In Memoriam: The Family Glue

If you had told me 15 years ago that I could fall as deeply in love with a pet as I have, or be as devastated by his loss as I am right now, I would not have believed it.
But here I am; sad beyond belief.
We recently said goodbye to our beloved Charlie, after 14 1/2 amazing years.
He was beautiful, hilarious, independent and stubborn - yet loyal and unconditionally loving.
And to say he saved a family would not be an understatement. It's not up for debate, he saved ours!
Not in the Lassie sense. He didn't pull us from a house fire, or notify the authorities when our canoe suddenly headed for the rapids...but he saved us nonetheless.
He came into a household that was tense and anxious and starting to lose any sense of joy...and totally flipped that script.
He became the glue that held us together, the one who always unified us.
He became the one thing we could always all agree on; we were all head over heels for this guy.
The last couple of years have not been kind to him physically but, being tough as nails, he shrugged off most of his ailments and diseases and went about living as if the arthritis and tumors didn't exist.
But that all changed, as things eventually do, over the last few weeks.
He could no longer go on the twice-a-day walks that he cherished, he was up all night pacing uncomfortably, and he uncharacteristically lost interest in his favorite thing: food.
He just wasn't himself. His quality of life had suffered, just as he had.
So, after gut-wrenching consideration - and buckets of tears - we decided to put our selfishness aside, and do what was best for Char.
And that was to ease his pain.
With the new realities of Covid, we just could not fathom dropping him off outside an animal hospital and handing him off to some stranger to walk him back to a cold sterile room to be euthanized. Without us by his side!
So with the help of an extremely loving and supportive vet, Charlie crossed over at home, laying on the cool tile floor that has been his favorite spot of late.
And as we stroked him lovingly, telling ears that could no longer hear how much we loved him and how grateful we were to him for all he had given us, all the while locking on those soulful eyes of his - a powerful sedative coursed through his veins...finally releasing his body from all the ravages of incessant pain.
As his soulful eyes gently closed, the last thing he saw - mercifully - were our tear-streaked faces.
I'm grateful for that. But it still hurts. More than I ever could have imagined!
Now run boy, run!
#dog #loss #euthansia #beagle #covid #summerofloss