The big night of the ending of the Mayan calendar and the Winter Solstice, was spent sitting beside a dying dog. Our dog PO. It wasn’t completely unexpected, she was old and suffered from a variety of ailments, mild dementia and hip displesia. We had been telling ourselves, the end is coming, we just need her to give us a sign. The sign came at 1:30am, I could hear her in the next room panting and moving around. I padded over to her in the dark room across from the wood stove. She was not in her usual spot, instead she was by the back door. I grabbed my jacket and walked out onto the deck to let her do her stuff. She would’nt if I did’nt stand guard.
We have just come through about 30 days of intense rain and I remember being stunned by how clear the sky was. The stars were plentiful and one in particular stood out, because it was huge and glowing. I mildly cursed myself for never learning to read the stars, one day I thought.
I brought PO back in and tried to settle her down and went back to bed, only to be awoken again by her movement. She was back by the door and so I let her out again. She slipped on the deck, her hips gave out. She could not get up. Carrying her back in I spent the next 5 hours waiting and trying to settle her, make her comfortable. The vet doesn’t open till 8am, was the message on their machine. Many thoughts ran through my mind as I saw her obviously in pain. I admit to thinking about shooting her, but, those are the crazy thoughts of stress at 3am. Having never shot anything but tin cans in my life, I thought better of starting on my dog.
I got to the vet and we let her drift in a deep sedative and then the miraculous cocktail of whatever that took her to the other side. The vet checked her heartbeat and confirmed that she was gone.
It’s amazing how deep a pet can get in to your life, your families soul. She came to us at a time of massive change and was one of the joys of our life as we brought her along on our modest adventures. PO was a constant source of laughter and we will miss her greatly. She filled a space in our lives and we owe her a debt of gratitude. Thirteen years of memories of a husband, a wife and two young kids trying to figure it all out are surging back for all of us tonight. I guess dogs or pets are like sign posts in our life that mark a time, a way of life, then they move on. I like to think that her last year was good for her. The move out of the suburbs to the country. The first day here I unclick her collar, packed away her leash and she was free to roam at will.