Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn

Fare thee well gone away
There's nothing left to say
'cept to say adieu
To your eyes as blue
As the water in the bay

I've had more people die around me than I can count, but I never actually seen something die, never held something while the life leaves it.

She was on the ground in the bathroom, a huddled mass of red fur, breathing heavily in a final attempt to beat the cancer that had taken over her lungs. She had fought like hell, and never compromised the dignity that she had that was so strange for a dog to possess. But this fight was over. She knew it.

I rubbed her soft fur between my hands, and felt the time between her breaths expand. She gasped several times, tried to raise her head but couldn't.

"It's alright old dog. Go where you go," I said. She gasped in response.

Her breathing slowed, and the life began to slide out from this once irascible animal, this protector of families. Her mouth opened slightly, and the strong fangs could still be seen under the gray snout, and, as if whispering, took her last breath. I lifted her up, and brought her out of the house one last time, the house she'd lived in for sixteen years.

She's gone, gone to whatever fields dogs roam when they die, pleasant pastures where cancer does not exist and the streams and woods are rife with life.

It's the same fields, the same heaven, where the old man is, where Ryer is, and so many others that have passed on and out of this world, leaving withered, meaningless husks, simple reminders of the once fearsome fire they possessed...



Nerwen said...

no matter how tough you think you are....there is no preparing for that. my dog is 12 and I know that that is what I will have to do at some point...but no amount of prepraing makes it any easier...*hugs*

BH said...

I'm so tired of this bloody disease. Two weeks ago I lost 2 friends in 4 days to it - both in their 30s, one with a small child. Now you lose your faithful friend. There are no words of comfort I can offer, but you are not alone.