Unhinged by Love: Ceniza’s Last Day

About one year ago, I picked up a dog from the street. I named her Ceniza, which means Ash, after her black fur.

Today, Ceniza left us. After battling with a disease for a week, it was clear that keeping her alive would only prolong her agony and suffering, so I decided to have her put down.

I always imagined that making this kind of decisions would be difficult. It was the complete opposite. Once the tests showed that if I kept her alive, it would only mean she would go through pain, suffering, more inconclusive tests, gasping for air, and a discouraging forecast, it became clear that the most humane thing to do was to end her suffering.

Plus, when I visited her today at the dog hospital, I could feel her eyes telling me, begging me “please, please, take me home, I just want to rest.” I had her take the final test, just to make sure that I wasn’t denying her of her last chance to survive. But the test came back and the answer was clear.

I drove her home and she enjoyed her last car ride. I took her to the mountain she played in so many times and she wanted to run free. I took her for one last walk around the house, like we did every morning. I put her in her favorite room, where she liked to rest and sleep. She seemed happy, peaceful and relaxed. She fell asleep in my arms. She was extremely tired and I could tell she hadn’t been able to sleep the two nights she spent at the hospital. I was so relieved to hold her while her breathing improved and she rested. I felt it was her way of saying she was ready. All that was left was for the veterinarian to come and do his job, which was thankfully quickly and painless. I was surprised at how I was able to hold her in my arms while she died and how sudden her body collapsed and went limp, sleeping the good sleep.

I am sad, but I am happy that I was able to give her a year worth’s of good life, certainly much better than the life on the street. She had food, shelter, a family and love. I was also happy to be able to give her a wonderful last day, doing the things she loved for one last time. In the end, she was surrounded by all her family and by our love. I’m thankful that I got to grant her her final wish, and to be able to say “thank you,” “forgive me,” and “good-bye.”

It was wonderful to have you in my life Ceniza.

Ceniza, 2012-2013
A Short, but Wonderful Life