Life is strange with its twist and turns. Last week started off like any week with mom walking me early in the morning to beat the heat. When we came back, we all saw the condition of my brother, Edmond. He had deteriorated literally overnight. I sensed mom and dad’s hearts breaking, and I smelled something I’d never smelled before.
I was planning on blogging about the last leg of my Utah trip, but I can’t. Not today. I have gone through something very profound, and for the first time in my entire 12-year-life, I don’t have my brother at home with me.
Mom called the vet Monday afternoon to schedule “the appointment.” My brother, who used to be bigger than me physically and always larger than life with his personality, was struggling to stand. He stopped eating and couldn’t do his number two. He was trying desperately to fight the inevitable, and I felt for him.
I’ve lived such a privileged life, and I haven’t never known a day of hunger or sadness…well, until now. Edmond, on the other hand, was kicked out from his previous humans in Murrieta, California. They abandoned him and left him for dead. He’s one smart dude, though. He found my mom and dad’s house, started living in their palm tree, and meowed at them to take him in. He immediately became part of the family.
Edmond loved rolling around in the grass, and on a hot summer’s day, he would be lying under the shade of a Plumbago bush. He had the loudest purr and chirped when he saw birds. In his hay days, he was quite the killer, bringing home birds, mice and large rabbits to mom and dad. I don’t think they ever ate any of them, but it didn’t stop him from sharing.
Even though he was tough and strong at 17 pounds of solid muscle, he had the biggest heart. He always knew when mom or dad needed a cuddle. Mom was personal training back in California, and he would encourage clients to do their best.
He left the California house and moved to Colorado, where we met. He was huge! I was just this little pup with a bubble butt. He wasn’t sure what to make of me at first, but when I went running past him one day, he realized I wasn’t chasing him but playing. We had fun together, and in time, even snuggled and took naps side by side.
He’s the one who helped me when the family moved yet again from Colorado to Texas. I was so scared because everything I knew was being packed up in boxes. He assured me that all my stuff would be on the other side. We hunkered down in my kennel for the long haul, and lo and behold, everything was in the new house!
We had double the space in Houston and enjoyed exploring that place from top to bottom. Before we knew it, that stupid moving truck was outside again. Once again, my brother was my moving buddy. He would be all calm in the hotels at night, but I was still a little anxious. At least we were together!
We landed in Phoenix, where we live today. Edmond quickly found spots in the house to catch sunbeams and watch the birds. He loved soft, cushy beds and even stole mine from time to time! He could drink my water and nibble on my food, but his was up high so I couldn’t touch it. So unfair!
His favorite thing to do was come inside the bedroom using the cat door, which I couldn’t fit through, and walk right by me…like “talk to the butt!” He’d jump on mom and dad’s bed and meow so loud we thought the neighbors would be awoken. Once we were all up, he’d leave and go back to patrolling the house. This would happen several times a night. And you wonder why I nap during the day?
I am very proud to say that I taught Edmond how to beg for food. When mom had something delish, we would sit right at her feed and give her “the look.” I mean, who could say no to TWO sets of adorable eyes? Not my mom, that’s for sure! I usually got the food, and Edmond enjoyed extra pets.
We’ve been a family of four with a cat-like dog and a cat who was more like a dog. We are now three, and the house is awfully quiet. I don’t bark much, but Edmond would meow and talk all the time. Any person who came over would get an ear full. I guess because he was older, he had more stories to tell. That responsibility now falls to me.
Mom and dad laid him by me so we could say goodbye. I smelled the death without really understanding what it meant. I just knew my brother wasn’t himself, and he was suffering. He shared something with me that only today mom comprehended. He was struggling to breathe but kept shaking himself alert on Tuesday. Mom and dad hoped he would just fall asleep and never wake up, but that wasn’t how Edmond wanted it.
Edmond waited until his appointment time, and when he was at the vet’s office and out of the house, he passed peacefully with mom and dad holding him. Thank you, Dr. Grossman at Sonoran Pet Clinic, for being there for my folks. They needed your steady hands when theirs were shaking.
Edmond didn’t want any of us to have the horrible memory of his death in our home. No, that’s now he rolls. He wanted us to remember all the good, the funny, and the happy times we’ve had in this house together. Even in the end, he was a giver.
I have big paws to fill, and in all honesty, I’m hurting. I keep walking up to his favorite spots and looking for him. My head knows he isn’t coming home, but my heart keeps hoping. I know mom and dad are really sad and miss him something fierce.
I wasn’t happy when mom took off the very next day for a planned trip to California, but it gave dad and I time together. Edmond was extra close to dad, just like mom and I are peas and carrots. Mom said since Edmond found them in California, it brought some closure for her to be back there. Many people have known him and will remember him.
Then there were storms over the weekend. Good grief! How much can one dog take? Dear friends, Doug & Dee, had me and dad over for pizza. Getting out of the house was good for a change of scenery, and I definitely appreciated the company.
And so, I will be mindful of how I can support my folks. I will take naps with mom and rough house with dad. I’ll adjust to being home alone because I know my brother would want me to live on and be happy. I’ll do my very best to live a long, healthy life like he did. He would be 20 tomorrow. Happy birthday and goodbye, my dear, sweet brother. Thank you for always being there for us all.
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
and be sure to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog/ and Instagram: kumaitothedog
Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!