I’m sorry to be emerging from my silence with such bad news, but there it is…
7 years ago, when I had been searching high and low for a Boston Terrier, a vet friend called to tell me that a pregnant one had been abandoned at his clinic. They didn’t know what to do with the litter, and thus entered the loveliest of puppies into my life.
Over the years Comet became more than a pet, more than a friend even, as she was with me through two relationships, and a few years of single life in between. Through the (sometimes major) changes that life inevitably brings, she was my constant roommate, a faithful presence that grounded me.
When my time in Newcastle became longer than expected, she was taken care of by my excellent dog-loving parents. Over this time she had some gastric issues that seemed to recover by Christmas.
Unfortunately, things took a sad turn last week as my parents called on my birthday to say she had started suffering a lot, crying for hours each day. Vets suspected a new problem, namely a slipped disc in her neck, and recommended surgery. Two days ago, while she was under anesthetic to undergo this surgery, an MRI revealed quite numerous and extensive tumors, including in her stomach and neck. They felt that treatment would be quite painful and not prolong her time much. My parents frantically tried to reach me in Newcastle so I would give my consent not let her wake up from the anesthesia. When they couldn’t, they faced the horrible burden of making this decision for me, then having to break the sad news a few hours afterwards.
When I did reach my mother, she was inconsolable. I knew immediately things had gone horribly wrong.
A fearless, friendly and happy dog, she had taken part in everything, be it running, swimming, kayaking, camping and hiking, bike riding, and even acted in a play last year. Her sweet and even temper helped her make many dog friends and converted several indifferent humans into dog fans. Her silliness (like not barking at the flasher at the window, but at the cops trying to catch him) never failed to cheer us up.
With all that we shared, having Comet in my life became a much bigger part of my identity than I realised. I can’t help but think that with her passing, a very special period of my life passes as well.
I’m devastated not to have been there to say goodbye to my most faithful, dearest girl. I know she had a very happy, full life, was loved dearly until the very end by her mom and grandparents, and that after this heartbreak subsides, we will have the good memories forever. I know this but I can’t imagine feeling that way any time soon.
Sleep well doggie chien, and say hello to heaven.