May 05, 06 & 07, 2007
It is Time
|The final days of Bertie were very difficulty for me, and as I prepare this chapter I am still deeply touched by the joy and sorry I felt. The lead in to these final emails was long and well documented, but I only wish to present these final three emails about my little boy dog - Bertie.
Saturday - May 05, 2007 - It is Time:
Thanks for all the kind thoughts and wishes and comments.
We are not sure when we will visit the vet probably tomorrow morning or next, but all the arrangements have been made. Bertie is fine at the moment, though in the last 24 hours things have changed. He is not interested in eating, last night he had difficulty in peeing. The last few days bowel movements have not been easy, and any exercise taxes his breathing. And then there is the staring into space. It has been a gradual decline over the last week, and the last 24 hours have been very telling. He does not seem to be in any pain, and he just wants to sleep. In fact today there is no coughing, no throw ups, he just wants to sleep. And it is time.
Bill and Bertie
Sunday - May 06, 2007 - The Last Day:
Yesterday afternoon I took Bertie out into the garden and he found something to roll in. I let him roll away as I scratched his tummy. I wanted to brush and comb him out but decided against him. He came into our lives as a bushy unkempt welshies and that is how he will leave us today.
Last night I could not get to sleep for fear of letting go. Part of me has already let go, and I have grieved for the last 24 hours, and we have not even left for the vet as of yet. I finished reading all the wonderful emails, and my t-shirt is soaked from tears. And thanks for publishing the throw up story - I laughed through my tears.
In order to get to sleep last night, I thought of all the amazing things we have done with daboys:
• Baxter as a therapy dog - he was really great at it - self serving but great.
These are no small accomplishments and something I am very proud of.
As for the care of Bertie and Baxter - we did what was necessary and no more no less than anyone else on this list.
As for our future, no dogs for a little while - we need a rest after 4 years of continuous health care. I of course want more. I loved walking daboys together - they were such show stoppers and no-one could tell them apart. Ah that does bring a smile to my face.
And finally, it is not difficult to let Bertie go today, we have all known this day would come and it is the right thing. The difficult part is letting go of our lives together. We start a new and different one tomorrow. We can have carpets again, and we can travel, but I will miss my trusty assistants answering the door, the telephone, and the smiling little faces. And bananas will never be the same for me again.
Bill and Bertie (thanks for all the great grub especially the peanut butter and bananas)
Monday - May 07, 2007 - Life Is Short, Eat Cake First
Things went very well this afternoon. It was a lovely spring day and we were able to get over to the farm and bury Bertie besides Baxter. After a morning of uncontrollable grief, I was fine in the afternoon. When we reached the top of the hill at the farm where all the family dogs are buried, a giant wild turkey was standing exactly where we were going to bury Bertie. It took flight right over our heads because our vet's dogs charged at it. The turkey was unharmed. It was a perfect metaphor for the day.
Afterwards we had lunch at the house, and I felt a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders, and for the first time in many years I felt at peace, and things were the way the should be. Mind you both Ed and I are having some anxiety tonight adjusting to our new home regime - no gates, not rigid time schedules - hell we don't even know what time we have to get up tomorrow. And then there are the little things we will miss - the little faces smiling up at you, a dog underfoot or sleeping where you need to go, and how am I ever going to make pizza with out my little helpers at my side.
We will adjust. We just have to undo 12 years of Welshie biped training.
And as we packed things away this evening, we both agreed we will have another dog in time.
Bill and Ed