Wow. Just wow, Thank you for all your comments and emails yesterday about the loss of our dog. Tony and I tried to read most of them yesterday, but it was just too hard. I have to say that yesterday was one of the hardest days of my life.
The vet told us to call him at 5:00 so he could tell us when the last appointment was so that Ed could be the only animal there. He was scared of the vet, even though our vet is like a dog whisperer – he always put his face on Ed’s body during appointments.
All day long though Tony and I kept looking at the clock. I had knots in my stomach all day. I tried to keep busy. I started to make a pork stew for our dinner, and every time I got out the cutting board and a knife, that was Ed’s cue to sit near me in the kitchen. He knew I was a sucker and would always give him snacks.
But truth be told Ed was Tony’s dog. Tony’s always worked from home, so they spent the most time together. And he only listened to Tony. When he was young, I’d let him out before I went to work and when it was time to leave, I couldn’t find him anywhere. We have woods behind our back yard, and invariably I’d have to climb through there and I’d see Ed three lots over. I’d yell his name, even yell “I’ll give you a treat!”
He wouldn’t budge. I’d come in the house, and Tony would either yell “Ed!” or just whistle, and the dog would come running back.
I was the one who took him on walks. When he was younger I could run with him. We’d go to the trails and walk the paths – the smells and sounds made him so happy. About two years ago we went on our normal two mile walk, and by the time we got back to the car, he didn’t have any energy to get in the car.
His hips were failing, so our walks became shorter and shorter. His seizures started getting more frequent, and we knew we didn’t want to watch him suffer. We adopted him 12 1/2 years ago, and he was anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 years old, so he could have been 15 years old!
We called the vet. 5:40 was the appointed time. We swear he knew something was up. While Ed likes to be near you, he wasn’t a lap dog or overly touchy. Yesterday he came to both of us and put his head in our laps.
We had no idea what to expect once we got there. This was my first dog, and Tony was never present at the passing of his other dogs. Just one day they were there, and the next they weren’t.
Ed had been fine all day, even playful with his toys and we started second guessing our decision. Until we took him outside to get in the car. He started breathing really hard and foaming at the mouth – that made our decision just a touch more easier.
The vet explained it was one shot. It takes anywhere for 15 seconds to 60 seconds for the dog to lose consciousness, and then up to a minute for his heart to stop. He said that when dogs die their eyes stay open, and that they might have an involuntary muscle spasm, but that it was just a reaction, not the dog actually moving.
With tears streaming down both our faces, we watched our dog become peaceful and still. And then he was gone. The vet gave us a few minutes alone with him and then we paid our bill and left.
I was happy I made dinner earlier in the day, so we could just heat it up and eat and not have to think about it. I knew I wanted comfort food, so I made a stew. However, I used pork stew meat vs. beef stew meat – it’s usually on sale for only $1.99 a pound.
- makes 6, 1.5 cups servings
- 264 calories, 5.6 fat, 33 carbs, 5.3 fiber, 20 protein and 640 mg sodium
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound of pork stew meat, fat trimmed
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 pound of carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 pound of potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large stock pot. Heat oven to 325. Toss the pork meat with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the flour. In batches, brown the meat and set aside. Add 1/2 a cup of chicken broth to the pot, and scrap up any brown bits. Add the remaining flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
Add in the rest of the ingredients. Put the browned meat back in and bake, uncovered, for 90 minutes.
When I reached into our bag of potatoes, the first two potatoes were in the shape of hearts!
We had stew, crusty bread and wine for dinner. I stepped over Ed’s toys going back and forth from the kitchen. I saw a black blanket on the floor that I had to do a double take. When I was cleaning the kitchen, I looked over at Ed’s water dish that was nearly empty and reached for the cup to refill it, only to stop myself.
I have to thank Rachel for this poem she emailed me. If you’ve ever lost a pet, I hope this helps you.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
Thanks again for all your virtual hugs! Tony and I appreciate it! Hugs!