Monday, March 14, 2011

Mackey

"If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness."-- Marjorie Garber

Meet Mackey...

Mackey, a 120 pound rottweiler mix came into my life in 1999. How I ended up with this sweet boy is a bit of a long story so I will keep it short....Mackey needed a home and I never turn my back on an animal so he ended up with me. Being a sophomore in college and having a dog, especially the stature of Mackey is a bit of a challenge. However, I agreed to take him so it was my responsibility to take good care of him.

Mackey has lived with me in a tiny apartment in Vincennes, then West Lafayette, Plainfield and Monrovia.

I have never in my life encountered a more bright, joyful and kind creature! Mackey and I have been through it all....3 car accidents, college, boyfriends, jobs, apartments, homes, a marriage and a pregnancy. I have treated Mackey like my child and tried my hardest to make sure that Mackey never felt the awful experiences that so many dogs endure.

In September 2008, I knew something was off with Mackey. While I was dreading the appointment, I knew he had to be seen by our veterinarian. While I knew on that day, I could get news I didn't want to hear, I don't think anything could have prepared me for the "bus" that was about to hit me at the clinic. Mackey had a tumor....a big tumor....a tumor that couldn't be treated....a tumor that would likely kill him.....a tumor that I hated...a tumor that has made me cry more tears than I thought any person could cry! As if the news could get any worse, this tumor could kill him in a week, or a month....no one really knew.

In my desparate attempt to find better news, I searched for any possible treatment to save my sweet boy. I found nothing....well....nothing that wouldn't include painful invasive surgery or torturous treatments. Mackey was already an elderly dog, so my choice was to keep him comfortable as long as possible.

I committed myself to his wellbeing. I did everything in my power to make my boy enjoy the last days of his life. Little did I know how long that would last.

Several months after Mackey's diagnosis, he was going strong and we learned that we were expecting our first baby in November 2009. Mackey was bright and joyful and I had no doubt that Mackey would be in our lives for the birth of our child and I couldn't wait for Mackey to see the baby (Mackey loved babies).

As the summer of 2009 came to an end, I began to see changes in Mackey. Despite my best efforts, Mackey was losing weight and had begun to limp on one leg. I don't think I truly believed how bad he started getting. Before I knew it, Mackey needed a lot of help. He needed our help to get in and out of the house and Andy had to carry him up the stairs every night.

I knew it was time to make a decision. The day I got this dog, I knew I would have to face this day, but nothing prepared me for making the decision. I put it off as long as possible, I wanted him to meet the baby, but, it was time and I knew it couldn't wait. The sparkle in Mackey's eye was quickly vanishing and I owed it to him to say goodbye while Mackey's dignity was still in tact.

It was a beautiful October morning. The sun was shining and the sky seemed more blue on that day than it had in a long time. We fed Mackey treats, lots of treats, in fact, I fed him so many treats, he couldn't eat anymore. When our vet pulled in the drive, Mackey's tail was wagging but he was too weak to get up and greet her like he normally would. I knew at that moment that I had made the right decision for my boy.

We gave kisses and hugs and it went quick. His giant "bucket" head was laying in my lap like it had so many times before and I said goodbye to my sweet boy.

It has been 15 months since we said goodbye to Mackey. I miss him every day. While the wound is not as fresh, I still have a hole in my heart for my sweet boy. I love all dogs, but, Mackey was special. No dog will take his place and I know he is in heaven wagging his tail and running like he wanted to do so badly when he was sick. I wish more than anything that Preslee could have known Mackey, as  I am certain they would have been best friends.

It is my hope that every person will know joy that I have felt from owning a dog!

Sunlight streams through window pane
unto a spot on the floor….
then I remember,
it’s where you used to lie,
but now you are no more.
Our feet walk down a hall of carpet,
and muted echoes sound….
then I remember,
It’s where your paws would joyously abound.
A voice is heard along the road,
and up beyond the hill,
then I remember it can’t be yours….
your golden voice is still.
But I’ll take that vacant spot of floor
and empty muted hall
and lay them with the absent voice
and unused dish along the wall.
I’ll wrap these treasured memorials
in a blanket of my love
and keep them for my best friend
until we meet above.
- Author Unknown

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