This post is primarily for myself more than anything … an attempt to talk about what has been happening the last couple days and find some peace through that discussion.
In May of 2005, I told Amber that we could finally get a dog. She was estatic (she’d been wanting one for a while). We found our way to Lifeline Puppy Rescue one Saturday morning and picked up a scared little puppy that I fell in love with right away. After throwing some names back and forth, we decided to name him Caspian.
Since then, Caspian has become an enormous part of our family. He has been a difficult dog, no question about that. As he was growing up, he completely destroyed our condo to the tune of well over three-thousand dollars worth of damage (we had to replace all the carpet from his chewing). However, the thought of getting rid of him never crossed our minds. We decided that our love for him was not conditioned on behavior and, as soon as we adopted him, we resolved that practically nothing could convince us otherwise.
Caspian went through the normal puppy “biting stage” and we worked hard with him to learn how to control himself. However, about six months ago, Caspian bit Amber and, while no permanent damage was done, we had to take her to the doctor. We talked to our vet and decided to give him another shot. There was really no training we could perform to curb this type of bite as it was entirely unprovoked and it seemed like Cas had just “snapped.”
On April 8, we had some friends over on a Tuesday night (as we often do) to eat and play music. Cas was enjoying the company and getting all sorts of scaps tossed to him. One of our friends’ toddlers tossed Caspian a chicken bone not knowing, of course, how bad chicken bones can be for a dog. Another close friend of ours saw this and went to take the bone away from him. In an instant, the switch flipped and Caspian bit her hand pretty badly. While there appears to be no long-term damage, the second trip to the doctor in six months confirmed my fear that we were experiencing a pattern of behavior that would only continue. After talking to our vet, we decided that despite anything we might try, we would probably see this type of thing happen over and over again. It was at that time that we made a choice that we thought we’d never have to make: we had to put him down.
Wednesday morning, we dropped him off at the vet for a ten day quarantine (which is required by Colorado law). At the end of that ten days, Caspian will be euthanized.
Having Caspian quite literally changed my life. Aside from the lifestyle changes that Amber and I had to make to accommodate the transition to a pet, I gradually began to find lots of value in my interaction with him. Caspian saw the world through very different eyes than I do, but his view was entirely valuable and meaningful to him and, over time, to me. I’m going to miss him just as much as I’d miss anyone else in our family. I’ll miss our long runs. I’ll miss him sleeping under my desk while I worked. I’ll miss him greeting us when we come home. Most of all, though, I’ll miss his companionship and friendship. Sometimes it seemed like Cas was in a totally different world than we were (and, in many ways, he was), but somehow we were able to cross those boundaries and develop a very real relationship.
Goodbye, old friend.