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Saturday, June 18, 2016

The saddest hole I've ever dug


In the course of my pretzel-shaped journey through life I have dug myself some pretty deep holes, often made worse because I never knew when to stop digging. This time I dug a hole just deep enough to take Malty's little doggie basket.

I dug it below the tree I had planted many years ago in memory of my best friend Noel Butler. The tree never put down roots deep enough to grow into a big tree just as Noel never put down roots deep enough anywhere after he had come down from New Guinea.

Little Malty is now fifteen years old which in human years puts him into the mid-eighties and he has been on heart tablets for a long time. Yesterday we had him x-rayed which showed that his much enlarged heart pushes against his windpipe and makes breathing very difficult.

He has had a good and happy life with us but he's lost so much weight and is so weak that I can no longer see him suffer. Maybe tomorrow or maybe the day after or maybe the week after, I will have to play God. Just a tiny pinprick with the vet's needle and he'll go to sleep for the last time.

I will put him to rest under Noel's tree so that whenever I look at it, I'm reminded of my best canine friend as well as my best human friend.

There'll never be another Noel and there'll never be another Malty.