Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 441. Farewell My Faithful Friend.

Hello Dear Friends,
I thought it would be easy to write this. It was easy to think it up. And I wrote it out in preparation. But after the fact, I read it over and it was just all wrong.
I've had many sad and horrible things happen in my life, but Monday was truly the worst day ever.
Some of you know or have heard of our dog Willy. He has been "The Pet" for the past 12 years, and we have all grown to love him so very much. When I was just a little girl we had a cat I loved...but that was childish affection, not understanding. Willy was a part of our family. He could make us laugh, or just be there when there was no other shoulder to cry on. We could bury our faces in his soft fur and he'd be totally fine with that. His big brown puppy eyes always knew when something was wrong, and he'd sympathetically lick our noses or our hands just to let us know everything was ok, and he was there for us. He responded to our joy with little wiggles of excitement and happy little dog barks.
We used to call him "Willy of the Mile-Long Tongue" because when he got excited he would jump on our lap and no matter how we tried to escape he would lick us wherever his tongue would reach.
The sad part of this remembrance is: for the last couple years he'd been sick, and getting worse. We tried many different things, but while they would help for a little while, in the end there was more digression than improvement; and finally, on Sunday, we knew it was time to let him go when he refused to eat a thing, and randomly threw up several times for no reason.
We knew he'd been suffering, so we tried to make life easier for him, but he'd whimper every time he got up, he never took more than a few tiny steps at a time.
He was afflicted with arthritis and Lymes Disease, and putting both such things in such a tiny package must have been terrible for him.
On Monday we cherished him with tears and every ounce of affection we could pour into him, and then in the evening we took him to our vet's house and mercifully put an end to his sufferings. The whole day, before we went, and even in the car on the trip, he was his sympathetic, cuddly, adorable puppy self, and he tried so very hard to let us know everything was ok, but without understanding why everything was so all wrong.
At the very last he never showed on ounce of hate or anger, except when he was given the anesthetic. The needle hurt him painfully, and he cried for a few seconds. But then he watched Mama with puppy worship in his eyes until he fell asleep. After that the drug was adminstered and a few minutes later he was gone.
Now it is like there is a black hole in our home. Little bundles of shadows, or something dark lying on the floor, I'll think it's him and turn to greet him, but in reality it's just a black shoe, or someone's sweater that fell off the back of the chair.
Mama left for work early this morning, and normally when she does that she leaves Willy still sleeping, with her bedroom door closed so the cats don't bother him, so when I get up I let him out of her room and take him downstairs. But today I moved to open her door when it hit me that he wasn't there.
My heart sank to my shoes. If this is what losing a pet feels like, I don't ever want to feel the loss of a family member or friend.

All dogs go to heaven, right?

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