I’m clinging to the hope that my sweet dog that I’ve had for the past 13 1/2 years is going to get better. I’m clinging to the fine thread that he’ll come out of this and I’ll get to have him for another year.
My heart is in a battle with my mind. A battle of life & death. The agony is too much to bear and I lose control and tears flow at any time of day. Like right now. The screen & keyboard are a blur. This morning I’m waiting to hear back from the vet on how he’s doing. This will be day 3 that he’s been there.
I love him so much. But I don’t want him to suffer. I can’t keep him here just for me. For my needs and the avoidance of the gut-wrenching loss. The breaking of my heart and the scarring of my soul. He would be the 4th dog I’ve lost in the past 2 years. One was 15, one got cancer, the other must’ve had a brain tumor. It never gets any easier to say goodbye. Even if you know you’re doing the right thing and being a good steward. Even though throughout your lifetime, you’ve said goodbye many times.
I torture myself and think back to when we got him as a little puppy. He was the cutest little chocolate Mini Schnauzer I’d ever seen. He was traumatized by the 3 yr old girl who lived there. She was way too rough and the parents didn’t seem to notice. Whenever I’d go to pick him up to love on him, he would lie as flat as he could and stiffen up to try to protect himself from what he’d gotten used to there. He got over it, after a time, but he has forever after been a velcro dog to me. There’s nothing he wants more than to be in my lap, and to be with me. It’s impossible not to love somebody like that. I named him Raisin because he was small & brown.
It’s been several hours now. I got the return call from the vet. She said he wasn’t doing too well. So I went over there about an hour ago. I held him in my arms and said goodbye. I told him he was always a good boy and that I loved him deeply. I said I was sorry. Sorry that it was ending this way. Sorry that I had to do this. Sorry for anything and everything. I could barely breath, like now. But I told him he could go be with his friends that had gone before him. That he could run & play with them like he used to. I told him in my most soothing voice that it was going to be ok. That he was going to be ok. That I would miss him so, so much. I whispered that I loved him, over & over. I told him he would always be my special boy. I felt him stop breathing, but I kept stroking his ears and face just like he liked it. I held him for a while longer just because I didn’t want to let go.
I tried to be strong. I asked God for help to be strong. I did the best I could. Inside, I was screaming. Outside, the tears flowed like a waterfall. I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t speak. I laid him down on the blanket and stroked his face one more time. There is a sense of relief that he’s ok now. That’s the only good thing that I can think of. I always tell myself that we take the pain so they don’t have to.
The vets think that it must’ve been cancer. The vets & assistants were very sweet and gave me their condolences. I’ve been going to that vet for 0ver 20 years so they know all of my animals and the trials we’ve been through together.
I have 3 more dogs, all Mini Schnauzers. 3 more times I have to go through this. The dread is so thick & heavy that I feel like I could touch it. I come home and give them extra, extra love & attention. I sit down on the floor. They know something is wrong and do their best to comfort me.They jostle to take turns climbing into my lap and standing on me to lick my face. I usually don’t let them lick my face, but this time it helps. Everybody gets kisses and scratches and hugs and I sit there for a while.
It will be ok, after a while, although I will always miss him with all of my heart.
Goodbye sweet Raisin. You’ll always be my special boy.