Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last Day

It's hard for me to believe that two months have gone by since I have posted to this blog, and when I think about what I may have missed blogging about over that time, I can really only think of one thing.


Sam, our beloved first-born dog, is dying.  He's dying so quickly, and so painfully, that we have had to make the horrific decision to help him end his life as gracefully as possible, before things are even worse for him.  A veterinarian is scheduled to come to our house tomorrow, Thursday, at 5:00 p.m. to do just that.  And I'm sad and I'm angry and I'm worried about the part of me that will be empty afterwards.

I could tell you all the steps that have led to this point, but really, I don't want to write about Sam's dying.  Not today.  Tomorrow is for dying.  Today is for living.

And oh, how he has lived.  We discovered Sam eight years ago in a shelter, locked in a cage too small for him, and covered in poop.

It was the poop that got us.  We gave him a bath before we even left the shelter, and brought him home, and he made us not just a couple, but a family. 

What you need to know about Sam is this:

Sam loves to go for walks, and when he goes on those walks, he holds the leash in his mouth, so it's like he's taking you for a walk.  He trots along in a funny little kind-of-sideways sort of gait, and even before you snap the leash on, he is jumping up to grab it, to hurry you along in getting the walk started.  He likes it especially when there are smelly things to be found on that walk, and if you don't pay very close attention, he will rub those smelly things all over himself.

When Sam hears a noise of any kind outside, or sees someone walking down the street, he will run to you and lean against you to hold you in that spot, as if to say, "Stay here.  I will keep watch.  I will protect you."

Sam hates storms.  He hates storms more than anything in the world, and he barks at that thunder and patrols the house as long as a storm lasts. 

Sam loves pizza, with all his heart and soul.  If you eat pizza near him, he will stare at you until you give him some, and, truth be told, if you don't give him any, he will growl.

Sam is the best listener of anyone I know.  You can pour out your tale of woe to him and he will look you in the eye and take it all in and then listen some more.  His eyebrows say everything for him, that he loves you, that he understands you, and that he would do anything in the world for you, because you are his person, and he is your dog.

There is a lot more for you to know about Sam, more than I could ever tell you, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I got to know everything about him.  That Todd and I got to be his people. 

We love you, Sam.  We will always be your people, and you will always be our dog.


PastorEBC said...

Donna and I have been where you will be tomorrow. Because we have, I offer no platitudes of comfort. I will say that after I brought Molly (our Sam)home from the Vet to bury her, while I hurt and cried, I knew in my heart that love for this fine, fine pet and member of our family was the reason for the decision to end her suffering.

That was many years ago, she is still vivid in my mind, and I recall with joy the blessing she brought to our lives. And, yes, after all these years, I still get a lump in my throat when I speak or write about her as I am now.

By the way, contrary to traditional Christian belief, I think Molly (and Sam) will share heaven with us. If a sign of the kingdom is the lamb and the lion lying beside each other, they gotta be in the Kingdom; and if they are there, our pets will be also.

I pray for you and in thanksgiving for what Sam has brought to your life.

Blessings, my friend.

Kara Lewis said...

Oh, thank you, Michael. I needed to hear -- from someone in the know -- that heaven has dogs. How could it not, really?

Christy said...

I am so very sorry! My heart breaks for you !! Thanks Brother Michael for the comforting words that maybe just maybe "all dogs go to Heaven"!!!

Kim said...

No words can help you feel better. It SUCKS. What got Hondro and I through the severe pain was realizing that we had all this guilt we had to let go of. Guilt that we were letting Oscar down. Guilt that we didn't do enough. Guilt that we brought the puppy home who made him sick enough that his high fever and strokes rendered him paralyzed. Guilt that he knew what was going on. Guilt that maybe he knew that we tricked him into getting into that car for his last trip and then guilt that he knew what was coming. You know what? He had no idea what we thought or what we were doing or why we were doing it. He had pizza and ice cream the night before. We slept with him and loved on him right until it was time. All he did was go to sleep. Drifted off. He wasn't in pain and he harbored no ill will towards us because the last thing he saw was our faces right up on his face, his ears being rubbed and the two vets stroking him. He just went to sleep like that. Oscar was never mad at us and never would have been because he was loved right to the end. Now I must go sob in the other room so I don't wake Hondro. Kara, the pain will be there and it will fade but even 5 years after the fact, you will cry. But it will be good cries and it will be cries with others who will have to experience this sad day. Sam is ok with this. This is a good bad sad decision. Take all day off to cry tomorrow. It will be cathartic.

Daisy Sneed said...

As I've said, sometime the GROWN UP world just stinks!!!!!! I've been thinking about you, Todd, and Sam all day! I know that I didn't know Sam very well, but, he accepted me and I think loved me when I was there and I honestly have been thinking about him leaning against my legs to protect me from Penny!!!!!!! Good thoughts and in time, you will laugh and think just the good thoughts. I've never had to make the decision that you and Todd have made, but, I've lost pets that were members of my family. So now, my heart goes out to you and Sam. Just know you're helping him to go gracefully and without pain. I love you all!!!!!!!!!!

Todd said...

I have never met Pastor Michael, but certainly feel like I have. If there is an afterlife of heaven, how could a creatur enot so perfectly attuned to humans be given the grace of spending eternity there? Sam went on my last backpacking trip with me in March. We and some friends travelled deep into thr Red River Gorge, and have now dedicated a prticulr un-named rock overhang to his memory (where we camped).