Everyone seems to be losing their dogs. I guess it is just our age. Kinda like my parents, in their mid- 60's, who are experiencing the phenomena of cancer amongst their friends. My friends are all experiencing aging dogs. So am I. Who am I kidding?
We all got puppies, trying to fill some preliminary nurturing need. The puppies are now all 11, 12, 14 years old. And, we're dealing with their demise.
You know, immediately after having my kids and for the last 3+ years, I could give a rat's ass about my dogs. The dogs are old and they sleep on big Costco dog pillows (that I'm convinced EVERY dog in the world must sleep on, because for $20, how could you not buy them???) in our bedroom, and I just close the door whenever anyone comes over now.
Nobody would even know I had dogs, save for the tell-tale white dog hair on the living room carpet (okay, and the pile of shit on the walk up to the house. But, that mixed in with the chicken shit, the sheep shit and the donkey shit.....could be anything, right?). But, as I move further away from having newborns and babies around the house, I can feel myself warming up to the dogs again. (unlike the house plants, which I've finally just completed killing off.) I'll be sad when they go.
I didn't pick the dogs. One of them came with B.Rube - she was a 5 month old puppy at the time. That was back in January of 1999. The other one, B.Rube (I think his Indian name is "Gatherer of fucking Animals") found a few months later that same year. Beeser was almost 2 at the time. I didn't go through any "single girl phase" with these dogs. They were never who I came home to alone after working all day. Or who I cried to after being dumped (okay, actually, I've never been dumped....). They were never part of my daily routine. I never relied on them for anything. They were never the confidant of my secrets.
I have friends, though, who have dogs like that. Dogs who have just been there through every impacting moment. Dogs who have filled a powerful void.
A good friend tonight had to make the unbelievable choice of ending her companion's life.
It's a tough one.
Not made easier by vets who tug at your heart strings when they talk about hope and possibilities and miracles. Not made easier when you know that the final bill could be well beyond what you could ever afford, not covered by any insurance plan. Not made easier when you'd like nothing more than to bring her home for one more day.
What made the decision possible then? Knowing that your best friend couldn't suffer for a minute longer; that prolonging the disease would only be prolonging the pain. Knowing that she had a long and fabulous life.
I've been busy tonight tending to my friend. I never considered myself very good in sad and tragic situations, but I did alright tonight. I fed her dinner, some good scotch, and a couple of therapeutic visits out to see the lambs.... S.Rube and T.Rube provided a good distraction, kinda postponing the inevitable, which was going back to an empty house for the first time in over a decade.
I have tears rolling down my cheeks right now. For my friend's loss and for the emptiness I know she is feeling right now. And for me ....never getting to see Rudy again. Peace and Happy Travels, Rude Dog. xo