Patient Wonderful Copper
My first boy died yesterday. His name is Copper
He was 12 years old. My wife and I got him from the vet. He and his sister were found as a lost litter. They are wonderful.
My wife sort of tricked me into going to see them. I have had dogs before (two wonderful boxers, Jenny and Dotty, mother and daughter) and when they died I didn't think I could make it. Then that day came and they brought Copper out to us. So small and warm and helpless. And perfect.
I couldn't say anything. They asked if we wanted him and I nodded yes. Then they made it worse and said "He's got a sister...". We went in back and there was Summit, dainty little angle.
You have to know some things about my kids before I go on. They have been the same perfectly defined individuals from the moment I laid eyes on them.
Summit looked right at me (the both of us) right in the eye and just knew, well, everything. It's like she knew we were coming, that she and her brother were going home, and that I was broken.
Now Copper, what a lug! If Summit was lean, angular, and psychically attuned to every thought, Copper was a lump of gentle love. Not the jump on you and nip and slobber slow explosion, but everyday, every time trot over and sit by you and press his head on your leg. Every time, just to let you know he was happy he got to be with you. Everywhere, inside and out, no matter how mundane the task, he was there to help out (or at least let you know he was there for you).
I can't think of how many times I stupidly gruffed at him for being in a doorway. I would trade my life to be able to look behind me now and see him napping on the office floor!
As the end approached, I found myself stopping to check and see where he was at. His mind was still razor sharp, but his back legs were giving out. After Jenny and Dotty were gone, I would hear them in the house, or turn a corner and catch just the briefest glimpse of them laying in the sun. That's when I figured out what ghosts are, and that's the haunting. I would feel "normal", and there would be the shadow and remind me that I couldn't be with them for real. I'm scared now because this morning I'm racing around corners AND HE'S NOT THERE! WHERE IS MY BOY!!
And I remember the night before. He had been trying soooo hard to make it outside to go potty. Most times he would make it. We had been trying to help him out if for no other reason that he was so embarrassed if he had an accident in the house. That night, that god damned night I carried him out and tried to help him stand, but he just couldn't.
He was just to tired.
I carried him inside and put us to bed. And I lay there and told myself that the time had come.
My wife and I were so very mature. We had made arrangements before hand with the vet. We had found a crematorium before hand and made those arrangements, because on that day it would make everything easier. We sat our son down and told him as best we could what would happen. We all cried together, and made our breakfast and cried. As the time approached my mom came over to watch our son and we cried. We loaded Copper in the car and started on our way, and we cried. I sat in the back and we turned the corners and I thought, "This is the last time you'll be this way my son", and I prayed for a flat tire or a traffic accident.
We arrived at the hospital.
My wife went in to get the doc. I sat with Copper and we looked at the hills and I wished the doc would not come out. And she did.
She was so gentle, and I felt my baby die in my arms. I could feel it happen and I want to go with him. I don't want to sit here and type this and know that I made the decision that my little boy should die. I know that if I made another decision he could be sitting by me right now and we could be watching TV. I want to stop breathing and not be.
That's why I couldn't speak the day I met him. I knew I would love him and he would be perfect and I would have to kill him. I know his beautiful smart loving sister probably isn't too far behind, and I will have to hire a good and professional person, with problems of her own, to kill my baby girl.
It's not fair, and I don't want to do it. I want to stop breathing and not be.
I love my sweet, beautiful, kind, giving wife and my smart, loving, kind son so much. I want them to be safe and happy and healthy. I want them to have the things they want and need them to have the things they need. I know I am Father/Husband to two of the most wonderful people in the world. With that joy and gift comes a solemn and grave responsibility to provide for my family. I dedicate every fiber of my being to the opportunity making this gift grow and thrive.
If you've managed read this far into whatever this is, I thank you for letting me share my story with you. If you're here reading this, it is most likely that you have suffered your own loss, and for that I am so, so very sorry. May God bless you and grant you peace. The song goes, "The love you get is the love you give". If you feel like I do right now, your person must love you an awful lot. That makes them incredibly special.
Please remember they thought that way about you.