Life in this little clan of the Falk family is usually very easy; much easier than when we were growing up, it seems. This past Monday, however, was one of the most difficult days I’ve experienced, both as a mature adult and a parent. One of our family dogs, a rescued Shepherd/Retriever mix named Quinn, had to be put to sleep. We told Connor that he passed away while we were at work and school, because… well, let’s face it… as smart and compassionate as he is, I was afraid that he would blame me and Andrea for sending Quinn away.
Andrea and I brought Quinn into our home and our relationship in June of 2000, just six months after our other puppy -Kieran, a rescued Chow/Shepherd mix- and long before Connor came along. These two dogs were our children before we knew what parenthood would even be like. They defined our nuclear family before we had the chance.
Just a few weeks ago during a vet visit, we found out that Quinn -now well into his twelfth year- had cancer and osteoarthritis. The doctor gave us a three month supply of pain medication, but didn’t expect us to need it all. We didn’t…on August 20th, 2012, I stood next to him at the vet’s table as he slowly went to rest. We wrapped him in an old quilt, handmade by Andrea’s grandmother and one that we had caught him taking advantage of so many times. He is buried in the backyard, under the Papaya and right next to the Koi pond that he enjoyed laying down in to cool off. Kieran wanders around the house, seeming to notice that something is amiss, but unable to really grasp the gravity of what it may be; she doesn’t greet us at the door like they both had a habit of doing just a few days ago. Quinn was her brother and our friend… we miss him.