My heart is screaming in pain. My beloved dog, Charlie Brown, had to be put to sleep this afternoon. I had noticed that he wasn't his normal self the last few days, was acting a bit more lethargic than usual. I took him on a ride in my Jeep yesterday and he just didn't have the spirit that he usually had. But he still stuck his head out the window and enjoyed the wind blowing in his face. He always loved that.
Today, though, after I brought him inside and gave him a bowl of water, I began to worry. When I called him to go outside, he didn't come. I found him beside my bed panting heavily, his eyes watering. He couldn't get up. I had to lift him to his feet and then he staggered around, then collapsed. I panicked, started crying, had my stepson carry him outside to the Jeep. My daughter and I rushed him to the emergency vet.
By the time I got there, I was in hysterics and Charlie was breathing even heavier than before, his chest rising and falling in the effort. My carseat was soaked with his saliva. They put him on a tray and rushed him inside, my daughter and I following.
We waited in the examination room, the white walls devoid of any pictures of dogs or cats, just white. White. White. White. There was an exam table, a bench to sit on. And in the corner, a box of Kleenex. My daughter reassured me that Charlie would be ok, gave me a Kleenex, tried to calm me down by showing me pictures of the kittens and dogs in the magazines. I tried to take deep breaths, but I knew something was terribly wrong.
The vet came back several times, told me they were doing this test, then this one, then wanted my permission to take X-rays. They showed me how much it would cost, I blanched, but didn't care. This was my dog, my Charlie, my best friend.
Then the news came. The vet showed me the blood work, said that Charlie basically had no red blood cells left. The x-rays appeared to show that he had mastisis, a tumor somewhere in his body that had ruptured or turned into a blood vessel, or something. I didn't really understand. He was being poisoned from the tumor and had collapsed. All I knew was that the diagnosis was grave. And there was really no decision to make but one.
My heart nearly broke. I sobbed and sobbed. I called hubby, he rushed over from where he was at work. While I waited for him to appear, I went to Charlie. He was on a ventilator, struggling for breath. I carressed his cheek, kissed him, told him I loved him, over and over again. I hope he heard me. I hope, I hope, I hope.
They asked me if I wanted to be with him when they gave the injection. I couldn't stand the thought of feeling the life drain from him. When my husband arrived, he saw the X-rays, heard the diagnosis, and tears leaked from his eyes. He said he would be with Charlie.
My daughter and I went back to the room and cried and cried, holding each other. After a few minutes, my husband came back into the room and we all held each other, more tears flowed. Great, hiccuping sobs wracked my body. I wanted to curl into a ball right there on the floor. But I couldn't. I had to move, had to comfort my daughter, had to get her home, had to get myself home.
When I finally walked in the door, I collapsed on the couch and wailed. I miss him so badly. Just this morning, he was right there in front of the couch, laying there like he always did.
The pain is absolutely awful. He has been there with me through everything. I would hold him sometimes and cry and he would sit there and be so strong for me. He followed me everywhere. He would follow me to the bathroom, sit there in front of the door, until I came out. He would go wherever I was. And now, I feel like part of my soul has been wrenched from me.
Oh, how he loved to play fetch. He would scramble after the ball, then bring it back, drop it at my feet, eager to play again. And we went on so many walks. He'd stop and sniff at trees and bushes and flowers, and then we'd keep on going. But then there were those times when he could barely make it and I thought, well, maybe he's just getting old because the next day, he'd be his usual peppy self.
I can't go into the whole "If I only would have done this..." game because then I would truly go insane. I can't do it. I just can't.
I can't stand that he's not here. I cannot stand it. And why am I writing this, you might ask? Because that's what I do. I write when I'm in pain, when I'm happy, when I'm grieving, when I'm ecstastic...when I am devastated.
I am devastated. Completely and totally. Charlie came into my life as a small puppy in 1999 and has been with me throughout my entire marriage. He was such a good dog - he loved to have people pet him, strangers, children, anyone. He listened to me. He came when I called. He would sit under my desk when I wrote, take rides in the car with me, his face sticking out the window, his hair blowing and making his eyes slant. He loved it. He loved it so much.
And he loved me. I know he loved me. And oh, how I loved him.
My dear, darling, wonderful Charlie, I miss you. Oh, how I miss you. Please visit me in my dreams. I love you.
I've got a new home on the web - stop by if you get a chance! www.melissamarsh.net
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