As it is, I know Ramblin' Jack went instantly and painlessly. He didn't have a clue what was coming. One second he was, and the next he simply was not. I can only pray that my own end is so quick, unexpected and painless when the day comes.
I had one other option: I could have kept Ramblin' Jack on a chain for the rest of his natural life. But dying isn't nearly as bad as living on a chain. I wouldn't want to do it, and I wouldn't put a dog through it. I used to get grief with the grandparents for letting their dogs off the chains. I've said for years that I'd shoot a dog before I'd make it live on a chain. As you can see, I meant it.
I got no pleasure from having to kill a pet, but I will admit to being pleased by my neutral emotional response. I'd never purposely killed anything bigger than a bug, other than maybe a few fish. I was tore up for a week when our Cujo dog came up dead in the yard, and we hadn't had him as long as Ramblin' Jack.
Yet I took this dog that I liked pretty well, and put two bullets into his brain- and I don't feel bad about it really at all. I would describe the experience as mildly distasteful. My friend anguished a bit about killing her cat, partly because it was perhaps a marginal call. Ramblin' Jack, however, was not a marginal call. He was just too dangerous to live. I protected my Fugitive and the rest of the family. The end.