Today was a strange and sad day.
Even from the outset, the weather predicted it would be a day with mixed emotions. The rain started just after day break and slowly covered the tarmac drawing patterns and then the smell of wet grass spread across the hood.
The clouds showed no signs of stopping, not that I can predict the weather or anything, and it was dripping softly when I dropped my oldest daughter off at the school bus stop.
My morning routines were about to kick in. Coffee was brewing while I was ironing my shirt. My youngest daughter and I had some breakfast and I then had a quick shower; mainly to flatten my strangely electric hair. After the wake-up splash I put on the office attire and made my lunchbox, which doesn’t happen that often.
The missus returned to casa Awesome and I brought the El Camino to life with a roar from the powerful V8 engine. Off to another day at the mill!
Shortly after lunch my phone at the office rang. As I answered, I felt an eerie sensation in my fingers and I was “greeted” by my very upset wife.
Our beloved Labrador had died!
It was probably one of the strangest (and shortest) calls I’ve had in a long time. I put down the handset and stared at the wall for a few seconds. Then, what appeared in slow motion, my hands reached for the car keys and I walked to the beast.
The drive home took what felt like forever and as I pulled up in front of the house the rained picked up in severity – it changed from soft small drops to big ass bucket sized drops. Ah! It’s only water and according to Myth-busters you get more wet by running in the rain, so I walked slowly towards the front door.
As I opened the front door, I was greeted by my very upset wife and a not so upset terrible two daughter. The latter had no concept of what had just happened.
There he was. Lying on the floor as if he was sleeping. The only giveaway was that the heavy breathing he had been displaying in recent weeks was no longer there.
Well, apparently the door bell rang and he wanted to give the delivery guy a message. He attempted to get up, but the ol’ ticker didn’t agree with him and couldn’t keep up. The poor dog panicked and had a seizure. My dear wife attempted to calm him down as she would usually do when he had a fit. It was too much for him and he slowly lost consciousness and then drifted away. Personally, I blame the fecking delivery guy. Perhaps I should sue them for scaring my dog to death!?
I gently bend down, padded his belly and touched his head. I never kiss my dogs, mainly because I don’t like getting hair stuck on my lips, and I didn’t do it this time either.
The next hour was spent placing him gently on his blanket, calling the vet to make arrangements and then waiting for the older kids to return home from school.
The hardest thing was to see my oldest daughter get very upset. The younger kids weren’t really to fuzzed about it, and wanted to watch Toy Story instead.
We carried him to the car and I made the last journey to the vet.
At the vet’s place, a younger vet apprentice helped me carry our dog. He was lying on his back as we carried him in and his head gently tilted back. It was as if he was a sleep.
The vet and I gently placed him on the examination table, not that he needed an assessment done today, but it was were I was meant to say my goodbye.
Man, saying good bye to your pet is very hard. I tried to stay manly and not cry, but it was difficult to hold back the tears. Still, I kissed him gently on his head, touched him for one last time and left the doctor’s office.
The lady at the front-desk asked me to fill-in a form, asked details about what cremation I wanted and then asked “cash, credit or cheque sir?”. I guess it’s still business as usual.
After the vet visit I returned to work. Parts of the afternoon are still fairly blank, but I did appreciate getting back into the routines again. It would’ve been worse trying to understand what had happened.
The day ended with the family having pizza. None of us wanted to do any cooking. We put the kids to bed a little later than usual, and I started writing this post.
It’s strange how empty the house is with one less dog. I miss the old bugger and hope he’s enjoying life just past the Rainbow Bridge.
People who never had a pet find it difficult to understand how attached one gets to the pet. It’s easy really. They are like family. They’ve grown up with you, laughed with you, played with you and been there if you’ve been sad. When they leave you can fell something being torn out of your heart – it hurts badly.
I miss you already my friend!