Friday, December 25, 2009
A Very Special Life... His Love Still Lives On...
Today is one of deep reflection of love, gratitude, and counting all the magic moments with my very special friend.... and dog... Samson (German Shepard x Staffordshire).
He suddenly passed away today.
Christmas eve, he was racing around the park with Cooper, my other dog (Black Labrador x Samoyed).
Christmas day he began vomiting water and was lethargic.
Today, he was not looking well and vomiting phlegm. As he was getting into the car, he collapsed. I raced him down to the vet, panic rising in my throat... wanting to ignore the intuitive voice that was gently whispering it was his time to move forward.
Noooo.... Please nooo... not yet!
My vet was closed, so I raced down to the nearest one back in my own neighborhood.
I scooped Sammie off the back seat of my car. He was conscious, but exhausted.
Having been a Paramedic for many years, I witnessed the look I now saw in his eye.
"Not yet buddy.. Please, not yet!"
As I carried his now limp 21 kilo frame, I noticed how frail he is (he's been unwell with many health issues throughout his life). His bones are abrasive against my skin, without a lot of flesh on his frame anymore.
A kind lady held open the veterinary door, giving me space to struggle past.
I spy past two customers, making eye contact with the lady at the counter, "Please, help him! He's been vomiting and has collapsed."
She takes Sammie in her own arms and whisks him through a door. I'm no longer with him. I struggle to fight back the tears, as I become aware of six sets of human eyes looking at me with sympathy.
I stand still. Not sure what to do next. The lady comes back within a short minute. "Take a seat. We'll have someone with you in a minute."
I head back out to my car to get my handbag... and to give myself some space as I sniff back the tears. I take a deep breath as I lean against my car and allow the feelings to flow.
Within a few minutes, the weight on my chest lifts. I rub my eyes with the back of my hand in an attempt to dry them. It doesn't work.
In the waiting room, I distract myself with a book recently given to me by a dear friend.
"How Would Love Respond?" By Kurek Ashley.
It helps me to center my focus back on love and gratitude, instead of the pending loss.
"Miss Gilbert," I hear my name and look up to see the Veterinarian summoning me into the room.
Sammie is not in there.
My gut strikes. My face contorts as I try not to cry. Instead I hear a strange yelp sound squeeze out of my throat. I brace myself knowing what is about to be said.
He looks at me with tenderness.
"Tell me what happened," he asks.
I breathe deep, blow out and race with the details.
"He's been vomiting water, with lots of phlegm. He's not been eating in 24 hours. He's lethargic, and been distressed. And today he collapsed as I tried to get him into the car to come here."
He pauses. Obviously waiting a moment before he delivers his next bit of news.
"Sammie is suffering. He has heart failure. He's old for his breed and he's obviously had lots of health issues."
I nod. It's all I can do.
We both stand still, eyes connected. I sigh deeply.
"Are you saying we should put him to sleep?" I sniff again in a futile attempt to hold back that avalanche of tears.
"I do. He's suffering. Prolonging the inevitable is not fair."
He takes me through to the next room, where I see him weak but alive on the table. I wrap my arms around his neck and cry..
"I'm sooooo sorry baby, I love you sooooo much. Thank you for being such an incredible soul and guide for me for all these years. Thank you for hanging in there long enough for me to come home and say 'Goodbye' to you."
I look up as I sense the Vet standing next to me. The Vet nurse is passing me a box of tissues. I take one. "Ok, I'm not ready, but go ahead."
As the nurse holds my boy and the Vet induces the needle filled with a green fluid, I whisper in Sammie's ear.... "I love you... see you on the other side."
His body gently rolls back onto the nurse, as he exhales his last breath, his body still twitching. The Vet checks his heart... "He's gone," he says.
They give me a few moments with Sammie. "What now?" I ask. "I haven't a clue what happens next."
The nurse kindly takes me through the options for a burial or cremation. I choose to have him cremated, and placed into an urn so I can later have a private ceremony ...a last goodbye.
She tells me it will take a few weeks.
Now, the weight of his absence is surreal. My heart is filled with sadness, but I know this will pass. Whilst I'm honoring my feelings, I'm also focused on all the magic moments, the love, the joy, the fun, the protection my beautiful boy served me with for almost ten years...
May you rest in peace my sweet soul....