January - October 2007
September 16, 2005 - 4:03 p.m.
It really hit me when I put Pudge in the truck to take him to the vet. Normally, I had to struggle to lift his 63 pounds into the back, but today, the weight he had lost was evident and I easily lifted him the three feet.
In the waiting room, those there for mundane things such as shots and check-ups, smiled at us and petted Pudge’s head. “What a sweet beautiful dog.” And he was.
The doctor brought us back into the examining room and asked me how he was doing. I tried to tell him about the excessive diarrhea that now showed signs of blood, but the words were mangled in my throat. He took a sample, but I knew it was just routine. He asked if I wanted to try treating the diarrhea first and I asked, “Will it make a difference?” Then he read my mind and said, “Did you come here to put him to sleep?” and I just nodded. Does you husband know? Nod. Does he agree? Nod. I think it’s for the best. Nod.
The doctor shows the nurses Pudge’s back leg, where he actually fought the fungus, and then he shows him the bump in his front leg, where he’s not. He mentions the x-rays, and the masses in his chest that are crystallizing, teaching them, and I think reassuring me that although my beautiful dog does not show signs of being in pain, he is. The nurses agree and are amazed and all I can do is restrain myself from becoming a blubbering mess.
I sign the release, and then it all becomes surreal as they push Pudge into a lying position and ask me to pat his head and let him know it will all be all right. But it’s not. And as soon as the needle is plunged, he is gone and I want them to take it back. I made a mistake. Even when I know I didn’t.
I cry into the soft fur of his neck and whisper, “Bye buddy, I’m so sorry.” And then I leave.
Now there’s the void, which I know will get better, but for now it just hurts.