I do not want to write this blog post. I don’t want to tell anyone that we lost my Diesel on Easter night. But I have to because you all need to know that I may not be around for a little while. This grief has me so buried that I can barely breathe, or write, or do much of anything. Only days after I had the chance to introduce my beautiful adopted boy to you here, he died in my arms. It was not what anyone could call “expected” Diesel was an older dog at 8 but certainly not an “old” dog. Neither was he terribly sick or unwell, though he was not fully healthy. My big beasty was diagnosed with cushings about 6 months ago and I had already started on the draft to tell you all how we were dealing with it so that anyone who saw pictures of him here would understand his condition – would understand his pot belly and not just think of him as fat. Cushings is far more common in old and small dogs. Diesel was neither. When they diagnosed him he was so happy and wanting to go for a walk so badly I had a real hard time believing that he was not just, in fact, an over weight dog (though inexplicably so). I read that most dogs do not live even a year after the diagnosis and I just had a real hard time believing all of it.
The day my big boy died we got home from Easter dinner with my family and I took him for a very long walk on the golf course. (I should say that actually HE took me for a very long walk as I have always had to force him back to the house, he never wanted to end a walk no matter how pooped he was and I let him go as long as possible.) He was a little shaky when we got back initially but he ate dinner and we had an absolutely normal happy evening together. I cuddled him and brushed him and he gave me no sign that he didn’t feel just as good as always. Joe and I went to bed at 10 and Diesel was outside in his kennel, sitting under his oak tree, enjoying the warm night. An hour and a half later we woke to Diesel struggling upstairs, only able to do a few steps at a time before having to rest. When he finally got up to us I grabbed his big blanket and put it on the floor beside my side of the bed, right by me. He immediately went to it and collapsed. He couldn’t get comfortable and his hind legs weren’t working right. He was panting when he came upstairs but as I was with him his panting became extremely shallow. He stretched out and then he quit breathing and I totally lost my mind. Joe and I did CPR on him, I cleared his air way, pulled his tongue out of his mouth, made sure he wasn’t choking on anything. He never took another breath and Joe and I just sat there in shock.
I feel as though I am still sitting there in shock.
We buried him that night, taking turns with a pick ax under his oak tree. It was an arduous dig as the ground is still frozen here but we had to take care of my big beasty. We wrapped him in his favorite blanket and with a couple of toys that he loved and then Joe and I sat there together. Joe asked me, “What do we do now?”
Of course, I will never have any real answer to that question. What does anyone do when they lose their best friend?
Diesel must have known and I am so so thankful he came upstairs so that he could die in my arms.
RIP Diesel, you will be missed every day.