On Saturday, Rambo was his usual self. He was goofy, playful, and hilarious. He ate. He barked. He pooped. He attacked his dinosaur plush toy.
On Sunday, he was very sick. We took him to the vet and they did an ultrasound. They found a tumor on his liver and fluid in his abdomen. They tried emergency surgery, but during the operation they found that the mass had metastasized to his other organs and he was bleeding internally. While he was under anesthesia for surgery, we made the decision to put him to sleep.
I'm really struggling to make sense of losing him. He was old, but this is still a shock. Rambo has been with me for the past 13 years. He's my first pet I've owned as an adult. I hate the fact that I keep replaying our last moments together. I keep thinking about being in the car with him on the way to the vet. The emergency animal hospital was in a strip mall next to a dollar store. It was cold and dark out. I keep thinking about how I tried to make our last car ride meaningful. I told him he was a good boy. I told him I loved him. But it was awful. I was sobbing. He was confused. This wasn’t a warm, memorable place. This place was cold and alien to both of us.
These thoughts keep repeating in my mind like a car accident. I keep perseverating on his final day, as if that defined our time together.
But it didn’t. We had thirteen years together.
That's 4,745 days where I got to hang out with my best buddy, Rambo.
That’s thousands of times where I left the house for 20 minutes, returned, and he went completely bonkers when I arrived.
That's thousands of walks, pets, treats, tummy rubs, hilarity, and pure, unrelenting joy. I gave him a lifetime of doggy happiness and in return I got 13 years of love.
It’s okay that on his final day we weren’t at 100%. It’s okay that he died.