He had been in the hospital for five days and his condition was on the decline. Our last visit with him felt more like a chance to say our farewells. Susan and I had Foxy for over ten years, so when the vet told us about our options, we both struggled with the possibility of having to have him put down. She assured us that it would be painless if it ever came to that. But, for me, even considering it was anything but. We asked to give him one more night and that we’d check on him the following day. If he showed no sign of improvement, then…
I took the day off work to make preparations for whatever outcome. I was preparing myself as well. I was already anticipating how difficult the loss would be. I just didn’t anticipate how hard it would hit. I waited for word from Susan as she was the one who was going to contact the doctor for an update. I sat in the sala of my folks’ place (we slept there as it was an easier drive to the hospital) trying to keep myself preoccupied. There was an early morning thunderstorm and it rained for quite a bit, then my phone rang. It was Susan.
Foxy had passed.
A part of me knew that my dear friend was gone before I even took the call. She just got off the phone with his doctor a few minutes before calling me. As devastated as I was, a part of me was relieved that he was no longer suffering and he spared me the decision of having to put him down. I got dressed and asked my papa to drive me to the hospital. Susan would meet me there and we’d claim his body and I would take him on his final ride home.
After I laid him to rest later that morning, I proceeded to gather his stuff that was lying around the house — his food and water bowls, bedding, and grooming tools. I thought it would make the grieving process a little easier. And yet I could still “see” him in every nook and cranny he’d squeeze into. I catch myself looking down at my feet expecting Foxy to be curled up next to them. Or I’d find myself stopping mid-sentence realizing that the buddy I had early-morning “conversations” with was no longer there.
How can something so small leave such a large gaping hole when it’s gone?
The immensity of the loss that I feel now had nothing to do with what the giver was or had, but rather with what he gave. I’m slowly and painfully realizing that I’m not just mourning the loss of a pet — a smart and kindhearted Pomeranian-Spitz mix whom I have shared over ten years of my life with. It’s a lot more than that. I am grieving over the loss of a good friend. One who gifted me with not just companionship, but with acceptance, patience and love.
It’s not going to be easy, but I know I have to accept and deal with this loss over time, and I’d like to begin with one last farewell.
Goodbye, Foxy. Thank you. Rest now, buddy.
I’ll be missing you until we meet again.