Hey. When you folks are done with 'em, pass me the Kleenexes please.......
Rrminds me of when I got sick in November of 2005. Those who have been around here for a while know that I am an amputee. The short version is I got an infection in my left foot that went gangrenous, and they had to cut part of it off. I also had the start of blood poisoning from the fact that (Yep, I'm a dumb azz on this count
) I had gone to work for close to 2 weeks with gangrene.
What I have never told on here is what follows.
I was in the hospital for close to 2 months, on top of being sick for a month prior to me admiting myself. i had a Golden Retriever mix named Lady at the time who i had kept when wife #1 left me 4 years earlier. I had rasied the dog from about 6 months on when i got her as an emaciated pup with a broken leg and ribs, so I was the one she had bonded with.
Imagine if you will, what had to be going through the dogs mind when i left for work that morning, smelling like death ( had a dream the night before where I answered a knock at my door to find the Grim Reaper standing there. told him to eff off, and went back to bed. At least I think it was a dream.)I was told when my blood work came in, that by all rights, I should have been wheeled in on a gurney, instead of walking in like I did, and that I, quite frankly, should be dead or comatose. I have no doubts that , to my dog, I smelled dead.
I spent a week in the local hospital, and then I was transfered to a region trauma center in Buffalo, where the first of 2 surgeries were performed on my foot. During this time, my wife, dad, step-mother, grandfather, grandmother, and a couple of my uncles were going back and forth to visit and bring me more books and clothes. I would call home once every couple of days, and in person and on the phone I would ask how my dog was doing. No one would tell me anything more than "alright" or "Just fine." i knew something was wrong, but they did not want to worry me. that in it's self told me something wasn't right.
About a week before Christmas, I was sent home, and my wife drove up to mget me with my truck. On the way home, no mention of Lady was made, so i was preparing myself for the worst. She backed the truck into the driveway, and I saw the upper apartment door open. I saw my daughter coming down the stairs, and saw a flash of yellow head for the driver's side door. I opened my door, and saw the dog's tail coming around the front of my truck. What happened next was sad, touching, and terrible aall at the same time.
When I had gone into the hospital, Lady was just over 100 pounds, and she still had all of her fur. The dog that I saw was around 70 pounds and missing large patches of her hair. It was still Lady, but I can see some of the reason no one would tell me how she was while I was in. She was not eating, and from what I found out later, she would sit by the door, whining, scratching at the door, and falling asleep sitting up. waiting for me to come home, or to get out and find me. it still breaks mt heart to think about it now.
The most touching part of the whole homecoming was this. As i sat in the passenger seat of my truck, and Lady came around to the door and saw me there, I got to see what surprise looks like on the face of a dog. She walked over to see who was in the truck, looked up at me, took 2 steps back, and just sat. No movement, no sound, just a shocked look on her face that words will never do justice to. It took her almost a minute to get the nerve up to walk over and sniff me to make sure I was really there. At that point she jumped up into the cab whining, nudging me, and beating me with her tail.
It took close to four months for her to put the weight back on and he r hair to grow back. I wasn't allowed to leave the house without her for about 2 months. Lady wouldn't let me out of her sight when I would try to leave, and she spent a good amount of time going back and forth to ECMC with me for my appointments. She would just lay there, on the seat of the ruck, and go to sleep while I was inside for my check ups. I didn't mind. My truck doors would lock and unlock from the inside, but using the key from the outside was problematic to put it mildly (took close to 20 minutes once to unlock them, so I never bothered locking them again). It worked out good for both of us.
I had to have her put down in July of 2011 after finding out that she had cancer. I had gotten her in early 1997, and she had been a large part of my life since then. She was my pet, but she was also a companion and friend when i needed one the most in my life. She helped me keep my sanity when my divorce got rough, and she was that one "person" who I knew would never abandon me in my time of need. I think that the world would be a much better place, if more folks would listen to the lessons our dogs could teach us.
While I find the story of Capitan to be a tear jerker, I am not surprised by it. Having been blessed with canine companionship and loyalty most of my life, I know the bond between dogs and their humans is an almost unbreakable one. i have the remember love and memories that prove it that will be with me the rest of my life.
Sorry about the long post, but I felt this should be shared with my other family.
1996 to 2011.