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 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.
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!