Sunday, January 13, 2008

In Loving Memory of Gator

It's taken me almost a month to be able to sit down and get my thoughts together after a whirlwind of events that surrounded our holidays. There's only one word that can describe our final days of 2007 and that would be 'bittersweet'.

We had to say goodbye to our best buddy Gator on December 22nd after a freak incident where he suddenly went lame in his hind legs on the 20th. We were praying and hoping that he had had some sort of stroke where all he would need was time and physical therapy. We were not able to spend $2500 on an MRI to give us an exact answer. Another possibility was that he had a bulging disc in his back that could require surgery but that sometimes time and physical therapy would also help. Unfortunately, right before we were to leave for FL he took a turn for the worse and began to lose some other reflexes and he also lost his deep-pain sensation that he had still had after his accident which was a good sign at the time. So, we were told that at this point there was nothing left for us to do. So, Stephen and I dropped Ella off at a friends house and we drove to say our last goodbyes. I know to some people who don't have dogs can't understand what I'm talking about, but I can't tell you how hard and painful it was for me to do this. First , I had never lost a pet before, but Gator was more than just a pet. We had rescued him when he was 3 1/s months old and from the get-go he had health problems. We have spent several hundreds on dollars on him (complaining the whole way), but we were so happy that we were the ones to rescue him because most other people would've given up on. Anyway, all of his other problems were either fixable or maintainable. Unfortunately this freak incident where we will never really know what happened was not fixable. We sat with him for about and hour and told him how much he meaned to us and that Ella, Rhys and Pepper loved him. He looked so miserable and I just wished he could come back home before he had to leave us. I didn't think I was going to be able to stay in the room while Gator was put to sleep, but I couldn't leave him after all. I buried my face in his neck and bawled like a baby and told him what a great boy he was and that I loved him so much.

Ever since then our family has felt empty. It's been quiet and lonely and ever person and animal has been affected. Ella misses him a lot and we have a story that we're sticking to with her, but I still think she thinks she going to see him again someday. I feel horrible that my 2 1/2 y.o. daughter had to lose her best friend at such a young age.