Saying Goodbye

How do you say goodbye to your best friend?? The little furry baby that has been part of your life, and a great deal of your heart for over 11 years?

My darling Hendrix, ran away over the long weekend. Thankfully, he was picked up by a vet, the end result was a conversation I had been planning to schedule with a vet in the next few months, but it was thrust upon me before I was ready. And she told me what I didn't want to hear. What I knew i would hear, but didn't want to.

It's time.

Hendrix is 14. He has all kinds of old dog problems. He has a heart murmur, dodgy lumps, losing weight, bad teeth... And he has been getting steadily worse. We needed a professional opinion about what was best for him. And today, I got it.

It's time.

I remember the day we found him wandering about our front yard in Warrnambool. It was December 13th, 1998. Josh's birthday and I was having an afternoon nanna nap. I had wanted a dog for some time, but was still umming and ahhing over committing to it. Hendrix decided for me. I woke up to J coming into the room, carrying this sweet, white, fluffball. I thought I was dreaming! I was so excited! He was so lovely. We kept him that weekend, he had a tag so on Monday morning, i called the council to find his owner. "A dalmation is it?" she asked. "er, no!" I replied looking at the little white ball of fluff at my feet. "Are you sure?!" She asked me. "Quite!" I answered, laughing, and described him. She called me back later, the owner had found him, and was looking for a home for him. She had put one of her dogs old tags on him in the meantime. I hung up and looked at Josh. "I WANT HIM!!!" I said, bursting into tears. We called her back and explained we were going away for Christmas, but could she PLEASE hold onto him for us until we returned from interstate. She agreed. Yay! She had found him roaming the countryside near Mortlake, matted fur, injured, hungry. A vet had fixed him up and groomed him, and he was about 3 years old, they guessed, though his teeth were fairly poor condition and at first made them think he was even older.

And he has been with me ever since. For everything. He was my baby before I had babies. Slept on my bed at night, took him for beach walks and to my parents farm visiting. When J and I separated the first time, and I was alone, and pregnant, and terrified - he was there every night, all night, to comfort me. He would nuzzle in when I cried, guard me, in a sense. He was there and graciously accepted the demotion when Finn was born, and again with RJ, never acting hurt or resentful. Gentle with the babies, loyal to the end.

He's been there for 5 house moves, he has escaped at least half a dozen times, but his tag always bought him home (except this last time). He has been, without a doubt, my best mate for a long time. I can't imagine how much I will miss hearing the click clack of his nails on the floor. Or feeling his warmth leaning against my legs for a cuddle. Even hearing that incessant yap yap yapping that drives me nuts! :)

I am glad that at least we can have a chance to say goodbye. To spend the next 4 days feeding him gourmet meat and scratching him behind the ears like he loves, for hours at a time. At 1130am on Saturday, I will be with him, at the vets. I will be there holding him, stroking him, and making sure that the last thing he hears, will be me saying "thank you" and "I love you."

So heartbroken. I love you HennyPen. Twosance. Nuisance. You-ey. Louise. Louie. Unnawee. Pendrix. Henry. Hendrix. Thank you for all the joy you bought to our family. You will be in my heart, always, mate.


Gayle 15 June 2010 at 4:34 pm  

Oh Kell, I'm in tears and I've never met your dog either. Your writing is so haunting and poignant. I hope that these next few days are filled with precious moments for you and Hendrix.

Narelle 15 June 2010 at 4:36 pm  

Oh Kell, it's such a heartbreaking thing with the unconditional love we give our animals. Hendrix will be loved and missed by all of you, my love and thoughts are with you this week as you say goodbye. Much love.

Grayci 15 June 2010 at 4:38 pm  

Sweetheart - sending you SO much love & SO many hugs. Will be thinking of you on Saturday as you help your bestest friend make his journey to Rainbow Bridge. You are doing such a loving, selfless thing. Hendrix will be with you always. xxx Gretchen

Phil Rezanow 16 June 2010 at 12:17 am  

Every time I read this, I get teary. *BIG HUG*

Anonymous 16 June 2010 at 1:35 pm  

Oh no, I'm so sorry for this. I know how hard this is, and I'm hugging you from afar.

Kahlee 16 June 2010 at 9:21 pm  

Oh, Kell. So beautiful. Much love.

Kate21 18 June 2010 at 12:42 pm  

Oh Kell I am so so sorry :( Losing a dog is so hard, they really do become part of the family. Thinking of you and your little family at this sad time.

Patty 19 June 2010 at 10:29 am  

Kelly I'm so very sorry that you are going through this!! I know my words can't make it better but I am sending the BIGGEST virtual hug I can from Arizona!!! Xoxoxoxo!!

Al_Pal 19 June 2010 at 12:27 pm  

Gah. So sorry. I've had a few friends need to say goodbye to their old canine friends in the last few years. Tough stuff.
Glad you get a chance to say goodbye and love on him. *HUGS*

joanne 19 June 2010 at 1:23 pm  

My heart is breaking for you right now! So sad, can't imagine saying goodbye to mine xx

Dan 19 June 2010 at 5:48 pm  

Kel I'm so sorry you've lost your little mate Hendrix. I remember hearing about him when we first met online many years ago. I know you will miss him lots...I bet he had the most four amazing days with you and will treasure them always. XX

The Joneses 20 June 2010 at 8:17 am  

Ya know what Kell... animals have such an amazing intelligence, I think Henry knew that the only way he could get you to finally let him go was to run away and be found by the vet. Henry knew it was his time, so please don't punish yourself, he made that decision out of love!

I love the story of how Henry came to be yours, I know Mortlake and W'bool well enough.

Henry may be gone physically but he will always come to check on you, Finn and RJ.