My beloved friend and companion transitioned into a pain-free existence on September 18, 2010.
Bruno and I arrived at the vet’s office for our 12:30 appointment early. I left him in the vehicle and went inside to check in. We were the last scheduled appointment for the day but the vet was running behind. I decided to leave Bruno in the vehicle. I would not bring him inside until the vet was ready for us. My emotions were running high and I was fairly certain that “waiting” with the big guy at my side would more than likely produce a meltdown on my end. I did not want Bruno to be anxious or frightened so I needed to do what I had to in order to keep myself together.
One of the vet technicians that assisted with Bruno since our first visit came out to the waiting area and stood next to me. We stood at the window looking out at Bruno. She was visually upset and asked me if he could walk under his own power. I stated that he could. She then asked me, “is he really that bad?” Fighting back tears I simply replied, “he’s ready.”
If I thought the wait at home was bad, it was a million times worse at the vet. I fidgeted and paced around until it was finally time to bring Bruno inside. Once inside we got right down to business.
An old mattress pad was on the floor for Bruno to lie on and we all settled in around him. Bruno’s head rested in my lap and I told my big guy that this was the last of the poking, prodding, treatments, and procedures. The vet inserted the needle into his front leg and he inadvertently jerked causing the needle to dislodge. A low groan escaped from me.
Enough juice had entered Bruno’s system to sedate him. I felt him completely relax in my lap and he then began to snore. This made all of us giggle a bit and eased the tension in the room. The vet was able to easily reinsert the needle and finish the injection.
It was over. I was left alone with Bruno but I did not linger long. A few strokes and a final kiss goodbye. I did not look back as I left Bruno and shut the door behind me.
I returned home and hung the leash and the collar in their allotted places. Over the next 24 hours, I made a few phone calls, sent a few emails and cried. My heart was heavy with the loss but at the same time, a weight had been lifted as I knew Bruno was now pain-free. The journey and connection Bruno and I shared was over.
*Originally posted October 26, 2011*