My buddy Jake
My heart is filled with sadness tonight as our journey together that started over a year ago has now ended.
That spunky little Golden Retriever puppy with the funny walk that came into my clinic back then had a way of capturing the hearts of anyone who met him. And when we discovered you had such a rare bleeding disorder that all the specialists were telling us to put you down, you never gave up. As sick as you were that first hurdle, you pushed that racquetball around to show me you still wanted to be here. And so began our journey. When you would bleed, you knew your cage to go to without having to be led to it, you knew I would put the IV in and start your medicines, and you would look at me as if to say "OK, doc, fix me up so I can get back to the business of living." And so we would. Through all the rocks you ate, and the plastic, and the exercise ball - Lord knows you didn't make it easy on me, Jake. Getting a "normal" dog through all of that is challenging, let alone getting a hemophiliac through without a major bleed. But we did it together, and you were so blessed to have found a family that loved you so much to do whatever you needed to make you better, to give you a chance to be a normal dog so you could run and play and swim. You met all of those challenges head on, with a courage that was touching to this doctor who has seen it all over the years, and you taught me and so many others what it means to love, and to be loved, in the face of such adversity. Your time here was short, but your impact was great, and you leave us tonight wishing we could have had so many more adventures together. The last couple weeks were hard, but still you were trying so hard, and so was I. That last cryo infusion I gave you, I gave with tears in my eyes as you went back to the cage you knew all too well, and you looked at me again ready for me to fix you back up, but I knew this time was different. I'm sorry, little man, I tried my hardest to do it again, but I just couldn't this time, your body had had enough, even though your heart and your spirit were still fighting. This afternoon, as I walked past your spot in the yard, past your little rubber duckies you would swim with, to see your tail wag as you saw me, the tears flowed again. And as I started your last IV, as you looked at me again with trust in your eyes, I had to give you medicine that would end our journey together, after all that we had been through, and all that we had fought so hard to make it past. Forgive me, my friend, know that I loved you and will never forget you, rest well, until we meet again...