This is a bit of an unprepared witter. But I need to express these things.
The passing of my friend Bess has saddened me more than I can say. Rosie is equally saddened. It happened only three days ago, so we can expect it to take some time for us to get used to being without Bess.
We are certain that we made the right decision: Bess was totally unaware of anything which was going on around her. I lifted her and carried her from the house into the car. She had been unable to walk properly – sometimes walk at all – for a while. And, lately, her legs could hardly lift her weight sufficiently for her to stand up.
She lay in the position I had laid her all the way to Llanbadarn Vets, and stayed like that while I went in and asked a vet – Hannah – if she could come to the car and see what was up with our dog.
Hannah did so, and said there might be an infection, and that medicines could be prescribed which might or might not cure what was wrong with Bess. I asked if it was the end of the trail for my dear friend but, of course, Hannah could not really give advice. She left it to Rosie and I to decided what to do, and she went back into the surgery.
In the car, with Bess still in the same not-moving state – though her eyes remained open all the while – Rosie and I came to the conclusion that this was the end, and that Bess should be put to sleep.
I went to the surgery, told the vet of our decision, and began to cry. The vet and the staff there were full of compassion and understanding. Hannah would come to the car and put Bess to sleep. The back seat of our car always was Bess’s own territory.
When Hannah and a nurse came to the car, Bess was still not moving and her eyes, though open, had not moved since I’d lifted her into the car at home; not even a flicker. Hannah shaved a little fur from Bess’s left front leg. No reaction from our dog.
Nor was there any reaction when the fatal dose was administered, gently, via a needle. In a few moments, Hannah examined Bess and told us she was no longer living. Bess looked no different than when we drove her to Llanbadarn and left her lying in the car. Her eyes remained open even in death.
The vet and the nurse gently removed Bess’s body from the car and carried it to the building in which it would be cremated. Neither Rosie nor I followed. It would have been of no value to our dead friend nor to us.
Afterwards, we sat in the vets’ car park and had a snack and a drink, the shock of the seemingly-sudden parting only gradually dawning. Then, Peter Lee – our Grand-daughter Ceri’s fiancé – parked in front of us. We had kept the Family posted via mobile-phone texts, and he had come to see how we were after the loss of our friend. Thank you, Peter.
We went back to Peter and Ceri’s home in Bow Street and stayed there, chatting, until it was time for Rosie to go for her hospital appointment. Their company really helped soften the blow we’d just suffered.
Yes, we had made the right decision. Bess would not suffer again.
And, my goodness, though I have shared a home with seven other dogs, I have learned more about dogs in general from dear Bess than I have ever learned before.
I know Bess rests in peace. I hope to meet up with her – and all the other dogs I’ve shared a home with – when I pass on myself. As I’ve often said: “f they’re not there when I arrive – I ain’t going.”