It has been almost three weeks since I said goodbye to my faithful friend of 15 and a half years. I miss him. I remember over the years pushing him in his stroller on his painful days, telling him I would take your pain to be my own if I could.
For many things, I could help him. When he was afraid to be left home alone, we helped him overcome his anxiousness. When he got older and “forgot” he learned to be comfy at home, we helped again and used a lot of management.
When he started urinating in his sleep, we laid a pee pad on his bed each night. We cleaned him well the next morning and remembered to pick the water dish up just a little earlier.
When his legs began to weaken, we started carrying him down the stairs. We laid rugs in the areas he most liked to walk and we pushed him in the stroller a lot.
When he forgot his manners, we no longer cared. It was fun to watch him test the boundaries of his new found senior entitlement.
When he stopped wanting to eat his normal meals, we added chicken, carrots, steak, and other yummy stuff. I no longer worried about the weight as he was losing at a rapid rate.
We did acupuncture, pain meds, meds to help his liver. We fed canned food, cooked food, raw food, our food. We played the games he most enjoyed when his little body was up to it. We took him everywhere so if he seizured he’d be with us. Then we gave him more meds knowing it would most likely shorten the time he had with us. His liver couldn’t take those high doses forever (it was already struggling). My pain would come sooner, but I had said if I could take his pain, I would. And so I started.
A few more months passed, and then he winced…
My heart broke moving him from place to place and hearing him cry. My heart broke thinking of all the pain he was in. And so… I made the call. It was time. More medication would do not suffice this time.
Once again I remembered saying, if I could take his pain, I would, and so I did. He stretched and let out one last deep breath, a sigh of relief I presume as he began to transfer his pain to me. As the doctor heard his heart stop, I felt mine break. I have this pain of living without him, but his pain is no more. Run my boy, run fast, run far. I did it and I would do it again!
Each day since I remind myself, if I could take his pain, I would, and I did and while this heartbreak is so much, watching his suffering was unbearable.