I am 65 years old and crushed. I had to put my best friend down 4 days ago. I've experienced loss before and while painful, it was nothing quite like this.|
Some years ago my young adult daughter needed to be hospitalized. It was determined that she is bi-polar. As a child I never had nor desired a pet. As an adult with small children I never wanted to provide my children with pets either. Though my youngest (the one that has been determined to be bi-polar), is the only one that ever asked.
During her stay at the hospital she used this opportunity, she was always cunning, to have the doctor inform me that her having a dog would be therapeutic. Being as she was now going to be staying with the wife and I for sometime until she recovers and the fact that she swore that she would take care of the little fellow, I relented and agreed to allow her to bring a dog into our home.
About 2 or 3 weeks after acquiring a 2 month old Shih Tzu for her,(we named him Gizmo), "I" was out walking him. He picked this time for some unknown reason to run off into a wooded area near our property. I couldn't find him and he was not answering to my calls. So after 5 or 10 minutes I returned home. "After all it was just a dog." Upon returning home and informing my daughter she became highly upset and started crying. My wife, the always wise one tells my daughter to come on, "lets go get your dog.".
Sure enough they return shortly with the dog. Shortly thereafter, maybe a month and unbeknownst to me, my whole world was about to change.
I began to notice that upon returning home from work, the dog would have gotten up on the Ottoman in the living room which gave him an unobstructed view out the window to my truck pulling up. He would then do this hilarious circular dance when I entered the house. Strange but endearing. After settling in and taking a seat on the sofa in the family room up he would leap, right into my lap. Again strange, very strange, "I don't even like dogs".
As time goes on Gizmo and I grow closer and closer. The daughter is now home less and less of the time. The wife is out and about. The dog is now house trained and simply waits in the window for me to come home. Usually to an empty house except him.
I walk him, feed him, lounge outside with him, take him with me to run errands. Once when he was constipated I even gave him an enema. All those that knew me were shocked, especially my wife and daughter. Gizmo and I are inseparable.
6 months after acquiring Gizmo my daughter announces that she's moving out and has found an apartment. I had mixed emotions for all of about 10 minutes. I decided that I was keeping Gizmo. So much the better as she informs us that her new apartment does not allow pets.
12 years have gone by. We've changed homes twice. Moved to California (daughter remained in Chicago). I've since retired. The only constant has been Gizmo.
4 days ago we were informed that his heart was failing. We had suspected as much as we always knew he had a heart murmur. The options were limited. He was having a hard time breathing. We did not want him to suffer. Having him put down while necessary, has been the worse experience of my life.
I choke up constantly, as does the wife. I have very little appetite. The wife can't eat because he's not standing there begging though she hated when he did that. Our world is now dramatically different though we are very grateful for having had him in it.
I am too embarrassed to pen some of the thoughts that I've had these past few days but having found this site and others have been quite helpful. Even putting down some of the things that are coming to mind has been helpful as well. And finally the most helpful thing for both my wife and I was coming across the poem "The Rainbow Bridge".
Maybe sometime soon we can get through a day without feeling completely empty.
God Bless the maintainers of this site, the readers of my memories, and GOD BLESS Gizmo.