"he's just a dog"...
that's what i said about our golden retriever...almost bragging to my co-workers how i was "completely in touch with the fact that he was just a dog"
the next morning, i got up for work exactly like i do every morning.hopped in the shower.got dressed. tried sneaking down the stairs before all the monsters (i mean blessings) wake up.
don't judge me.if i don't get out of the house before the kids (particularly the little girls) get up, i get sucked into the tractor beam of parenting that is GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL.i digress....
i had made it down the stairs...walked through the kitchen and out the back door.as i sat down in my truck i heard my phone ring...it was sharon.(strange).i just saw her.when i answered she sounded panicked."JERAMY....ARE YOU STILL HERE?YOU CAN'T LEAVE.....PADDY WON'T GET UP!"
i ran back in the house. sharon had managed to coax our 9 year old golden retriever down the stairs, but almost as soon as he got to the bottom, he collapsed on the floor. (shock).what was happening?in that moment where my brain was trying to catch up to reality, i noticed that urine started to flood out from underneath Paddy all over the floor.i knew that wasn't good.
i can still remember the smell of dog urine on the towel i wrapped him in as i carried him to my truck and raced to the vet's office.i kept telling him that it was going to be ok.it was 7:45am....they opened at 8.as i knocked on the door, i noticed someone inside.as i explained, they began opening the door to let me bring him in.paddy was weak.he could barely lifted his head up.i rubbed his belly as the vet staff started arriving for their day and almost immediately began helping.his tongue and mouth were pale.when the doctor arrived, i could read the look of concern on her face.she was confident, and calm and kind (a great combination in my experience).she took paddy into the x-ray room.after a few moments, we looked at the x-rays and the doctor began explaining to me how paddy had lung cancer.pretty severe at that.i didn't understand how he could get sick so quickly.she explained to me how animals have a strong instinct to cover up illness or injury to protect themselves in the wild.she said it was very common that a family would have no idea anything was wrong until the very end.
i called sharon and told her the news.about 10 minutes later, she and brady came to the vet to say good bye.it was an incredibly tough moment.we had actually met paddy for the first time outside of that very office.after a few moments with him, we walked out and paddy was gone.
i was wrong.paddy wasn't just a dog.he was our dog.and we're going to miss him.see ya buddy...