As I was getting into bed and was about to turn the bedside light off, I heard breathing. Understand, recently my 80 pound German Shepherd of 15 years died, in my bedroom. A few weeks ago. And I live alone. Now.
|July 17, 2017|
He'd been having a hard day and night and over time had been getting worse. That night I let him know as usual when it was time to get up and head to the bedroom. He tried but just couldn't do it. He'd been getting worse over the year since we moved in here last year so it wasn't surprising, but it was.
So I laid down next to him, petted him and talked to him. My daughter and her boyfriend were staying here at the time and they gave him some love and attention before they went to bed too.
We knew he was near the end, but it could have gone on for weeks, too. Finally, as I was very tired myself that day, I dragged him on his living room pillow bed down the hallway into my bedroom and put his bedroom bed in the living room.
He seemed relieved to be where he knew he should be. Lately a few times he had just slept in the living room and the next day seemed fine.
He woke me a couple of times through the night pawing at the wood floor until finally I moved him over to where his nails would touch the throw rug which seemed to calm him. I was sleepy and didn't realize he was trying to get up.
Finally I woke at 4:30AM, his breathing was labored and he seemed a little panicky. I finally realized why. He had relieved himself on his bed. Normally he would tell me, wake me, leave the bedroom anyway but he couldn't. It was then I realized he was in trouble.
|Yes he was always clowning around|
That next week my mother died. It's been a long summer all things told, those two things just being a part of what was going on all summer.
Then last night. The breathing.
|As a pup|
Then just as I was starting to be unable not to get emotional and anxious over it, the breathing stopped. Silence took over. I was finally, hesitantly, able to lay my head down and eventually I fell asleep.
Some might say it was my dog, communicating. But what the hell would that be communicating? I'm sure he'd have communicated something different, happier. Not that I buy into that sort of thing. So no, I don't buy it. Others might say it's an echo from my memories out of my own mind, but then, I've never been that type. Some might even say it's an echo of something that had happened in that room and... I could almost buy into that.
But in reality I think it was just my mind playing back a tape in my head, telling me how much he meant to me. As if I didn't already know that.
Whatever it was, I could use having it never happen again. Regardless, I'll miss him.
I acquired him as a puppy to help my kids with the divorce I (we) were going through. And it worked so well for us all. It was easy to love him, such a little bundle of energy and humor at first.
He was the pet I had the longest. The pet who was our family member and who held such a high place in my kid's lives. He was my home security system. My alert system while I slept. We lived on some acreage in the woods and for some years after my kids moved out, I lived there alone with him.
If there was a noise in the middle of the night, he got up to ferret it out in case someone or some thing was at the far end of the house. And he was the first (and will be the last) pet I had for his entire life, save those first eight weeks before I acquired him as a puppy.
Thanks my old friend. For being there every day, always, for always being there.
|The late Great Buddha Thai in his prime|