Just a little more than a week ago I posted one of the 55 things I am thankful for was:
15. Friends who have endured much crying on their shoulders.
Today they got another dose. Last night held little sleep as I wrestled over the decision I had to make about a dog I forced Gene to get.
The story starts with finding a BEAUTIFUL golden retriever running without an owner on our favorite horse farm. Our "as we got married and the children were babies, rescued dog" Ashley had had to be put down a few months before. Gene totally fell for this Golden Retriever and since he was always every dogs favorite fellow and he would be taking care of him, I was all for having a big outdoor dog. We had read the Boxcar Children books and I loved that Benny had named their adopted dog Watch because he was ....wait for it......... a Watch Dog! Gene went along with it ...such a good sport. He had some nicknames over the years but he was young and trained fairly well though he never got over the...........I am out of my pen and unleashed??????? LET"S GO RUN to a water and garbage filled ditch and go swimming! Then he got sick and was diagnosed with Lymes when it was too late and he was in complete kidney failure. There was nothing we could do but love him as he was gifted a comfortable death. It was one of the few times Gene ever cried shaking sobs. One other was when we were in Baltimore for radiation and he looked at me and cried, "I just want to go home."
About 5months later another big dog showed up on that same farm and I fell for him 100%. Rottweiler and shepherd mix [probably!] and so sweet and soooooo gentle. Gene said--"no, no more dogs! but I wheedled him into taking this dog, fully knowing he needed a dog to talk to and care for AND fully knowing I wouldn't ever have to do much more then pet him and sweet talk him and think he was gorgeous. I choose a name, History [there is enough history for all of us!] but Gene rather quickly changed his name to an affectionate "Bum" As long as we were discussing treats or walks, History really did not seem to prefer one name over the other. And I was right....and Gene admitted it, he did need a dog. Dogs do not discuss much nor do they ever talk back. They love you when you come to give them a walk, dinner, breakfast or even medicine --if it is inside a piece of hot dog! History endured quite a few baths for a piece of hot dog as well! He loved to sit up on top of his doghouse and stare at the world between outings though I never caught him typing [like Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon]! And he slobbered a bit more than I had anticipated! But he was a good dog for Gene. Hunter came to be his second in command and as Gene became sick Hunter took over ALL of History's care. This even include shoveling out horse stalls in trade for fresh cedar bedding! He willingly did anything History needed to be comfortable including a good deal of worrying over him.
We saw signs of lymes and caught it this time and treated him zealously. But recently we have seen signs that the vet grossly misjudged his age when we first got him and this meant he was now about 13 years old not the 7 we thought if we had gone by that judgement. Maybe he wasn't just lazy but really was aged. He didn't go up on his house anymore, he tried to persuade Hunter that just a gentle 1/2 mile walk was all he desired but just a bathroom stroll was even better. He had some little difficulties and we took him to the vet but they didn't see anything needing much attention. We followed up but paid nearly $200 to do so. He continued to walk out with us every day. Gene and Kate and Hunter would all go for a little walk each of the days we were at home. And Hunter saw to him during the worst of Gene's illness.
In the last month I could really see how very old he was looking and yesterday he began to have bleeding and was desperately ill. I KNEW what had to be done....I knew. I spoke with Hunter....He said God had told him History would not live much longer. But it was SOOOO hard to have him put down today. It felt like I lost Gene all over again.. I know that is silly, I know it was not so I know but I forced this dog for all the right reasons on Gene and then I had to say he had to die.....today.
Friends rushed in to hold me as I cried. Family in Christ prayed for all of us. Men in the fellowship told me they would help. They came, they took Hunter and History the Bum for a ride and then visited with two wonderful Christian vets that we know personally [One had trained the other!] Kate and Puller dug a resting place next to Watch Dog's grave. They and Hunter brought my sweet pupsie home and safely buried his body. The pain is not for losing a dog although that factors in. It is all about losing another section of Gene, a connection with him. The pain is so intense I can barely see the keys to type. I know everybody has to go through losing a pet if you choose to engage with animals but I ALWAYS thought Gene would take care of this part. He always had before.
I am so thankful for the Body of Christ--once again once again my children were not children today--they handled what I could not. Such a wimp I am. I am going to bed and pray for a better day tomorrow.
I am thankful for this blog that lets me unload.........every time I need to. I promise ...a much happier story next time maybe about the kitchen remodel or about Hunter's college being completely........well, I will save that story for next time.