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Old 05-20-2005, 09:40 PM
PSGIfford PSGIfford is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
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Default Eddie R.I.P part 2

Eddie had spent almost a decade with me at this point, just the two of us. He was naturally rather jealous of Sarah right from the onset. As I hugged her he would gently growl, and attempt to push between us. It was a tough transition for all of us. Sarah and I found a modest house to rent, yet it had a large back yard. Eddie quickly transitioned from sleeping on the bed next to me, to sleeping in a dog house in the back garden. Sarah, however, conceded after a few weeks, and allowed him to sleep in his bed in the kitchen. This is where he slept, relatively contented for another couple of months.

I shall never forget the fateful night that things were once more about to change. It was a late August, at the end of a glorious hot Californian summer. We had a thunder and lightening storm, Eddie was always terrified by them. At the second crash of thunder, I heard a noise from the kitchen; Eddie had managed to jump over the gate that had been put up to contain him. As my wife blissfully slept, I watched lovingly as he cautiously nosed open our bedroom door and peered in. I could not help but smile as he stealthily crawled to my side of the bed. Then with a satisfied sigh, slumped down and fell asleep. From that day forth, that’s where he continued to sleep. My wife learned that a pet is part of the family too.

The last eight years simply have flown by. So many things have changed, but there was always the one constant in my life, Eddie. Over those years, he has gotten lost, survived two surgeries, and has shared in a host of adventures. He gradually got a little slower, significantly grayer, and in my mind even more wise.

Up to about two weeks ago he was still fairly active, but arthritis was beginning to dramatically show its wear and tear upon him, especially with his hind legs and hip. Yet, he still managed his daily walk around the park, even if we had to stop and rest a couple of times…These were our magic moments. I used to chatter to him as we walked, and he used to intently listen to my every word… He knew when to reassure me, he knew when to comfort me, and he knew when to make me laugh.

I understood the end was coming, he was after all seventeen years old, and had already beaten the odds; I started heavy hearted to say goodbye to him.

This morning, despite his best efforts he was no longer able to get up. During the night he had needed to relieve himself, and was unable to stand up to go outside. He has always been fanatically house broken, never failing to awaken me in the night if he needed to be let out. But this morning I awoke to discover he had soiled himself, and was lying in it, he looked up at me with a combination of embarrassment and anguish. My heart ached. I knew this day was going to be his last. With a little effort, my wife and I transported him outside, and we began to clean him up. I wanted to give him a little dignity back. Despite his obvious discomfort, he still managed to smile at me, even licking the tears that were now slipping down my cheeks.

The vet was called and an appointment was made. Three o clock, this afternoon. I hugged him as I wept; our time together was quickly fleeting. I fed him six all beef hot dogs his favorite food, which he eagerly devoured. I lay down next to him, talking and singing to him, as he talked and sang back.…

I would not have had the strength of will to transport him to the vets myself. As it happens I did not have to. I am fortunate enough to be truly blessed with a marvelous brother and sister-in-law, Dwight and Rhonda. Dwight’s brother, a fireman, had just flown in for a visit from Chicago. It was decided that they were going to take care of it for me, realizing that I would not be able to. At the allotted hour they dutifully arrived… Eddie required to be carried off in a blanket, as his ability to walk had completely been lost. He refused to even try. He was placed in the back of Dwight’s truck...I hugged him and kissed him goodbye, for the last time, completely overcome with emotion, I almost was physically sick, I was so heartbroken – and then they drove off.

I was told that his final passing was quick and painless. The vet office was apparently also in tears when they were informed of my Eddie’s story. They were amazed to discover that this dog lying in front of them was a remarkable seventeen years old.

So this brings me to the end...a brief summary of one wonderful life. A life that taught me so much about love and loyalty and a life that has improved my life in more ways that I can ever express. I truly believe that the wonderful existence that I and my family share right now would not have happened without my treasured Eddie Valentino. I whole heartedly contend that he was sent to guide me, to show me how wonderful life can truly be.

Eddie’s memory shall always remain deep in my heart.

Now to the future, I have two other dogs, Chester and Tasha, both were rescued, both amazing stories in there own right. As it happens Tasha is asleep at my feet right now, right where Eddie used to be....
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