Goodbye beautiful boy

I don’t know when I’ll post next, so let me get this out of the way.

Rigby was put to sleep on Wednesday. The tumour on his spine had grown to the size of my fist, and he had lost function to his hind legs. It was heartbreaking watching him try again and again to get to his feet and fail. I can only imagine what was going on in his mind. The day before, he could do it, and just a couple of days before that, he had been tugging at his lead when we went on a walk.

It’s the speed of this that is so hard to take. Five weeks ago, there was no visible tumour. He was fit and healthy in all other respects, and he was bright-eyed until the end.

By Tuesday night, he couldn’t move. I feared the worse then. I picked him up and put him on the bed so he could be close to me. We slept, almost embracing each other.

I had hoped that medication might get him up and about again, but it wasn’t the case. By Wednesday, he had given up trying to get up. Occasionally he would drag himself across the floor. I think I knew what was coming.

That afternoon I took him to the vet. Cheeseboy came with me because I couldn’t do it alone. I discussed options with the vet – a cortisone injection a harness. She shrugged her shoulders. The problem was the tumour was growing so quickly that any sort of respite would be temporary. It was so hard to contemplate, especially as he seemed happy and alert otherwise, his eyes curious and warm, as always.

I had to make the decision. I think it was the right decision, but I’ve felt unbearable guilt since. I feel like I betrayed him. It would have been easier had he been less alert.

I was with him when it happened. I couldn’t let him go through that alone. I fed him some jerky which he gobbled up gratefully. He licked my fingers. Then his eyes began to rapidly blink, and he was gone. Dead, he seemed at peace.

I’m heartbroken. I loved him so much. He was such an integral part of my life that I can’t turn around without being reminded of him. You have a dog, and routines become rituals that bite hard when they’re gone. No more him waking me up to be fed. No more of him leaping up onto the bed to snuggle beside me. No more him nudging me to let him lick out my empty coffee cup. No more of him dogging my every step and his keen and hopeful eyes watching whenever I handled food. No more of him curling at my feet. No more of his surreptitious little kisses as he went by. No more coming home to eagerly waiting for me.

I’ve felt the absence of all that like a knife in the days since. I miss his eyes on me. I cry, and it’s like the tears are poison I must rid myself of. I can’t believe he’s gone forever. It would be easier knowing he was out there somewhere, even if I never saw him again.

What makes it harder is that he’s been there for me throughout my battle with cancer. At my low points, he would snuggle up to me and give his unqualified love. I’ll miss that love, and now, at what feels like my lowest point, he’s not here to comfort me.

Part of me feels very bitter. I got sick, and he died. Where’s the justice in that? It’s so much harder that it all happened so quickly. Without this, you’d have easily imagined him going on for another year or two. Even with such an ailment, had it developed at a normal rate, you’d have expected months. We got weeks.

I’m sick of the tough times. I’ve had it with being strong. I’ve had more than my share of shit stuff, and I’m not going to accept it anymore. Give me a break – though now it feels too late.

I’ll rebound, but right now, I wonder, to what end? I’ve lost my best mate forever.

It seems ironic, but on Tuesday, I have the PET scan to check if the cancer is gone.

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