Something Terrible Happened

I haven’t written anything in a week. One of the last stories I published was about how our dog enhanced my life. I wrote about how I loved and needed him and about him being a fantastic dog. Cannon is the best dog I’ve ever known. He was also my constant companion and dear friend.

He died last Tuesday.

To say he was more than a pet to me is an understatement.

Only a little over a week after I wrote about him here on April 5th, we lost him. It was shockingly sudden. That big yellow lab made me happy every day. His loss is a cruel blow.

He was fine that morning. By afternoon it was obvious he was not feeling well. He threw up, which he almost never did. He didn’t immediately jump up and come to me when I spoke to him, but he came slowly, though not in his usual exuberant manner.

We went outside. I came back into the house for a minute. My daughter and grandson, who had been alerted that Cannon was sick, called for me and I walked back outside and saw Cannon had collapsed in the backyard. I went to him and the pitiful look on his face was heartbreaking. We knew something was badly wrong.

Ever obedient, Cannon managed to get up and get into my car with minimal help when he was asked. What a tough guy he was. Trying to be obedient as usual even as he was dying.

Our vet, obviously alarmed, picked up Cannon in his arms and hurried him to the back examining rooms for an ultrasound, blood test and x-ray. As he carried him back he said, “your dog is very sick.”

After only a short time Dr. M sadly told us Cannon was bleeding out into his abdominal cavity. His gums were white and bulges and bruising appeared on his belly. Blood was pooling in his skin tissue and on the outside of his internal organs. Dr. M said there was little chance surgery would save him and his cancer had probably metastasized, as he had numerous tumors on his ruptured spleen.

He wouldn’t have lived through the night, so we had to let him go. My daughter, his actual owner, said she had promised she’d never let him suffer. There was only one last decision to make for him and bravely, she made it.

In just three hours we went from having a seemingly well dog to suddenly losing him. We are all devastated.

Others members of the family came and went, going to work, lllto school before the virus, and in and out. But Cannon and I stayed home together. He provided love, affection and moral support while I wrote. His head was often in my lap as I entered words into my phone. He was always laying beside me. When I got up, he got up.

I haven’t been the same since he’s gone and although I know I’ll be ok eventually, life won’t be the same. It’s never going to feel right not having Cannon beside me.

I think he became a therapy dog for me. His soft furry presence was like balm to an old woman who seldom goes out and never socializes. He was my security and stability in a huge furry body.

He was special. Cannon was a special dog. I wish he could have stayed.

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

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