Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

My life thus far.. and the loss of another one of my closest friends on this earth

Posted by fozzynok on 10/05/2014

Mallory with Cookie

Well its been a pretty whirlwind tour of try, fail and getting my teeth kicked in. So much for the old man in the sea. I worked out in California for a few months and it became glaringly apparent that there was no way things would work out unless I put every single chip on the table and doubled down on everyone’s future. If I were some single man with no cares and responsibility, I would have tossed the dice. Too much to lose, to many people would have to take the gamble with me and that is just not far to anyone.

So after four months of living with one of the best friends a man could possibly have, I had to admit to myself that it was all for naught, took my pride and just went back to a place that I have no allegiance to, a place that holds practically nothing that is good for me. A place that I refuse to be buried, a place that I would have never chosen to die in and a place I flat out refuse to be buried in.. So anyone who reads this.. if you hear of my passing for some reason.. I’ve told more that a few people where I’m wanting to wind up.. and at that point, I will be the old man in the sea.

I got back to Oklahoma, and it seems like everything instantly started to crater at ever increasing speed. The dryer quit working, a couple of auto calamities, personal family things, and the list went on and on. Add that to the fact that the job market here apparently is for those either under my age or over my current social status. I have never ever been without a job this long in my life. Sitting and looking out the window and at several sources for jobs is nothing that can remotely called relaxing. I have lots of people who say that I deserve a break. I wish I had that ability to relax.

The most traumatic event and this is going to sound really dumb after all the things that have happened over the years was the loss of my oldest and dearest little fur kid. It’s one of those things that you know will happen and one of those things that you accept as a pet owner. I have yet to hear from anyone who has just breezed through one of these things. This was as rough as I had imagined it, and just don’t want to have to do this again anytime soon

My wife originally acquired the little wayward dog. She was a cute little thing, a small Rat Terrier, with spots here and there and button ears and a fearless way about her. She was young just barely out of here puppy days and she like many other creatures, wandered into our lives and just decided that this was the place she wanted to be. I was against having the little dog as we were renters at the time and this was a no no. I just accepted that the four kids and the wife outranked me in this and settled in for what turned out to be a long long ride with what would become one of my cherished little items in my life. She became my dog, I never plan these things, I’m just apparently a sucker for animals.

The decision was to alter the name I had originally suggested.. I called her “Mallet head” for a few days and the family had decided that “Mallory” was a lot better to call this little pup. She was dirty and grimey and full of fleas as her owners were the type of pet owner who should of course never be allowed to own anything.. even a gold fish. She came, she stayed, and I was pretty much hers, and she was more mine than I would ever admit.

Mallory was around for almost 15 years. Years that saw little kids grow and become young adults, and then we saw my family move in other directions, she was there for the good days and she comforted me in the bad, dark days when I needed her to be there for nothing more than a little sounding board. All she required is a scratch and an pet, and some of my meals, that I of course gave way to much of. She was one of my only friends here. and I’m glad to say, I was one of hers.

Came the days where she just started showing the wear and tear of her life on her little body. She was still full of fire, but her body just couldn’t answer the call anymore. She started losing her teeth as some of the little breeds do. She started getting thin and her gait became rather spindly and uncertain,  We had started feeding her more food away from the other four legged family members, and she seemed to perk up for a few weeks. Then the morning came where I woke up and lifted her off of the bed and placed her on the floor so she could join the pack and lead them outside like always.

Instantly I noted that she wasn’t right, her left rear leg was no longer working and she could not hold herself up. She didn’t show any signs of pain, she just seemed very confused and upset. I watched her through the day, kept her wrapped up, and we called the vets.. no one could see her, so we made an appointment for the morning. This was something I knew would not be a good thing. She got worse and weaker throughout the day.

As nightfall approached, she started showing a lot of distress, she would try and get up and run and it was agonizing to watch.. I tried to comfort her and keep her in place and calm. I stayed up with her all night just wishing that she would calm down. Just before morning she stopped responding. The pain I guess was just too much for her and it was agonizing and as helpless a period of time I have probably as I had felt in a long time. I was scratched all up as she would start thrashing around trying to make herself work again, I would try and calm her and talk to her. The morning came and the clock came to the time we had to take her in.

We walked in and sat down and waited for the vet to call us back. We finally got back into an examining room, I at this point was prepared for what was coming. The vet walked into the room and his first response was sort of a sigh.. and he knew what it was and that there was really nothing to be done. I held her for a little while, but I don’t think she was really there anymore. The vet told us basically to say our goodbyes and let him know when to return.. We were asked not to stay in the room. I wish I could have done so, but she was no longer there. I couldn’t hold back the tears, it was really bad, I felt guilty over it and still do. I handed her to the vet assistant, rubbed her head one more time and we left the office. It was one of the worst days of my life.

Thank you Mallory, I love you and I will miss you until we meet on the other side of the curtain. You never failed me as many humans have and I will miss your kindness and warmth.

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