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Mr. Slobbers - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today... — LiveJournal
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
Mr. Slobbers
On Friday, there was no way of knowing my life would be irrevocably changed, just as I didn’t have a clue on the morning two years and four months ago when I woke up to find Billy, my thirty-nine year-old lover, cold and stiff from an early morning massive heart attack. There was just no way to know.

I had a counseling session on Friday after work, something I’ve revisited since moving to DC, and I arrived home around half past eight. Bob perked his head up from the couch, anticipating my slightest movement toward his leash, and once it was in my hand, the barking began in earnest, and we headed out the door. The sky was heavy with the threat of thunder and rain, and I hustled him through his walk. I put out his dinner and he wolfed it down while I thumbed through the mail. I was pleased to see a clean bowl for the first time in a week, a good sign after I'd worried over his sporadic appetite for days. I figured he was just being fussy.

Bob’s post-dinner routine is to clean his face on the side of the couch, running his mouth along the upholstery like it was his napkin. I went into the bedroom and started to make the bed when I heard him yelp. I ran to the living room and saw fear and confusion in his eyes as his hind legs splayed sideways at impossible angles.

I knelt at his side, hugging him hard, and told him he was going to be okay. He couldn’t seem to right himself and regain his equilibrium; he‘d try to balance on his front legs, but the rear ones dangled uselessly.

In a trembling voice, I left a message for the vet. The machine at the vet's office gave a number for an emergency room, which I took down, but hoped I wouldn't need. I made an appointment for the following morning. I rarely gave him aspirin, but the doc had told me a few weeks ago that it was okay on rare occasions, so I grabbed two tablets from the bathroom.

Bob wouldn’t swallow them, so I practically had to force them down his throat, feeling a dull cut on my finger from his fang. He was restless, constantly trying to move, stumbling like a drunk. He made his way over to the window and slipped behind the curtains, where he collapsed and threw up. I sat with him, hugging him and chanting in his ear that he was a good boy, that he would be okay. I called my friend, Joe, who said he'd be right over.

If I can only keep him moving, I thought. Please stay with me, Bob. Please. We made it over to the desk and he collapsed again, this time slumping over on his side. His mouth contorted, and his bowels emptied as he lay there, heaving and gasping for air. It was the first time in his life he'd ever gone indoors. He was embarrassed, I know, but I hugged him and begged him to just hold on. Joe was almost there. We would get him to the hospital. Hold on, Bob. Please!

As he lay there, his mouth stretched into a grimace usually reserved for nightmares, and his tongue hung out of the side of his mouth. “You’re a good boy,” I heard myself screaming, “you're a good boy!” Joe flew in the door, tried CPR, and picked up his limp body. We drove to the hospital in a daze, running red lights and racing against the impossible.

The doctors took him into the ER and we sat by and watched them try to resuscitate Bob for nearly an hour. Finally, the doctor came out, wearing that look, and I knew. I knew. He sadly explained that it had probably been a stroke, but there would be no way of knowing unless we did an autopsy. I shook my head violently. Billy had already been forced to suffer that indignity. Not again.

On the way home, lost in hysterics, I turned to Joe and cried, “Why does everything have to be a fucking surprise? I can’t take it anymore.” He nodded, knowing, and we drove back to my place. It felt empty.

Bob was thirteen. I knew he wouldn't live forever. All I'd hoped for, though, was for Bob to see his backyard in Venice again, where he'd lived for the thrill of chasing the cookies Billy and I threw from the back door. I wished I could see Bob’s smile again, back in Venice, in his backyard. Chasing cookies.

Since Billy passed away without so much as a tap on the shoulder, taking with him our lifetime of dreams, I've learned that wishing is never enough. All of those candles I’ve blown out on my birthday are nothing more than smoke over a cake, and that shooting star is just a spark in the sky. Dreams don’t come true; they just dance in my mind and mock me.
17 comments or Leave a comment
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: June 20th, 2004 09:56 am (UTC) (Link)
ah dammit, sorry it was so horrible
you are in our thoughts
From: inkprincess Date: June 20th, 2004 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)
*sniff* :(

It's so weird how most dogs lose the use of their hind legs. Same thing happened with Sumo.

backawayslowly From: backawayslowly Date: June 20th, 2004 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Terry. I'm so sorry.
explosivo From: explosivo Date: June 20th, 2004 10:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Leave it to me to feel a bit angry by the time I finished. While I TOTALLY got the horror of the nightmare that unfolded, and was deeply saddened by the urgency and the culmination, it is the last paragraph that just pisses me off. (At this point, you're getting upset with me, but that's the dynamic of our relationship I suppose...)

Feelings are NOT facts, and the whole last line is just 100% not factual. I feel your pain, and I relate to your dreams being dashed, but there is no mocking involved. People who are still on this planet love you and care both for and about you. I will be one of them for life. You will move forward, and this too shall pass... though it all feels unsurmountable and overwhelming. You are NOT alone.
lapalomita From: lapalomita Date: June 20th, 2004 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love you, Terry. I really, really do. I just have a surface understanding of how deeply this loss must have cut you. There aren't enough words. Just 4 come to mind. I love you, Terry.
raptusanxieux From: raptusanxieux Date: June 20th, 2004 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry Bob had to leave and I know nothing can make it better. You gave him every bit of a good life a dog could ask for, you know that. Hugs to you.
From: irsmurfette Date: June 20th, 2004 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am so very sorry, Terry. I know very well how much love a pet can give, not to mention how very cute your baby boy was. Be well.
jawnbc From: jawnbc Date: June 20th, 2004 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's so awful and sad and unfair. I'm glad at least he had you there to hold him.

I'm so sorry . . .
shawnsyms From: shawnsyms Date: June 20th, 2004 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry, Terry.
marm0t From: marm0t Date: June 20th, 2004 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am so. so very sorry to hear this. I truly empathize. You poor thing. :(

Please hang in there.
snidegrrl From: snidegrrl Date: June 20th, 2004 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am sorry about Bob. He was clearly family. I hope you can take whatever time you need.
ultrajane From: ultrajane Date: June 21st, 2004 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)


They might be animals, but they certainly become our family, our children. They seem to sense when we need attention and when to just be there waiting. Our loveable golden retriever sat patiently with my mother - law, and with my Mom while she was with us before she died. He died quietly in his sleep one month after she did. It is hard to understand that we will always lose them since their lifetime is shorter than ours. They join other well loved pets in our memories.
From: eurekapancake Date: June 21st, 2004 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)
My heart goes out to you. Just remember how lucky Bob was to have you and you, him.
mondragon From: mondragon Date: June 21st, 2004 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Like you, I've lost a lover - but not like you, over a year of pain and suffering.

The only thing that was ever consoling to me was the realization that everything in our lives is transitory in some way, and that we are transitory in other lives. The gift, then, is to enjoy and appreciate and cherish every moment that we're given. That at least is in our control if nothing else is.

Cooper sends you wet silly-face licks.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: July 11th, 2004 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi, random read-thru from drood's journal. I just want to say how terribly sorry I am for your losses. I don't know if a stranger's empathy helps, but it probably can't hurt.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: July 11th, 2004 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're no stranger, you're a friend of drood's. Thank you for you kind thoughts and I added you because you write really fun stuff and I like fun stuff. But don't feel like you always have to be fun on my account. Really. Don't.

I look forward to reading you.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: July 11th, 2004 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like that attitude...thank you! I have added you to my friends list also; I like what I've read so far.

I'm not always fun, but I mostly try to be! *smile* I'm very pleased to "meet" you.
17 comments or Leave a comment