I didn't know Arnie well. He was after my time but I did see him now and again during summer visits and holidays to Florida. Ben got him for my folks while our childhood dog was on a steep decline. God love her, Libby lived 18 years.
Dad wasn't thrilled about having a new dog in their house. Arnie was named after the golf legend to placate Dad, a golf fanatic. As a puppy, he was high octane and riddled with doggy ADHD. I called him Rat Boy because of his long thwapping tail, need for attention, and insane energy.
Libby was put to sleep. Her back was a mess and she going blind. She just looked sad. My folks had her cremated. It was the end of long era.
Arnie was neutered, much to Ben's chagrin, and became easier to be around. I realized underneath the spaz, Arnie was a sweet guy.
His health went bad over the last year. He had circulation and digestion problems and had to go outside a lot. He was on meds and a special diet towards the end. Dad would say how much Mom loved him but I knew he'd really miss him too, in spite of the high maintenance.
Mom called this morning to say they put Arnie to sleep because he was suffering too much. She was broken up. I know it will be weird for my parents. The house is empty now, except for the two of them, for the first time ever. I doubt they will get a new dog. They will be reaching retirement in the next few years and will probably want to be free of objects needing care.
In spite of having little connection to that dog, I feel sad. I know when I visit my folks again it will be a little empty there. I've never put an animal to sleep and my parents have done it twice. That can't be easy. So I feel sad for them too. Just imagining them getting rid of the doggy bed, toys, leash, food, and other things. Just sad.