Archive for October, 2010

Saying goodbye is never easy.

You know, no matter how well you prepare for it, no matter the inevitability, losing a cherished pet is hard. Ralph has been declining significantly recently, and now isn’t really eating. So, the end is near.

Which stinks. You know when you get a pet that more likely than not, you will outlive them. When you adopt a pet–especially an adult dog–you know that there’s a chance that the age range they gave you might not be accurate. This is likely the case with Ralph. His age was estimated at “3 or 4 years” when adopted in August of 2003. When he went in for some ultrasounds around two years ago, the vet looked at his kidneys and said, “this dog is at least 10, probably 11.” So, in the space of a 30 minute vet appointment, Ralph lost two years of life expectancy. We now think he’s around 13, which for a large dog is quite old.

That doesn’t make any of this any easier.

Right now, he’s resting in the sunbeam in the dining room. He still looks fantastic, with a beautiful shiny coat. He is such a sweet dog–it’s the one thing people say repeatedly. “He seems so sweet.” He is. Sweet, and gentle. Good with other dogs, cats, kids. Halloween used to be his favorite holiday, as there were always kids at the door who wanted to pet him.

Shortly after I moved to New Hampshire (three weeks after arriving), my ex informed me he no longer wanted to be married. Due to residency requirements, we couldn’t file for divorce until living here for a year, and yes, that year was about as fun as you could imagine.

Ralph got me through it. He was happy to see me when I came home from work, in this place I had just moved where I knew no one, had no friends around and no family close. He has been a friend.

So often when we adopt dogs, we think we are rescuing them, when in fact they rescue us.

Ralph, I will miss you profoundly. You have been all a girl could have hoped for in a dog and more. You are deeply loved, and I hope that I have done right by you.


10 2010