Saying Goodbye to a Good Friend

                     

Doodlebug wrote this~this is a post from my friend Doodlebug

Saying Goodbye to a Good Friend

Doodles was getting old, and we knew that.  The first weekend in November when we went to Lake Texoma to visit family, we left him with the vet for his first official full-screen geriatric checkup.  Blood work came back normal for a dog almost thirteen years old.  His knee is still bothering him occasionally, but it’s not getting worse.  Just make sure he’s not jumping up on things too often.  Teeth are still looking decent after the last plaque removal session, and probably won’t need to another cleaning until next summer.  Eyes are a little cloudy, which means he doesn’t see as well as he used to, so don’t move the furniture too much.   Other than that, you should be able to enjoy him for a few more years yet.

And the next Friday morning, I found a mess on the couch.  One of those yucky messes.  The kind that you know you shouldn’t yell at the dog for making because it’s an indicator that he’s sick.  And of course, I’m running late to get out the door.  Come on, Doodles, go outside.  You know the routine.  At least pretend to pee before I pour your breakfast.  I have to practically drag him outside.  So, about ten minutes pass while I’m finishing getting myself and daughter ready, and I haven’t heard him scratch at the door yet.

He’s just lying in the corner of the yard, breathing kind of funny.  Hubby comes out to try to call him back in.  My sweet daughter in her toddler voice calls from the door, “Doo-doo!  Doo-doo!”  He’s just sitting there, non-responsive.  In the pit of my stomach, I know that today is the day.  I don’t want it to be today, but my heart is telling me that it is.  I can’t call in to work because I have a few projects that are due today.  So, we leave Doodles outside with his food and water.  Something we’ve never done.

I am very distracted all day at work.  I can’t stop thinking about him.  So I call the vet and arrange to take him in at noon.  I have to go back to work, so the nurse promises to have the doctor call me later in the afternoon when he’s checked him.

I am an emotional wreck.  I’m in the middle of a meeting with my boss, and the vet calls me on my cell phone.  He can’t make a determination based on blood work, but Doodles is definitely lethargic, non-responsive, and his abdomen is sensitive.  Bless her heart, my boss tells me to go be with Doodles.  I think she can tell by my phone conversation that I probably need to be with my baby.

So by the time I get to the vet, the doctor has looked at Doodles’ x-rays.  They have found a large blood-filled tumor in his abdomen.  Surgery is risky and expensive.  Anesthesia is risky for a dog his age.  I don’t want to say goodbye, but I know it’s the right thing to do.  He’s not even responding when we call his name.  He’s only smiling when he knows that I’m touching him, but his smile is short-lived.  I tell the doctor my decision, and he tells me that he personally thinks that I’m making the right decision.

The last moments with Doodles were spent with some tears.  My husband and daughter were there, but my daughter didn’t quite understand what was happening.  My mother was there.  Doodles was her dog first.  I felt it was only right that she got to hold him one last time before he was gone.  Two shots, explains the doctor.  The first will be a tranquilizer, and he will relax.  The second will be the final, and it will be only a matter of moments.  Do you want more time?  No.  He’s had a good life, and we’ve had a lot of time with him already this afternoon.  I don’t want to say goodbye, but I don’t want to prolong his suffering. 

We chose to have him cremated, and I’ll split the ashes between my brothers, my mother, and myself so that we can each say goodbye in our own way.  Doodles was more than a dog.  He was part of the family.  For my brothers and me, we had known Doodles for almost half our lives.  We have lots of good memories.  And it’s the good memories we cling to.  We miss you Doodles.  Thank you for being a good friend.

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