It was a traumatic day here in NY for all of us at my Mom’s house. Very
late this afternoon my Mom drove her oldest golden retriever, Summer, to the
vet for the last time. She was very, very old. Whenever anyone talked about
Summer they would say “she is the sweetest one.” The reference was in
comparison to my Mom’s other goldens. Her first one, Alexis, was a complete and
utter nut case. Her goal in life was to stick her tongue in your mouth. And not
much would stop her. This was my Mom’s baseline golden. While she still had
Alexis, she got Summer. The difference between the two was like night and day.
Summer was the sweetest. When my Mom moved to where we are now, Summer was in
heaven. She loved the beach. She loved to go down to the water and go swimming.
She would fetch stuff thrown into the water till the cows came home. After
Alexis passed, my Mom got Cricket who is very ala Alexis. She barks a lot. She
is in your face. She wants to be petted and lets you know. Summer was always
just there though. She wasn’t obnoxious like the others.
Since we arrived in NY, we knew that Summer’s time was waning. She
spent most of the days lying about the house. Her back legs were giving out on
her and she was receiving medication to help her with them. She had a huge lump
right behind her shoulders which was not being treated so it was all just a
matter of time. Today was a bad day for her. She could not even stand. I had to
hold up her back legs when she went outside late in the day and her front legs
were quivering under her weight. When she went out she seemed disoriented. I
had to grab her collar and steer her out of the hydrangea bush back towards the
house. She didn’t really want to eat which is something she typically is very
excited about. It was about a quarter to five and Mom, after saying she was
going to take Summer on Monday, decided to call to see if they were still at
the vet’s office. They were. I heard my Mom telling the vet that she didn’t
want to try any new medication and she wanted to bring her in.
I asked my Mom if she wanted me to go with her. She said no. We had
been planning on heading out to a friend’s house for dinner and we did so. We
all wrote notes of support for my Mom before we left the house. I called home
to check in later in the evening and Mom seemed OK. She had come home and made
a bunch of calls to her dog friends and the breeder letting them know. My son
is especially sad. He said that he cannot stay in NY without Summer and that he
is heading back to Hawaii tomorrow. The remaining two dogs, Cricket the golden
and Brooke the welsh springer spaniel, seem out of sorts. Lying in unusual
places. It is strange to not to be stepping over Summer. Hearing her overly
loud panting. Our house is out of sorts.
Mom says that taking Summer to the vet tonight was the right thing to
do and I agree. She says that it is the most peaceful thing. She says that it
seems unfair that she is not able to make that decision for herself should she
choose to. I know that today was really difficult for her. When we came home we
noticed that the picture in her new frame which originally housed Brooke had been
changed to one of Summer. Summer in her glory days. Swimming with the bonker in
her mouth. The happiest she could be. So tonight we say goodbye to a good dog.
We hope there is a doggie heaven and that Summer is swimming in the bay and
catching bonkers there for the rest of eternity. We love you Summer and we miss