Written 24 January, Thursday
I was hoping the year wouldn’t start with death. I was hoping we wouldn’t have death in the family this year. But things are always beyond our control aren’t they?
Felix died today. After weeks of being really unwell, we finally decided to let him go. We did all we could. Everything in our power.
Where I came from, we don’t spend money on sick animals. If they are dying, we can’t do anything about it. But even here in Australia, some people probably wouldn’t spend that much to help out a pet. But how can we not? Felix was with us for over nine years. He’s my big galump. My bundagul. My cute little dumbo. He’s family. You do all you can for family.
We doubted our decision to finally put him down, but when we saw him at the vet, I knew it was the right thing to do. He was not the dog he wanted to be – playful, cheeky, happy. He was lying there, barely breathing, and unable to stand up. I was grateful for the pain medication the vet gave him. At least he wasn’t in too much pain.
I had second thoughts as well about telling MiniK that Felix was dying. I was tempted to tell tales of Felix going to a farm somewhere in woopwoop where we were not allowed to visit. But in the end, I told her the truth – as close to the truth as I can possibly say. I told her that Felix was going to heaven to join Knoppy (my FIL). That he was very sick and the vet can’t help him anymore.
She cried. She only just recently lost her grandfather, and now she’s never going to see Felix again. It was a devastating cry of grief. We family-cuddled (including Stitch, who has been very sooky since we took Felix to the vet a couple of days ago) and comforted each other.
We all went to the vet to say our final goodbyes. One of the vets entertained MiniK with some kittens while hubby and I held Felix as he went to dog heaven. It took me back over nine years ago when we had to put down Rina too, hubby’s little dog. Needless to say we cried like mad. The house feels quieter, sadder. A family member is missing.
MiniK was very cheery at the vet especially after we told her we were going to get another dog soon. I thought that was what perked her up. But when we got home, I realised she was happy because she thought Felix wasn’t going to die. She thought we were coming home with him because we all saw him alive and breathing at the vet. I guess it didn’t sink in yet that when she said goodbye that was really goodbye.
When she realised Felix was really gone, she was devastated. I am so grateful that little kids are so resilient. She perked up later on when we reassured her we would get Stitch a new playmate.
I never get use to losing a pet. It’s so easy to go to that place in your head and say “he’s just a dog” but it’s not true. He wasn’t just a dog. He was our Felix.