this is one of those, “etc” pieces that i sometimes leave on this blog.
in a way, it is about the sadness of losing a friend.
it is also about choices and awareness.
as i sit at the keyboard of my ‘get by’ MSI notebook, (my usual computer having suffered a massive stroke in its hard drive, dead now, and part of my growing collection of laptops-turned-paperweight) listening to “lucy jordan” by marianne faithfull, my dog of six years is laying by my side, dying.
i have called in a home-visit vet to come and give the injection that will help the process along. if i didn’t have sjogren’s as one of the chronic manifestations of sle my face would doubtless be drenched in salty rivers.
sometime during the weeks long roadtrip my daughter and i took, benji must have gotten ill. otherwise, how to explain this sudden death. two days ago, i was outside while benji went out to relieve himself. i happened to see, the color of his urine was almost pitch black. it was after hours for a vet, but i knew that even did we get into the office immediately, it was already too late.
the next day benji wouldn’t take water, even if forced. nor would he eat. last night he lay by my side as i slept on the floor, like usual. but in his breath i could her the rattle that means death is at the door. today, i called the ark hospital and asked them to send a veterinarian to help him pass on.
they asked me if i wanted to bring him into the office.
my lover of ten years, who died 6 years ago chose to die at home. we helped both of his aging parents to ‘cross over’ from the comfort of their home as well. when i am dying the last place i want to be is in a hospital.
i told them that it would be more comfortable for him to die at home.
the person on the phone tried to convince me that perhaps there is something still that could be done. i know better. i have seen death, many times.
death is messy. when it happens the body releases more than the spirit it sends into the ether. (yes, i believe…been there, done that) there’s all the orifices letting go their contents. there’s the hours spent in holding hands, (or paws) while your own eyes unleash cascades of tears.
ziona loves the dog. but she is blissfully unfocused on the happenings, busying herself with what she usually does of a day…playing xbox, watching movies, acting out scenes in her bedroom with her godzilla toys. autism can be kind, i guess.
the veterinarian will arrive soon, with a shot of kindness. then i will bury my old friend, and plant a garden above his grave.
i keep going over the ‘what ifs’ in my head. what if i hadn’t gone on our trip when i did. would i have seen symptoms, been able to get him to a vet before it was too late? what if i walked him everyday, instead of simply opening the back door to let him out to pee? maybe i would’ve seen his urine becoming darker.
i’m alone in my grief.
the other dogs seem to know something is wrong, but are content to run around playing, chasing and doing doggie things. the cats only turn their noses up at the smell when they pass by benji and i. and my daughter, plays her games, goes into her room to watch a movie or make believe disasters with her dinosaurs.
my lack of awareness of a problem no doubt added to the situation; my faithful friend, laying near me, dying. i’ll never know for sure.
but i choose for him to die at home, like i will want to when the time comes.
we only accept cash or credit, the vet told me. it isn’t cheap. a home visit, a shot of kindness. more expensive since it is off-hours and the office isn’t open until monday. my choice not to wait. my choice not to pay with credit card, since the following month’s billing statement would be a bitter reminder.
it’s never easy to say goodbye.