Goodbye, Sweet Porter, Goodbye.

11:27 AM

 You can read the first part of Porter's story here.
A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours... about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me... about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.

 Dogs, lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with them, never fail to share their joy or delight in their innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price."


Porter was a fighter and he spent 10 days fighting, but we had to make the ultimate sacrifice and decision. 

He had 3 seizures in 36 hours and they wiped him out.  He was exhausted and because they usually happened while he was sleeping, he didn't sleep that much.  Monday morning, Chris called our vet.  She recommended pheno to control the seizures, but said that more than likely Porter had a brain tumor that was causing the seizures. 

Poor Chris, he wanted a defintive yes or no that it was time, but instead our vet said that she trusted us more than anyone to make the best decision for him.  I knew.  I knew that it was time to let him go based on the side effects of the pheno, his age, and the diagnosis of a tumor, I knew.  I gently tried to explain it to Chris but he wasn't ready to hear that it was time to say goodbye to his sweet dog. 

He spoke to his mom and generally stayed out of my office the rest of the morning.  Around lunch, he walked in sobbing and said that he was leaving with Porter in a half hour.  I was shocked, he had made the decision several hours earlier and called the vet but he needed that time with his dog before he could tell me.  I sat down and cried.  Porter came up to me and licked my tears away as if to say, 'It's okay.  I'm ready.'  And I cried even more. 

There nothing more sobering than taking your dog to be put to sleeep.  There he was, in the back of the Suburban with no idea why.  Chris drove and I sat with silent tears.  Praying the whole way. 

 The sun was shining but the mood in our car was so dark and not one word was said.  As we got closer to the vet, my tears came faster, but I knew that I had to be strong because this time Chris was saying goodbye to his dog.  Chris got Porter out of the car and he walked him one last time.  I quickly grabbed my phone and I took this picture thinking that it would be the last picture of the two of them together.  I had no idea when I took it how poweful that it would be.  Porter looks as happy as he always did but Chris looks like he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

We walked inside and headed into the room to say our goodbyes.  I'll never, ever forget the way that Chris stared at Porter and then looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and his voice pleading, "Are we making the right decision?  Please tell me that we are."   I choked on my words as I told him, "Of course we are.  It's not supposed to be easy."  I bent down and said goodbye to our sweet, goofy dog.  I gave him one last hug and a kiss on his head.  I told Porter how much I loved him and would miss him.  I told him to find Raider and eat all the milkbones that they could.  Chris sat silently, staring at his best friend, then without a word, he kissed him, stood up, and said goodbye.   

The pain is there.  It hurts.

Goodbye, sweet Porter. We'll always miss you.  We will tell funny stories about you forever.  How you ate our furniture and turned our lovely rectangle coffee table into an oval... the way you would find my ponytail in the middle of the night (as a puppy) and would play with it like one of your toys... the way you would stick your tongue out while sleeping...the time you were chewing on a bone and flung it across the room, right into PJ's lap... how you would only go outside at night if I let you out... how sweet you were with our girls.
Have fun with Raider.

We love you, so, so much. 
One day, we'll meet you again, on the Rainbow Bridge. 


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