Henry - Belmar (April 2008)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC
Although he was approximately 12 years old, Henry only joined our house at the estimated age of 10 years in September 2006. Twenty two months and four days later, we said farewell to him. My heart is aching and the tears won't stop even though I know it was the right thing to do.
When we adopted him from the Monmouth County SPCA we knew that we wouldn't have forever, but we were determined to give him the best life he'd known, for whatever time we had. I think we did. For a dog with arthritis, he loved to walk - and walk, and walk. Whether it be at the reservoir or at the beach, he was always eager to get out of the car get moving. It was rare that he'd tire out before us.
The last few months have been difficult. He had his ups and downs, his good days and his bad days. When we thought he was on his last legs, he would rally. I took to calling him the Amazing Rebound Dog and his rally after the events of last Thursday amazed me again with rebound on Friday.
By Saturday afternoon though, we knew the end was near. He rallied, but then crashed. We came to the decision that it was time and tried to make his last day at home as comfortable as possible. If our V-E-T had office hours on Sunday, we would have been there. I briefly considered taking him to the emergency V-E-T, but in the end decided that I wanted to take him to Dr B for the last time. I spent a chunk of time both Saturday and Sunday nights on the floor with him, petting him and telling him how glad I was that he chose us. He really was the best dog in the world. I like to think that he's off chasing kitties or rabbits right now - free of pain.
On the way home from the V-E-T his leash and collar were on the seat next to me. At a red light, I picked up his collar and out of curiosity put it around my neck. It fit. Now I'm trying to figure out how to adapt it into a piece of jewelry I could wear. Typical Marci, eh?
As for phone calls and emails - please don't be offended if I don't answer or reply right away. Although I'm blogging, I'm not sure that I want to talk about Henry at his time. I'm still a blubbering mess and probably will be for the next day or so.
And please, don't quote the Rainbow Bridge poem to me either. I know it's meant to be comforting, but at this point, it's more annoying than anything. Henry's in a better place - where he's happy, healthy and free of pain. That I do believe - and with a bit of luck, one day we'll meet again.
When we lost two of our cats in the course of a week in March 2005, many friends sent cards or gifts. If you feel the need to do so this time, would you consider a donation to the Monmouth County SPCA in his memory instead?
For those of you with dogs, cats or other pets, be thankful for their love and companionship - and give them a little extra love and affection today. They can never get too much of that.