That morning was particularly difficult, both of our mom’s arrived the day before for a visit and so we had to ask them to leave the house for a couple hours because of what was scheduled. Our morning began early as it always does, Miles normal routine was to get up around 2:30am and I’d take him out. Then we’d go back to sleep for a couple hours before he got hungry and Morgan and Marley started stirring. This morning wasn’t much different except Miles slept in a little longer, no doubt because of the heavy sedation from the day before.
The universe must have known what was coming, the grayness and rain seemed very appropriate somehow like even the heavens were weeping. It was a surreal experience knowing the end was near and not wanting to let go, but living with fear that he would have another respiratory episode before the vet arrived. We tried to take advantage of the final few hours as best we could just sitting with him and loving on him. I took him out with Marley and just enjoyed a few minutes of the light rain and the sound it was making on in the pool.
The boys enjoying one last time in the yard together. It rained all morning but right when we were out it let up.
We talked a lot that morning, Miles and I. I tried to tell him all the wonder he’d brought to our lives over the past almost 9 years. And I told him how much I loved him and how much he’d be missed. The doctor texted me that she was running late so we got another hour with our precious boy.
Dogma and Miles spending some quality time together.
It’s hard to believe that this face I got so used to seeing at sometimes ungodly hours of the morning won’t be there to wake me up anymore.
I tried to explain what was happening that day and that we’ve loved him with everything we had.
You don’t always get a chance to choose how and where the end will come so in that respect we were very lucky. It was important to me that when this time came for my boy that he be with us and if possible around the other dogs too. I don’t know if Marley and Morgan truly got everything that was happening but I didn’t want the pack to lose a member without at least giving them the chance to understand. I think this was especially important for Marley who spent everyday with Miles for the last 5 or 6 years while we were at work.
Dr. Hart arrived around 11am and after some paperwork the time had arrived. She explained the process, how she would give him a shot and he’d drift off to sleep and then she would give him a second shot that would stop his heart. He had started panting about 15 minutes before she arrived which had been a precursor to his breathing incidents. So in a weird way it was a relief to see her. But when those final moments were ticking away and she gave us some time to say goodbye the time flew by like the blink of an eye.
Miles had slept with us for the past 5 or 6 years, we have a king bed so there is plenty of room but he was still a bed hog. He also spent a lot of time keeping me company anytime I was recovering from all of my four surgeries in the time since we’ve moved here. So it only seemed right that his last moments should be right there in his spot with his faithful companion “little Kris” and us.
Little Kris was a great pillow and comforting companion even when the humans weren’t around. She wears an undershirt of mine so she smells like me.
Goodbye buddy, you’ll always be in our hearts.
Once we said our goodbyes the process went fairly quick and essentially just as the doctor had said. In typical Miles fashion once he got the first shot he started snoring. Sort a perfect final memory of our old grandpa who we sometimes referred to as Foghorn Leghorn. After he passed the doctor let me listen to his heart so I would know for sure he was gone.
Then she took the clay paw print indentation and let us decorate it which was a nice way for us to do something that would help us accept the situation a little more. After some final goodbyes I picked him up one last time and carried his lifeless body out to her car. I have picked Miles up many times throughout his life, for a variety of reasons not the least of which was that’s the only way to get the stubborn fella into the car. This time was different, it was my last chance to take care of him and make sure he made it safely to his next destination. Wrapped in one of our old sheets and now wearing my t-shirt that was on Kris so that he’d have something with him when he was cremated.
In hindsight the experience was incredibly painful and strange but also beautiful and dignified. He got to pass surrounded by those who loved and cared for him for all those years. He wasn’t in pain or struggling for breath, just calm and quiet (and snoring) in the place he loved and spent so much time. I wouldn’t have changed the ending. Now the aftermath begins.
One last thing to remember him by, M3 is now Marley and Morgan.