Tuesday, May 26, 2009

For My Friend

I had said in my previous post that I had never been prouder of Bob the Dog. I was wrong.
Lori spent all day Friday over in Michigan at a veterinary clinic with Bob. All tests were inconclusive of his conditions but the vet gave him a cortisone shot and prescribed him several medications to help ease the swelling in his head.

We both spent Friday night on the floor just petting Bob and talking to him. He whimpered a few times as he struggled to stand up. When he did manage to stand up his balance was shot. When we fed him that night we had to hold his dish up to him and help him balance so he could eat. Bob slept through the entire night.

I left work early on Saturday morning. Lori was sitting beside him petting him and telling him he was a good boy. He knew I was there and tried to get up but just didn’t have the strength. I sat down and petted him. Lori and I agreed it was time. She called the vet clinic.

When we arrived one of the girls who works there, almost in tears, ushered us into an examination room. The vet, a caring soul, came in, offered his condolences and sedated Bob. Bob sniffed around the room, bumping into everything for about ten minutes before his legs started to give out. I picked him up and placed him on the table.

Lori talked to Bob the entire time. Bob was Lori’s dog. Bob was Lori’s guardian and would do anything to protect her and make sure she was always safe. On many occasions the little goof would look at me with curiosity and wonder if the hug I had given Lori was ok or not. In his own oafish way he would push his way between us if he thought I was hurting his best friend. On occasions too often to count this typically happy go lucky mutt would turn into a cross between a full grown lion and a werewolf if any other dogs or animals came too close to Lori for his liking.

Eventually the vet came back and proceeded with required steps to free our friend from his pain. With a slight yelp, the deed was done. Lori held his head and spoke calmly to Bob as he began to pass. Lori did not cry. I was proud of her for that. I think she didn’t want her friend to worry about her as he always did as he crossed the river to his next life. I stood strong as I petted and talked to Bob as he fell to sleep. I began to break down when I felt his heart beat slowing down and then disappear.

I think I was close to panic and worry that I had done something I shouldn’t have. Possibly I cut his time short and didn’t let a miracle come his way. I know our friend was in pain and I did what I would want done to me.

The house was quiet on Sunday as the 9 year old ‘puppy’ we loved was not there lumbering around and chasing his toys all over the house. I missed his light snoring on Saturday night. I never thought I would miss him getting in my way whenever I was doing anything outside. I did. Bob broke up any monotony by being a goofy older dog with the heart of a puppy. I know Lori is still sad. She took Bob in when he was abandoned and never let anything bad happen to him. Beauty and the Goofy Beast.

I hold solace in the fact that Bob is now free. There are no fences to stop him from chasing the squirrels he held as his nemeses. All the ditches are full of muddy water and all the bean fields give him cover as he bounds through them tirelessly looking for something to chase. And everyday he can do it again.

I am proud of Lori for being there and taking care of her friend till his time was up. I am proud of Bob for teaching me some patience, for sitting down beside me on the stairs and just staring off into the distance, not wanting to disturb, but being there in case I needed to pet him.
I hope Bob watches us from wherever he is. Guarding and caring for us as he always did.

For Bob the Wonder Dog April 2000 – May 23rd 2009

Happy Hunting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bob the Wonderdog

Bob the Wonderdog

This last week has really made me think about a lot of things. Last Saturday Lori and I came to realize that our dog Bob has some type of neurological disorder that is causing him to go blind and have seizures.
I can honestly say that I have been in tears a few times watching the poor dog constantly circle to the left, bump into things and lose his balance. It’s very hard to have to watch my friend lose what I may call his dignity.
I have never been prouder of the big orange goof. Not once has he cried or yelped. Not once has he stopped trying to carry on with his life. Even though he can’t see he finds his food and water and does not stop being ‘Bob’.
I can’t help but wonder what drives him to keep going. Every time he hears a sound he wants to get up and protect Lori and myself. The medication he is on really knocks him out but he still gets up and does his best to patrol the house and make sure we are safe.
I find I am trying to get home from work earlier. I miss not seeing Bob come to the door with his tail wagging and his chew toy in his mouth. This is Bob’s offering to Lori and I. I miss seeing the clod run like a deer and bound off the patio to make sure the backyard is safe. We now have to help him down the stairs and make sure he doesn’t fall into the river behind our house.
I want to be home and make sure my friend is as comfortable as possible. I know he is confused now and wondering what is happening. I’ve found myself lying on the floor next to Bob with his head across my left shoulder just talking to him so he knows I am there. I have never felt so peaceful when I know he is asleep and his soft nasally breath slows down.
There are no other words to describe the feeling. Love and loyalty. From Bob to us, and, from us to Bob. All of this for food, water, a roof over his head and a pat on the head.
It hurts to watch this poor dog have seizures. It hurts more to know that after he has stopped I think he feels bad for what he has done and tries to lick my face as if he is trying to say he is sorry. Exhausted and barely able to move he wants me to know he is sorry.
All I can do is hope. I will keep just talking to Bob and petting him until his time comes. I pray that it is peaceful and I pray that I can be there petting him and softly talking to him.