Well, Georgie has left us. He has made that journey we all must take into the Great Mystery--or what my late sister called the Next Great Adventure. I myself choose not to speculate about the nature of that mystery, but I do know that this morning's act of love released him from any further suffering.
We had been hoping to help him last out until we could take him to his own vet in Laguna Beach when we go down there tomorrow. Yesterday, though, there was a steep decline, and by evening time it was clear he would need help sooner; we even made some effort to find someone to come to our home before bedtime.
That didn't work. So we went to bed and made him as comfortable as possible. For some time, he lay quietly on the bed without moving, but around 2AM he stirred and gave his usual signals about needing to go out for a pee. I was up in a flash, but even that was too late. He had managed to slip out of the diaper he has been wearing at night, and had wet himself, the bed, and me...
I took him out to the garden and dried us off as best I could, then brought him back to bed with an empty bladder. He was soon asleep again, and snoring. I was not so lucky. As is his habit, he took more than his share of my side of the bed, leaving me uncovered, shivering, and tormented by thoughts about the morning. At 5:30, I picked him up from the bed and brought him to meditate with me for a half hour. He was remarkably peaceful, but remained quite limp and listless in my arms.
It seemed like an interminable wait until 7AM, when I could call the local vet. Since George's regular vet is in Laguna, we're not known to a clinic up here in LA--and the one I called said they couldn't take him until the afternoon. They did, however, give me a list of people to call, and a few calls later I found someone who would come around right away.
Well, as you can imagine, there was a lot of weeping as we waited; and a lot more as we welcomed the kindly vet who sat and chatted for a while before giving George the two injections needed, first to relax him, then to stop the heart. He died very peacefully in my arms, out on the deck, overlooking the garden where he loved to play.
There's more weeping to be done. We will miss our George sorely in the days to come. But it was clear that the time had come for him to leave us and along with the pain and sadness, there are the beginnings of a sense of healing and release.
Our thanks to those of you who have followed this saga and sent kind messages. It has meant a lot to us, to know that there is so much human compassion out there in a world where we sometimes doubt its continuing presence. We send our love and thanks to all our good friends. And George's great spirit surely will live on, if only in our hearts.