Thursday, January 30, 2014

Last Act of Kindness

My sweet (dog) boy Malcolm passed on peacefully on January 21st. The fifteen years he spent at my side as my loyal and loving companion are years I will forever cherish.  

I got Malcolm the very day after I realized that I finally could get a dog. I had wanted a dog all my life and took every opportunity (specifically at Christmas and Birthday’s) to remind my parents that “all I really wanted was a dog!” Every time the request was denied. I recall (while 22 and living with my boyfriend at the time) realizing (like in an “aha” Oprah moment) that there was no reason for me NOT to have a dog anymore. I went out the very next day and got Malcolm.
Throughout those 15 wonderful years, Malcolm was always there to comfort me through difficult and heart breaking moments. Somehow, he always knew just what I needed, just when I needed it. We had a lot of fun together too - at dog parks, or hanging his head out the car window on a beautiful day, and even sleeping underneath my desk for years when he came with me to work! Sometimes I think Malcolm thought he was a human. He was such a character, and always had to have the last "word". He used to bark at people passing by the house and every single time I would tell him to get down off the couch or to be quiet, he would slowly obey and once he was down he would always quietly (almost under his breath) give one last little "woof".

As the last year had progressed Malcolm had a series of health problems including a slipped disk (in which he couldn’t walk on his own for a week or two), kidney failure, and becoming blind and deaf, and my confident and happy-go-lucky dog slowly become increasingly dependent, and insecure. For months he needed me to carry him up and down stairs, used the inside of our house to “relieve himself” and continued to bump into walls and things that he could no longer see. His quality of life had decreased significantly and after years of giving me unconditional love, I made the very difficult decision to put him down.  
I actually prayed for years that when Malcolm was going to die, that he would die in his sleep. I just couldn’t bear the thought of having to make that appointment to put my own sweet boy down, and yet that’s what exactly I did. The gift I give to my sweet, silly dog of 15 years is dignity and peace. The dog I knew for 14 years certainly wouldn’t have pooped indoors and then walked all over it, not even knowing what he was doing. He wouldn’t be pacing the house, and he wouldn’t be anxious and stressed because he couldn’t see or hear very well.

It’s been just over a week now since I lost my boy and I miss him dearly. He was the most adorable, loyal, funny and caring little guy I could ever have asked for. There are times when I wish I didn’t put him down…and could have spent a little more time with him…but that would have been for me, and certainly not in his own best interest. I think I will always question if he knew just how much I loved him. When I first got him, my life was so different, and by the time he died, I got so caught up in life’s obligations and activities (family, work, etc.) that I know I didn’t spend the same amount of time with him that I used to. I pray that he knows just how much I adored him, and just how much of a hole I feel his passing has left in my heart. I actually don't think anyone who hasn't had the love of a dog can even begin to understand...
Thank you Malcolm, for the love you have given me all these years. You truly were one of a kind, and you were the absolute perfect dog for me. Maybe that's why I had to wait so long to get you. Please, find ways to show me that you are still there in spirit and please know you are always in my heart. You were such a good boy. You were so very loved. I miss you terribly.

1 comment:

  1. If we all knew how much you loved him, I'm confident he knew too. Hugs to you Stacy, what a beautiful post!


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