i belive in smiles

Caleb - portland, Oregon
Entered on November 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I wonder if, sometimes, the times are dark enough, people can pull themselves together to accomplish the goals that are put before them. This is why I believe that when times aren’t going so well sometimes you need to put a smile on and brave the situation.

Back when I was in the summer of 8th grade, my dog was diagnosed with a large tumor in her stomach, and the doctors said it would be best to put her down. Now, another one of my principles is to respect the dying, and do whatever you can for them as they did for you during their life.

So when my dog was dying, I realized she would be much calmer if I smiled and played with her like we used to. When I got there, she looked terrible and tired. I was bawling, but I put a smile on and comforted her.

I just petted her and carried that smile, even though I wasn’t feeling the smile. I had no joy in my body or soul, but I knew I needed to be strong for her.

After a while, the vet came in. She sat around quietly, her white jacket not standing out in the bare room, showing the compassion that I wouldn’t expect from someone that does this monthly. She asked us if we were ready, and after ten minutes we finally said yes with a heavy weight in our hearts.

Psst. The first shot went in. Her breathing started to slow. They would give her a first shot to knock her out, and a second shot to euthanize. She started closing her eyes. I still comforted her and held her. She looked like she felt very comfortable. Her usual warm, brown, silky fur was now cold and greasy. My tears started coming out more, but I still had the smile on my face, lest she happen to wake up.

Psst. The more sinister second shot went in. The nightmare was about to take a quick downturn and would then end. I felt her breathing become very shallow. And then no more. The vet used her stethoscope and finally said, “she’s gone”.

I broke down.