Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Death of St. Valentine

I've never been a huge fan of Valentine's day. I always loved giving and receiving all the cute little store-bought cards in elementary school and I will always love the candy that is included. As for romantic dinners and mushy gifts, I'm not so hip to it. The boyfriend and I didn't have big plans for V-Day this year; maybe dinner, maybe a movie, but we absolutely didn't expect to celebrate it the way we did.

Our baby, JD, has left us on Valentine's Day 2011. Three months away from turning 17, he just couldn't go on. He was so old and so tired he finally let go. After three seizures in three months, he just couldn't recover. On Sunday morning we woke up to a JD that refused to even sit up. As the vet was closed and we knew what was in store, we spent the day cuddling him on the floor, nursing him with water from a turkey baster, and propping him up enough to feed him his favorite treats. That night Gary, his brother, and I all slept in the living room with JD. We knew it would probably be our last night with him. None of us slept.

At noon on Monday, Gary took JD outside and set him down for one last peepee in the Juneau snow. We took Gary's truck. I drove because Gary didn't feel comfortable driving, his mom sat in the middle cradling JD's head, Gary sat in the passenger seat stroking JD's belly.

We told our favorite vet all that had happened and that we thought his time was up and he agreed with us. The doctor gave JD a sedative and then left us all alone with him to say goodbye. The four of us stood around him, telling him how much we loved him and what a good dog he had been. Eventually the doctor came back in and administered the shot that would put him to sleep forever. Gary held his hand over JD's heart as it slowly stopped beating.

Everyone cried. Everyone's heart is broken. We spent more time with him even after he was gone, making sure he always knew how much we all have loved him. Before we left, I buried my face in his fur, his soft puppy-like fur, and told him there was no dog out there like him and that we'll never be able to replace him.

We took his collar off to take with us and Gary made arrangements to have him cremated. I almost feel like we're going to have him back when his urn shows up on Wednesday. I want him to come back so bad. Even with the other two dogs still running around the house, it feels like someone is missing. Someone is missing.

Gary and his family got that dog when Gary was five years old. His mom saw them at the airport and picked the runt that was trying to drag a duffel bag across the sidewalk. He ended up being the sweetest, most playful old dog. I already miss his panting and his drooly muzzle in my lap. I miss picking up his butt when he falls down and how peaceful he looks when he sleeps. I miss clapping for him to come because he can't hear me yell his name. I miss his ears flopping when he runs. JD was a part of our family. A member of our family is gone and we are all devastated, but so happy that he isn't in pain any more.

I believe that JD is in a better place now because all dogs go to heaven. And hopefully he will be reincarnated in the next JD puppy that comes our way.

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