So…it’s been a while since we put something up here…and that’s because I got a little preoccupied. Around about August last year my big dog, fittingly named Bigsby, started fading fast…so I did what any responsible dog owner should do and had a party; “Beers with Bigs”. It was supposed to be his living-wake, so people could come over and celebrate Bigs and have one last cuddle. Apparently either something was in the beer, or Bigs got the hint, and he started perking right back up. He responded to the meds better and to the physio (his spa days at the pool) and got more mobile. It was fun.
And then we started through a huge change in staff; always a bittersweet experience. Bitter because I love the folk that work with me, they’re really nice, and they do a good job, but sweet because they get to go somewhere new and exciting for them and I got to find the next fantastic person to hire in their place, and the journey of work goes on.
And then my dad became ill, really ill. He went in to hospital and phrases like “touch-and-go” were used. And I started looking into plane tickets and making plans to go home…and then he responded to the leeches (or drugs, who knows what the English use in hospital) and he got better.
So there I was as I came in to 2013 with healthy'ish dog, fantastic new people working with me and a Dad that was actually up and walking…and then we found this in Bigs’ leg. It’s a huge tumor. The white plate bit is from his TPLO surgeries to replace his ACL (that’s acronym for good stuff) but the cloudy mass is a big mass of bad. So he started getting more three legged.
And that’s where I find myself today; at 3pm I get to head to the vets one last time and say goodbye, in a humane, dignified way, to my best friend of the last nine years. I’ll be taking along Baxter (he’s the crazy black lab the mailman found), not in the hopes that they’ll do me a two-for-one deal, but so the other member of my American family can see this and hopefully make a little sense out of it.
In case you haven’t heard the back story I met Bigs from a flyer and I adopted him off my wonderful, beautiful and ultimately ex-wife, not much to say there except I got the dog. When I got him I was a drunken, womanizing, partying fool, all alone in the great USA, and loving life. What changed? Well now I have a dog I had to look after, that helped center me and I would go home to hang out with the dog. What do I get in return, unconditional love, the occasional mess to pick up and a lot of fun. It’s a good trade. It finally helped me to have a family in America.
A lot of people are asking me how I’m doing…it’s a mix of things, sure I’m a little sad, he’s a good dog and a really good friend (doesn’t talk much, but he’s a listener). But I have to admit I’m feeling a little relief; it’s been tricky doing the “hospice-care” and it’s not fun being the decision maker on this. But mostly I’m feeling satisfied. I took a dog that no one wanted and made him my best friend, I took care of him when he needed some dramatic medical care as both his ACL’s failed and that helped him live a great life for several more years, and then when he started to reach his senior years I gave him the care he needed to make that process easier, without subjecting him to extreme levels of care that would have just been confusing for him. So I’m definitely satisfied I’ve done my bit and he’s done his.
So then the next question is am I going to get another dog? Heck yeah, I am. Definitely not today, and maybe not too soon as I need to work with Baxter on this, but I’ll get one and it’ll be a great puppy and another great part of my life. So if you got to the end of this and you want to know what I think, all I’d say is if you don’t have a dog, please go get one - it’ll change you for the better and you’ll never regret it. And there’s a lot of great dogs out there looking to help you out.
And, if you got this far, here’s some images of Big’s in his wonderful prime…
PS I just want to say a huge thank you to the folk at Fairway Animal Hospital, Mission MedVet and Woofs for working so hard to make the last while so pleasant and dignified. A huge thank you to the folk at CrossFit Matters - carrying a 95lb dog around ain’t easy. And lastly a huge thank you to the co-workers and friends who help me see the good side of all this. Send Guinness please…