The journey has ended. I don’t know where to start. Lou made 2 years from diagnosis and a month shy of his 2 year ampuversary. I still don’t really know what happened. He just could not carry himself anymore. It became harder for him to rise from laying down and he could only walk 2-3 steps before his front leg would collapse and he would have to struggle to get up and remain standing. He still had a great appetite. He still wagged his tail and rolled in the grass and wanted to be wherever I was. It was the most difficult call to make. I knew that everything was functioning fine except he couldn’t walk any more. The day he saw a jogger run by the house and tried to run the fence line barking and collapsed 3 times looking like he was going to severely hurt himself was the moment I knew our fight was coming to an end. I tried to make the final call 3 times through tears and all 3 times I hung up before they answered. On Friday July 7th I somehow managed to make arrangements .
I called Lap of Love who were absolutely amazing. From the initial phone call until the final moments ,and even after, I have never experienced such emotional support, empathy, and most of all love and dignity for Louie.
I tried to make Louies day as special as he was. I cooked him a rib eye for lunch which he devoured. I layed down on the floor with him and held him for the longest time trying to breath in his smell and trying to capture the unique softness of his ears and his fur, I tried to absorb the sound of his breathing, his snorts and snores and all of the sounds that made him Lou. Meanwhile my heart ached with the knowledge that I was spending the last hours and minutes with my boy.
When the time drew near, my husband and I helped him down the stairs into the back yard where I sat on the grass with him while we waited for the vet. I brought out one of Lou’s favorite toys, a pink pig that oinked when you squeezed it, and while the tears flowed, we waited while I secretly prayed that time would just stand still.
When the vet arrived she sat on the grass with us and asked us all kinds of questions about Louie and his life. And we talked with her while he tried to roll in her lap for about an hour. Then she explained what would happen. She gave Louie a very strong sedative that was going to make him sleep. It would take about 10-15 minutes to reach full effect. During that time we talked to him and held him and everyone in the family got a chance to sit with him and talk for awhile. When he finally fell into a deep sleep (snoring loudly) I leaned over and told him how brave he was and thanked him for 2 glorious years, and his tail wagged! He heard my voice even in his deep sleep! When the vet asked if we were ready, I told her I wanted to be by his face. I moved in front of him and laid down with my face pressed against his nose. Each breath that he exhaled I could feel against my lips. I was trying to breathe each of his breaths into my lungs and I told him how much I loved him, that when he woke up again he was going to have 4 legs and wings, what a great guardian he was, what a wonderful friend, what a good dog, what a great fight he put up, I thanked him over and over until I felt him take his last breath. My heart shattered into a million pieces and the tears wouldn’t stop. The vet took a clay imprint of his paw, and shaved a bit of hair which she placed in a little plastic container for us. She gave us a certificate with his name and a booklet of comforting verses and poems. And she kissed his head before she left.
We buried him in the backyard. I have picked and placed flowers on his grave every day. The house is so silent. I listen for his snoring. I listen for his distinct tripawd thump as he walked through the house. I listen for his bark and for his howl that he always did when I walked out the door without him. It’s so quiet. The silence is deafening.
I look for the signs. I have already received a couple. Some quite amazing. But the tears flow too easy and the pain is too sharp right now. I know in time it will get better but right now the ache in my heart is tremendous. I miss my boy, my friend, my shadow. I feel so empty 🙁
Louie napping I just love this sweet picture
Louie enjoying his rib eye steak
This was Louie waiting with me for the vet to arrive. He was so full of life still 🙁