No Longer On This Earth, But Forever In Our Hearts
This morning Romie was the same. He had relieved himself on the blanket so Rob washed and dried it.
Romie was now refusing water so Rob called and left the vet a message. Around 7:30 this morning they called us back. They told us to bring him in around 9:45.
Needless to say the minutes passed like hours until it was time. We rolled Romie back on to the now clean blanket and fireman carried him out to the back of the PT. He was a little shaken by the experience and gagged a few times…I thought he might throw up but there wasn’t really anything *to* throw up…after a few seconds he just laid back down and was fine.
As Rob went back to lock up the house I sat on the tailgate of the PT and petted Romie as the tears flowed quite freely.
A few minutes later and we were off to the vet.
When we got there we were both very emotional and the receptionist was very nice. He had seen us out the window prior to coming in the office and told us that the vet was just finishing up and he would be more than happy to come out and get us if we wanted to go back and spend more time with Romie.
Of course, that is what we did. As we were both sitting on the tailgate of the PT petting our beloved dog, a man in a black car drove up blasting the James Blunt song “You’re beautiful” and parked. Not shutting the music off he got out of his car(huge hairy man with no shirt, by the way…) and started shaking out his floor mats.
Rob looked down as his expression broke and said: “He couldn’t be playing Earth, Wind and Fire?” before he burst into tears.
It is a joke of ours that no one can be sad while listening to Earth, Wind and Fire or Dance Hall Crashers.
The guy let the song play in it’s entirety before he finally shut the car off and put a shirt on, disappearing into a building. I don’t think I will ever be able to hear that song again without tearing up…
Finally the receptionist called us in and we waited in the examining room until the vet showed up. He came in and we explained the situation. He told us that in his experience with larger dogs when they lose mobility and the ability to walk away from their refuse, they are no longer happy. When he heard that he was also not eating or drinking anymore he was even more sure that euthanasia was the answer.
He came out to the car and did a brief exam on the dog. He said the heart and lungs still sounded healthy but that obviously with the loss of the back end and the not eating or drinking…at sixteen the most humane thing to do would be to put him down.
They were all very nice and accommodating there. They let us take care of the financial part first at our request. We knew we would be in no shape to want to do it after. They even brought what they needed out to the car so that Romie didn’t have to be moved or otherwise inconvenienced any more than he already had been.
I thought I was ready for it but when he came out with the syringe I lost it. Rob wrapped his arms around me and pulled me to where I couldn’t see what they were doing. With my face buried in his chest I sobbed long and hard, beginning to shake.
Rob just kept whispering into my hair, reminding me to breathe. Telling me that Romie has had a long and happy life.
And just like that it was over. I heard Rob thanking the vet and I looked up long enough to mumble some sort of thanks. He patted me on the back, gave his condolences and they were gone.
I sobbed some more into Rob’s chest. I felt one arm leave me and I heard the back door of the PT swing shut.
I had originally told Rob that I didn’t want to go with him to the burial. That was what I said on Wednesday night when I was in full on denial that my dog could be dying. When Rob said he was going to drop me off at home and head straight for Salinas I realized I needed to be there for that. I wasn’t sure if it was because I didn’t want to be alone or that I wanted the closure, but I knew I had to go.
We stopped at the house very briefly and I stayed in the car.
Not that long ago my friend LaShundia and her children had made Rob and I a gift. They were white dog bone picture frames and the kids had written in pink puffy paint the names of each of the dogs on the frames and put pictures of each inside them. Rob had said at the time that if we ever got the dogs cremated when they passed it would make a cute frame to put with their ashes. Well, it turned out they make a good headstone as well. That is why we stopped at home. Rob also brought Pappy out to me.
Pappy got to ride in the front seat with me for once as we made our way to Rob’s parents house.
Rob had called before we left the vet so Pa Mackadoo had already started digging when we got there. Rob helped him finish and then while Pa went to find a suitable post for our new makeshift headstone, Rob covered Romie with a sheet and we fireman carried him over to his final resting spot.
Once he was covered and the headstone in place, we stood for a few minutes, saying our silent goodbyes and then left.
Now we are here at home and I keep shifting from crying to numb. I think that the decision making was the worst part. I can easily say that to decide to put Romie down was the hardest decision of my life. I mean, I knew what had to be done. I knew that it was for the best…but how can you say that you want to put your dog to sleep when that dog is staring up at your with his sweet brown eyes…not understanding what is going on himself?
But I know it was painless…he just went to sleep. He is in a much better place now and he is not in any pain.
So, to those of you that have known Romie as part of the Mackadoo household, say a prayer, raise a glass…do whatever it is that you do, but do it in honor of Romie. For he truly was one of the best dogs I have ever met, and I am honored just to have had him in my life for the last nine years.
I love you Romie and I will never forget you.
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