Posted 07-05-2003 at 08:05:43
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....well you think you have steeled yourself against the inevitable loss of an animal, there is always that one that sneaks up and surprises you, catches you with your defenses down, pet or livestock, doesn't matter, it still breaks your heart.
We have lost dogs, and cats, birds, chickens, goats, you name it. It always makes me feel bad, but I think the most devastating loss was the one that impacted my husband the most. The strong guy. The man of steel, the one who never gets his hopes up, and accepts such losses by chalking them up to natural, inevitable events.
I should have seen it coming when he refused to be on the property when this particular animal had to be put down by the vet. We'd only had this animal a little more than a year, far too little time it seemed to form an emotional attachment. I was sad, of course, but I knew it was the right thing to do, and I was there, stroking his head when the medicine took effect and he went, and I did not shed the first tear.
"It's over. He's gone." I told my husband on the phone after the vet left.
There was a long silence, long enough that I prepared to repeat myself when I heard him draw in a shaky breath.
"Okay. Okay." His voice sounded far away. It had that soft quality to it that spoke volumes. I knew that he had probably shed a few tears. In an instant my mind went back over all the animals we have lost and I tried to find another one that had had such an impact on him and I racked my brain tryin' to figure out what the connection was, what the attachment was, what this animal had that all the others hadn't had, and I never did figure it out. Neither did I ever bring it up.
It's not my place to put him in the position of having to explain or justify his feelings for this animal. It was my place to make sure that all evidence of his personal tragedy were removed before he got home, so that he would not have to deal with any bad reminders.
I realized that I didn't need to understand why, only to understand, and I know that when my time comes along, when I lose that animal and it devastates me, even if I can't explain why, he will be there for me, in just the same way.
For whatever reason, this animal was irreplacable in his mind, that's all that matters. I can't fix it, I can't change it, I can't make it any better. I can only be there and understand and know that even the man of steel has his weaknesses.
Posted 07-05-2003 at 18:23:38
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Capp is right. You have a way with words that makes a story flow. Its a story being told, not just somebody telling somebody else what happened. You should just write it all down on paper or type it, whatever, and keep a collection of stories just like the one you told today, and when you feel you have enough, see about getting someone to put it all together.
WHen it comes to our animals, and death, my husband does not deal with it well at all. We have had so many trials and tribulations. No one ever just died. We had to go through weeks of homecare, to no avail. I had to do the tube feeding and such, it was horrible. I did it per my husbands request, he never gave up. I vowed to never do that to my old cats, when its time to go, just have them put to sleep, don't keep on keeping on. He has a soft heart, and so do I, I just don't want them to suffer, because you know if they are gonna make it. Most times when animals get sick to the point of showing it, its too late. Especially cats. My Tip dog is only 3 now, and I don't know how I will handle it when the time comes, but it will be hardest on me, because that is MY dog. We are connected in a way that we communicate without too much commotion, we are really really close.