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.

52 comments:

Call me Paul said...

Did you call the vet? They might still have the collar.

Sorry for your loss, Russ.

sim warford said...

I'm just so sorry. I know how much it hurts.

Astaryth said...

I'm so sorry.... But, Bongo had a wonderful life with you. He was loved and loved in return. {{Hugs}}

Oh, and what Paul said. The Vet Assistant probably removed the collar and they may not have disposed of it yet.

Kevin Fierro said...

Russ, I'm so sorry to hear about Bongo. I know he was a very loved part of the family. I hope you find some healing and I hope he comes to visit you in your dreams.

Your favorite conservative right wing wack job:

Kevin Fierro

Rachel said...

I read this at 6 this morning, and couldn't comment. I was crying. I didn't get the pleasure of meeting Bongo, but I know how much I would hurt if something happened to Hawkeye, so I get it. I sat and cried for you, and tried to comment. Couldn't do it.

I love you, buddy.

I am NOT, however, amused that I have to type "bigho" down there to continue. I may be big, but I'm no ho!

Indigo said...

Oh hon, I have tears streaming down my face. I know that heartbreak to lose a wonderful companion like that. Your in my thoughts dear one. I'm so sorry for this loss, this sorrow your feeling right now. (Hugs)Indigo

FrankandMary said...

Well, P may be dealing with it more outwardly, but I am sure your world is fragmented by Bongo's passing. I'm trying to think of something to say Russ, really I am, but Bongo was much too valuable for loose discussion.
I love you. ~Mary ooxoxoxo

Debra said...

russ. it sucks. debra

***** said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and pain, Russ. His final gift to you was leaving his old, tired body before the Vet appointment so you wouldn't have to agonize over that decision. In case you've never read it, I'm posting "Rainbow Bridge". I read it occasionally myself to remind me of all of my fur familiy members who await me.

Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Kathy said...

I am so very sorry to hear about Bongo.

I agree with Paul, call the vet maybe they will still have Bongo's collar.

My heart goes out to Lumpy too.


The both of you took great care of Bongo and I know he felt the love and safeness of your home.

Donna said...

I'm sorry Russ. I've been there. At least you have the comfort of knowing he lived a long happy life, well cared for.

Mel said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Bongo =(

I hope you and Lumpy are doing okay.

Lisa said...

Awwwww hon, I am so sorry about Bongo, Big Hugs to you and Lumpy XOXOXOXO Lisa

Amy said...

I hate that I don't get update notifications from your journal. Where's your 'notify by email' option, dammit?

Bongo. That just sucks. :-/

Michelleve said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Bongo. I truely feel your pain. I agree with what Donna said...he had a wonderful life with you and Lumpy.

Big hugs to you both.

MichelleVe

Lisa said...

Oh dear heart I am in tears. I know the immense grief that comes with losing our beloved companions. I am so sorry for your loss.

Rest in Peace Bongo.

Sending you big hugs.

Heather said...

Russ..I am so sorry for you and the husband.

Pam said...

I am so very sorry to hear about you losing your Bongo.

ADB said...

Sorry to hear of the loss of your dog, Russ. He will be awaiting you beyond the Rainbow Bridge. Wishing you strength in the meantime.

Guido
http://atlantic-lines.blogspot.com

Sugar said...

russ, please accept my condolences re your beloved compainion bongo. i've been thru this many times, & will be going thru it again in the near future. please come by my journal & read my update week before last on my sweet pee. then this last week too.
please call the vet & see if they still have the collar. i forgot it once & they mailed it to me in a sympathy card the next week. hope you can get his back. {{}}
if you'd like to put his pic & a little tribute for him on our pet memorial, just let me know. the link to it is on my side bar.
sending up prayers for you & lumpy. RIP sweet furr.
God bless...

Joann said...

Russ, I'm so sorry for your loss, he looked to be a beautiful dog!! I used to have a dog named Bongo when I was growing up!! He was blessed to belong to you, you took good care of him!

Anne said...

My dearest Russ. I am so very sorry. These words just don't seem even. I ache for you from the bottom of my heart. Luke died a year ago and I am still grieving over him. 14 years with you. Please try to remember those good times and also remember you were with him until the end. I, too, picked my Luke up and held him when he died. You are in my thoughts are prayers. Please take care of yourself. I love you! Anne

Paula said...

So sorry Russ.

IndigoSunMoon said...

Oh Russ...I'm so sorry for you and your partner. I know how much this hurts. I lost my poodle named Candy after 15 yrs. Damn near killed me.
May the Goddess wrap you and that precious man of yours in her loving arms and give you peace.
Bongo is playing at the Rainbow Bridge now...
Sending you SO much love,
Connie

Leigh said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Bongo.
Hugs to you and Lumpy.

Leigh

Tracie said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

((hugs))

Kathy said...

Russ, I'm sad for you. The loss of a pet is no less because they had a long and happy life ...

Hugs your way. May you get your wish for Bongo to visit in your dreams.

Donna said...

Hi Russ. Cliff has had one hearing aid for several years. But his bad ear is so far gone, a hearing aid won't help.

Tell your dad to spend the extra money and get the digital aids. Cliff's first one was a cheapo, and he hardly ever used it. The $1,800 digital one (that's just for ONE ear) is much better, and he's seldom without it.

Bethe said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Bongo. Yes, I think get kinda numb when it comes to death working in the medical field, so I know what you mean. Not that it makes the inner pain any less.

hugs...

Celeste said...

I am so sorry. Bongo was well loved by you. I think he knew how hard it was for you to make that decision to get the shot for him and made it easier. Someday you will see him again and he will be happy and healthy.
I had to wait to comment as it was the one year anniversary of my Sebastian's passing.

Oh my I have to type behappy

Kath said...

OH! I am so sad to read this Russ.I have tried to get into your blog for weeks now with no luck.At last I found you again.So sorry about Bongo.Prayers for you and yours always.Take care God Bless Kath x

Coelha :B said...

:( I'm sorry Ross. Bongo was lucky to have you in his life. Hugs - Julie

Kathy said...

Russ are you ok? Haven't heard from you in awhile. Worry about you.

Nancy said...

Holy crap...I found you again. But even more, I came upon this sad, sad entry. I'm sure you must be in such tremendous pain...

Thinking of you lots.

Love
Nance

LYN said...

BLOODY HELL...I HAD NO IDEA...SORRY TO HEAR THIS...

RIP BONGO...

Kathy said...

It's been a month since you posted. Are you ok?

KMae said...

I came by your blog via Mary.
That pic of Bongo is exquisite!
What a beautiful fur baby he was.
My Roxie passed 3 mo ago & my cat Panther last month. God, it's SO sad & so hard. Grieving is hell.
petloss.com helps. My partner cries once, then she's good. Me, I long for their warm furry bodies. I still have one cat left, thank God, Goddess, Universe.
Best regards.

Paula said...

Sure do miss you toonguy. Hope you are okay.

swmpgrly said...

How sad Im sorry to hear about your loss

swmpgrly said...

you have an award waiting for you!
http://swmpgrly.blogspot.com/

Kath said...

I hope your pain is easing missing your posts,now I have found you again.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

Teresa said...

Russ honey, I am so, so, so very sorry about Bongo's departure. I have no idea what to say, I know I'm late and I apologize for that. Even though you are familiar with the realities of the passing of pet's ~ it's a little different when it's a best friend. 14 years is a long time. I had Heathen for 13. I miss him terribly still so I can only imagine how you are feeling. Please don't disappear on me ~ I'm struggling to keep writing in my own journal but I make myself.
I miss you**** Hugs and Love, Teresa

Kathy said...

Miss you Russ.
My dad is in the hospital. Hope your dad is doing ok.
Hope you post again soon.

***** said...

Hey Russ,
I keep checking hoping to see a new post. Are you OK? Lotsa of people care! We're here whenever you return.

Melanie said...

(((((((Russ))))))

I share your pain..I also had a shepard...and had to put him down...
Melanie

Chef E said...

Found you through Frank&Mary post... My son has a german shepard mix and he talks to us. At first I was afraid of him, because he would look you straight in the eye, and it seemed like he might take your face off if you disagreed with him. Logan turned out to be the sweetest dog ever, and is four now. I hope my son continues to enjoy him like you did Bongo!

Sorry for the loss, they are like your children it seems, and loosing a child I know how that must be...

LYN said...

HEY BABE..I KNOW YOU DON'T BLOG ANYMORE BUT I WANTED TO TELL YOU I MISS YOU AND HOPE YOU ARE DOING OKAY....

Kathy said...

hope you are doing ok. haven't heard from you in ages.

life is crappy over here too.

take care. email me.

D said...

been away for a bit myself... but was hoping to find some type of update. Hope all is well with you. Miss ya!
hugs

Veronica B. EDMD said...

Just started from the beginning of your part 2 blog. Found you via "Grains of Sand..." Marc. Sorry for the loss of your pet. I can't begin to imagine the day I lose one of mine. I wish you would have transferred over some of your prior journal... or maybe I missed it somewhere. Love the artwork. I too hate ALDI which my husband found. Basics I could use... anything that was meant to have flavor never did.... Hope you'll start posting again soon... V

Saltydawg said...

I haven't blogged for so long, let alone read others. I never get alerts for your blog no matter hard I try. Russ, it may not mean much but I feel your loss, we have always been a dog household and when Sam our last dog died we decided that was enough. I'm more like you with keeping my feelings to myself but occasionally I blubber like Pete.
As you and I both know, time is a good healer but all the same Bongo will be missed.
Keep well my friend. Gaz x

Big Mark 243 said...

Man... I am so sorry that I wasn't around to offer my condolensces ...TWICE!!

That is a fabulous photo... what a wonderful looking dog.