Friday, December 30, 2005

Thank You

I want to thank all of you who wrote such kind words of condolence concerning the death of my dog, Dillon.

There is a grieving process we all go through when you lose a loved one, whether it is a pet or a human.

The hardest part for me has been the flashbacks of him dying. I kept seeing him collapsing, me catching him before he fell to the ground, me laying him down, touching his heart and feeling no beat at all, seeing his body quiver, him flexing hard and crying out once in pain, and then it being over, watching him go limp and lifeless.

I couldn’t sleep well the first night. It kept replaying over and over in my head. I kept feeling that same feeling of dread, the tightness in my chest would return, and I kept wondering what more I could have done over the past 7 1/2 months to keep him alive longer.

I had made a decision that once his heart did fail him, I would not try to revive him. I would let nature take its course and not put him through any extraordinary measures. I didn't want him living in a hospital, in pain and alone, without me there. That wouldn't have been right.

Yesterday, it was better. It was a new day, and life goes on, regardless of your personal tragedies.

Last night, I slept better, and today is a new day.

I don’t like being alone.

I want a new dog, but I’m going to wait a while an use this time to concentrate on my business, and figure out what kind of dog I want to get next. Oh, yes, I’m going to get a new dog. I can’t see my life without one.

For those of you who have also lost pets, or are concerned about the day it will happen, I do know this:

If you are a dog person, you should get another dog. The new dog won’t replace the old dog, but it will fill the hole that was left behind. The next dog won’t be your last dog, so you can’t try to replace the old dog. It will never be the same dog, with the same old games and tricks and silly ways. But, if you let it, the new dog will fill your heart and you’ll come to love that dog just as much as your past dogs.

Today, I’m going to pick up all Dillon’s old stuff and clean up. Some toys will be tossed, and some kept. The food bowls are old and they will go, along with the food and water supplies. No more need for all that medicine. I’ll keep that special foam filled Elizabethan collar I purchased, since it cost $100 and could be useful for some dog in the future. The crates will be broken down and put away. I’ll clean out my vehicle.

The most valuable possessions will be my memories, and all those pictures I took of him over the years. One day, I’ll blow some up and frame them for my walls.

I did a lot of things right with Dillon. I learned a lot. I still miss him, but those things he gave into my life will last and be giving to other dog owners over the years.

The greatest gift I received was his love and devotion. I will never forget that.

I do believe dogs go to Heaven. It makes me think that I need to make sure I have my life in order, so that some day I will see him again after I die.

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