Job I don’t like.

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Caustic Burno

Well-known member
Sep 26, 2004
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Big Thicket East Texas
My old guard donkey went down last night.
I put her out of her misery, knew it was coming. I could see the decline, when she wasn't standing by the house at daylight to bray when I walked out, I knew.
She was down in a grove she liked to hang in, she couldn't get up.
I dispatched her as humane as possible.
Silly as it is I hated to shoot that old Jenny! She was over 40 years old.
Guess we all get tender hearted as we get older . Wife and daughter's old orange cat died back in the summer . Looked like he just went out under the pecan tree and went to sleep . I was up early and saw him . Normally I would have just carried him to the back of the farm and put him out . But I dug a big hole , buried him , and put a rock for a marker . We think he was over 20 years old . My daughter was in elementary sschool and brought him to my classroom asking could she keep him . She had found him coming back from the lunchroom. Tiniest kitten 🐱 I'd ever seen .
I had to put a Jenny down last year. I made everyone stay home, including my dogs. I didn't want any of them to see my dirty deed. It was tough.

It took two rick of firewood, 14 old aircraft tires, and about six gallons of diesel to send her on to glory.

I couldn't talk the neighbors in to coming over to roast hotdogs for months.
My son cannot do it for anything that he has sentimental feelings for. He calls me... and it is getting harder as I get older... yet I always think that it is kinder than having them suffer. I cried when I put down my first "beef cow"... I raised her from a baby calf.... a char/hol cross we figured.. and she was near 15-16 when she went down with a 5 month calf on her... I sat and talked to her for a bit after I found her, and then got a gun and did it... and cried.

Neighbor asked me to put down an old horse of theirs, that was down, and it was harder on me than them; they just wanted to save a vet cost I found out later...
I was lucky, my old mare was mid 20's, and she just passed away one night... got her when I was 15, my first "owned horse"..... at 1 1/2 years old.... had her until I was nearly 40......

Hardest one was my son's aussie... she was real good at staying out of the way when he was mowing...often rode in the tractor and then would want out to stretch her legs and go exploring, but this time she got in some thick stuff... he didn't see her, and the next round he saw her just sorta sitting there... and he stopped and it had cut her up bad... and he ran across the road to my house, and asked me to come quick and to bring the gun... and when I saw her there was no way she would have made it to the emergency vet even if I thought they could save her...he was beside himself because he had always been watchful of her and he said she had gone along the edge of the woods just a minute before that where he saw her.... and he couldn't do it, so I had to..... never ever want to have to be in that position again... but it had to be done or watch her bleed to death..... He was beside himself and still misses her to this day.
I never had much problem with livestock but dogs were hard each time, even the stray that wandered up, eat up with mange so bad the vet said the best thing to do was put her down.
My old dog Indy, that I had built a wheelchair for when his back legs wouldn't work was the hardest. I raised him from 8 weeks old and I guess he was 10 years old when I had to do the hard thing..

Considering the # of strays people dropped at my gate, it's a wonder I didn't have to do it more often but most I either kept or found homes for. My wife was great at re-homing stray cats and puppies that came there thru already pregnant dogs. (cute puppies are way easier to re-home than adult dogs)

My son once told me "Dad, You've killed more dogs than Walt Disney"
I had an Anatolian/Great Pyrenees dog, Sadie, for over 15 years. I never touched her during all that time, as she was shy of people. She lived for her sheep and goats. As far as I know, she never did a bad thing in those 15 years, unless you count digging a hole under the old corn crib so she could escape the heat and rain.
Toward the end her hair got matted and she would just fall over walking along behind the sheep. One hot day she fell over in our garden and could not get up. There in the hot sun was not a good place for her. I had to take a pistol and end her suffering. No vet could have helped her, 15 years is a very long life for that breed of dog.
I could see back over those years to when she was a young dog as she died, and wondered if I could be as faithful to my charge as she.
As weird as it sounds, after I put down my best friends' horse, it was easier to pull the trigger in my herd. Just knowing you're ending their suffering and doing the "right thing" was the validation I apparently needed. Not that I'm trigger happy!!! But if it comes down to it, I can handle it better than Mr. TC. That said, I've never had to put down a dog, other than a trip to the vet.
I had a friend that liked to do Civil War reenactments. He had all the equipment, including an old horse. The horse got feeble and it was time... so he decided to shoot it out in the pasture with his Civil War pistol. The ball bounced off the horses head, but the horse went down and was fully conscious and thrashing. He ran to the house and got his black powder rifle and on the way back to the horse it started to rain. He was worried the gun wouldn't fire and he didn't own anything else to do the job. But the rifle fired and the horse was dead. Kinda sad... but we laugh about it now.
Years ago I had a deal with a friend. If one of us had an animal which needed to be put down the other would come and do it. Just dig a hole and leave the shovel. I show up and he would leave. By the time he came back the job was done and the dog buried.
It's always hard to end it for an old friend.

I had to dig two holes the same day this summer, one for a neighbor, one for my brother. Both old dogs were nearly like my own, they been around for years. Ground was harder than hammered hell that day, took half again as long to do a job I hated, but glad I could do it for the both of them.

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