That Time I Tried to Murder My Dog
My misguided attempt to give my ailing dachshund a noble death turned into a complete disaster—and a lesson in letting go.
Illustrations by Lynn Scurfield
“Miss? Where are you going?”
I darted past the receptionist with my elderly dachshund, Heydog, tucked under my arm like a deflating football. I passed the photographs of obscenely healthy dogs and a placard reading, “Free Puppy Chow,” which you got each time you spent a grand on veterinary care, and which I’d earned twice. I didn’t stop when a second, more authoritative voice joined hers, “Ms. Menlove?” Instead I pushed out the door and into the gray landscape of the Michigan winter, Heydog wheezing in my arms.
The veterinarian had left me alone to say goodbye to her before the euthanasia, this dun dachshund who had been with me since before my diagnoses of lupus and mixed connective tissue disease, the rancor of my parents’ divorce, and my various burnouts in college. Heydog was all that was left of better days, and now she had congestive heart failure, damaged kidneys, and so much pain she had become a biter. A few months earlier she had sectioned my fri…