Dudley’s last day was pretty good, all things considered. We went for a walk around 5:30 a.m. and then went back to bed for a couple of hours. He came around to ZoeLand (where Zoe used to sleep and growl at Dudley when he intruded into her boudoir) about 7:30 and woke me up so I could give his ears a good scratch. Since I had taken the day off from work, I snoozed a little longer and he tore up a kleenex and snoozed, too.
We took another walk around 9:00 a.m. Once he just plopped down on the sidewalk and had to rest for a minute. He had done it one other time. This was telling, he loved to go on a walk and even this was beginning to be too much for him. We took our last walk an hour or so before Dr. Kinsey came. My only regret is I made him cut the walk short and had I realized it was his last walk, I would have let him go further. He was still in good enough spirits that when I put the lunch dishes in the dishwasher he came over to do what I call the “Dudley pre-rinse” cycle.
I can’t thank Dr. Susan Kinsey from Pet House Calls enough for her support and guidance. She laid out the facts and didn’t try to sway me one way or the other, until Dudley snapped at me. Even then, she was only advocating on behalf of Dudley because she knew he had to have been hurting very much to have snapped the way he did. She asked me if I wanted to use Faithful Friends for his cremation, so I called and arranged for someone to pick up Dudley. When it was over, Dr. Kinsey gave me a big hug and left. I am sure it’s hard on her every time she has to do this. I am so grateful to her for coming to the house so Dudley could be at home.
Michelle from Faithful Friends showed up right after Dr. Kinsey left. There was a little paperwork and I kissed my sweet boy’s leather lips for the last time. We put Dudley on a stretcher, covered him with a blanket and took him out to her truck.
Twenty-three hours later, I picked up Dudley’s ashes and his paw print at Hidden Valley Animal Hospital. It was quiet at HV so I had a chance to talk to the wonderful women who work in the front office of the hospital. They all expressed condolences and talked about what a great dog Dudley was. I told them I would be back, it just might be a year or so before I’m ready to have another dog. I will remain dogless for awhile, but I will get another dog sometime in the future (Betty may not even have been born yet). In the meantime, I have many dogs in my life who live with other people, so I’ll continue to blog and reminisce.
It was Dr. Kinsey who told me this was the “final act of love” I could do for Dudley. In the 13 years, 2 months and 16 days I had him, he performed countless acts of love for me in good times and bad. Whether he was putting his head on my leg to comfort me, or harrumphing his disgust at something, or dancing for a walk, or “herding” me toward the refrigerator, Dudley always got a little chuckle out of me and usually it was a big, fat guffaw. My boy was a hoot!
I leave you with best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013. If I had a funeral for Dudley, this is the song I would play. Lennon and McCartney always manage to say what I feel. Since it is the short version — as much as I love Ringo’s drum solo, I didn’t want it here — I will close with the last words on the last album recorded by the Beatles:
“And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.” ~ Sir Paul McCartney
Click here for Part 1.