A Thousand Tears

I had to euthanize Norman today, which feels something like betraying a good friend. I’d come to love Norman, and I respected him. Norman had his ideas about what he liked and what he didn’t like, and there was no changing his mind about strangers. I think “fierce” Norman made several passersby figure out how fast they could run in the other direction. “Sweet” Norman knew to look for my car, so I’d find him waiting for me at the gate, swishing his bushy tail. We shared training time, play time and quiet time, and in those moments Norman connected with me, and I with him. Over the six weeks I worked with him, Norman responded to training so quickly and efficiently, I thought he was brilliant. Norman could be charming, too. He’d take a toy in his mouth, throw it in the air and then look over at me and almost wink. Over time, I came to realize, Norman’s difficulty with people and other dogs was not a training issue. I saw a dog fighting with himself – a wish to love people, and a wish to defend against people. A wish to love other dogs — a wish to drive them away. The depth of Norman’s problems, the management conundrum, and the fact that Norman used his teeth to solve problems of every sort – made the perfect storm for a dog we can’t help. I fed him fried chicken and roast beef, and sent him to the great beyond. I cried a long time, so hard I couldn’t see, put his collar in my pocket all the while wishing I could never face this again. I’ll never forget this beautiful dog, and I’ll always be sorry there are some dogs we get too late. A thousand tears for Norman seems about right, for his life mattered to me, and our shelter.

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6 Comments to “A Thousand Tears”

  1. Stephanie Crespi says:

    You will be forever in my heart Norman

  2. Sheri Cardo says:

    I’m so very sorry. The irony is that Norman probably enjoyed his best life while being with you at our shelter. You can be proud of that. Rest in peace, big boy. Every time I saw a picture of you, it looked like you were having the time of your life.

  3. Aimee says:

    I will share your tears and am thankful every day for people like you who do the hard work–the often rewarding but often heartbreaking work. Please know you are heroes, you gave this great dog a chance, a wonderful 6 weeks, and no doubt the best part of his life.

  4. Betsy says:

    Augh, this brings back memories. Sometimes you just cannot help them. But you did your best, and continue to do amazing things for a thousand animals day in and out. I truly honor your commitment and strength and energy. You have been a blessing to our entire community. RIP Norman.

  5. Marguerite says:

    I am so sorry about Norman. You gave him peace and love remember that.

  6. Tami says:

    I loved Norman too! My heart is breaking.

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