10 Days In June

10 days ago I took my dog to the vet, to be put down. Like most things in Jessup’s life it didn’t go as planned. He decided to buy a little time and he bit me to orchestrate that. Now I am not the first person he has bit, but I am the last.

It wasn’t a run of the mill bite, it was more like a vampire bite, yes he broke the skin and yes I bled. But there was this dog in the next room, a little dog  and he knew it. He hates little dogs and fireworks and thunder and fast movements. He is old and neurotic, he is an old man, or as I say my old boy.

So his nip bought him 10 days. The vet told me as she stood across the room cautiously speaking to this sobbing woman ( that’s me) that his rabies shot was past due. I did not know. I am a good dog mom but this slipped by. So that meant I could either surrender him ( what kind of term is that) to the local shelter ( the one where I got him 9 years ago)and in ten days they would put him down or I coudl take him home. Of course, no choice really, he is came home. He is deeply medicated and mostly sleeps and looks glassy eyed and barks…all the time.

As we have been spending our ten days ( that are either the longest or shortest depending on your view, together. He has spent alot of time with my guy, who brings him home at the end of the day, he struggles to exit the car and painstakingly makes his way up the stairs. He doesn’t come down as much anymore, just lays guard outside the bedrooms, our fierce old sentry.

I think it was a gift really to have ten more days. Ten days to properly say goodbye. Ten days to prepare and ten days to be grateful for the life we shared.

He has been a difficult dog but at the same time he was loving and affectionate. But he  brought alot of love to this family but particularly to me. He has been to South Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Illinois. Pretty much where I go he goes. If you want to calm him down, put him in a car.

Proof? My guy has a Honda civic that resides in the garage at his Maw’s house and when it storms we put him in it. We would leave the door open and put food and water in there. We would come down in the morning and he would be sitting in the same place we left him, usually sleeping.

It has been a tumultous relationship, like many are, we have had our ups and downs and our near breakups, but somehow we stuck it out. However, the time has come his life is not what it should be, he stumbles, he is aggressive, he howls in pain at times and he needs to be at peace.

From the day  I brought him home, I referred to him as my handsome boy, he was a beautiful dog and my companion. Through it all. He graced earth for 77 years. He graced mine for 63. He was my sweet boy.

Nothing prepares you for the end, not reading or advice or experience. We took him to our vet and placed the muzzle on his nose and mouth,, he tried in vain to get it off but no success. Then Marc with his calming heart, held him fast and petted him while the doc helped him relax, he gently slipped into a twilight sleep and began snoring ( his trademark that I will miss the rumble outside my bedroom door) he snored deeply and relaxed. He had never been fully relaxed, ever. He was peaceful and ready to complete his journey and I was as ready as I will ever be to let him go. I kissed my boy on his head, smelled his fur, and stroked his back as he slipped away.

My heart hurt as I tried to say goodbye, I didn’t want to leave him behind, I wanted to stay with him, but this was about him, not me. He needed to rest.

Sleep Well Handsome. I carry you in my heart, through all my life. We thank you for your companionship and your dedication to loving us. You were loyal and true.

Our world is dimmer without your smiling face.



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