When you lose your beloved dog

Beautiful cavalier king charles spanielA dog is not just a dog.  And if you are a dog-lover, you will know what I mean.  This is George, my little boy. My baby.

I was shocked when he jumped on my bed one morning.  He hadn’t done that for a few months and his health had declined through the week.  Oh, he’d had such a hard, hard life.  Before he was one year old he’d had his first major leg operation.  He ended up having 3 leg surgeries over the next few years, 2 of them were major reconstructions.  He developed an auto-immune disease which caused large scabs to break out on his face.  He had a severe allergy to all proteins, so was on a special diet.  And because he was on cortisone, as well as other pain killers twice a day, we knew his life would be shortened.  But we loved him, and to us, being pain free and happy meant more than anything.  It meant he wouldn’t live a long life, but it would be a good life!

So, he jumped on my bed for a morning cuddle, which really shocked me.  I stroked him lovingly.  I’d had him at the vet the night before as he hadn’t eaten for four days – since our house flooded from a burst pipe.  Like I loved to do, I leaned over him and kissed the top of his head.  I buried my nose in his fur.  How I absolutely loved the smell of the top of his head!  After five minutes he tried to jump down but couldn’t, so I gently lowered him to the floor.  He still wasn’t well but at least he ate something the night before.

I went to work after checking him and left him asleep on the couch, head nestled on his favourite cushion.

At work I noticed I’d missed four calls from my son.  I quickly rang him.  He said he’s just arrived home from fishing and George was really sick.  He’d vomited all around the house and had severe diarrhoea.  I rang the vet to say George was on his way with my son.  He was put on a drip and admitted to hospital for tests.  I rang the vet throughout the day and kept getting updates.  I prayed for him, but just couldn’t leave work early as we had international visitors.  I was in a dilemma.

Our George was a fighter and he’d come through everything life had thrown at him so far.  I knew he’d pull through this too.  The vet rang me when I got home from work to say he was sedated and comfortable, but he was a very sick boy.  They were closing so I couldn’t pop in to see him until morning.

I waited for the vet’s morning call to say I could go and visit my George.  I just needed to know he was ok.  I ran to the ringing phone and couldn’t wait to hear about my baby.  “Hi Cathy. {pause} George didn’t make it through the night.  I’m so sorry.”  I sat on the end of my bed.  Stunned.  It couldn’t be true.  I didn’t get to say goodbye.  I wasn’t prepared.  But like all mothers do, I pulled myself together so I could tell my husband and my sons.

I went to the vet to bring my boy home, where he belonged.  The vet nurse lovingly laid him in my arms in a little white body bag.  I drove him home from the vets for the last time.  With a face covered in tears I kissed the top of the bag where his head was and breathed in deeply.  I just wanted to smell his head, just one last time.  I couldn’t’ smell him.

My husband, sons and I stood together around the mandarin tree and laid our boy to rest.

I now live with the guilt that I didn’t say goodbye to my little man.

“I’m so sorry Georgie.  I didn’t realise that last cuddle you gave me that morning on my bed was you actually saying goodbye to me.  I will treasure that moment forever.  I will see you again one day.  With Max, Winky, Kizzy, Chrissy, and all my little boys and girls that I’ve loved over the years.  RIP my little brave man.”

George died on 24th January 2015.  Forever loved.

 © 2015 CEW

Originally posted on my old blog site

 

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