I guess 2021 is the year when I start blogging again, which I never would have guessed.

I just wrote the story in my last post about how we ended up with Ada, our beagle. She’s been happily living with us for so long, I guess I took for granted how much time she had left. A few days ago, she took a sudden turn for the worse. She couldn’t seem to get comfortable, she was pacing around the house and didn’t want to eat any treats I offered her, which is completely abnormal behavior for her. Normally when I tell her “go to bed,” she immediately flops in one of the dog beds, but instead she’d put one paw in her bed, then change her mind and go back to pacing.

The thing about congestive heart failure is that it’s slow. But her heart is now surrounded by so much fluid that she’s having a hard time catching her breath. She’s panting even when she hasn’t exerted herself at all.

Ada the Wonder Beagle

Chris and I took Ada to the vet on Saturday morning, who confirmed what we suspected. They gave us some pain medication to try to keep her comfortable. But it isn’t really working, and she’s suffering. One of the hardest parts of having a pet is figuring out when it’s time to say goodbye to them. It’s even harder when you have kids who bond to your pets. Jack is particularly attached to Ada, more than any of his sisters, and this is really hard for him. It’s devastating and heart-breaking, not only to lose a pet, but also to watch your child grieve that loss. But it’s up to us, as the adults, to make the awful decision of putting our pets down so they don’t suffer anymore. And so, we’re going to have Ada put to sleep sometime this week.

It’s not really a secret that Ada has never been my favorite of our pets. She’s absolutely the most sweet-natured dog I’ve ever met, but she also never got the hang of being house-broken, despite my best efforts, and she ruined all of my area rugs with her messes. She’s the reason my house always smells vaguely of Stinky Dog, no matter how much I clean or how often I bathe her and brush her teeth. And I never really wanted a second dog, but Olivia brought her over and it was like: well, I guess she’s ours now.

But despite my best efforts to not bond with this dog, for whatever reason, she decided that I was her person. She follows me everywhere. She wants to be with me and only me, most of the time. I somehow inexplicably became the Alpha Dog of a pack that includes Ada and Roxie, which is a weird place for a cat person to find themselves.

So I’m really sad, and I’m really going to miss her.

A friend (who might read this, and if so, hey K!) told me this story: when they knew they were putting their dog down, they stopped at a fast food place and got him his own burger and fries on the drive to the vet. He died with half a Twinkie in his mouth, and if ever there was a better send-off for a dog, I’m sure I don’t know it. I told that story to the kids, and they want to do the same for Ada. I told them that we will absolutely do that too.

After all, it’s the least we can do for a dog who has done nothing but love all of us for the final two years of her life.