Friday, August 1, 2008
Good-bye, Little Guy
Our 12-year-old Yorkie is gone.
About two weeks ago Little Guy began throwing up in the middle of the night. After a few sleepless nights, when it became obvious that it was more than something he ate, we took him to the veterinarian.
The vet checked him over, he reminded us that Little Guy was getting older and had had other medical problems. Finally the vet suggested that they do some blood tests just to check for anything that wasn’t obvious and the vet’s office would call us by the next afternoon with the results.
At 7:25 the next morning as I was working at my desk with Little Guy resting on the floor nearby, the telephone rang. It was the vet with the test results. Anytime a doctor calls you with test results that quickly, it isn’t good news.
Little Guy’s results showed that he was suffering from advanced kidney failure. The doctor wouldn’t be specific about how much time he had left and suggested actions that would make him more comfortable – special food, vitamins, making sure he drank water and went out to pee. There was no talk of treatment.
Little Guy liked the food and a few days later, when I took him outside, he rolled on his back on the sun-warmed lawn and wiggled around – all four paws in the air – in pure joy. It was just enough to convince me that he was improving, just enough to make me hopeful. I had gone online and researched canine kidney failure, I knew the odds, but at that moment I was perfectly willing to believe that he would be the one-in-a-thousand that lasted for years, the one that beat the odds.
Within days his appetite faded and he resumed getting sick in the middle of the night. Old towels covered every spot where he liked to rest to make cleanups easier.
When I finally accepted that he wasn’t going to get better, I hoped that he would lie down for a nap and just quietly and comfortably die in his sleep. But not too soon. Later. When I was ready.
But, as anyone who has ever loved knows, love comes with responsibilities you would rather not have, times that aren’t fun, decisions that break your heart.
And so, finally, we had to make the ultimate decision, ready or not. We still miss him.
The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…
– Author Unknown