Thursday, October 21, 2010

Please God... Make me a Stone

There will be no Girl Friday tomorrow. My heart isn't in it.

My heart is broken, truth be told. I'm on vacation from work this week, and I've done little but wander the homeplace crying like a baby off and on for the past two days. I'm kinda drained.

My faithful companion, and loyal friend - Angus - has reached the end of his walk with me.


A couple of months ago, his health started to deteriorate due to age. It started as an occasional dragging of one back leg and had steadily progressed to severe lack of coordination for both back legs, complete lack of appetite, and general lack of ability to get around. On the occasions when he did manage to get up and about, the cataracts in his eyes were so advanced that he had to navigate the house and yard by memory more than anything else. 

I made the remark in a post a couple of days ago to the effect that there are times when you have hard choices to make -  and you have to make them. I made that choice this week. I had to come to grips with the fact that I was keeping him here for me, and not for him.

Angus was a loving member of our family. He never showed an aggressive tendancy toward any member of my family throughout his whole life. He was particularly fond of Bailey, as she was a constant source of tidbits to eat. She thought it was the funniest thing to toss him a french fry while he waited patiently for the treat that he knew would come eventually.

However, he was fiercely protective of us and distrustful of other people. A lot of elements went into that, but they aren't important now. Suffice to say that he was not a fan of the Vet's office, nor were they of him on the occasions when he had to go. Trust me, when a 100+ pound Rottweiller is upset - its not a happy place to be. The stress it would have put on him had I taken him to the Vet to say goodbye, was something that I couldn't do to him. Easier, perhaps, on me. Definitely harder on him. I owed him more than that.

As a result of my profession, of course, I have a built in work-around. So this morning in the comfort of familiar surroundings, his noble head on my lap as he had spent so many hours over many years, I gave him the peaceful end that he so richly earned. He's at rest in my backyard now, next to his buddy Gus, our Schnauzer who passed several years ago. They both would have liked that, I think.

I truly wish that I could wax more eloquent about his life and what he meant to us. He deserves that too. Probably doesn't mean as much to anyone beyond my family, of course, but still...  Right now, though, I'm having trouble just seeing the computer screen through what's left of the tears, and all I can utter are uncreative variations on the word fuck.

Not gonna be around the blogosphere for a couple of days. Saturday Style and the Sunday Quote are in the queue for the weekend. See y'all in a bit.


Jennifer said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. They really do become part of your family. Wonderful creatures.

M. D. Jackson said...

Paladin, I can't tell you how sorry I am. it's a hard thing to do and there's no easy way to get through other than just to get through as best you can.

BobG said...

My condolences for the loss of your family member.

Borepatch said...

Near this spot Are deposited the Remains of one Who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
- Lord Byron

I am so sorry for your loss. It brings to mind the loss of my Jack, these 17 years ago. I hope that the fullness of time will heal your grief. I fear - as with my Jack - that this will not be so.

misanthropic777 said...

I'm so sorry. I lost my rottie this summer and I'm still having a rough time with it. Time helps, but slowly.

KurtP said...

Sorry to hear that.
I hate doing what's best for them, but I'm selfish.

....I'm sorry to hear about your loss, it's always hard.


Mike B. said...

Any true animal lover can feel your pain. I know I sure did when I lost my beloved lab Beau.

In time you'll have nothing but the good memories.

Mike B

Bob S. said...

Sorry for your loose. It's tough and I think you handled it extremely well.

Wish there were more than words that I could give you but know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kansas Scout said...

We recently put our beloved Ginger down and the pain and loss was awful. My genuine sympathies to you. Your walking a road many of us have shared. Take care.

doubletrouble said...

Sorry for your loss.
Been there; I know how difficult a time this is.

My sincerest condolences.

Six said...

I am so sorry. I lost my beloved Lab of 15 years, Trooper on August 30th. I'm still crying, especially after reading your moving tribute to Angus.
Take heart, you did right by him and in the end that is all we can give to our friends. A good home, love and the sure knowledge that we will not let them suffer and die in pain.
Angus is with Jack and Beau and Ginger and Trooper and all the other beloved friends we've lost now. He's not in pain. His body is young and his spirit joyful. He's at the Bridge, playing, running and barking at squirrels just waiting for the day you can be together again.
Lu and I send you our heartfelt prayers and sympathy. The tears are hot with grief but the time will come when they'll turn to the remembered joy of a life that brought you such happiness.

Xmichra said...

Say Fuck.
Feel your greif.

The blog, routine, everything else will be here when you need it again. Right now, you have lost a family member, and a best friend, and you need your time.

(((hugs from afar)))

J. Wilson said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. It has happened a couple of times in my life too and I know how you’re feeling. Condolences…

Paladin said...

Thanks so much to all of you. Some of you I "know", and some not so much. I truly appreciate the thoughts and prayers from each and every one of you, though. It helps :) Its back to work for me today, with a long on-call stretch this week. I think that will help too.