He is my best friend. He is the light of my life. He is gone.
My anything-but-standard poodle, Orson, was put to sleep yesterday. He was exactly six and a half years old. It was stomach cancer, throughout 75% of his stomach, that did it. It was found during exploratory surgery after he stopped eating, had x-rays and barium test. I found out about the cancer at 3:39PM yesterday. I made the call to put him to sleep at 3:57PM. I didn’t want to be there for it. I couldn’t watch the light disappear. He knew I loved him dearly, that I love him with all of my heart.
Orson and I have been together since February, 2010. His previous owner was killed in a car crash. It’s very likely that Orson had cancer from the minute he entered my life, but you would have never known it. He was always a happy boy, special, to be sure. Special needs, one could say. The lights, with Orson, were always on, but, at least 85% of the time, nobody was home.
I now realize that my role in his life was to give him the best life I could with what little time he had to begin with. I didn’t always succeed, but I always made sure the car window was rolled down just enough so he could stick his head out and feel the breeze, so he could bite at oncoming trucks and receive a Chicken McNugget from the drive-thru girls at McDonald’s that loved him. He loved those McNuggets. He loved pizza. He loved beer. He was Daddy’s baby boy. He was my son. And now I have a fluffy white hole in my broken heart. I know it will heal over time, and I know he will always be with me.
His great grandma, who died in January, was buried with a picture of him. He was her special boy too. They always had secrets: ice cream, greasy bacon, pizza, creamed chicken, copious treats, big walks in the park. He gave her happiness in the last year of her life, and she gave him happiness in the last of his. I like to think that they’re taking walks in the park now, together, eating bacon and creamed chicken sandwiches, and that he’s doing the poodle twirl and running into furniture every time he sees her.
Orson, it has been the greatest joy in my life to have given you the best life I could. Daddy will always love you, and will always miss you. You were the best son I could have asked for.
Now, paw. [Gives paw.] Good boy. Here’s your treat. Go take a walk with your great-grandma, and don’t shit in my pergola. I love you buddy.