On Thursday evening, April 18, 2013 a bright part of our life ended for my wife and I.
I’m here writing this with my eyes stinging from the tears I have been shedding for the passing of our special girl.
How many people will read this? Perhaps not many. But I’m not worried I just need to express myself about my terrible loss; our terrible loss that my family and I have experienced.
And more than that I need to have a place that acknowledges a life that was so special to all who knew her ………. because her life was special!
Early that evening I had to do something ALL people who really love their dogs, their 4 legged family member inevitably have to do. I had to say goodbye to one of mine and my families most loved members. One of my very best friends; someone who has never looked at me in an angry or distrustful manner. Someone who always respected me. Someone who was always by my side where ever I was, when ever I was home.
Someone absolutely pure of soul. Someone who was just pure love and pleasure to have around, our gorgeous staffie girl, Georgie.
The whole family said goodbye to her that day, but I had to say the last goodbye, along with my older son, as we comforted her and kissed her goodbye at our vets. We had to be there in her last minutes; her last seconds to make sure she was not stressed. We just had to be there to let her know how much we loved her, how much her loss meant to us and how much we are going to miss her. Her last day had caused her such stress and this happy soul and stress did not go together. We had exhausted every possible avenue to keep her a little longer but time had taken it’s toll; time had run out and we just purely and simply had no other choice than to let her go to a better place.
She was the family’s dog, the extended families dog. Everyone loved her; you couldn’t help but think she was special. So it is not only me sitting here tearing up again and again as I write. I’m a mess; my wife continues to be distraught, and my sons are having a rough time of it as well; even though they are both married and haven’t “lived” with Georgie for some time. Georgie had a lot of friends, many of whom teared up for her on hearing she lost her battle. Her battle with age and with a body that shut down and said, “no more”. Yes she was the families dog, she was THE dog that everyone in the cul-de-sac (where we live) knew and (at least) had a friendly smile and a warm greeting for. She was loved and / or admired by many …….. but in mine and my wife’s heart she was OUR beloved friend and companion and has never been thought of as “just a dog”. For most of her life she not only responded to her name Georgie but also to “Precious” because that’s what she was to us and that is the name we called her by more often than not.
Some might say fifteen years and one month is a “good innings” for a dog of this breed. It probably is but it is still not long enough when it is YOUR dog, your special companion, and you never wanted to acknowledge that this day would come around. Its funny but I can recall thinking that many of our past pets “had a good innings” when they had died. I recall that most or all of them had lived fairly long lives by doggy or pussy cat standards. But with Georgie I’ve been thinking in another direction. I’ve been thinking …..why is an animal like Georgie that is essentially the same “flesh and blood’ as we humans …… why is it that her life is so short. What is it with the different genetic code between humans and other animals….why are some animals coded with such short lives and some with longer lives? How does that work when we really are all the same flesh and blood and organs? If only there had been a way to change it for Precious because …….she deserved longer !!
Georgie was a true member of our family in every way. Every thing we did at home, she was there to be part of it, from gardening and mowing the lawn, to vacuuming the house, to just sitting watching the TV or being with me in my home office at my computer. Of course she went many places on trips with us as well.You couldn’t take that happy look off her face as long as she was with us. She was my training buddy in her younger years when I trained up to 10 kilometers an evening for some middle distance running events; and she loved it all. In her last year she was even there on our bed with us; something we have never done in a lifetime of much loved pets.
“YUK”, some people might think ! Well we don’t care, she became a little insecure in her last year when she started to have physical problems and she loved to be close to us when we were home with her. She sure loved to “hog” our bed and make sure we were still there with us a few times every night so an uninterrupted night was a rarity. And now we “have our bed back”, (in regards to the way she took over parts of our bed and even relegated my wife to the lounge some nights); you know what? As much of a pain as it may have been sometimes, we would love to have the problem continue on way into the future.
In her last eighteen months her back legs became independent of her brain. She couldn’t get them to “work” properly; the message that went to her back legs was obviously a bit scrambled. She wasn’t in pain, but she must have been confused as to why she had lost a lot of her control and mobility. Often her legs looked like they had a mind of their own. Never the less it didn’t stop her from being there with us, she refused to let it beat her.
A year or more of acupuncture helped stimulate nerve endings and slowed down the process of her loosing total control of her rear legs but the problem still slowly progressed and as time progressed it was obviously influenced by her old age as well. We were told that she would eventually get to the stage where she would lose control of her bodily functions and that would be the catalyst for ending her life. But she didn’t; right to the end she didn’t disgrace herself. Even in that last 2 or 3 days when she was as good as totally incapacitated she kept her dignity.
If you read the “ABOUT US” on this website you will understand that we have been a “doggy” family all our lives; and with a few cats thrown in as well.In fact with birds and fish as well it has been a bit of a farm.
We consider it one of the best things my wife and I did in our lives, to have reared two sons who love pets / animals as much as we do and have married girls with that same quality.
I really do feel sorry for anyone who hasn’t had a pet and especially a dog (as they reign supreme); they truly are our best friend.
So this ODE is for you Precious, …. our dear beloved Georgie. You were our dearly loved friend and family member. You will never be forgotten; you will never really leave us because you will be in our hearts forever.
Rest in peace our beautiful spirit.