“July 26, 2011
“Sir Silk Cerise – Last Will & Testament
“I bequeath unto my family: a tear on their cheek, a hollow in their hearts, and my thanks for over thirteen years of love and kindness.
“At 8:45, Dr. Barclay gave Sir Silk his shots to put him to sleep (He watched us, wagging his tail – ‘til it stopped)”
“It was only a month ago yesterday that we got up on a Friday morning with no great plans for the day. Just the usual routine of opening the bedroom door and looking in the bathroom to wake up Sir Silk. He was usually wide awake, waiting for us, and wagging his tail. His ‘pattern’ was to leisurely head right for our small half bath and curl up on the tile floor between the sink and the commode. We jokingly referred to the spot as his ‘den.’ All our dogs had cozied into that particular spot. Something to do with intimately shared space. Then Jo would brush his teeth and we could take our morning walk: sometimes to Lake Ruth; some days turning east on Calhoun to the fraternity; or going west to our own alley.
“I can’t help wondering if Silk had a stroke as we turned the corner since his ambling gate seem to falter and as he tried to squat, right there in the street, he just sat down in his mess. I have a feeling that he was confused and embarrassed that things weren’t working right. Since I couldn’t leave him in the street, we somehow got over to the curb where he curled up, trembling. The neighbor asked if she could carry them home for me but he was needing a clean up so I left him with her while I ran to the house for one of our carts. He was content to ride quietly and be carried into the kitchen.
“Our timing was unfortunate since my call to All Pets just missed the one open slot we might have used that morning. Consequently, we had to wait all day for a 4:30 appointment. Jo and I used his bed as a stretcher to carry him between us. While we were waiting, I ducked out to meet with the Bible School ladies about some projects for the next day. Jo was still waiting when I returned so we eventually got to see Dr. Barclay.
“She [Dr. Barclay] thought we should leave him over the weekend to see if shots or medication might get him up on his feet. Admittedly, there was the distraction of the gazebo welcome tent and readings for the Bible School, plus the reassurances that Silk was getting care and attention that made a blur of phone calls and visits. I do recall stopping by after church only to be trapped in the car by a pelting downpour. When we visited the next morning, two girls were walking him with a sling, both front and rear.
“We decided we’d better give Rachel a call, and tell her we feared the end was unavoidable. She said she’d clear her schedule and leave for Macomb after lunch. It was really bothering me that we left him all weekend if nothing could be done for him – so, before Rachel arrived, I drove up and got him. I also made an 845 appointment for euthanasia. When Rachel came in, still tried to get up and greet her. She did agree with the next mornings plan, however, because the degree of Silk’s dependence was a two hour, all night involvement of water and potty calls. It was just going to be too much for us old folks.
“The next morning was almost too much of a wrenching anguish for us. We’ve called him the third leg of our residency and a daily schedule that was based on his care and feeding was constantly reinforced by his frequent checking on us. He had favorite watching posts all around the house where he settle in to keep an eye on us.
“We’ve been depressed with this month-long wake. Time will dull these recollections and the memories will fade, but it’s a nagging reality that we cannot bring ourselves to having another dog. We’re convinced we had the perfect guy for over a dozen years. He died looking at us and wagging his tail.”
Dearest Rachel –
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since your parents’ last dog passed away. And there’s been so much that has happened in that intervening decade – especially the fact that you and your parents have all gone to see him in such a short time.
I don’t have much to add to what your dad wrote down; if nothing else, I wasn’t a party to Sir Silk’s send off like you were. For my part, I remember him best from the cottage on the island, where he would lay around the kitchen, legs splayed out in all directions like a dog-skin rug.
I know he considered you a dear sister, just as you considered him your furry brother. You were the one person he would give those ‘cavalier kisses’ to.
And now, if our old friend Jack Lewis is correct about everything you loved on earth being with you in heaven, I expect that you and he are enjoying your days (if days there are up there) together, laughing and playing, just like the days when you used to visit your folks at home.
I do hope the two of you are enjoying yourselves up there; there should be no need for you to get bored while you’re waiting for Chompers to show up. I’m still doing the best I can to keep him going for now, but I’ve no idea how soon it will be. Given some of Bill’s descriptions, had Chompers been their dog, he would have been too much for them to handle, and he would be with you by now.
But Daniel and I are made of stronger stuff – or at least, we’re not so old and infirm that we can’t do when needs to be done to keep the old boy alive and comfortable still, at least for now. At some point – probably before the end of the year, but I’ve been wrong about his expiration date before – he’ll be ready to join you. And I know you’ll welcome him with open arms. I imagine so would Sir Silk, although I’m not as sure about Chompers, personally.
In any event, keep enjoying each other’s company. Keep a space open for the old boy, and we’ll take good care of him until he’s ready to go see you. Greet Sir Silk and everyone else on our behalf.
I miss you all.