One More Day…

I wasn’t going to write this. I just wasn’t. I felt it was too private. But, I’ve allowed you into every other aspect of my life, so this shouldn’t be any different. And, although many of my clients read this and will probably think I’ve lost it, what I hope they learn, if they don’t know it already, is that I’m human. Pain is human and sometimes, I just want to feel it.

It’s been a tough day. I’ve pretty much cried intermittently all day. In my car, in bed, in the basement, in Alex’s arms. All day. I’m almost cried out and that’s probably a good thing. I know a lot of people that think that crying is a sign of weakness, but I think it’s a sign of strength, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and feel emotions. We’ve only got one time at this and I’d like to feel it all.

In exactly 10 hours, I’ll be driving to the vet with Griffin and my best friend Tonya. She’s been there with me from the beginning of my journey with Griffin and I guess, well, it’s probably appropriate that she’ll be there at the end. I wouldn’t even know her if it hadn’t been for Griffin because I met her while boarding him at her kennel. I can remember the first time I met her, while he ran crazy circles around me. I knew instantly we would be great friends. Tonight, she and I drove around, drank fountain sodas and talked. I don’t think she has any idea how truly dear she is to me.

And then I came home and was instantly met by Alex in the kitchen, who held me for several minutes, not letting go, until I noticed he was crying too. “Why are you crying?” I asked, “Because you’re sad. I don’t like it when you’re sad.” He said. And that is love.

And so is Griffin…
He’s a strange little guy, too much energy and angst in his 18 pounds. He’s cute and crazy, and always has been. He’s viciously bitten me and my past two boyfriends. I haven’t allowed him to get to know Alex, so most of our time in the last years has been spent in the wee hours, after Alex is asleep, Griffin and I stirring around downstairs, while I talk to him about something I’m writing or us just taking a walk around the neighborhood, his little nose smelling everything he finds. Recently, he especially likes the neighbor’s mums. I feed him apple slices and baby carrots. I like the sound he makes when he bites into them. But always, always, I’m afraid he’ll bite me. And that is no way to live. But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s the best friend I’ve ever had.

Time is a cruel manipulator. When you realize how fast it goes and that there’s only a limited amount of it, it’s already half over and then you rush to do everything possible. Tonight, that’s truer than ever. In fact, after I just served Griffin a special meal, I looked down at him and said, “so how do you want to spend our last night, bud?” My nickname for my little guy. Because quite honestly, I don’t want to go to sleep. When I wake up, the fairy tale will be over.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Alex’s dog and we have two new pups that have been hiding upstairs away from Griffin for a month, and I’m grateful for everything I have, but Griffin will be a constant I have had for over 11 years that after tomorrow will be gone. And as many people try to console me and comfort me, no one will ever truly understand the relationship we’ve had. It’s like the relationship a parent has with a difficult child; the trials almost make the love stronger because it is tested.

So…The candles are lit, “My Dog Skip” is on the television, Griffin’s on the blanket on the floor, and pretty soon, I’ll go over and join him for our last few hours. And maybe my only consolation is that in the last two years, two of the “people” I’ve loved the most, will have fallen asleep and faded into some wonderful dreamland. At least, I hope it’s that way. We’ve already had the talk. I’ve told him to cross over rainbow bridge and walk into the bright light until he finds Grandma. I’ve told him he’ll be able to run forever and chew as many bones as he wants. And I hope, every once in awhile, he’ll remember. Because I will…

I’ll remember the bandana’s he wore after his baths with Tonya at the “hotel”, the Frosty Paws I’m going to feed him in a few minutes, the way he would walk under my legs scratching his back, the way he jumped four feet in the air when it was time to eat, the way he would cock his head and look up at me, his little bark or growl when he wanted me to play with him, the way he put his head out of the car window and tried to run away and get free, the way he curled up in his pup tent and all of the songs about the mice in the kitchen and lamb and rice burritos that I sung especially for him…I’ll remember it all until there is no more. And when I walk over that bridge buddy…I know you’ll run up and we’ll be together again.

Like it is said it “My Dog Skip”, why as children do we wish for time to go so fast when as adults we wish for the opposite. I just want for time to stop…just for this moment where everything is safe and wonderful. But it’s time to let go, and remember until I can remember no more…”Loyalty and love are the best things in life, and surely, the most lasting”…

And I’ll hope and dream, every day, for One More Day, like the song that I’ve been listening to all day…please listen, for Griffin, and enjoy! Because after all…we’re on borrowed time as it is…


3 thoughts on “One More Day…

  1. A wonderful tribute to your baby !
    If I may, While working for the vets office, I learned a lot. One thing that never left me was what Doctor lawler always told people when considering putting the dog to sleep. THINK “Quality of life, NOT Quantity”
    It is so true. It is a gift we can give them. He has been loved and treated with kindness.
    He will NEVER know any hurt or suffering. It is hard I know and will not try to convince you otherwise. In time you will realize you are doing the right and responsible thing. You can always love him and his memory.
    I will say a prayer for you both tonight ( if you dont mind 🙂
    xo VSJ

  2. Dear Peter,

    Tears are hitting my lap as I write to tell you how touching your tribute to Griffin is, and how adorable he is! Tomorrow will be awful, but sometimes the anticipation is almost worse. I had my cat Oscar put down about six years ago, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. He was very sick and was just skin and bones at the end. I couldn’t bear to be with him in the room, but he wasn’t alone- my younger son, who was eleven, held him while the veterinarian put him down. I was very grateful to my son for that, and I don’t think I’ve ever told him so.

    Thank you so much for your touching honesty, and I hope you know that it is the right and only decision to make for you at this time in your life.

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