The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes
Where did he go?
That’s the question that has been burning inside my heart since last night.
Rocco died yesterday. I’ve never experienced the death of a person or pet I was very close to. I’m not religious (not even a little). I’ve always had “issues” with death, meaning I have always had a burning curiosity about death and a burning fear of my loved ones dying.
I have so many feelings about yesterday, but the one that literally kept me up last night was, “where did he go?”
I keep replaying it in my head. They walked in into the room. He was panting, looking around, spotted me, focused on me, used all 4 legs to come up to me. He circled around, tried to find a comfortable position, sat down, laid on me. Still panting. I took his collar off, and his body was warm. It twitched a little because I touched him and it surprised him a little. I stroked his face and he was still panting. His eyelashes moved a little. They injected him with the anesthetic and left. He was still. I watched his ribs, trying to notice if they were moving up and down, but I couldn’t really tell. I just sat there petting him as if nothing was wrong. His eyelids didn’t close, just like the assistant said they wouldn’t. I tried closing them, but they wouldn’t stay pushed together.
After a few minutes, I decided to get up. I lifted his shoulder off my leg. He was pretty heavy and he wasn’t helping me. I forgot about needing to support his head, so for a split second, his head fell over to the side. I quickly grabbed it and helped it down.
When my hand and his head hit the ground, there was no movement. It felt like it was a dead weight. I scooted back and he didn’t even move a muscle to see where I was going.
I don’t understand. I can’t even process it still. A few minutes before, he was walking towards me. Then something happened. Then his soul, his personality, everything that made him him was gone. Where. did. he. go?
I’m sitting here, writing this, and he’s not here. He has to be somewhere, right? When Roxie isn’t here, she’s at the vet. Christian’s not home, he’s at work. Rocco must still be at the hospital, because that’s where I left him. But he’s not there. He’s not even in another building or city. He is nowhere.
Never once did I doubt that this was the right decision. I still believe it was the right decision. I don’t have an ounce of regret. But another thing that is burning in my heart is the finality of it all.
Everything is somewhat reversible/changeable. If you decide to drop out of college, you can always go back. If you feel like you were born in the wrong body, you can always make lifestyle changes and physical changes. If you are estranged from your family or don’t know where they are, there are ways for you to find them.
But death. That’s it. There’s no coming back. As I write this, he’s not shoving his head in my armpit and forcibly pushing my arm up, trying to get me to pet him. And he’ll never do that again. I’ll never feel it again. No one will ever feel it again. What?
He used to be a puppy running on this same Earth as you and me. For 8 years, we all shared the same world. And suddenly, just in a few minutes, he’s gone? And he’s never coming back?
His story has been written and cannot be edited.
I have huge issues with regret. It’s been 2 and a half years since Christian and I have been married and I still have two regrets from that day that sometimes bring me anxiety.
Am I doing enough with my life? What about Roxie’s life? I sure as hell am not doing enough for her. I need to walk with her more. I need to take her place so she can chase more squirrels and lizards. I need to train her to be the best that she can be.
I spoke with several people yesterday and there were a few messages that really comforted me:
It’s a beautiful thing that his last memory was lying on your lap and feeling your hand on his face.
He used to be happy and healthy. He was not anymore. You gave him his life back.
He didn’t die painfully or alone. He died surrounded by love.
This post was very much my stream of consciousness. I’m not sure what else I want to say, so I’ll leave you here.