My beloved chi died today, and ever since I got home, I've been compelled to post about him everywhere I possibly can. I think it's because I'm desperate for the world to know that he was here; he was loved; and he was a great dog. I don't want him to be forgotten.
I haven't stopped crying since this morning when I took him to the vet. Thursday evening I noticed he wasn't eating, but attributed this to his allergies which can sometimes upset his stomach. Friday I noticed he was lethargic, but thought it was because he threw out his back again and made an appointment to see the vet. Poppet's always had health issues ever since I adopted him from our local shelter ten years ago. He was around eight to ten years old back then, and his old age had brought with it a delicate back, bouts with colitis, and the usual polyps and creaks and cracks. But I should have known. I should have known.
Saturday he was awful and increasingly lethargic. I called to ask about an emergency visit and took him in. Even the short ride saw him degenerate so quickly. By the time the vet came in, he could barely stand but was able to sit up. By the time the blood was drawn for a CBC, he was completely drained and was lying on his side. The vet did a quick test and said he showed signs of autoimmune hemolytic anemia and was already becoming jaundiced. He said the chances were slim, but that he could perform a blood transfusion. I didn't want Poppet to die alone in the kennels. He was always so scared of going to the vet, even though they were always gentle with him. He just hated cages...I think it was because he was abused as a pup and was in the shelter for several weeks. Before we could even make the decision to euthanize, his little body gave out. The vet said he wasn't in pain, but his little body started to tighten up...even after he said his heart had stopped. I told him he was the best dog, that I loved him, that I would see him again, and that I was sorry for every harsh word or look I'd ever given him. And he was gone.
I never understood what people meant when they said the life goes out of their bodies...not even when my own family and friends have died. I know it now. It was Poppet's body, but he wasn't there. The little spark was gone, and he was limp as a rag doll. I held him and cried, and screamed, and cried. I'm crying now, and I haven't stopped since he passed away this morning.
I feel like I've been hollowed out inside. Everytime I stand still, it's like something is eating away at more and more of me. I've never felt grief like this before. I pace and pace and plead, cry, talk to him like he's still there. My friends and family are all far away and even the ones I talk to on the phone comfort me but with an undercurrent of confusion that I think stems from the fact that they can't understand why my grief should be so deep for an animal.
He was my child. He was my best friend. He was my soulmate.