Gardens were ablaze with the riotous colours of tulips; magnolia trees dripped crepe white blossoms while flowering cherries brought with them the promise of warmth and life the day I brought my dog in to die.
Rae had prepared a wonderful, calm place for my Darcy to die. It was after hours and the light were turned down low. Kristy, her assistant had prepared a nest of soft blankets in the examination room. Darcy had been so excited to go in the car, standing on the console between the seats, plumed tail wagging madly, panting with delight. As they do, wariness overcame him as we walked into Rae’s. He was muzzled as usual once we were out of the car and he fought like a fiend as she gave him the sedative to calm him. We sat in the comfortable front office, chatting while inside my heart was aching so badly I thought it would tear itself apart. I worked at controlling my stress, knowing my boy was so attuned to me that it would only frighten him. Three times, Rae gave my 12 lb dog a sedative, enough, she said to calm a mastiff. But Darcy fought it, he fought it as only terriers can fight… with passion, with determination, with an implacable sense of determination that made your both cheer him and despair. The tears ran down my cheeks as I held him, hugging him gently to me, whispering into his little ear how much I loved him, how I knew he would wait for me … that whenever my time came, when I moved beyond this mortal earth I would be looking for him, that however long or short my life was I would never forget him and that death would come sweet knowing I could greet him yet again.
Finally, more than hour after we had walked in, I walked him into the examination room. Sitting on the nest of blankets, I gathered him in my lap. Holding his leg, I wept as Rae put in first the pain killer then the poison. I felt my soul crack as my little dog drifted away, betrayed by the only person he had ever trusted in his entire short life.
That was in April 2011 – 18 months after I first brought him home and 2 years almost to the day when I first met that frightened, angry little terrier.
To this day I mourn him.
I said then and I say now, had I been independently wealthy, I would have bought a house far far away from anyone and lived out my life with my beloved dog. I say that truly and with no subterfuge. I loved him that much, my little soulmate.
“He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me… whenever… wherever – in case I need him. And I expect I will – as I always have. He is just my dog.” - Gene Hill