The call was made to the vet about 8 and I was scheduled to come in around 10. His chest had swelled even more and his breathing was even more funny. He laid on the floor at my feet STARING at me with a look of half here and a look half there. His voice was silent. Just that deep soul piercing look he could give. His eyes dimmer than usual with a web of what I believe to be pain. I said it is ok buddy I got you this time!
My mentor and friend Edie texted and said she would meet us there but something inside of me said go to her place. So we stopped by a place he has been hundreds of times. I opened the van door and he struggle to his feet and to get out of door. I gently picked him up and sat him on ground. Edie walked up to him and he stood a sec then slightly nudged her pocket...he knew there was cheese in there! She tore off a piece and gave it to him. He spit it out! I could see her sink as she recognized the message he gave. She then tore it into small long strings and he ate a few. We couldn't stay long but I ask if she wanted Paisley(a Mal) to see him one more time. Bravo took Paisley for her first swim and together they modeled many photographs! When she came back out with Paisley, Paisley kind of burst into his face. Not a mean back away burst but a higher pitch with a different sound and meaning. At first Edie said knock it off to her but Bravo just turned and dropped his head with out moving any other body part. They then sniffed and Paisley's energy changed and calmed. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT PASSED BETWEEN THOSE TWO...but I am sure that something was shared that was not meant for human ears. I couldn't not watch it though and forever I will be searching for what just happened.
We got back in the car to head to the vet. My friend Ava (who is 12 going on 50) is struggling with BG issues due to emotions I am sure as mine were not much better) reached over and touched my arm. I about lost it and turned around but I looked in back seat. Bravo was laying half on and half off of one of the seats with his head on the other seat but he raised his left paw and waved it about 6 inches off the floor to indicate a high on her. He then looked at me and I drove on swallowing every bit of emotion that rose in me. In my heart I knew if I let it out he would dig deep and fight harder to protect and serve me. This time it wasn't about me it was about him.
My friend Kristi met us there. She hugged us all. Her and Ava were ahead of me and Bravo. That might have been the longest slowest walk of my entire life. I remember seeing our reflection in the door glass. It wasn't pretty. Again I swallowed hard burying deep my breaking heart and gritted my teeth. Immediately we were ushered to a room where the dreaded soft blanket laid on the floor. I sat down on floor and he laid between my legs as he has a million times before with his head resting on my thigh. I stroked his big fat leathery ears and gritted my teeth..willing my emotions to not give away my breaking heart. Kristi and Ava on the other hand were struggling and he knew but only once did he try to rise to go to them to comfort them. He pawed at Ava again about her BG which caused a few more fresh tears. The vet came in and took in a deep breath. With tears in her eyes she exclaimed "OH WOW....he has failed dramatically since Monday". She gave him a sedative to relax him even more. I watched helpless as he relaxed no longer able to fight to breath. It became very clear how much willpower the old boy had and how much he had been over riding his own body. We sat there and my hands added all the love my heart felt. All the energy to relax and be free to go. The vet came back in with the dreaded pink shot. Her face dripping with tears, her hands shaking in a way I have never seen. She shaved a spot on his leg and started to insert the needle and she looked up at me and said "I hope you know you and dogs like him are the reason I became a vet". "Thank you for letting me be a part of his life" (there is a back story that I am sure you will hear later as I write the lessons of Bravo). I could only grit my teeth and nod my head. I squeezed my eyes shut, ready to explode inside. Holding his front paw and ear tighter. I heard and felt one deep breathe from him and he was gone. I bid him love and light on to his next journey...the knot in my throat bigger with every passing moment. My grief nearly exploding in me. I ask Kristi and Ava and the vet to leave me be and go out. I sat there for what seemed to be a life time.......wanting so bad to crawl on the next train out of this world. Again weirdness alert.......I HEARD A BOOMING SOUL SHOCKING VOICE in my head that said these words " GOOD JOB MY LOYAL AND FAITHFUL SERVANT........GOOD JOB!
For a few moments I was at total peace with everything..but like any human I took back my grief and held on. I wandered into the back of the vets offices to look for Dr Michelle. She was in her office crying while trying to do some paperwork. Again I thanked her walking with me and again the tears flowed freely from her. She hugged me and uttered some words I do not remember. I know I replied, " It is what it is."
I started out the door and the receptionist/office manager said "KC wait.....can I please give and receive a hug?"
I returned to my van and began driving home. Lessons from Bravo...... IT IS WHAT IT IS AND IT WILL BE EXACTLY AS IT SHOULD! STAND CENTER AND FACE THE STORM! LIVE FULLY TO THE END AND TAKE CARE OF EVERYONE ON YOUR PATH! WITH YOUR DYING BREATHE PROCLAIM LOVE AND LIGHT AND YOUR HELP WILL COME TO EASE WHAT YOU OWN PAIN!