My dog, Jack Waterman, died yesterday. He was an older dog; 11 years. He had been having some bad arthritis pain, which I expected to nurse him through for many more years. Yesterday, he was unwilling to go out to the park. I thought it was joint pain; I gave him a pain pill and he lay on the living room carpet, panting, while I worked at my desk.
After a little while, he moved next to me, lying on the rug by my chair. I came down to the floor and stroked his face, trying to understand what he was feeling. He was still panting, heavily, and I could see that his tongue was pale lavender instead of pink. I thought about getting him to the vet, but how? If he was unable to walk, how could I get a 65 pound dog in the car?
We have a local house-call vet in the neighborhood; their office hours begin at 10 am. It was just about that time, and I was keying in the phone number, when Jack got to his feet.
He staggered weakly into the bedroom, a distance of maybe 6 feet, and then he lay down. I touched him and felt his body move with his breath, then I ducked back to my desk to grab my phone.
When I got back seconds later, he was gone.
Thank you to my good friends Linda and Scott, who helped me get Jack's body to the veterinarian clinic. Jack's ashes will be spread in a national park somewhere.
Thanks to all my good friends who hugged me and let me cry and tell stories of Jack. Thanks to all my friends online who sent me good wishes.
|Jack and his friend Franny|