Few things in life can match the pain of watching someone we love suffer.
Worse still, when it’s one of our pets, we have to watch knowing that they don’t have the slightest idea of what’s happening to them. It’s heartbreaking. It can become unbearable when the time arrives to make the decision to end their suffering. How do we explain it to them? Do they understand what’s happening? It’s impossible to know.
Meet Austin musician John Pointer. Recently he had to say goodbye to a very special friend, his nine-year-old boxer Benny. After having been by each other’s side through relationship changes and job changes and life basically. After making an incredibly brave and painful decision, John penned this touching and tearjerking letter to himself, from Benny’s perspective, to help him process the emotional confetti in our hearts at these tiring times.
Here’s the story
Yesterday was weird. I couldn’t get myself out of bed. The guy I live with lifted me up. I tried to get my legs under me, but they wouldn’t cooperate. He said, “Don’t worry, I gotcha buddy,” carried me downstairs, and out the front door. That was so nice of him. I needed to pee so badly, I just had to go right there where he put me down. Normally I wouldn’t, but we both decided to make an exception to the rule.
I started walking down the parking lot toward that place where all the dogs like me go to poop. I felt my paws dragging on the ground. “How strange,” I thought. Then suddenly, I just had to go, really badly. In the middle of the parking lot. Normally, I wouldn’t do that. It’s against the rules.
My person cleaned up the mess. He’s good at that. I felt embarrassed, looked at him, and he said, “Want to keep walking, buddy?” I did, but it was surprisingly tough. By the time we reached the end of the parking lot, my head was spinning. I tried to climb the little hill, and nearly fell over. I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
He reached down again, and ran his hands over me. That felt good. He picked me up, and carried me home. I was still confused, and my head was light, but I was glad not to have to walk all the way back. It suddenly seemed like an impossible distance.
I was so glad to lay down on my bed. My person petted me, saying, “I gotcha covered, buddy. I gotcha.” I love the way that makes me feel. I know he does. He makes everything better.
He felt my paws, and pulled up my lip. He said, “Oh buddy, are you cold?” I was. My face was cold, my paws were cold. He texted a few people, and came back to pet me.
A few minutes later, another person arrived. He’s one of my favorites, and his name is Jay. He petted me, and said to my person, “Do you want to get a blanket?” They put a blanket over me, and wow… that felt good. I relaxed, and they both petted me, but they both started to choke back tears.
I never want them to cry, it breaks my heart. It’s my job to make them feel better, and I was just a little tired, and cold. I drifted in and out of sleep, and they were always there, making sure I was okay, and chatting with each other.
Throughout the day, my person made some phone calls, and spent a lot of time with me. I heard him say, “9 am tomorrow… ok… yes… I’ll tell you if anything changes. Thank you Dr. MacDonald.” He called someone else, and said, “I’m sorry, I have to cancel tonight.” Then as I was drifting off to sleep, I think I heard him cry a little again.
In the evening, more of my favorite people came by. They were all so loving. I licked their tears away when they would get close enough to my face. They whispered sweet things in my ear, and told me I was a good boy.
Later in the evening, I felt well enough to stand up and walk to the door to see who was coming in. It was more exhausting than I’d remembered it being, but I loved seeing them all. I heard my person say something like, “That’s the first time he’s gotten up under his own power today.” Everyone seemed glad that I was out of bed. I was too, but wow… after the excitement wore off, it was so exhausting to move around.
After the last visitor left, my person took me outside to do what he called, “my business.” We went back inside and when we reached the bottom of the stairs, they looked twice as steep and ten times as long as I remembered them being. I looked at my person, and he looked at me. He said, “Don’t worry, I gotcha buddy,” and carried me up.