Saturday, August 21, 2010

Birthday Boys

Parker and Me
Thursday Parker and I celebrated birthdays. Yes, I share my birthday with our dog. I turned 51 and he turned 12. Two years ago, the day after the heart transplant, Barbie asked what I wanted for my birthday. "I already got it," I said referring to my new heart. Last year again she asked and without skipping a beat I asked for only one thing, another birthday. I had to wait a whole year for the present. It arrived on Thursday morning at 12:00:01 A.M. (I was awake as it was my Decadron day). It may be boring, but I just can't imagine a better gift than to be present for another year. Even so, it was a bittersweet day. Barbie and I enjoyed the day together. We went to the temple in the morning, took a hike to Hidden Falls in the afternoon and had friends over for cake and ice cream that night. However, Parker could not get up all day. This was the third day that he could not walk. He would cry to go outside and we would need to carry him over the threshold. Labradors tend to have hip problems and he has be slowing down for over a year. They are stoic, but it was clear he was suffering. Barbie and I talked it over with Caitlin and we knew it was time. It is a really hard decision to say goodbye to a pet that has been with the family for 12 years. Parker's sole desire was to be near us all of the time.
Friday morning, as I left for work, Parker was on the kitchen floor. When he saw me he lifted his head and began wagging his tail. I leaned down and patted his head as I said Goodbye. It was a really hard day at work. I had eight cases and felt physically and emotionally drained. I couldn't talk about it. It just hurt too much. Barbie and Caitlin took him to the vet. He reassured them that we were doing the right thing.
Today the house just feels different. Even though you knew this day would eventually come; nothing can quite prepare you for it. He will be missed.



Mary Jane Smith said...

So sorry. I can just see Parker with his stuffed animal in his mouth and his tail wagging away. What a sweet dog. So sad. Happy Birthday, anyway.

Wendy said...

Awww, that is so sad. I never thought I'd be a true pet lover until last year when we adopted our cat, Jack. I can't imagine how we would feel if something happened to take Jack away from us. Parker has been a part of your family almost as long as I've known you guys! Our sincere condolences. xoxo

Brooke Trogdon said...

I'm so sorry for your loss of Parker but I'm so happy that you celebrated another birthday. As sad as it is to lose Parker, I think we would all be infinitely more sad if we lost you.

With love,
Brooke (you're one of many nieces)

Jennifer Brailsford said...

My whole family had a similar experience when we said goodbye to Buie

Anonymous said...

Up here in Anchorage, we had an analogous event. Our 13 year old yellow lab Sam, who had been with us through Rich's illness from the beginning, went into sudden decline in the same fashion only two weeks ago. Rich was away on a trip and the night he returned, Sam suddenly had great difficulty walking. We had x-rays, tried meds, and despite that he was worse. After three days, the vet advised that putting him through more testing would be cruel to such an old guy. Rich and I held him in our arms and said a tearful goodbye as he was put down. The wonderful thing about such bonds is their strength. It is also the hard part since we have different life spans. I'm so sorry to hear about Parker. I can envision him and our Sam swimming effortlessly together through the clouds (labs being labs...).


Vasca said...

We had a gorgeous husky (Dani...a female) and Fancy, a beautiful tiny eskimo. We spent a lot of love on them; they on us. Both of them have been gone for several years and I still miss those two. Now we've a beautiful Ragdoll cat, Gibby, who is totally adored...feeling is mutual. Can't imagine being w/o her and we share your feelings...but thankful you've celebrated another b'day. Nice!

Emma and Dan said...

Oh! I'm so sorry! I was thinking of you and Parker both recently because of your shared bday, and I didn't know that he was doing so poorly. He's always been a part of your family to me. What a sweetie.
I'm glad that you were able to spend another birthday (YAY) with wonderful Barbie and beautiful Caitlin.
I hope that you and Barbie had a fantastic anniversary! We went to dinner for ours. We had both kids with us, but it was so nice to go out to eat. :)

Aunt Renie said...

Pets give so much love - especially family dogs! And they love us for loving them back. The most loving gift we can give them when their bodies no longer work is to set their spirits free. I wonder if that's how God feels about us.

Darlene Anderson said...

I'm glad you're here and am praying for many, many, many more birthday celebrations for you!! Love and life are so sweet and what a blessing to have Parker to share in the joy and sorrows for 12 long dog-years. He was a big, loving, goofy sweetheart; I miss him too.