Sunday, May 3, 2009
Tanya Writes About Her Darling Dog
Ditsy Tanya's Almanac #13
If your dog leaves you, he won't take half your stuff. --Cyberspace
But he will take most of my heart.
My beautiful boy Seau is dying, and he's the only one that doesn't know it. The hip displasia has taken a horrific toll, crippling his backside. The strain on his upper body has lately caused dreadful gasping and choking and upchucking and accidents in the house because he can't drag himself outside.
Last night was the worst, and my hero told me softly this morning before church, I think it's time now.
I don't want to believe it, think it, decide it! Because some days he's still so darn strong. Hardly ever though. And he's still so darn beautiful.
We adopted him when he was about five, the vet said. From the boarding school where I'd been on staff. With a new headmaster coming on board that fall, it was decided by all who loved the two campus black Labs that the pups would be better off at the homes of those they'd bonded with best...rather than left to the mercy of a man with a bad reputation who turned out to be even worse than imagined.
So Seau, always my own true dog, came home with me. He fit in like the outer edge of an Oreo cookie with our yellow Lab girl Tawny (RIP 2004, a sudden cancer) and black Lab girl, Marley.
Marley left us suddenly last August to another devastating cancer. There was no hope, no cure. And after those months of my hero's own battle with cancer, the surreality hung over us for along time after she passed. So this decision has been brutal because, as I said before, some days Seau's a bit stronger. His eyes are so bright. He's taken glocosamine his whole life with us, and lately we tried expensive shots and pills, but Nature and Time have taken their toll.
Last weekend the grandbaby was here, cuddling the big black dog he used to call "Sia" last summer when he really was still a baby. He looked right at me and announced with the authority of a 2 1/2 year old. "Seau's sick. But he's better now."
So we took another slew of pictures of them together, because any day it would be time.
Time. How my heart breaks. But he's a grand dog who deserves to preserve his dignity. Pooping in the house doesn't quite cut it.
And he does have his two "sisters" waiting for him at the Rainbow Bridge. Somehow, because God is good, I know I'll hear a faint bark from above sometimes, letting me know he loves me still.
And he'll peek down and see an empty dog bed because we'll be going petless for a while. The heart can only bear so much.
Good night, sweet prince.