Three years

I don’t remember his name. I don’t remember his face. I don’t remember what I said when he knocked on our door.

I only vaguely remember talking to him the night before.

I had called him on the way home from the emergency vet, where they had told us our Bismarck’s cancer had spread to his liver and his spleen, and that keeping him alive any longer would be unfair to him.

It was surreal, asking this man to come to our home to put our dog to sleep, while at the same time driving with Bismarck right there in the car with us… knowing that it would be his last car ride.

We just knew we wanted it to be done in our home, on our terms, where we could hug him and kiss him until the end and then bury him in our yard. So we had left the vet that night with Bismarck and Ryder (who we had brought along for moral support… for all of us), knowing we had one last night with Bismarck, and knowing the man coming to our home the next day would be putting an end to our time on earth with him.

For the 8 weeks since his cancer diagnosis, I had been obsessed about every little thing that went in Bismarck’s mouth. Everything was all-natural, home-cooked. I gave him vitamins and supplements from the holistic vet. He hadn’t wanted to eat much of anything. So when he showed interest in eating pizza on that last day, I gave it to him. There was no more damage to be done.

Initially, the vets had said we may get 2 more years with Bismarck. When they found out how aggressive his cancer was, they changed it to 6 months at the most.

It was exactly 2 months (8 weeks to the day) after his diagnosis that this man came to our home to do the unthinkable.

The un-understandable.

The man didn’t stay long. He knew he had a job to do and he had the tools and experience to do it quickly and confidently.

I didn’t want him there, of course, but he was professional and matter-of-fact, and I trusted him with making it as painless as possible for Bismarck.

It was 3 years ago yesterday that we said our final goodbye to Bismarck. 3 years ago yesterday… it seems like yesterday sometimes.

And yet, these 3 years have brought so much change.

When that man drove away from our house, he was done with the job he had to do. It was the end for him. But for us, it was just the beginning… the beginning of adjusting to a life without Bismarck.

Bismarck was only 5 years old. My sweet soul of a boy… oh, I loved him so. I still do. And he loved his mama. It was not right for him to die so young, to have to suffer in any way. Time has a way of healing, but I still – even 3 years later – cannot get over my anger about the unfairness of it all.

Bismarck (in front), Me and Ryder - August 2006

But I know he has had his hand (or paw) in sending the sweet, sweet souls that have come into our (my and Ryder’s) lives since his passing… first, by sending us Seth, and then by sending us Brian and Tansy.

Last year, on the 2-year anniversary of Bismarck’s passing, I wrote about how sunflowers came to be my “sign” from Bismarck that he is still with me.

So here is a big, beautiful sign from my sweet Big Boy, courtesy of my talented friend, Dawn:

Thanks, Bizzy. I love you, forever and ever!

Three years was last modified: July 28th, 2010 by Jane Couto Govednik
SHOWHIDE Comments (8)
  1. Oh, my Janie… my heart is still broken and tears still come… but I know that Bizzy is with you every moment of every day. He has changed everything… EVERYTHING… because he loves you and he can change things from his place in heaven. He loves you. That is all you need to know… xoxox! I love you… Mom

  2. Janie,

    I’ll never forget that day three years ago. It still rips at my heart.
    Bismarck will never ever be forgotten. He was and is a protector. I’ll always be indebted to him.

    Love Dad

  3. Tears still come to MY eyes and I never knew him, but I knew of your love for him, and the heartache of your loss. I’m glad you’ve found room for new doggie love, I am sure it was so very difficult. Of course they can’t replace him, but I’m sure he’s smiling down from his spot in doggie heaven at your new loves.

  4. Jane, all dogs and all cats and all our animals go to heaven. It is sometimes said that animals have no soul. That concept is unthinkable. Our animals friends, your Bismark, my Shim and Reine, await us in Paradise, under the care of St. Francis. Each day, I ask St. Francis to watch over my girls, and my friend’s cat, just passed, Michaela. I will now daily ask him to watch over Bismark.
    He lives on.
    and ever….
    Love, Connie

  5. As someone that has 5 furbabies of my own right now (3 dogs and 2 cats), I know how much they become members of your family and I am so sorry for what you went through. 3 years ago we had to put my first dog to sleep – Sammie – and it was so hard. *hugs*

  6. Uck. My heart hurts. I know your pain all too well after losing my cats last year. The hurt is too hard to put into words, although we try. That’s all we can do. Big lump in my throat right now as I type this message to you.

    I know you’re smiling at the sweet memories of Bizzy and how happy he made you those five beautiful years. He served his purpose, he gave you someone to love and care for. Isn’t that the best?! 🙂

    Oh, I wish we could bring our furbabies back. xoxoxo

  7. Jane: First; I’m so thankful my friend told me about you. You are an amazing writer. Most of all, you are my kind of person and tears certainly shed quickly upon reading your post about Bizzy. I don’t cry easily except when it comes to my own beautiful furry companions I’ve lost – just thinking about them or seeing their photos does it. But too, reading your post about Bizzy brought back my own memories. Sometimes I feel they are so much better than us. And, you are blessed to have family that understands such a connection. I too believe you will see Bizzy again. In the mean time, I’m sure he watches over you daily – tail wagging 😉

Three years was last modified: July 28th, 2010 by Jane Couto Govednik