Fun things to remember about you
-Playing "tug"--you tossing your head back and forth so hard, we wondered if you'd get whiplash, or burns on your cheeks from your ears slapping your face
-Chasing Mr. Squirrel
-Chasing the neighbor cat through their cat door
-Chewing the squeakers out of your toys
-Watching for me to come home from work--your head swaying from side to side because your tail was wagging
-Morning walks--at a run
-Plopping yourself next to me on my bed--like you owned the place
-My little toaster--you were always so warm to snuggle up with.
-Your patience when bouncy Lab puppies came over to play. You played "tug" and "chase" and "roll around" and never seemed to mind when they stepped on you with their big Lab-puppy paws.
Hard times to remember
-Your waning ability to run and play.
-Losing your balance and falling over, not being able to get up.
-Noticing that you didn't see or smell the bunny that was only a few feet away.
-The vet telling me you either had a brain tumor or had had a stroke, and that you probably had a few weeks or a few months left. I asked how I would know when it was time to let go. She said you would have good days and bad days, and when the bad days outnumbered the good ones, it would be time.
-The realization came during Memorial Day weekend. The following Tuesday I called to make the appointment. It was set for 2 pm on Friday, May 30, 2008.
-Thursday morning I called your Dad to let him know. He was very sad. He said you were a wonderful dog, a perfect dog.
Our last night together (Thursday)
-Coming over to where I was sitting, sinking down against my leg, looking up at me: I'm so tired, you seemed to say. I said, "I know, sweetheart. Mommy's going to take care of it tomorrow." And I picked you up in my arms and held you close for a long time.
-Going for a walk before bed. The weather was nice. It was cool with a little breeze. You seemed to enjoy sniffing the air.
-Giving you a warm bath that night, saying "You'll be meeting Jesus tomorrow, and I want to be sure you aren't stinky."
Our last morning
-I took you outside so you could do business. The sun was shining and it was warm. You used to love to sit in the sunshine, so that morning I let you bask for a while.
-We didn't do anything special. You seemed tired, so I let you sleep.
-Our appointment was at 2 pm. I didn't know how well I would hold up during the drive, so I wanted to allow plenty of time to get to the vet's office. At one o'clock, I picked you up in my arms and carried you down the front steps for the last time. It was a trip I'd been dreading for months. I prayed for strength.
-During the drive, the radio played the song that comforted me when Ethel, the parrot, died: "I'll Fly Away." I sang along at the top of my voice.
-The rest of the time, my hand rested on the top of your little head. I told you how much I loved you, and that I was so glad to have been your mommy. I told you that you were the handsomest, sweetest, smartest, bravest dog in the world.
At the vet's office
-We had to wait a few minutes because the examination room wasn't ready yet. I held you in my arms and tried not to look at the other dogs who were just there for an ear infection or to get their shots.
-When the doctor examined you, she called you "Angel." I began to cry and told her I wasn't able to help you anymore. You couldn't eat on your own. I had to hold you up so you could drink from your water dish. You fussed at night, and nothing seemed to comfort you. She looked at me and said, "It's time," and I answered through tears, "I know."
-She gave you a sedative, and while your body relaxed, I caressed the top of your little head with my hand. I bent low and whispered, "I love you, Doc. I love you so much."
-A few minutes later, I stepped back a little while she gave you the injection. By then your eyes were already almost closed. After another few minutes, she listened to your heart and said, "He's gone." I bent down and kissed the top of your head. You felt different somehow. She was right: you were gone.
-She bundled you up in a big towel, picked you up, and said to you, "Come on, sweetheart. Let's go." I drove home alone.
Dockie, it's been over two years now. I still can't believe you're gone.
May 31, 2011: Yesterday was Memorial Day, Dockie. I went to the park where we used to go for walks. It was quiet and peaceful there. It made me smile, remembering how you loved to run--ears flying back in the wind. I hope you're running and playing now. I love you and miss you.
July 18, 2012: Hi, Dockie. I miss you so much. Your dad and I used to call you "Mr. Perfect." Please help Ethel show Jakie around and introduce her to your friends. I love you.
Please also visit Ethel and Jake.