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Sunday, December 11, 2011

farewell Freddie

Last night, and today, was tough. Freddie (13 year old border collie/Bernese mountain mix) was in a lot of pain. As I did so many years ago when he had surgery to remove a cancerous mass, I slept downstairs on the couch so he wouldn't have to negotiate stairs. This time, he couldn't even stand up without help. So I was up maybe 8 or 9 times in the night. Most of the time, most of the night, inside or outside, he whined. I've never heard that from him. Pain.

Today, I took him to the vet to put him down. Just the two of us (and the very compassionate vet). The end took just 15 seconds (saline solution, anesthetic, stop-the-heart, flush), $300. He sighed - in relief, I think. But I was with him, telling him to the end that he was a good boy.

My wife volunteered to come with me (a very kind gesture), but she had to work. I couldn't have that hanging over me all day, so I took him in after my son got up and said goodbye to him. I wrote this poem:

The pain
of the baby being born
is not the pain
of the mother

The pain
of the mother dying
is not the pain
of the child

The point being, I suppose, that although we may and do witness another's pain, ultimately, that pain isn't ours. But Freddie was a good and sentient being, and I feel his loss keenly.


lauraburnett said...

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend Freddie. Our pets short lives certainly have a profound impact on ours. It sounds like you were a dear friend to him too, you were both lucky to have had each other.
With sadness,
Laura Burnett

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

So sorry to hear about it :( The poem is a beautiful way to celebrate his life.

All the best to you and your family.

Jamie said...

Thank you both for your kindness.

Brian the Librarian said...

Catching up on my RSS feed and read your sad post. We had to put down our cat, Peppy, recently. I empathize. It's a horrible decision to have to make, but better than letting your companion linger and suffer.