I have posted this before and found the response both moving and the greatest by far I have had. For all those who have had a dog, lived with it, worked with it and cared for it you will understand my sentiments. About this time every year it comes around again. Some dogs are irreplaceable but some of the personal loss can be replaced by another. Some of you might have already seen it but others might not have.
I hear the phone ringing, I wait for an answer.
My mouth is dry and I don’t want to speak.
I can’t remember dialling the number.
Eventually it is answered just as I am about to hang up and delay the inevitable.
My misplaced human sentiment rises to the surface again.
I try to talk and explain who I am, what the problem is.
The voice on the other end is calm, politely reassuring and knows how I feel.
They have seen and heard this a hundred times.
I get my time and the count down begins.
90 minutes is an awful long time.
The journey is only a fraction of that.
90 minutes is about as long as a football match.
No time at all if your side is 3-0 up but an eternity of torment if your side is 3-0 down.
My 90 minutes of torment has begun.
Every second seems like a minute, seems like an hour, a day, a week.
My friend is not well. He is very not well.
We have seen lots of things together.
We have done lots of things together.
He has saved me from many things and ensured I returned home.
I owe him a lot.
Now I must take him for his last journey.
I cannot explain how such relatively short and slow journey turns out to be such a blur.
I enter the place that has made my friend better on several occasions but that will now stop his suffering because they cannot make him better any more.
They know. They take me to a small room when I walk in and close the door.
They are sympathetic. They care about what they do.
It doesn’t take long but it seems to take forever.
My friend is gone. I’m going to miss him, a lot.
90 minutes was an awfully long time.