Friday, April 21, 2017

end of an era...

Our last family walk with Gus.

[this is a repost from facebook]

I spent most of last night and all morning lying on the floor beside Gus. This was fairly similar to what I would do most every night of his first two years with us, over twelve years ago. But last night was different, of course, because I knew it was the last time I’d have this chance.
In my eyes Gus has been what I would consider the best friend one could ever hope for. And in his eyes, I could never do wrong. His love was unconditional. He’s been a constant companion since his first day home with us, when it was Julie and I, and our cat Willie.

He’s been there since we began our roller coaster journey to becoming a family. He was there when we first brought home our little Wilson, probably none too thrilled that he would now have to share the spotlight. …And share it again, as we brought home our sweet Wyatt. …And yet again, when we returned from halfway around the world with our sweet Ella. He was there when we packed up and moved from one house to another, and when each of the kids took their first bus ride to school.
He had an endless supply of energy in his early years, when it took a few walks a day before he showed any sign of being tired. But as he grew older, and as his energy waned, he became mostly content to just lay around the house all day. Whether it was inside on his bed, on top of one of the cool air vents, on the front porch, back porch, or out in the grass. It didn’t matter. As long as he could find a decent place to rest, he was happy.

When Gus hit the ripe old age of 12 back in January, I just had this feeling that this year would be his last. So upon finding out the very next month that he had cancer, it didn’t really come as quite a shock. In the back of my mind I had already begun preparing myself for the day when we’d have to say goodbye, just not this soon. But last week it became clearer than ever that the time had come. So I reached out to our vet Saturday and arranged a time for them to come out to the house. On Saturday night I sat in Wilson’s bed and told him everything that was going to happen. I sat there holding him as he slowly cried himself to sleep, marking the first time in ages he had fallen asleep without a book in his hands. While part of that makes me want to laugh, the other part makes me realize that he loved Gus just as much as I did.

I’ve cried many times over the past week, but nowhere near as hard as this morning. Watching Wilson kiss him goodbye before getting on the bus, and then holding Gus as he slowly drifted off, telling him I loved him for one last time.

As I mentioned earlier, Gus spent his entire life being a best friend. I always promised myself to never let him get to the point where he was suffering. I think making this decision for him was the nicest thing a friend could do. And I’d like to think Gus knew that too. -Chris