Diesel

The long holiday weekend started out normal. Colt and I having our traditional sniffles, and Mike having projects around the house.

We had both intended to get some stuff accomplished with the extra day off. But my sinus headache and his back bothering him kept our work short. We called it a night early. Only we weren’t all tucked in our beds peacefully. Colt was fighting being set in his crib. I had a stuffy, sore nose. And Diesel was laying in the office. Which was unusual for him. 

At some point in the night, Mike got up, grabbed his pillow and blanket and laid besides the old dog.

I would find out later that Diesel spent the night panting, and refusing to lay his head down. At some point, with his ears down, and looking away from Mike, Mike hugged Diesel and whispered to him, “If this is your time to go, let me know, just give me a sign.” Diesel licked his face, in that same way he has for years.

All to often over the last few years, we’d wake in the morning with tears in our eyes as Diesel refused to get up, eat or drink. But after a day or two, he’d bounce right back. And be back to following Mike around relentlessly.

This morning it took all the energy he had, and help from Mike, to make it into the living room. Laying against the couch, with his head resting on pillows and laps alternately. He panted heavy.

Mike occupied himself with tasks around the house. Stopping to check on him, offer him water, cleanup after him.

It was around 10:30, when I took a moment to snuggle into Diesel the same way he’d lean against me. He began quivering, and I new things were getting worse. I started sobbing. Petting his head, he wasn’t responsive to our touch any more. I tucked his favorite toy under his head. Mike came in and rushed to his side. He only left his side one more time to grab a blanket.

I drove to the vets office, conveniently located in our neighborhood, hoping they were there taking care of the holidays boarded pups.  No sign. I drove home and called the emergency line, leaving a tearful message. 

In the next 15 minutes, Mike’s brother joined us, and his mom came to watch Colt so Mike and I could have those last minutes with Diesel. Audrey from the vets office arrived, and confirmed what we knew. 

Mike held him close while she helped him cross the rainbow bridge. By noon, our Brutus was gone.

We wrapped him in a blanket. Placed him gently in the van. With the minimum stuff packed, we drove him to our property up north.

Mike took him for one last Yota ride. He’s resting now under an oak tree near the cabin. Near the trail where he’d go running as soon as you opened the door. He’d stop, turn back and look at you, waiting for that walk around his property.

Four days before your 12th birthday. On the holiday weekend where we’d always spend time in the woods. Mike set off some fireworks in your honor. Our good ole dog is home now.

07/08/2013 – 07/04/2015
Rest in peace Diesel Von Speedster Phillips

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