Today we set Jackpot free.
It was one of the worst things we had to do. Heart wrenching. In fact, tears are streaming down my face as I’m trying to type. And I’m sure this will continue for quite some time.
But it was for the best.
Today Husband and I took Jackpot to the internist. Dr. J (the internist) had been treating Jackpot for 3 1/2 years. Ever since that Christmas Eve, when Husband took a very sick doggie to get better.
We talked to Dr. J last week (after the most recent episode) about what the future held. Quite frankly, it was very grim. Husband and I wrestled over the decision for many days before we finally knew the outcome. We knew that the suffering will only get worse. That Jackpot will continue to deteriorate, his body weakened to a point where walking may not be possible.
And that’s not how we wanted it to be. I don’t think that’s what Jackpot would have wanted either.
We were assured by Dr. J that it would be quick. And it was, but it didn’t make it any easier. As Jackpot fell asleep, the way he collapsed (we were holding him on the floor) scared the bejeezus out of me. But then, peacefully, after that Jackpot slipped away. Dr. J had to tell us that he was gone. I don’t know if we were aware how since we were holding him so tight. I know that both of us were crying so hard that it didn’t matter.
When I finally looked at Jackpot, he was so peaceful. As if he were asleep, like so many times on our bed or on the couch. But he was never going to jump off the bed and try to beat us down the stairs.
Dr. J left us for a few minutes to say our final goodbyes. Husband was distraught. I was a blotchy, tear-streaked basket case. But, finally, we knew we had to go. We left our beloved dog of 9 years in that room to go on about our lives.
Jackpot will be privately cremated (along with his favorite bed) and we will get his remains. I honestly have no idea what to do with them, besides taking some to the beach (one of our favorite places) to disperse.
As we were leaving we were assured by Dr. J that we went miles beyond what many people would do for their pet. And while some would call that silly and over-the-top (considering the financial cost), we would have done it again. In a heartbeat. Because Jackpot was family.
As for B, well, I’m not sure. We read “Dog Heaven” twice over the past two days. We talked about how it’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to cry. I told his teachers to be prepared as well.
When we came home today after picking up the kids, we stayed quiet, letting B make the first move. He didn’t say a word. So, we wait.
Nine years ago, we rescued a scared but energetic dog. Today we said goodbye. Rest in peace, Jackpot.