Saturday, November 15, 2014

Yesterday

 
"All dogs go to Heaven because, unlike people, dogs are naturally good and loyal and kind." 
 

 It was just yesterday, in April of 2002, that I was driving nearly to Louisville to pick up a six-week-old Golden Retriever puppy from a 4-H'er.  The little girl had named all of the puppies in the litter and called him Clifford because he was the biggest and reddest of them all.  He had a crooked tail, a dark golden coat, and a big heart.
 
 
It was just yesterday, when at one-year old, I let Guinness outside at the Fishers house in the rain and he proceeded to run full-speed through the muddy lots of unbuilt houses next door.  He returned to the back deck covered head to toe in mud, sat down and looked at me as if to say "You may be mad but that was the most fun I have ever had!"



It was just yesterday, when at two-years-old, Guinness had gained so much weight for no apparent reason, tipping the scales at 118 lbs.  We went through three different vets who could offer nothing more than to put him on a diet.  When I tried, poor Guinness seemed hungry all the time.  When I took him to another vet for a fourth opinion, she walked in, saw Guinness laying on the floor, huge and panting, and she said, "That dog has a thyroid disorder.  Is he on medication for it?"  Finally.

 
It was just yesterday, when Guinness was three-years-old, that I polished the wooden stairs in the Plainfield house with Pledge (they looked gorgeous!); right after which Guinness and I slipped at the top of the stairs and slid all the way down the entire flight of stairs together, landing at the bottom with stunned faces and sore bones. 

 
  It was just yesterday, when at four-years-old, Guinness chewed up the very bra that I had fitted my wedding dress in - on my wedding day! 


It was just yesterday, in May of 2007, when I introduced Zack and Guinness for the first time.  And it was just yesterday when Guinness, Burton, and Mason lay around Zack's play mat, three massive dogs surrounding one 12 lb baby.
 
 
It was just yesterday, when at six-years-old, Guinness started limping.  The extra weight he had carried before his thyroid diagnosis had taken its toll on his knees.
 
 
It was just yesterday, when at seven-years-old, we drove Guinness to Anderson for his first knee replacement surgery.  I lay on the floor with him all night because I couldn't bear for him to cry alone from the pain.
 
 
 It was just yesterday, when at eight-years-old, we drove Guinness to Anderson again for his second knee replacement surgery.


It was just yesterday, in February of 2009, when I introduced Colton to Guinness for the first time.



It was just yesterday, when at nine-years-old, I found Guinness foaming at the mouth, his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth.  He had chewed on a downspout and sliced his tongue, so badly that I had to drive him to Anderson, yet again, for his third surgery to sew it back together. 


It was just yesterday, when in 2011, I noticed Guinness's muzzle starting to gray and we said goodbye to our good friend, Merlin.


 It was just yesterday, when in 2012, I first noticed that Guinness could not walk all the way to the road and back without fatiguing his back legs.


 It was just yesterday, when last Fall, Guinness starting limping after running.  We drove back up to Anderson to see the orthopedic surgeon because we thought his knees were giving out again.  The vet told us his new knees were actually looking really good and the limping was just from arthritis.  Nothing we could do other than give him pain medicine if it was too much for him. 


It was just yesterday, when in May, Guinness started struggling to stand and walk.  He started tripping and falling, sometimes several times a day.  I cried for days because I thought the end was nearing.  I started talking to the boys about the lifespan of dogs, trying to prepare them for the inevitable.


It was just yesterday, when this summer, Guinness seemed to stabilize.  He still struggled to get up but could do it on his own.  He didn't trip as much, as if he had learned how to move on his less steady legs.

 
It was just yesterday, when last month, as the weather started turning colder, it became harder and harder for Guinness to get up on his own.  Shawn would often have to help him to his feet and I would try to keep him from walking as much as possible.  I figured he only had so many "get-ups" left and I didn't want him to waste any.

 
It was just yesterday, when last week, Guinness lay barking because he couldn't get up to get a drink of water and potty.  Shawn went out to help him up and immediately his legs gave out and he fell to the ground.  I knew then that the time had come. 


It was just yesterday when Guinness licked my tears away and I said goodbye to him for the last time.  I held him in my arms as he slipped into his final slumber.
 
Sleep well, baby, rest in peace. 
 
I love you.
 
I love you.
 
I love you.



"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
- Will Rogers

 
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Zack's poem he wrote for Guinness:
 
I know, Guinness, that you won't last forever
but I wish you did. 
And I know that you love me
 and I love you
 and we love each other.

 

5 comments:

  1. Christi,
    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Aunt Tina. It has been a very hard weekend for me.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So sorry for your family's loss. Your story of his life was absolutely beautiful. I'm glad I got to meet him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sandy, and thank you for caring for him when we were out of town.

      Delete