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Not too long ago I had to put one of my dogs down. Winter had been dealing with several tumors and we finally decided that it was time to let her go. She’d been in our family for twelve years and had been cherished for every moment.
My dad was away when Winter tore a tumor off of her cheek. I had an overwhelming sense that I had to take care of both my mom and older sister who were distraught about having to put Winter down. I put Winter in the car myself and drove us to the vet. Once there we waited outside for a vet to arrive and kept Winter as happy as we could, walking her around the building and petting her.
When the vet started to inject Winter I gave her one last kiss on the head before she closed her eyes. My sister was sitting next to Winter, sobbing as the vet pronounced her dead. When the vet left to give us time I stacked our hands on top of each other on Winter’s side as a comfort to my mom and sister, and to say goodbye to her. Not long after I crouched behind my sister who was still sobbing and pulled her into a hug, knowing that I had to be there for her.
As my sister and I left my mom to arrange for Winter’s handling, I covered Winter’s face with my hat as a final show of affection and respect. I kept my arm around my sister’s shoulder as I walked her to the car and gave her a few minutes alone in the car.
Through the entire event I felt that it was my responsibility to do as much as I possibly could to help my mom and sister. Looking back I have no regrets because I know that I did do everything I could.
I write this blog not to try and curry sympathy or pity, but to tell the emotional point of view of an Aspie. During this time I did feel anguish, sorrow, regret, and any other emotion I humanly could, but I was seemingly able to suppress or manage those emotions because I felt an almost overwhelming sense of responsibility for the situation. Secondary to that sense of responsibility was the need to comfort my mom and sister through the whole event. Writing this blog, I’ve felt the need for a stiff drink several times as I relived the emotions of that day despite not liking alcohol. It’s been my experience that as an Aspie I can feel emotions, but they’re usually overshadowed by something else that prevents them from being fully expressed. Losing Winter was one of the most emotional experience that I can remember.