Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Last Chapter

I write this for those of you who asked for and faithfully followed my updates on Bacchus. Many of you are strangers who have become caring, compassionate friends. For all the support you have afforded, and your expressions of sympathy, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

He had a good day Wednesday, he had been to the vet for blood work. His heart rate was normal for a vet visit and in some respects his blood work had improved. He had begun to eat again and was as active as he's been able to be.

Thursday Hub went to get him for his first trip outside and he rolled over to get his belly rubbed which was their routine. First thing in the morning and last thing at night was guy time together. They both loved it.

When Hub turned on the bedroom light that morning and asked me to get dressed I knew we had problem. Bacchus had stumbled and his hind legs had given out. I went out and scratched his ears and we waited together until he felt like getting up. He was walking just fine back into the house and out into his back yard.

We watched as he laid down and decided to let him regroup. If he couldn't, we knew what we'd have to do. Hub tried to give him his morning pills and he turned his head away. Okay, we'd let him rest for a bit.

We had a cup of coffee and started the papers then decided to try again. He had gotten up and roamed a bit but then I saw him behind the flower bed he loved to sniff and water for me. But he was laying down.

Sudden death is always a possibility with this disease. We tried to keep undue excitement to a minimum, not wanting to trigger anything, but excitement is not necessarily the cause. That is what took him. It was quick and with no pain. He actually appeared to have been in mid-step from his position. It was that quick. You just never know.

Other than having him just go to sleep and not wake up, there is no better way for him to have gone. We are so grateful for that. We were spared the dreaded euthanasia.

The house is too quiet and will be for some time. Hub took his walk last night and again this morning. I missed hearing the second set of foot steps. We drank too much wine while we reminisced and cried and hugged one another. The only time I've ever seen Hub cry was when we've lost our dogs.

Today is a "keep busy" day while we begin to decide what to do with things. Tomorrow we're going to WSU to say some good byes than just go for a ride. We need to get out.

There will not be another dog. I know many of you think we'll change our mind. Bacchus was a wonderful and deeply loved member of the family and it will take some time for the heartache to heal. The emotional roller coaster has taken a toll on both of us. I know that grief is part of the price of having a pet that you will out live but at our age we're not sure that would again be the case. Eight or ten years down the road we're not at all sure we'd be able to handle the emotional stress nor do we want to go through it again. If we aren't here we have no one to take care of one left behind. We've had six over our forty years together, and for us, that's enough.

Our final thought on the subject is that the chance of having another pass the way Bacchus did is slim to none. We're going to stop with the memories of a great dog and the five who preceded him. It will do; they filled our lifetime.


John Dwyer said...

Sometimes there is just little that can be said. I certainly share in a small part of your grief.

Anonymous said...

Bacchus indeed went gently into that good night. When an era ends it is not easy. I do not believe that time is a healer as such. But time does soften the pain and sharpens the happy memories. For all the rending grief you now feel, I know that you, like me, would never regret one moment you have shared with beloved pets. Perhaps then, Bacchus became the frosting on a wonderful cake. CU

Melanie said...

You don't know me but I have read your blogs and feel that I know you alittle bit. I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish I had known your dog. He sounds wonderful.
Signed, a dog lover.....

Margie's Musings said...

It is so sad. I feel so sorry for you and Hub.

Linda said...

I certainly share your concern about not living as long as your next pet, or not being in good health to care for the next one to the end. I've thought about that and do not plan to have another dog when the one we have now passes.

We're trying to be ready for any life changes that come our way and pets sometimes make that difficult.

However, I do hate to see your hearts so empty. Pets are also good companions and good company in our waning years.

Blessings on you. Bacchus, we miss you, and more than one of us have shed tears over your passing.

Word Tosser said...

drank too much coffee, so still up after our return. So figured I would look in to see what you have been up to during my absent.
To my sadness, I see your best buddy has passed away. I know you knew it was coming, but that doesn't make it any easier.
I will call tomorrow.
Bye, big buddy.... will miss you..

June Saville said...

At least you have heaps of memories.
Thinking of you
June in Oz

Sara Williams said...

My dog Pickles was 3rd time lucky and last dog! I lost my beloved bobbi age 5 to cancer and Morgan age 4 to fits so Pickles was my last chance, couldnt take any more heartache. 5 years later she is my joy and I have Wilbur too.

I still greive for Bobbi, 10 years next week and Morgan.

These animals come into your lives, they creep into your hearts and under your skin and you love them like no other.

The loss of a family member is so so hard but at least it was a happy way for Bacchus to go x

Peggy said...

I know exactly how you feel,having been through this not that long ago.
I was crying while reading your post, because it reminded me so much of how our Wheaton(Lab) started her last day with us.
Her back legs went out on her and she had a seisure. She hit the wall and had such an odd look on her face. Awe, I can see it now. She was asking me to fix it for her. She looked to me, I knew right then what I had to do and it still haunts me.
I have said that I can't yet come to terms with the fact that I will never have another dog, but after reading your post, I think I have.
All that you have said...that's how we feel deep down.
This is why I love blogging....I feel a connection with so many here ! Thank you!

stebbijo said...

I am really sorry to hear about Bacchus. He was a wonderful gentle giant.

Anonymous said...

I have been keeping in touch with your blog and I am sorry to see Bacchus is gone, but he will soon be finding a pal with our 12 y.o. dachshund who has a tumor in her neck and has lost control of her front paws. The family is going to have her put down over Labor Day so she can be buried on their cottage property.

Dogwalkmusings said...

Anonymous, my heart goes out to you and your family during this most painful of times.