Here is how it panned out. I warn you now that I leave out no detail.
Kim rang me in a panic at about 1630 at work and told me to get home because Butch had lost the function of his hind quarter He simply collapsed due to old age. Essentially he was paralysed from the waist down, and could not walk any more. Kim rushed him to the vet with the assistance of our lovely neighbour Renata. Ben came along as well because Kim believed that it was important that he was a part of what was going on. They had to leave Holly at home by herself.
I rushed straight to the vets from the train station and was ushered into what I can only describe as a funeral parlour for pets. Kim had Butch in her arms and both Ben and her were crying. I started as well. She let me know that our vet, Gloria (one of the nicest vets I know), said that there was no guarantee that he would regain the function of his legs if he underwent an operation and that it was probably best if he was put to sleep, which is vet speak for euthanasia. Butch was 15 and half years old which was 108.5 in dog years, so the chances of him recovering were minimal indeed. So to spare him any further pain, we had a big decision to make. At this stage Renata took Ben home, as we thought it would be too much for him to bare.
So, after much deliberation we made the decision to have him put to sleep. Taking full responsibility for our decision, we spent about 15 minutes talking to Butch hoping he would forgive us, we signed the release form and the vet came in and gave him a sedative to calm him down. We gave him a final kiss and he gave us a lick each as if to tell us that it was alright. After a further 10 minutes of tears, Gloria came in with the big green needle, and Butch passed away in my lap at 1830. I balled my ears out and so did Kim, and we left soon afterwards. When we got home, Holly started looking for him, and we had to comfort her as well.
He will be returned to us in about a week cremated, and we will scatter his ashes around a fruit tree in the front yard that we will plant in his honour. He always loved to mooch around the front yard when he was around. A fitting resting place for a wonderful pet and friend.
I haven't stopped crying during this entire post, and the emotions are still raw. So as a tribute to my grumpy little teddy, here is an expose of pictures throughout his lifetime. Please indulge me.
Me and my mate when we were both a few years younger.
When Ben was a baby. We had him for a long, long time.
Sporting his technicolour dream coat.
Pretending to be a cowboy.
Stealing my snow peas.
Watching Signs. It was a scary movie, even for a brave dog like Butch!
Enjoying a good curry.
With his girlfriend Holly, who misses him terribly, as we all do.
Helping out with the chicken house. He loved the chooks and looked out for them.
To finish off the post here is a wonderful poem that a friend sent us.
Goodbye my friend. You are missed. Until we meet again.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.....