Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Goodbye is goodbye until we say hello again

Yesterday was a rather tough day for me. It didn't start out tough but when I went over to my dad's house to pick up my Rottweiler for a walk, he told me that he was taking one of the Chihuahuas to the vets. I knew that he wasn't doing well. His stomach had been bloated for a couple of days already and he refused to get up or even eat. He was a heart patient, but when he was last checked it didn't seem so bad.

We knew that realistically speaking, not much could be done for him anymore. But perhaps the vet would say differently so there was a tiny spark of hope. However, my stepmother didn't want to go along as it was too hard for her. I offered to go because I wanted him to know that he was not alone and that he was loved so much. My stepmother asked if I was strong enough. I said I had to be.

The moment I put him down on the table, the vet was shocked at how bad his condition was. She asked what we wanted to do and my dad said: "Let him go" and after a short pause, "or is there anything you can do?" She said she could TRY to stretch it another few months, but we refused to do that. He was never going to become old with this condition anyway and it would be selfish to keep him around just because we didn't want to let him go yet. He barely ate so we would have to force him to take the medication which would have been even more stressful for a dog that was already a bit nervous. Had we done nothing, he would have slowly suffocated and I didn't want that to happen. It was better this way.

And I thought I was strong. And I stayed strong because he needed me to stay strong. It was the most heartbreaking thing I had ever witnessed in my whole life. I held him as he first was given anesthetics. He saw it coming. He started to panic. I whispered to him that he had to calm down. That everything would be fine and soon all the pain would be over.
He was strong. He fought against the sleep because it made him feel like he was suffocating. I kept saying his name. I held him close and I kissed him but every time he was about to fall asleep he fought back again. He was given some extra anesthetics and the vet helped me keep his head up so he wouldn't feel as if he was suffocating. He then peacefully fell asleep into my arms.

The vet went to prepare the final shot and told me I could lay him down but I refused as I had promised my stepmother I would hold him until the end. His little heart was still beating. It wasn't the end yet.

She came back and I put him on the table. He didn't move anymore. She listened to his heart and said it was barely beating. He was almost dead just being asleep. She gave him the final shot and even though it would take 2 minutes for it to work, it worked after a few seconds. He was gone.

We wanted to take him home. Leaving him at the vets would mean he would just get thrown away and he didn't deserve that. I wrapped him in a blanket like a baby and cradled him until we were home. My stepmother took him from me and said her goodbyes and cradled him too. We then put him on the floor so the other dogs could say goodbye. It was fascinating to watch. They wagged their tails as they sniffed him and licked his face. Then they all went separate ways until the four of them crawled into his bench, all together. As if they knew.

We dug a hole in the garden and buried him there after which we had a drink in his honour.

Goodbye little Ralphi. Goodbye shy one. Thank you for the love you gave us for the past 10 years. You will always be loved.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.