December 29, 2009 at 3:07 am #106
Our beloved family member, Snickers, had to leave us.
Snickers came to us via a friend who knew someone who couldn’t keep him anymore. He was in a house with another large breed dog and as Snickers was the Johnny-come-lately, he was asked to leave. Good thing for him as he wasn’t really well cared for anyways. As soon as I saw him, I knew he would become a member of our family.
Over the years, Snickers became a friend to everyone he met. All the children in our area wanted to pet him or throw the tennis ball for him and he would happily oblige. On our Saturday and Sunday morning gatherings with all the neighbourhood dogs, Snickers would do his ‘dog thing’ and politely greet all the other dogs who felt the need to come over to say hi to him but for the most part, it was “throw the ball Don, throw the ball”. He was oblivious to the other dogs unless one of them decided to take the ball. He would then follow them all around the park until the other dog got tired of showing off or just dropped the ball and the game would continue.
Snickers oozed emotions and he was easy to read. The eyebrows always told the story.
While my wife and I were on vacation to Niagara on the Lake this July, we received a call from our son that Snickers had gone to the mailbox with my father and simply, sat down and didn’t want to get up. I found it very strange and thought it must be some anxiety attack from all the thunderstorms we had recently in the area as he was deathly afraid of loud noises, including thunder and fireworks. Up to the vet he went and was sent home with some meds for what the vet believed to be hip/back problems. The vet did, however, mention that Snickers’ gums were a bit pale. Next morning, we received another call but from the clinic this time. At first, I thought the vet was just going over what happened the day before but no, “your Dad is up here with Snickers now”, I was told. A tap was done and they pulled a vial of blood from his abdomen and knew he was in trouble so we gave the go-ahead for an emergency operation. When we returned to Ottawa, we took Snickers up to the clinic to get his pain patch removed and hopefully receive good news about the tumor that was removed from his spleen. The patch was removed easily but the news was all bad. The cancer was an aggressive one and would return, sooner rather than later.
His recovery was rapid and amazing. Two days after being home, he was dropping the ball at our feet, begging for someone, anyone to “please please please throw it for me”. We thought that the cancer could be beaten and he would be with us for a long time from the way he was acting. Our hopes were dashed less than a month later. On August 24th, my wife returned home from work and my Dad told her that Snickers hadn’t moved from his spot in the hallway all day. He wouldn’t get up for water or a walk. She got him up and outside but he promptly laid down and stayed there. I received a frantic phone call and rushed home as quickly as I could. Upon returning home, Snickers struggled to his feet to greet me but I knew he was struggling. We knew the tumor/cancer would raise it’s ugly head at some point but we never in 1000 years believed it would come back this fast and with such crushing consequences.
We put him in the vehicle and took him up to the clinic immediately. After laying him on the table, we were asked to wait in one of the examination rooms where, after about ten minutes, the vet came in to give us the bad news. His abdomen was full of blood again and in the vet’s opinion, Snickers should be released from his Earthly bonds. Already in a pitiful state, I was instantly crushed by the words I had just heard. After much soul searching and tears, my wife and I allowed the procedure to go ahead, knowing that this was the best thing for our beloved dog. Snickers was brought into the room with the catheter already in place and we were left alone with him for however long we needed. The vet commented on how alert Snickers was. I held Snickers’ head and looked in his eyes for a miracle but alas, no miracle was to be found. My wife hugged him and I kissed his head as the vet administered the medication and I made Snickers promise to wait for us on the bridge. I felt his head get heavy and I knew he was gone and part of me died.
There is a huge, gaping hole in my heart right now and I ache all over but this will pass, not soon, but it will pass. He cannot be replaced and we wouldn’t try. Another dog may enter our lives but there will only be one Snickers.
Everyone is in a state of shock at his passing and we are all grieving and hurting horribly. Although Snickers is gone from us in body, he is with us every step of the way. My Dad ‘felt’ him beside him yesterday when he walked the path he and Snickers walked every day the past two years.
I know I will see him again, some day but I would give anything to have him by my side right now, giving me his paw for the scrap of toast or a look that said everything to me.
June 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm #9974
Thank you for posting this for me Lisa….
June 26, 2010 at 4:21 am #9970
The post brought tears to my eyes. I’m sorry he’s gone. He looked like such a gentle, loving boy.
June 29, 2010 at 2:49 am #9971
It brought tears to my eyes too. What a beautiful boy. He will be there to meet you again at the Rainbow Bridge. I am sorry.
July 10, 2010 at 2:52 am #9972
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….
So special…I’m speechless. Have to go…
July 10, 2010 at 2:56 am #9973
This poem was sent to me by Linda, the Therapeutic Touch lady who has helped Charlot so much.
Then later, I received it again when I told Mississauga Animal Control that Quin had passed away at 14. I view it often, because I feel I must celebrate all our furkids lives in their passing. They love so well, and they’re gone to soon. But the memories last forever.
Thanks for bringing your memories Don. Thanks Lisa for posting.
I call Linda the “Touchie Feelie” Lady. When I say that Charlot starts squeeling, wagging his tail and won’t settle down until we arrive at Linda’s home.
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