Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Goodbye Gus

Gus, you missed the needle 14 yrs ago. Today was a different story. The vet helped you upon the table and with your family standing close by, he felt for a vein to start the IV. You were to be sedated and asleep before the medication that would stop your heart and your breathing was to be given. Tearful, Ted, Elise and April stayed with you until you were sedated, then Ted and Elise left the room. The vet spoke to April and told her people usually didn't stay until the heart stopped. She wouldn't leave but wanted to stay with him until the end and she did.
14 yrs ago Gus was only two years old and living with a family of four. The two children in the household started school and this caused Gus to be faced with adoption or being euthanized. He started digging holes in the yard, he missed his playmates and he was angry. The man of the house was angry. He told his wife he was going offshore and to find a new home for Gus or he would have the vet put him down when he got back home.
The daughter received a phone call from some friends she had in common with Gus's owners. They told her about Gus and she had him delivered to her house. Ted, the baby was 3 yrs old and Elise was 7 yrs old when Gus entered their lives. He was a tall, muscular fawn boxer with a white blaze face and black muzzle. The muscles rippled down his sides when he danced and Gus did dance. Boxers aren't known for being sedate and calm. He loved to chase the occasional cat that ventured into his territory and when he had the chance he would make late night excusions into the neighbor hood. Once he made away with his chain still attached to his collar and when he didn't show up the next day, the daughter went looking for him. She found him tangled up in the brush down by the coolie and unable to free himself. Saved again you were, Gus. Close calls weren't frequent as your family kept a close watch on you and I suppose that is why you survived those 14 yrs.
Ted could crawl over you, tug your ears and pull himself up by the ruff of your neck and never a complaint was uttered by you but let someone knock on the door and you sprang to your feet, the ruff on your neck bristled and a low growl issued forth while your eyes stayed on that door. No one was gaining entrance without your master's approval. Once cleared for entrance, you would back off but watch intently the stranger among your family.
I remember the day I crept up to Elise's window and tapped on it to wake her up. The blinds were closed but through those blinds you hurled toward the glass and your face appeared at that window to survey the scene. I talked to you until you recognized me and relaxed your vigil. I never worried about someone gaining entrance late at night unless they were given permission by your master. You were a wonderful family protector and your family loved you totally. You were more then an animal; you were family.
Today red swollen eyes greeted me when I returned home and your family sat around telling stories of your time with them. They have known for a while that you would be leaving them and as difficult as this was for them, they put it off for as long as possible.
The tumors on your body were fist sized but you could still dance and wiggle sideways when your family arrived home. Today when you made those many trips outside to urinate and couldn't, when you couldn't get your head down to your food dish and your master had to hold your bowl up to your mouth, when you couldn't drink your water and when you staggered, they knew it was time.
Carrie will be told when she questions your absence. Your mom has been preparing her for this for the past year. You will be missed greatly by her. Though she only had 4 yrs with you, she counted you as one of her loves.
Goodbye Gus. I shall miss you too and I'm thankful you were the protector of your loved ones which provided much comfort for me knowing you were there.


  1. Oh what a sad've brought tears to my eyes. It's so hard to say goodbye isn't it? But what lovely memories you have. Sending you a hug (( )) xx

  2. That was absolutely beautiful...I didn't realize what a great writer you are...Why you haven't written a book by now is beyond me..I'm so sorry for your loss, and I know my time is coming someday with Jimmy, and when it happens I will need therapy...he's such a wonderful companion. Not a good watch dog though..he would lick them to death. I don't understand this...please choose a profile..ha ha

  3. Thanks everyone. Today his family went through albums reminiscing the good times with him. It's theraputic.


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