>> Monday, June 1, 2009
I woke up on Sunday morning at 7:00. Kelly was thrashing about on top of my legs. It didn't take long before I realized he was having a seizure. I'm not sure how, but somehow, Kelly ended up on the floor with me beside him.
He was breathing heavily, but not uncomfortably or out of control. "I can do this," I told my husband. "If this is all it is and Kelly is going to die, then I can let him die here."
I began to pet Kelly. I put my face tear-stained face beside his and kissed the top of his scruffy little head. "I'm here Kelly," I said. I knew Kelly couldn't hear me because he was totally deaf, but I needed to say the words. I needed to comfort myself as much as him.
My husband stayed with me and my lifelong friend, Joani came over. We all kept vigil by Kelly's side. At one point I stood up to get dressed. The minute I moved, Kelly tried to stand. He couldn't. His back legs were no longer working but he didn't want me out of his sight.
"Just pet him like I do, " I told my husband. At that moment, I was in control. I wanted to get back beside Kelly as quickly as I could. Chuck kneaded Kelly's shoulder while I threw on my clothes.
That was when Kelly began to throw up bile. I propped him up against me so that he wouldn't choke. And I cried. Kelly got worse and worse.
At 10:00 A. M. it was clear Kelly was suffering. I had made a promise to myself and to Kelly that I would be brave enough to let him go. I loved him that much.
Joani called the emergency vet's office and made sure I could stay with Kelly while he was euthanized. Then I swaddled my boy in a blanket and we left.
When we got to the vet's office, they took Kelly long enough to put a catheter in his leg. I suppose that's so there are not mistakes once the drug begins to be administered. The vet tech carried Kelly back to me. I held him in my arms and pressed his little body next to mine.
Chuck, Kelly, and I were on a couch. Joani was on a chair just across from us. She had a clear view of Kelly's face. "I think he's asleep," she said.
Kelly was indeed asleep. The comfort of being with me had calmed him again. "When the vet comes in," I told Joan, "Tell her to do what she needs to do and not say a word. I don't want Kelly upset again."
The vet came in. Joan gave her my instructions. Even though I was sobbing, I felt joy. Kelly died peacefully and calmly. I kissed his still warm head one more time. So did Joani. His death was as beautiful as his life. I am writing through my tears, but writing is therapeutic to me.
Kelly is gone. My heart hurts but Kelly's legacy will live on through all the other animals I love.
Just so I don't end on such a sad note, I want you to read an email I got from another dear friend today. The memory she shared made me laugh because it was so Kelly.
This is from Cheryl:
I was so very sorry to hear about Kelly. Hope you got the voice mail I left yesterday--I know Joan says you don't always get your messages. He was a great dog--your little bouncing Kelly. I will smile every time I think of him and the time we got kicked out of the vet's office! Take care and call me if there is anything I can do.
Yes, Kelly got us banned from my old vet's office one day. He just wouldn't quit bouncing or barking. That was my Kelly.
Annabelle is fine. Maddie is still looking for Kelly. I know we'll all be better soon. Kelly's memories will live on in our hearts and minds. Thank you for letting me share.