i cant wait till this year ends. it was one of profound loss and sorrow. in june, my father in law passed after a five year battle with prostate cancer. while we never were able to leave a bitter part of the past behind, it was still sad. though my wife was able to reconcile with him after many years of estrangement, he would not allow me into his hospice room. from this i learned that i will forgive much easier real and perceived transgressions visited upon me. i will not die angry and bitter.
i spent too much of my life that way.
later in june, my buddy of 30 years called me to tell me that his folks had to release their beloved dalmation daisy because of a horrible stroke. tore them up pretty bad.
four weeks ago, i got a 2 a.m. call that one of fellow team mates at work had passed. he was supposed to pick up his wife at the airport, but was a no show. she took a cab home, to find him on the couch with his laptop open, taken swiftly by a brain anurism. she did the family calling to inform them of what had happened, and less than 30 hours later, his father died. maybe the shock of events, maybe just his time, but a hard double whammy either way.
three weeks ago, i got home to a message from the same buddy, who is also a neighbor, to call him. he told me he had to but down one of his six horses. she had been ailing a bit, but he had spent weeks working with her on a special diet and lots of attention, and she was rapidly getting back to good health. another stroke. very hard to console or help him. he just packs his heart away. jessie was a sweet girl.
lastly, i had my own personal great loss of my beloved chow chow, aileron. his eysight had been failing, and he had developed a neurological problem that would not let him get proper placement of his back legs. we had a workup done at the vet, and the crux of it was: the diagnostics would involve painful needles in the spine, with no garanteed results. having been through all that myself before a two level spinal fusion in 2003, there was no way i was going to put him through that. we decided to put him on nursing care, knowing that some day he just would not be able to walk , and that would have to be the end. two weeks later, he got a stomach ulcer and stopped eating.
i was reluctantly ready to let him go, but my wife wanted to try the vet hospital with i.v. fluids to see if his ulcer would heal enough to eat.
i was against this option, because i knew in my heart he was done. in hindsight, i am glad we did try it, even though it was to no avail, but we were able to say we did all we could. i brought him home, and we had one last beautiful sunset in his favorite place. we took him back to the vet the next day, and i held him on my lap as his life ebbed away.
i was never a dog guy, but we took him in from my mentor with the promise that we would give him a good home and a good life. as he got older, i dreaded the day day i would have to tell my friend that he was gone. i was spared this unpleasant task due to the fact that my friend died of a stroke on thanksgiving day 2006. thats another sad story that i won't go into now.
we were still reeling from our loss and i noticed that my girl chow would go out to do her buisiness, and then just lay down and look down the road , waiting for her mate to return. we decided that even though we were still raw, she needed a mate. we adopted a worthy sucessor from a chow rescue in texas. he is a chow/collie mix, and a really sweet fella.
aileron was my first dog, and i miss him greatly.
i learned a lot from him. the most important thing being that every day is one day gone. you cant get it back. i tell my wife, family, friends, and pooches this every chance i have.