Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good Night, Sweet Prince

sweet prince
My heart aches. Charlie is gone. This morning I woke up, came down stairs and found him tired as usual. I heard him coughing in the night and thought about what today might bring. Last night I sat down by him and told him all the things I always told him, but especially that I was always so proud of him.

At that moment, he licked my nose a good one.

This morning I took him outside and my friend was coming down the sidewalk. He was so happy to see her. I think he was saying goodbye to her. Really. As we continued down the sidewalk, he just laid down. When he got up, he stumbled. The poor guy's balance was so bad. My heart was just aching and breaking into a million little pieces.

She said he was telling me it was time.

We went to the vet and as we walked in to see Dr. M, I just started to bawl. I brought her up to date on everything that has been happening. She got down on the ground with me and listened to his heart. Then she said we could give him some x-rays because it sounded like there was fluid around his heart. O pain! O sadness!

To imagine that beautiful, perfect heart surrounded by fluid was overwhelming. That big, giving, sweet heart of love and joy and all hopefulness! The heart who was my constant companion the whole time I was alone and pregnant. The heart who used to scramble up the stairs and lounge on my bed and sometimes nap with me. My sweet friend.

She said we could give him some pills, diuretics to get rid of some of the fluid. But that it wouldn't help with his weakness. I asked her what she would do. We talked and I asked her if she ever had an old dog. She told me she did, they were farm dogs and luckily, they all passed away in their sleep...

I told her I didn't want him to suffer. To continually decline in front of my eyes and in front of Snowflakes.

This morning he told Charlie, "I hope they don't give you a shot to make you go to sleep and kill you." He is going to be so mad at me.

I told her that I didn't know what I would do if I came downstairs one morning to find him paralyzed. She said she wouldn't want any five year old to see that either. I think he is just too young to fully grasp the depth of what is happening.

She said only I knew my dog best. Did I know him well enough to make this decision? I hope so. My poor boy hasn't played in weeks. And although he would eat, I had to help him with that. His elegant legs would slide out from underneath him. I decided that I didn't want to prolong this very proud dog's life in that way. The way he looked at me, so calm. Those big brown milk-dud eyes never lied.

I held my arms around his soft, blocky head. I told him how proud I was of him and how much I loved him and how much I will miss him. Warm ears that always smelled like chocolate chip cookies, I nestled into for the very last time as he peacefully slipped away so quickly from this precious life. He was gone.

After some time, I took my arms from around his always gentle body and laid his head down. I couldn't bear to go around to the other side and look into those eyes. I said goodbye to my friend and turned around. My last image is of him lying on his side, those gorgeous, muscular legs elegantly resting facing away from me. They are perfect. He is perfect. R.I.P Sweet Charlie.

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