FYI – I started this post in April and just never got around to finishing it. That is why the time frame is going to be all wonky. I must disclose that I have recovered emotionally from all the happenings of mid-April, but didn’t want to throw the post out compeltely. Well here goes:
I do believe there is a balance in life. I don’t think you can have an unlimited supply of happiness and never feel any pain or despair. You need them both….as unfortunate as that might be. Well the past few weeks have been a little rough. Let me tell ya. Grandpa Gumbo’s funeral was tough. I was really sad….but strangely relieved…..and still a sobbing mess. Then I received a call Friday night (just after arriving at my aunt’s after the services) that Andy’s great aunt died. Now to be honest. I didn’t know her that well. I saw her a handful of times and she wasn’t exactly chatty…..man what I would give to be able to trade Crazy Grandma for someone like that, but that is a topic for another day. I wasn’t exactly distressed over the news of her death, but I was still sad that Andy’s dad was sad. I am empathetic after all. I knew we would be gearing up for another round of funeral services when I arrived back in Colorado.
Then Saturday I talked to Andy and he said Lincoln wasn’t doing well. In all honesty he hadn’t been doing well for a while. A couple of weeks ago he stopped eating regularly. Andy’s response to my worry was that Lincoln doesn’t eat as much when it gets warmer. But this was just Andy living in his own version of Denial-Land. Lincoln eventually wasn’t eating at all. No amount of cheese on his food could convince him to eat. So when I talked to Andy I told him ‘I think it might be time’. Andy’s response was that he would go and get soft food for Lincoln and see if that would help…..which he convinced himself that it did. But Andy was hand-feeding the soft food to Lincoln and practically carrying him outside to go to the bathroom. So when I got home on Saturday night, I knew I was going to have to be the one to make the call. Andy wasn’t going to be capable of giving up the fight. We spent Sunday with Lincoln and I didn’t really say much to Andy about it, other than that I really thought it was time. I looked up vets in the yellowpages to see if there was one who could come to the house.
On Monday, while Andy was at school, I texted him that I was going to call the vet and asked if he wanted me to see if they could come that evening so that he would be home. He said he didn’t think that he could handle being there and asked if I would be able to do it without him. I mustered up all the strength I could and decided that I could do this. I thought about my mom. I imagined her in my head telling me that I was doing the humane thing. That Lincoln was obviously just holding on for our own selfishness and that I needed to set him free. I told myself I was giving him a gift rather than ending his life. I thought about calling Andy’s dad, but thought better of it when I remembered they just put their dog down a month ago and he was so distrought about that. I didn’t think he could handle Lincoln too. I called Pickle’s mom, but being the ridiculous person that I am, rather than tell her what was going on I just asked if she was free that day. She told me she was trying to line some stuff up for taxes, so I hung up the phone without ever saying why I had called. When I got off the phone with her the tears were flowing like crazy.
Then I remembered that Emmicakes was home sick and I called her. I could barely speak when I asked her if she could sit with the baby in the lobby at the vet while I was in with Lincoln. I knew she was sick, but I needed someone. She not only agreed, she told me she was coming over. I protested at first, but then realized that I should shut my mouth and let someone come be with me while I was sad. She was so sweet and brought me lunch. We pet Lincoln and talked. All too soon it was time to go. I put the baby in her car so that Lincoln could lay down in the back seat. I had to lift him down the stairs and into the car. It was hard, but it would have been even harder had he had the ability to get out of the house and into the car on his own.
The drive to the vet was excruciating. Part of me just wanted to keep driving. To keep him as far away from the vet as possible. When we arrived I helped him out of the car and he had to stop and pee on some bushes before we went in. He was sick, but still a boy. The vet took him in and examined him. He was down to 68lbs, which was less than he weighed when we adopted him. It would be just a few minutes while they put in a line to deliver the drugs, so I fed Jack in the lobby and chatted with Emily. She kept telling me what a good life we had given him and that this was what was best for him. I agreed with her, but I still wanted to sweep him up and run out of there.
The vet came back and asked if I wanted to be in the room…..I didn’t want to be, but I thought of my baby alone in there and said yes. She asked if I wanted him up on the exam table or she could do it on the floor so I could sit with him….I chose the floor. She brought in a mat and a fleece blanket. He gladly followed me over to the corner and laid down when I patted on the mat. The rest was a tear-filled, blubbering blurr. I remember petting him and telling him what a good boy he was. I wanted with all my heart to call the whole thing off and take him back home….back to Denial-land. When it was all over, and I must point out that it was very peaceful, the vet said I could stay as long as I wanted, but a cry from the waiting room reminded me that someone else needed me just then.
If it weren’t for him, for that little chubby ham out there, I don’t know that I would have made it back out of that deep dark hole right away. The combination of saying goodbye to a beloved grandpa and my favorite dog (it’s okay if you tell the other two that he was my favorite, they know) was enough to shut my shit down for a week of sorrow. I was so thankful to have him in my arms to bring me back up.