Doughnut passed peacefully last night at home, in our arms. She was just shy of her 12th birthday. She leaves behind Jake, who we believe is around 9 or 10 years old. He has only known life with Doughnut, and it feels as though we’ve only known life with Doughnut and Jake.
A wonderful veterinarian from Caring Pathways came to our home under unexpected circumstances—we had come to the realization that Doughnut may not make it through the night. When the vet came in, she sat with us on the main rug. Doughnut laid in the middle of us without instruction. An hour prior she had given me a look I hadn’t seen before. We knew she was bleeding internally.
For the next 2 hours we laid with her, holding her, petting her and kissing her crying. She didn’t flinch at the first injection that eased her into complete sedation. She actually had a look of pure bliss. After several minutes the vet injected the heart stopping medication. We listened and felt her breath slow steadily, so peacefully. It sped up for a moment and after 2 or 3 more soft breaths, she was gone. She was so beautiful, so calm. And she, to her last breath, proved her classy ways.
In Greek, Euthanasia means “good death.” I always thought Doughnut would die naturally. But last night, I believe, she died in the most humane way possible – surrounded by her loved ones, at home, and without pain.
I share this because I want others to know there are services out there like Caring Pathways. I believe her death wasn’t too soon or too late. We didn’t know what to expect, and we were scared out of our minds. But now I know we made the right decision, and it was our responsibility to—we owed that to her.
On her last day, we watched the sunrise in the mountains from a beautiful meadow. She walked a few trails and took deep breaths with the scenery. We slowly made our way around a frozen lake and eventually came home to cuddle up close and let go.
These photos are heavy but it’s important for me to share them. Friends and family have reached out with caring and impactful messages of grief, sorrow and love. Many came to see Doughnut over the weekend, bringing her anything from ham and venison, to ice cream and beer-flavored cookies. I believe her life was as unique as her name.
A lot can happen in one day and I can’t thank Michael enough for capturing our last moments together, even the terrifying ones.
I sit here feeling inadequate; a part of me is gone. Life will never be the same.
All hail Queen D