Sunday, February 27, 2005

Ave Atque Vale (Hail and Farewell)

Doogie (SRV-Aellen's Noble Scot) padded off to the Rainbow Bridge yesterday at about 3:30 PM. He went quietly at the end; he seemed relieved that he could finally relax and be free of his tired, worn-out old body. Greg and I held onto him and each other until he was gone. Greg cried. I babbled nonsense to Dr. Mike, who reassured me that we had done an exceptional job in keeping the old dog happy and healthy for as long as we could have. We hugged Dr. Mike goodbye and left with Doogie's collar.

The house seems so quiet today. Charlie seems subdued, as though he's at a loss as to what to do without another dog around. He's never been an only dog before. I keep listening for all the sounds Doogie used to make: his panting and sighing and snoring, and the sound of his big old dog feet padding around the house. The old bugger certainly has left a Doogie-sized void in our world with his passing.

I feel simultaneously relieved and guilty for feeling relieved; I hadn't slept through the night in months, since Doogie needed help every couple of hours. Without my ears half-tuned to his cries for help, I slept about 13 hours last night, and could have gone for more if it hadn't been so brightly sunny this morning (my bedroom faces east). Likewise, the kitchen floor seems bare without the pads and newspapers we had set out for him, but I am guiltily relieved at the lack of cleanup I've had to do, and at the much-improved smell of the place. We removed everything, scrubbed the kitchen floor, and steam-cleaned the upstairs carpets last night. It's been a long haul, for him and for us.

We've started talking about another puppy, but not with conviction. Not yet. We all need time to miss Doogie, and I'm just not ready for another go-round with housetraining and sleep deprivation.

Requiescat in pace, Doogaboo. There will never be another one quite like you.


Frank said...

It's a weird thing...I don't know you or your animals, but as read your blog, I noticed tears streaming down my face. I have two large dogs, Thor and Nala, and four cats, Milkshake, Keela, Max, and Cookie, and I dread the day I have to say goodbye.
I don't have a very close family, ( if you read some of my blog, I think you might understand why ), but I do consider my animals to be family.
I'm a man, I served in the MARINES for ten years, and I consider myself to be a strong person, but when the time comes for me to say goodbye, I know I will cry and mourn like a small child. Thank you for your blog.

Pirate said...

Hey blogdog. I really don't have any words for you. As I've said in my post, you have been constantly on my mind this weekend. I know how hard it is. I know all about that emptiness too. Don't feel guilty. You know you did the right thing. It's a shame their lives are so short, but how blessed we are to have had them in our lives to begin with ...

PeterAtLarge said...

So sorry to read your blog today, Karen. A sad loss. Good things to you and Greg as you make your way through this loss. Love, Peter