit stopped greeting me at the front door every night after I arrived home from working a late shift on the sports desk. I still expect to see him each time I open the door.
What is it about dogs that capture our hearts so much? The unconditional love and affection they show us, I suppose.
Biscuit, the offspring of Labrador retriever and a Golden Retriever (I think), was a faithful companion. He was a loving guardian of my three children. He was very patient and gentle around my young son with Down syndrome who liked to give him big bear hugs around the neck.
Oh, Biscuit caused his share of trouble over the years like all dogs. He decided it was time to cut the cable years ago before it became trendy to do so. He destroyed every dog bed I ever bought for him. And he liked to run, sometimes without me.
Over the years, he would escape the backyard on occasion and go for a run through the neighborhood or down a busy street. One day he caused quite the traffic jam on Pennsylvania Avenue before jumping in the lap of a friendly driver.
When Biscuit took off on one of his adventures, I would have to track him down or a neighbor would return him. But most of the time Biscuit would return home on his own, usually panting heavily after his run and ready for the cool air conditioning and dog treats.
He solved the squirrel problem in my attic. He was always excited to jump in the SUV and go to the park. He would sit next to me on our rides closer than any woman I've ever dated.
I think Biscuit would have been a good hunting dog if I had taken him to a trainer, but my daughters claimed him for their own when we got him as a pup from my niece.
He became much more than just a family pet. He became a member of our family. Good dogs tend to do that.
Biscuit is gone now and the house seems empty, although I do have Whisky to get me through these days of grief. I am not talking about the alcohol, although I admit to throwing back more than one shot of bourbon since Tuesday.
Whisky is the mixed-breed English pointer puppy that my wife rescued from the shelter last summer. Whisky has been nothing but a pain since she arrived with her constant digging, barking and chewing.
Here we go again. Another dog to get attached to. RIP Biscuit. Thanks for the memories.