Thursday, September 14, 2006

Max is Gone

I am pretty sad tonight. Max died today. Max is one of our cats that we had taken in about five years ago. He got along just fine until just recently when he started using the furniture as his litterbox. The vet said there was nothing wrong with him and I had had enough, so I decided that he would become an outside cat, living in the barn/garage at night. We live on 13 acres, but Max stayed close to the large back deck. Steve, my husband, kept threatening to take him to the no-kill pound, but it was full. I didn't really want that, because he would probably not be very happy living there.

This afternoon, our three dogs ganged up on him and killed him. I am really mad. Luckily, I was away and didn't have to see this destruction. Steve was mowing and couldn't get there in time to save him. These same dogs knew Max inside the house, but evidently he was not brave enough to put them in their place and ran from them. A fatal mistake. I feel awful that I put him at risk. He is now buried out in the pet cemetary out in the back forty along with Ginny, Dillon, Jake, Max and a few others. Steve is out in the barn with the dogs. He knows that it is not the night to let those mean animals in the house.

What more can I say, than I am so sorry, Max.


Angie said...

I am so sorry.

Julie Kuney said...

Debby, I am so sorry about Max. I wrote the following piece for my newsletter just after Izzy (our dog) died. Maybe reading it will help you.---Julie Kuney

Life without heartaches

You know when you get one that it will eventually subside. Sometimes only a little, sometimes almost completely. I have a heartache this week. Our faithful friend, our miniature schnauzer suffered a seizure that left him unable to walk—at least unable to walk like anything but a drunken sailor! I was holding hope that he would improve as I left for work the next morning, but that was not what happened. My husband called around noon to ask “What do you want to do about Izzy?” Later that afternoon I carried him into the vet’s office and stroked him as the vet’s injection helped him to relax for his last time. I am certain that all dogs go to heaven—at least to their own kind of heaven. I felt that he was thankful to us for letting him go. My heart aches right now, but I know I will feel this hurt subside in the weeks ahead.

As we work with the over age 80 folks, sometimes I get to listen as they talk about the family that have gone before them and hear the sorrow and grief in their voices. I am impressed that right alongside these heartaches comes intense love. The pain of grief is sometimes for one lost to death, or for a child who grew up and moved away, or because of the loss of a lifestyle. Many of us want to do something to help someone who is experiencing a loss—how do we make the pain go away? Some suggest meds, some just are ‘there’ for the other person. What is the “best” thing to do?

Something that I am acutely aware of this week—the pain of the heartache may not correlate directly to the ‘importance’ of the loss. Scientific research has found that even similar physical wounds vary in the pain they cause individuals. I don’t believe we can expect the pain of loss to have any more direct correlation. Perhaps heartache is something to be cherished—it shows you are alive, you are involved and you have the ability to heal.

I don’t think I will get another dog. Not because I want to avoid another heartache, but because our lives have changed. There will be new experiences and new people to love. As soon as I ditch this heartache I will be ready. Life without heartaches would be an empty one indeed!

Leasa said...

You've made me remember: Cocoa. Punkin (I couldn't say Pumpkin when I named her at age 5); Bunny (A cat); Tush (Our own special stray dog). Roscoe. Samson. Tom. Oswald. They become part of your family -- the loss feels enormous.