It all happened too fast. I wasn't prepared.
At least I had the opportunity to say "goodbye."
I need to blog about this. It creates closure for me.
Eleven years ago we made the decision to purchase a family dog. After much research, we decided on a Boxer. Our oldest child Caleb was given the opportunity to pick from the litter as it was his 5th birthday. I remember the day well. He picked the fat, pudgy runt of the litter. As we are avid golfers, we named our new friend "Bogey." She was perfect.
Our family proceeded down the path of puppyhood. Chewed items, messes on the floor, lots of puppy kisses and some very active play sessions ensued.
As we proceeded on our journey of dog ownership, we all learned some valuable lessons from Bogey. Accept people for who they are, forgive and move on, unconditional love, take time for exercise, to always meeting someone with a smile.
Bogey was always in a good mood. Always happy to see us. Yes, some of the things that Bogey did drove us nuts. She jumped on visitors, she shed too much, she trampled through our flower gardens flattening our chrysanthemums. As she aged, she had a hard time keeping up with my wife and me on our morning runs.
What I wouldn't give to have one more run with Bogey. To be able to tell her to "get off the couch!" one more time. To have her look at me with that look that said, "let's go upstairs, it's time for bed."
To see her snuggled up to my daughter as she read a book. To see her jump up on my son as he sat in a chair that was way too small for two.
We lost our dear friend Bogey after eleven wonderful years on Tuesday morning at 4:00 am.
It all started Monday night. She was sleeping on the couch between my daughter and me like she had done thousands of times. She always had the ability to believe she was a lapdog, even though she was 45 pounds over the weight requirement.
She jumped off the couch and winced. I didn't think much of it as she had developed arthritis in golden years. After heading to bed around 11:30, I noticed that she wasn't "right." She went to bed, but was restless. At 12:30 we made a trip down the steps so she could go outside. Nothing new, we'd done it before. After a considerable amount of time outside, it was back up to bed.
This happened two more times.
After our third trip outside, Bogey beat me back upstairs as she usually does. I went over to pet her on her bed and she wasn't there. I didn't want to call for her as it was 1:30 in the morning. I walked down the hallway, turned on the light and there she was. She was walking back and forth between our kids' rooms. She did this a couple of times and I foolishly asked her what she was doing. After all, the kids were sleeping.
She immediately headed back downstairs and jumped up on the couch. By this time, I could tell that something was not right. She whimpered and cried if I would leave her side.
Something was wrong. I panicked. My wife awoke and came downstairs. I expressed to her that I didn't think that Bogey was going to make it through the night.
I hoped and prayed that I was wrong.
It was 3:00 in the morning. I had to call our amazing veterinarian. He told us to meet him at his office in 15 minutes. I dressed for the cold weather and tried to mentally prepare myself for the short drive.
We wrapped Bogey in a blanket and I carried her out to the car.
Then I lost it. I sobbed. I cried all the way to the Vet's office.
Our veterinarian informed us that Bogey was suffering from Gastric Dilatation Volvulus. She needed surgery immediately. We consented. We were told to say our "goodbyes" just in case the worst happened.
What do you say? How do you thank a creature for some of the most amazing memories. For being the perfect companion. For teaching my children some of the greatest lessons they will ever learn? For loving each one of us unconditionally.
It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life.
Our Bogey died before the surgery even began. Damn, she was a great dog. She was more than a pet though. She was a family member.
At the time, I didn't think much about Bogey walking back and forth between our kids' bedrooms. Looking back, I now believe she was taking time to say her goodbyes to her two best friends.
She was one of the best friends I have ever had, and I am forever grateful.