The Last Sit & Shake
(Lake Orion, MI)
If I had known it would be the last time Oliver sat and extended his paw for me, I would have never let go.........
It started off as any usual Sunday did, except this Sunday (July 17, 2011) our youngest daughter was to be baptized. So, instead of his usual morning walk and tummy rub, Oliver ate & went to his kennel until we returned home. This day was hot & humid, so I wanted to get Oliver outside as soon as we got home and before it got too hot. He spent much of the afternoon outside on his tie out, running back and forth in the yard as he has on so many occasions. I kept checking on him for signs of heat exhaustion and to make sure he had enough water. Around 4 pm I noticed he had jumped the fence and was lying in the grass under the shade. I asked my husband to open the gate and bring him back inside the fence so he didn't get tangled up. At that time I went to refill his water bowl. I brought the water to him & told him to sit. He followed command and promptly extended his white paw, paws I just loved because they looked liked he was wearing socks since his fur was brown and all four paws were white. I shook that paw and then gave him a pat on the head before returning inside. I told myself that I should probably bring him inside since it was really warm outside. We had company over celebrating the baptism of our daughter and an hour later, after the company departed, my heart suddenly sank when I remembered that I had forgot to bring Oliver back inside.
I ran outside and saw Oliver's tie out over the fence near the shaded part of the tree where he likes to lay. I called his name and the chain didn't even budge, I knew he was in trouble. I screamed for my husband, who ran over to where I was. Oliver was lying on the ground near the shaded tree and he was not responding to touch or sound. My husband scooped him up and carried him up the house. I ran inside and grabbed as much ice and ice packs as I could find. I returned to where my husband was trying to cool and rehydrate Oliver with water. I sat down where he lay, not even caring that I was getting soaked in the process. His heart was beating, but we could not see any breathing. I tried to perform CPR, while the ice and water was cooling his overheated body.
I tried so hard to save my first "baby", but I just couldn't do it and he died in my arms. Today my heart is broken and I am struggling with the intense grief I am experiencing. Oliver was 5 yrs old and way too young to die. I never thought in a million years that I only had one more handshake with my puppy. It was a horrible reminder of how quickly life changes in a moment. Our loss was tragic and heartbreaking. And while I know that I must let him go with the Lord to the Rainbow Bridge, I will also miss him every single day until I see him again in Heaven.