Romulus Augustus appeared on my Facebook page yesterday. Written by Nigel Best, a fellow Canadian who echoes my sentiments –
When a dog has fleas, a powder helps. worms? it’s given medicine.
When the dog has cancer, it’s only right that the animal is put to sleep.
So it should be with Romulus Augustus, such is the name of the dog.
Romulus is the mastiff American republicans adopted a couple of years ago. Despite some fears about his temperament and his propensity to shift in an instant from licking to snarling, the party took him in, gave him a few dog whisperers, and put him out on show.
“somehow, he manages to grab us all in a certain way, despite a certain revulsion at the slobbering jowls,” gushed one junior senator at Romulus’ inaugural event just 12 months ago.
Excess salivating aside, the party membership in America needs to accept what the rest of us could already discern on that cold day, the dog looked very sick.
Republicans had to have known something may be going on when their mastiff started pissing on the bed. with some hindsight, perhaps the congress should have done something earlier, but when one has a pet, it’s sometimes hard to accept this day will arrive, especially not this quickly.
By mid-year, it was a little more difficult to afford or reconcile Romulus’ sneaking into offices and pissing on senators’ heads as they attempted to sleep on office sofas between late-night committee sessions.
“all i needed was him to quieten down and curl up in my lap, but he just could not, or would not,” said a Utah congressman. “yet, it still seemed possible he would take a turn for the better.”
It’s hard to hear that something one has coddled is riddled with inoperable tumors, though it probably helps to understand some of the animal’s most outlandish and erratic behaviors stemmed from a systemic sickness.
It must have been difficult to shake off questions about his behavior, even as they were being mocked and ridiculed.
Was that perhaps because some were in horror at the appearance of being aloof to his plight? Now that there’s no disguising this sickness, will there be any pity for the appearance of being almost inhumane?
It should not have come to this, but look, Romulus is barely able to breathe. he can barely walk. having gone almost blind, like any creature in a similar situation, he is afraid. that accounts for his bared teeth and attempts to bite at any shadow that flits across his dimming pupils.
It is cruel to keep the sick animal on a life-support system. at the same time he is taxing your well-being, putting your health at risk with the constant not knowing what is next.
It’s never easy letting go. having to have done it before, dog owners will tell you, whisper gently into Romulus’ ears as the sharp needle is administered.
You will detect in his final moments that this is exactly what he has been wanting from you. those early-morning yelps of desperation that would rouse you daily from your slumber, those were his appeals for this moment.
You will know he will be thanking you as the drug helps him slip into oblivion.
So, in the sake of empathy, now is the moment to say goodbye to Romulus Augustus. as the saying goes, every dog has its day.