I dug a friends grave today. My oldest friend, my most loyal friend. I buried my dog today. First I had to end his life. They say it’s the right thing to do, they say it’s better to stop the suffering. They say the prognosis is bad. None of that makes it any easier to tell someone to kill your dog. They wouldn’t let me do it, but I was there, I held his head and told him I was sorry. Sorry I couldn’t fix him, I had always fixed him before, it was my job. This time I couldn’t. So I told them to kill him, I rubbed his ears and told him I loved him as he drifted away. Then I brought him home, in a plain cardboard box with a heart on one end. Then we dug a hole in the back yard, we did it ourselves. It was fitting. He was our dog, he was my dog, so I dug him his grave. He can take his last summer nap now. He was doing so well, acting like he was 2 again, we never new anything was wrong. I don’t think he ever knew anything was wrong till the end. In the dark we stood, even the cat, I thanked God for his gift. He taught me more than I ever taught him. I covered him myself, it took much less time than to dig his grave. A shallow grave, under some trees where he can see the whole yard. He used to love to sit and survey his domain. In our old house he’d sit at the high point like a king and just watch his whole yard, he sat above the house so I think he was watching over us too. I’m tired and sore now, I can’t even feel the physical side, the emotional drain has been too much. I’ve shed a lot of tears today, I’m shedding them now. My eyes hurt, my head hurts, my arms and my back hurt, but most of all my heart hurts. He was there through everything, he was always glad to see me, we never fought. He was my companion on long road trips. He was my confidante, he always kept the best secrets. He was my wife’s rock when I wasn’t around, he took her in and loved her as he loved me. He was her dog too. We were his people. I miss him so much. Now all the food that falls on the floor has to be cleaned up. The gate to the stairs doesn’t need to be left open so he can come and go anymore. I don’t have to feel around for him on the floor to keep from stepping on him when I go to bed.
He was my loyal friend. He was my oldest friend. He was my companion, He was my dog and I love him and I will miss him dearly.
Zoot MacLeod — June 8, 2008 — R.I.P.