Saturday, September 17, 2011

An Ode to Beau

A hot day requires lying on a cool floor!PICT1661
Two weeks ago was a bittersweet time for me.  Hubby and I enjoyed Labor Day weekend at my parents’ house and spent quality time with them and my dog, Beau. Beau was getting around okay, as usual, for an old dog (today is is 14th birthday). He’d been dealing with arthritis, eye boogers, and just general ailments that come with old age. I patted Beau goodbye that Monday night, told him I loved him, and we headed back to San Diego.
Tuesday morning my parents left me two messages on my cell phone while I was at work. I found out later they took Beau to the vet since he had been coughing pretty badly. My dad insisted they do x-rays, and indeed they found a few spots on Beau’s lungs. They ruled out a fungus, and the vet said it was either pneumonia, or cancer.
The dreaded c-word.
Waiting for a snack from Mom.DSCN1610
Beau went home with some antibiotics and the vet asked them to return on Saturday morning. They would take x-rays again, and any pneumonia would have started to clear up by then. I spoke with my mom on Tuesday night, and she said Beau had had a rough day, but perked up when my dad came home from work. I figured he was on the upswing to a full recovery.
Wednesday morning at work I had an almost two-hour conference call, and my cell phone rang in the middle of it. I knew it was one of my parents and sat there anxiously waiting to call them back. Something was up with Beau.
My dad’s voice was heavy when he picked up the phone. “Lauren, I have some bad news about Beau. He was up all night pacing the floor and panting heavily. Your mom and I decided to have him put down this morning.”
My eyes filled with tears and I murmured a few words in response. In my heart I had known it was Beau’s time to go, but selfishly I wasn’t ready. He had been my little buddy since 8th grade when we brought him home from the breeder’s house as a pup. And now he was gone.
Old age makes you tired.DSCN1410
I’m okay now. I miss Beau, especially since his death came so unexpectedly. I know he’s in doggie heaven, having fun with his friends and free from the pain he went through. I only wish I could have said a real goodbye. He went quickly and fell asleep fast, and for that I am grateful.
As an only child, I thought of Beau as the little brother I never had. He spooned with me on my bed, snored like none other, and sat next to me when I was sad. I felt such comfort snuggling next to him and nuzzling my face in his soft ears. I would often say, “I see God in Beau, because he shows unconditional love and true companionship in an inexplicable way.” To me, that love epitomizes what I believe is God’s love for us.
Beau had his favorites: peanut butter, chasing birds, barking at the ripples in the pool water, begging for fruit and veggies, his stuffed toys always neatly piled in the living room, and of course his beloved “cookies” (dog biscuits) from Trader Joe’s. He had his un-favorites, too: getting his ears cleaned, strangers coming to the house, and being left alone during the day. I’ll never forget the bark that was bigger than his bite, his sweet licks on my face, and the way his tail wagged a million miles a minute when I came home.
Here’s to you, Prince Beauregard XXV. Happy birthday, little bro. I love you.
Sitting on tissue paper totally counts as helping put away Christmas ornaments.DSCN0123
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