I have no words. I wasn’t prepared. I was hopeful, hoping the vet would say it’s the dog flu and you just needed some fluids and anti-nausea meds and to rest. It happened so quickly.
You were whisked back to triage at the animal hospital right away and we didn’t see you for a while as your elevated heart rate meant they wanted you to stay back there until the vet was available rather than be returned to us as most cases happen. I knew it then.
As we waited in a room to see the vet, I was anxious. I don’t like hospitals, not even when there’s fur and wagging tails. I wanted to take you home but when the door opened and the vet came in, the air changed. You could feel it. It went from staticky with worry and anxiousness to like all life had been sucked from it.
The vet told us quickly, I’m sure he was a little concerned because we had the kids with us. How do you tell a family that their beloved buddy was dying? That what they have is a dog in shock, with fluid around his lungs and a high likelihood of having cancer?
Hospitals. Cancer. Death. It’s all too familiar to me. I wanted to hold you, take away your pain and fear. My god, how long had you been this way? You were fine over the weekend and then on Monday you were sick – throwing up and lethargic, not interested in food. Tuesday there was no change and by 7pm you were gone.
I love you so much, Ripley. You were my best friend and always there no matter how long we were gone. Every morning. Every night. The house already feels emptier and Pepe and Marilyn aren’t sure what to think. I miss you so much already, old man.