Posted Thu, 12/20/07
I lost my precious boy yesterday morning, and my heart is broken.
Foofer started having seizures two days ago. They were horrible, unlike anything I've ever seen. I was able to get a prescription of Phenobarbital from his veterinarian, and this seemed to help at first but then the seizures became worse, five minutes apart rather than hours. My poor Foofer tried like hell to fight them, and I stayed with him stroking his forehead and making sure he didn't hurt himself in other ways.
I was up all night with him on Tuesday because he couldn't stand, drink water or eat. The seizures started coming every thirty seconds, and then stayed fixed without any respite. He was aware of me, responded when I tried to wipe his mouth - the seizures brought on a foam-like saliva than ran continually out of the corner of his mouth - but I also think he was partially blind in one eye (the brown one), which might have been the result of a mini-stroke rather than the seizures.
On Wednesday morning, I finally made the decision – after much soul-searching and inner conflict - to take him to the animal clinic. Two girls from the clinic came and wrapped Foofer in a large blanket and carried him to their car. I walked behind them, and at one point Foofer raised his head from inside the blanket and stared at me, his body still twitching, as if to make sure I was coming with him.
At the clinic they decided the seizures were from the progression of his disease - the cancer had probably reached his brain which was causing the strokes and seizures - so I hade to make the decision then and there to stop his suffering. I have never felt so terrible, so awful and helpless, in my life. They let me have a few minutes alone with Foofer, and all I could do was hold him, kiss him and whisper in his ear that he was a good boy, and to reassure him that I would be okay (he was always watchful of me, attuned to my moods and intensely protective).
I couldn't watch the rest (I simply could not stay and watch him slip away), so I left the room but as I looked behind me Foofer was watching from the examination table, still on his side and twitching, but watching me with his blue eye this time. Now in hindsight I feel guilty about that: I should have stayed with him right until the end, as he would undoubtedly have done for me, but I just couldn't stand there as they gave him a shot of medicine that took his life away. I know I made the right decision to end his suffering – he was so majestically proud and wouldn't want to live like he was at the end – but that knowledge does not take away the hurt and pain one whit.
I decided to have Foofer cremated, and I will be receiving his ashes in a small cedar box in a few weeks. At least I will always have him with me that way, and I have already told family members that when my own time comes I want the little cedar box containing his remains buried with me.
I see him everywhere in the house. I burst into tears when I saw his food bowl yesterday afternoon, looking at the teeth marks he left made over a period of years. Every time I walk by the water bowls (one upstairs, one downstairs) I think of him taking his big, noisy gulps because he loved fresh, cold water so much; I see him eyeing his favorite treats on the pantry shelf, standing by the back door waiting to go outside, and I envision him when I pass by places where he liked to sleep. I remember the last sight I had of him as I left him with the doctor, as he looked at me with his blue eye. I miss Foofer so badly I ache inside. This is the worst kind of grief I have ever felt in my life. Getting divorced doesn't mean a thing: I'd rather lose a husband - a dozen husbands - than my darling Foofer.
I slept with his collar clutched in my hands last night, and I wrapped myself in the blanket they used in which to take him to the clinic.
If there is a heaven and if I ever get there, Foofer is the first thing I want to see and the only person/animal I want to spend all my celestial time with. The hell with ex-husbands or others - all else pales in comparison with the gift Foofer gave me, the unconditional love that doesn't seem to exist in this world except as it was between Foofer and me, but which is now temporarily disconnected by death. A part of me is gone and it will never be restored. I miss Foofer so badly that I physically ache inside.
I replaced his web pages with a memorial of sorts this morning, writing the words with my broken heart and crying into a dozen tissues. The words don't comprise a poem, but rather what I feel from the bottom of my very heart and soul. If anyone has the penchant to look and remember my darling Foofer, the words can be read by going here: