Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bongo 5/95 - 1/09

The German Shepherd I shared the past fourteen years with has passed away. Bongo. The poor old guy suffered from arthritis and hadn't been able to walk on his own since last Summer, but his eyes were still bright and he still wanted to play an adapted game of "fetch" with his favorite chew toy up until last week. I knew his time was coming when he no longer made an attempt to savor a Milkbone. And then he just stopped even trying to move. I left work early on Friday to take him to the vet for that lethal injection but he died in the hallway a full 90 minutes before the appointment. His eyes were open.

The tasks of wrapping him in blankets and carrying him out to the car fell on me because my better half was too distraught to deal with the reality of death. SIGH. I expected that. I always have to be the 'grown-up' in these situations. It was so difficult to take the body of my old companion out of the house he'd spent his whole life. Death is ugly and unwieldy and unpleasant.

The veteranarian who'd been Bongo's doctor for fourteen years met us at the front door and instructed two of his flunkies to bring out a stretcher to take my old friend's body into the clinic. And that was it. I forgot to remove Bongo's collar. Dammit. I think I'd kinda like to have that now. We decided we didn't want the ashes. Why? I don't know. I'd rather remember him by looking at old photos and his favorite toys. A box of dust wouldn't have the same effect, I guess.

I'm okay....a little numb maybe. I grew up on a farm and am basically shock-proof when it comes to the realities of pets, animals and their mortality. My husband is having a hard time, though. He even called the ASPCA hotline for people who are grieving over lost pet companions (877-474-3310) and got some loving support while I just moped and kept my thoughts quiet and private.

Goodbye, Bongo. The house feels so empty without you. Please visit me in my dreams.