At first I wanted to pick a sweet photo, or something beautiful, maybe a sunset, children playing but then I stumbled across this photo....His last moments, His last breathe, his last few kisses he gave before he left this world forever. This is the last photo of my sweet boy Bronnie before he was euthanized. It’s raw, it’s painful, it hurts to think back on these last moments. Most of us have been there and if you haven’t you can still imagine the pain. That moment when you have to decide is this the right thing to do? The vet says “It’s time” but you can’t help but think What if the Vet is wrong? What will I tell my kids? Am I selfish for wanting him to stay?
I was 6 months pregnant with my fourth child in this photo, we had just put our cat Osker down 3 weeks prior, our wounds were still fresh and now we were reliving the pain all over again and far too soon. I called my husband who was working in NYC 6 hours away, I could barely speak the words, my voice cracked “it’s not good, and it can’t wait” The vet said he was in pain, and it was time. As he lay snuggled in my arms, he licked my hand, I told him over and over how much I loved him. I promised he would see Osker soon, I promised the pain would soon be gone. I promised him an afterlife of endless biscuits and lots of friends would soon be coming.
As my daughter River bounced around in my belly, blissfully unaware of the heartache inches from her, his heart slowed & his movements finally ceased. The room went quiet, the air was heavy, I felt numb. The only thing I could feel was the soft kicks and movements from inside my belly. The vet came in and said I could leave him on the floor. I couldn’t move, I just sat there. I asked if they could take him from the room before I left. I couldnt stand the thought of leaving his lifeless body on the floor in that quiet room. As they moved his body, I cried and knew that was the last time I would see him. I gave him one last hug and one more kiss, I whispered “you were such a good boy” As they wheeled him away. As I walked out past the waiting room you could feel the eyes staring at the empty leash swaying in my hands. There’s something eerily wrong about walking out of the vets with an empty leash and no 4 legged friend attached. In that moment of walking past others, I felt guilt, did they think ill of me?I felt jealously, I wished I was in there seat instead of mine. As I got to my car and looked back at the empty seat with only his collar and leash I hung my head and cried. When I got home our other dog Zoey greeted me at the door with excitement. But that excitement turned into sadness, she took one sniff and laid on the floor by the front door for hours. She wouldn’t move, she didn’t eat for almost 3 days, she was just as heartbroken as we were. Time went by slow and the pain soon slowed with every changing season. Our hearts soon opened to another rescue from Kentucky named Rocky.
This photo captured everything in that moment, something I will never forget. The pain of loosing a friend all the while feeling the beautiful kicks of my daughter in my belly.
I edited this photo in The Snapseed app. I raised the ambiance first. Then I changed the photo to black and white, I felt this cut any color distractions and helped you focus on the moment captured. I pulled some of the contrast down, and then sharpened the blacks. To bring out some of the details I then used the detail tool, and fished off with a black vignette and blurred the edges.
I still look back at this photo from time to time and think of everything that went through my head. I didn’t want to take any pictures at first I just wanted that moment all to myself. But then I realized how much I wanted to keep holding on to every piece of his being, the good and the bad. Bronnie was such a wonderful dog, he was a rescue from Kentucky. I can still remember his trip home in the worst snow storm of the year. He had never seen snow and literally had no idea what to do with it. I remember him just eating the snow and rolling in it. He loved to chase our cat Osker and he was heartbroken the day we didn’t bring Osker home from the vet.
I hope I didn’t make anyone too upset by this, please know our dog Zoey gained a new friend named Rocky about a year later. we love our rescues, even through the difficult times, they are worth every kiss, snuggle in between. Thanks for taking the time to read!