You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Magazine

Connections

Dog people

Compassionate adults are forced to put their animals down every day. But I can’t bring myself even to consider it.

THIS IS THE PART no one tells you about.

Before the sun is up, I have cleaned a night’s worth of feces from the dog’s bed. I have given her a bath, thrown the bed into the washing machine, and carried her up from the basement to feed her. I carry her outdoors to pee, wash and sanitize my hands, and deposit her in her daybed in the kitchen. Every two hours, I will repeat part of this ritual, as I have done for going on two years now. My 12-year-old dachshund is blind, crippled, and bowel incontinent — the curse of a disk disease that struck when she was 4.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week