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Man’s Best Friend

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We've all heard the expression, "Dog is Man's best friend." If that is the case, then today I have truly lost my very best friend.

Omar, our 12 1/2 year old tri-color collie, passed away this morning at 11:15, attended by his devoted veterinarian, Dr. Roxanne Schaubhut, and by me. It seems that these things never get easier as we get older, and it is truly a blessing when g-d lifts the decision making burden from our shoulders and takes our loved ones from us while they sleep. Such is what we had all hoped for our brave and beautiful boy. Alas, this was not the case, as his indomitable spirit was too much for him to go so quietly into that good night.

This may have been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my adult life, but I did no more for my friend and companion of these past nigh-on-twelve years than I suppose he would have done for me; if I only I could have done more for him...

While his heart and breathing was still strong, the tissue degeneration in his spinal cord was irreversible and the progression unstoppable. These past few weeks have been hard for all of us, with his almost total paralysis in his hind quarters. We did our best to make him comfortable, but realized that this was no existence for our faithful friend, who enjoyed so much frolicking in the back yard with his two favorite girls, Rachel and Rebecca.

I held his head in my hands as I felt him slipping away from me, drifting off to his last slumber. It was peaceful for him, thankfully. I promised him weeks ago that I would never leave him; that I would stay with him no matter what, and I am so thankful that g-d granted me the strength to see this day through and to be with him in his last moments. I shall never lose the memory of stroking his soft white mane or of whispering to him how much I - we - love him.

Our hearts are broken at the loss of him, and truly, the house seems so empty. I can only hope that time will dull the memory of the events of this day enough for me to remember all the rest there was to his time with us; all the joy he brought to our lives. From time to time, I'll perhaps post something here to share some of those wonderful moments. For now, though, I need to keep as much of him as close to me as I can.

Omar, my dear, dear, beautiful boy, you will be so sorely missed. Sleep well, my soul's companion, sleep well.

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