The Humane Way
by Guy Medley with artwork by Jim Boring
She looked at him through misting eyes, fighting back without much success the sting of tears. Poor thing. His old bones must be so tired, so full of pain and suffering, far beyond her understanding. His once vigor stature and golden sheen now reduced to a droopy sad old thing, grey and mottled and washed out by the years. His once jeweled eyes now little more than desolate orbs of pain.
But, he had far outlived his expected years. His life had been a good one.
He had been a good companion in life, for both her and the children. Always there. Always at their side. Forever loyal. But it was time they let go. Time they let him go. She knew this day would eventually rear its ugly head. They had all known.
The children will miss him terribly. They laughed at his playful clumsiness, the way he ran with them and played with them and showered his undying love upon them. Now his tired limbs lay shrouded in mourning for those glorious days of play.
She gazed lovingly down on his old twisted frame, his big doey eyes fixed on her like the loving old boy he was. He managed a soft whimper, a sign of his love. She would miss him like no other before.
She would even miss his smell, which even now smelled of the garden, his favorite place to be. Lavender and hydrangea and honeysuckle, all filled her nose and brought a smile to her face. It was like he had just come from his spot in the yard and perhaps he had.
No more, she thought. She couldn’t wait any longer or she wouldn’t be able to go through with what needed to be done.
A tear spilled down from her eye, marking a trail across her red cheek. It was time to let him go. It was time to end his long and needless suffering. She took some small comfort in knowing he’d soon be at peace, resting under the big shady elm out back, near his garden, beside all the others they had planted there over the years.
Not to worry my love, she thought, it’ll all be over soon enough.
She leaned over and kissed the top of her husband’s bald, hot head as she plunged the needle into his jugular, injecting the lethal dose of potassium chloride into his bloodstream. As his heart stopped, hers raced.
Now, off to find the children a new daddy.