At approximately 8:15 this morning we said goodbye to our beloved Butch. My heart aches to know that I can no longer reach out and touch his soft fur, but I feel a sense of relief that his beautiful spirit has been released from his tired body.
Butch's condition deteriorated rapidly in the hours following yesterday's post. By late afternoon he could no longer get up without assistance. When we helped him up, his back legs didn't work properly and sometimes his feet landed on the tops of his paws instead of on the pads. He fell a few times. Last night he could not get comfortable and slept no more than an hour and a half all night long. His breathing was distressed, but he didn't cry, and I am hoping that means he wasn't in a lot of pain.
By dawn today he was disoriented. I've posted before about not wanting to put him through the trauma of a car ride on what might be his last trip to the vet, but this morning we needed to get him there fast. As I sat beside him in the backseat of the car, he did not seem to be stressed, and I can say in all honesty that I don't think he even realized where he was.
For months I have dreaded having to make the decision to end Butch's life. This morning that decision was an easy one. This time, I knew, Butch's brave spirit wasn't going to pull him through.
I know that some of you have grown to love Butch after getting to know him on these pages, so I will offer condolences to you and know that you understand the magnitude of my own loss. Wherever Butch's spirit is as I write these words, I hope he can run fast and see for miles and miles and miles.
March 19, 1998 - February 9, 2012
(First published at Velvet Sacks on February 9, 2012.)