It was a constant rain, just as it was with the tears. It has been raining from the sky for the past few days as much as it has been the heartbreak has been falling from my eyes. It has been a long last few months with watching my boy Baxter fight through what I have come to know as immune-mediated thrombocytopenia which is a drop of blood platelets which can cause a severe issue for dogs. Early on we were able to catch it and find ourselves on a path for well-being which was a relief at first, but now, it seems as if the boy I have known for the last 11 years has somehow faded with the falling of his platelet counts.
At first he was doing well. His numbers went up into a healthy range and we were looking good. That is if you were not looking at his loss of muscle mass, severe panting and uncontrollable thirst; side effects of the steroids in conjunction with his other meds he has been taking for all of this. Even so, on paper and with numbers he was doing well. Yet, the boy I have known was somehow unseen, at least from the naked eye.
What has been always so magnificent about this boy of mine is that he has always had the spirit of a saint and the fortitude of a warrior. They eyes are the way we spoke and with just a look, a tilt of the head or a severe paying attention; he communicated with great sweetness and with incredible wisdom. Many times I would seek solace in those eyes and in the exchange that would be our physical conversations. And boy were there many.
As a matter of fact, the moment I saw his rich deep soulful eyes in the crate he was in during the adoption event, I knew we were to be together and I suspect he knew it too. Immediately there was a tremendous connection and a realization that this boy needed me and perhaps I needed him even more. His first year of life was pretty traumatic with his being abandoned by a dumpster and having sarcoptic mange. He struggled through that just as he would struggle through many obstacles in which he seemingly navigated with great dignity.
It has been a journey with this one. He has shared some immense compassion, joy and empathy that many will never show in a lifetime. Yet this one, he somehow was able to break through to my heart and model the way of a sage. At many turns I would look to him to see a better way to be and live in this world. I would look to him to see a better way to be more fully human for those I shared my personal and professional world with. I suspect the essence of his spirit will live within me and through me for the rest of my life. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone recognized the spirit of him through me in times to come.
And so as the rain continues, so too does the tears. Witnessing the decline and struggle of a being with whom you have shared so much and have loved so big is rather hard on the heart. Even if the heart was made so sweet and soft by the very presence of his being. Difficult yes, but never hard for there is no going back to a life that isn’t full of unconditional love.
So his brother Bradford and I have been doing all we can to comfort, console and share our love with him during this time. We have snuggled, rubbed, stroked, pet, massaged, carried, hand fed and poured our love all over him this day. I will fondly remember that the last thing his sweet lips took from me was small little bites of banana. Bananas are his favorite things to eat and has been something he beamed with delight over sharing in the mornings for breakfast with his pa pop. It will tickle me that in his final moment we have shared together I knew he had a banana belly and that him taking the banana was a show of love more so than truly being able to eat.
And so it rains. And so I pour out my heart. There is pain, but only sweet pain because of a life well lived together. And yet even in the end he reminds me of importance and the need to let everything go. And in the letting go we are letting ourselves live and continue to live in the spirit of one another. We live large daily so we can live eternally in one another heart and in that beautiful park and lake of the light. Run and swim on my love. I am with you and you are with me. And when I run I run with you. And when i swim I swim with you. And when I love, the world will know it is because of you.