Mar 10, 2009

Goodbye to a Good Old Dog

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I knew when you wouldn't eat much food the last few days that you were taking a turn for the worse, Jimmy, but you have cheated death so many times that I figured you would once again bounce back. You came to us with congestive heart failure almost four years ago, and you have gamely trudged on, never once complaining about your health problems.

At least, not that I could tell. You certainly were more stoic than me, a person who whines over relatively modest illnesses.

Unfortunately, your kidneys and liver just about shut down the last few days, and the vet told me that any efforts to prolong your life would just be extending the obvious discomfort you feel. This also saddened the folks at Graber's Animal Hospital, where you were known by everyone as a patient and gentle dog, though the fact that they knew you so well also meant that you have been a frequent guest for treatments. So I drove back to the animal hospital knowing that this would be the last time I was able to pet you.

I made such a trip a few years ago, and it never gets any easier to say goodbye to an old friend. This time I chose to hold you while the vet injected the drug that would put you to sleep for good. It was obvious that the opiated cocktail brought you rapid relief, and you gazed up at me for about 30 seconds with a dreamy, peaceful appearance before the vet checked one more time for your fading pulse.

I take home another empty collar, eyes welling with tears as I am already missing your goofy bark, that joyful "BAH-ROOOO" howl you made when you wanted a treat. I am also missing your quiet insistence on getting petted, where you would nudge your nose under my hand and make me notice you.

Hope to see you again someday, old friend. You were a very good doggie, indeed.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn, you have me crying at work over a dog I didn't even know, Mike. Sorry to hear about Jimmy, he sounds like a great pooch.

Hooda Thunkit said...

My condolences on the loss of your friend and family member Mike.

It's not supposed to get easier, as long as you have a heart.

No consolation, just an opinion...

Mad Jack said...

I'm sorry you lost your dog, Mike. I've had to bury several and it never gets any easier. I always tell myself that when I take another dog or cat in, I'm going to have to let go of them eventually. I never really listen to myself.

Carol said...

Mike - my heart is breaking for you and your family. Jimmy was a dear friend and companion from other pieces that you had written. I'm sure he crossed that Rainbow Bridge knowing he was loved ... and he thanked you for letting him go.

It's never easy. It doesn't get easier. But we love them, we care for them, and then we let them go. Always in hopes of reconnecting in the future.

And, dammit, you made me cry!

Molly said...

Oh no, I'm so sorry. My condolences to all of you over the loss of Jimmy. He sounds like a great dog.

historymike said...

Thanks for all your kind words, folks. Jimmy really was a sweet boy who will be missed.

microdot said...

I'm going through the same denial now...I'm not a cat person...ok?
but, we've had a strange little cat named Mirabelle that seems to be the Welsh race, a Cymric. Flat face, stubby legs, a stub of a tail, little ears and an aerodynamic football shaped body....
We didn't know how old she was when we got her and that was well over 10 years ago.
I always gave her a personality based on a typical disturbed goth teenager....
But we realize she is on her last legs, she tore a muscle a few mopnths ago and inspite of loving treatment from the vet, she kind of stumbles sideways across the floor.
She disappeared for a few days in the cold of Febuary. we gave her up as a victim of the wild life that abounds here...hawks, foxes, stray hunting dogs, wild boars...
But then she showed up at the door and now she won't go out and she barely can keep anything down.
I've had too many cats to deny the reality, I know the end is only a short time, but she still is the obstinate disturbed goth teenage rebel cat I always loved...
Listen, I'm not a cat person...okay?

Linda said...

So sorry Mike about the loss of your dog.

M A F said...

Every time I come a cross stories like these they remind me of my two German Shepherds who died within one year of each other back in 2007-08.

I went to see the movie Marley and Me and it brought back the loss of both of my dogs. I can truly empathize with your loss of a good old dog.