Monday, October 13, 2008

Grieving ...then Closure

This past week has been one of the longest weeks that I've ever had.

I haven't been around much.

You goes like this...I've been grieving. A few days ago I posted a small little memorial. I didn't allow anyone to comment because I didn't think it was the right thing to do and my only intentions were to have good memories of my best friend and thought it would help with the loss and sadness I'm experiencing right now.

Last Monday October 6th 2008 I had to make one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made. I had to put my dog Roscoe to sleep.

Roscoe was 17 yrs old and up until about a year and a half ago ....he was virtually healthy his whole life. Except for a few minor ailments he only went under the knife once or twice.
We knew he was having some internal problems but nothing I couldn't handle by making some adjustments in his schedule. Around 8 months ago I took him to the vet and they mentioned that we do a geriatric test since he was up there in years and also to change his diet to senior food. Up until then I didn't even realize it but he was really old. But over the next few months he started to have trouble walking straight and he was getting cataracts so we could no longer let him go out on our patio alone or he might fall into our pool. But I still managed to keep him eating and he was still pretty active so we weren't thinking anything was changing.

By the time June rolled around I noticed that he wasn't barking....normally he would bark so much it made my ear drums explode but he just stopped and I was only able to get him to bark a few more times. Eventually he was sleeping more and I noticed he was losing his muscularity in his hips so I became concerned. He had stomach ache about two weeks earlier and he lost a little weight and I just kept giving him some medicine and feeding him and eventually he recovered and gained his weight back and a little more. But last Saturday he started to have trouble walking on his left leg. The next morning my wife woke up about 6 am and took him out as she always does but I heard her calling me and when I came out to see what was going on she was in tears and she said "I need your help...he can't walk".

By the afternoon I was back at the vets office and I was asking him if he thought Roscoe was suffering at this point...he said " I don't think he is suffering in your hands but if you asked me to put him down...I wouldn't argue with you but it's your decision.... I just want you to know that sometimes we have people who only want to put their pets down because they are moving and can't take them or the pet becomes out of hand and the people get angry at me for refusing to do it but in this's a lot different."

We went home...gave him a few doses of a light aspirin to help ease the pain but in the end he started to whimper if we had to take him out. He couldn't stand unless we helped him and I started to cry.

I'm not the type to cry in public but I knew at that moment that he needed.......he wanted it.

Monday morning I had an appointment that was impossible to change and my wife said she would take him. Before I left I walked over to our bed and he was laying down. I started to pet to him and while I was in tears....I started to tell him he was a good boy and that I loved him and was going to miss him terribly. He then kissed my hand and I looked into his eyes and knew that he was telling me it was alright and he was ready. I drove home after my meeting to an empty house and about 30 minutes later my wife came home.....alone.

It was over....Roscoe was gone and we both started to cry. My wife reminded me that we gave him a great life and as much as it sucks and how painful it will be it was better that we didn't wait until it got worse. We both thought he would just get better just like he always did. But he didn't.....he couldn't His mind wanted to but his body wouldn't allow him to. Even on the day he passed .....he was still eating his food and was as hungry and thirsty as he always was.

I wish I could have done more and I wish I knew how he was really feeling inside. It's very hard for some people to understand the type of bond I had with a pet that's been with me for almost as long as I've been married. We remember how much research we did and how long we traveled to get him.

How do you understand unconditional love? I know it will be hard but I'll be ok.
I guess I took his age a little for granted... and my Father in law said it best..."How old was Roscoe? I thought he was around forever"

The photo above was back in the 1990's...the way we prefer to remember him when he was vibrant and full of life.

I just want to thank those who sent me many kind emails. I'm still having a hard time getting used to not seeing him... but every days gets a little better. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get another pet and I'll never forget friend.

Rest in Peace Roscoe 1991-2008
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2500 Weston Road ,Suite 103
Weston FL 33331

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