Before going home, I made a last stop at "Chick Fil A" to get a quick lunch that I shared with Max and Rhett. Just as we were finishing, Rhett who had been laying in between the seats, started gagging, and when he put his head way back, I saw his tongue and gums were pale -- He wasn't breathing. I quickly got out and pulled him from in between the seats and I laid him flat, got his airway open, and did an equivalent of CPR, by blowing into his nose and shaking him - And I can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure I was yelling and begging him to not go.... Time seemed to be standing still, and so when I saw Rhett blink and take a breath, I just started crying. Max was sitting on the backseat, shaking and when I started cheering for Rhett, we both felt a huge sense of relief.
A blur of phone calls and within minutes we were sitting in the parking lot of a nearby vet. Because of the virus, I had to wait outside while a vet I'd never met, but I knew by reputation, assessed Rhett, and took x-rays. Those x-rays showed an enlarged heart, (a possible tumor) and a mass on his spleen. Several phone calls with the vet and the what ifs followed. But in the end, as devastating as it was to hear, there was nothing that could be done - This was all made harder because from outside, I could hear Rhett barking inside. The vet, who was showing us nothing but kindness and patience, of course allowed me to take Rhett and spend time with him.
I'd been told that what happened earlier, could and probably would occur again. Or, that Rhett could pass away on his own, in his sleep, or without me there. This all weighed so heavy on my heart and mind. I knew that what the vet was telling me was the explanation for all that I'd seen happening with Rhett the last few weeks.
That feeling of total helplessness that I'd had in the parking lot of Chick Fil A was still so fresh in my mind. Of course I didn't want any of that to happen again. What if I could not revive Rhett again? What if I wasn't there? None of this would be fair to Rhett. Along with having a big personality, he was also truly a dog that had a great deal of dignity. I felt strongly that his life should be one that ended that way. Not one filled with panic or chaos.
So, as I sat on the floor, next to a snoring Rhett, in the early evening of Wednesday March 25th, he left this life with all the dignity and peace that he deserved. And of course, breaking my heart, and taking a piece of it with him, but leaving so much more behind.
Our candle has been lit since Wednesday to both honor and remember Rhett and to help him find his way on his journey. However, I have a feeling that Rhett has been able to find his way to that on his own. Thinking that, somehow lifts my spirit.
Finally, as is our tradition, giving Rhett his color for the Rainbow. I've thought about that over the last few days. Not long after Rhett came to us, I bought him a new collar. I found what I thought was the perfect one for him -- A tie-dyed/multi-colored one that I thought said something about him.
With so many colors to consider, yellow has been a color I've seen all over the last couple of days. It's practically everywhere right now.
|~A carpet of yellow flowers along the tow-path near the Potomac~|