Letting your best friend go


Letting your best friend go is one of the hardest thing a person has to do. It’s with a heavy heart I must say, Rufus is no longer with us. He had steadily progressed downward since I made this blog post a little over a year ago When do you let your best friend go? , it was getting to the point where he was falling several times a day coming down our front steps. My wife and I had made the appointment for the Monday after Thanksgiving. We wanted to spend one last holiday with him.

My daughter had been strangely silent over the whole thing. She is 16 now and it isn’t cool for her to show emotions and such. She spent a couple days locked up in her bedroom listening to music. She came out and gave me these, She had been sitting in her room, going through pictures and pulled out her favorites.

This is her favorite picture of him and her, he is hugging her, almost protecting her, like he always did.


My daughter use to love putting on make up on her and rufus, she would put bow’s on him and give him a powder


she loved her puppy


she would cover him with her toys and he would just sit there and take it


they use to love blowing bubbles to each other


he would jump and try and catch them


and she would laugh and laugh and laugh, they did it for hours on end


but when we put her to sleep, he would be like finally! I have some alone time


I asked my wife if she was sure this is what she wanted to do. She replied yes, she was concerned with him falling down, it would come to the point where he would fall and break a leg, where I would have to end his suffering on my own she would not ask me to do that.

So my daughter and father spent the last hour with him, sitting, talking, telling him how much they loved him.

Then it was time, putting his collar on was so hard, my fingers wouldn’t work.

Come on boy, let’s go for a ride.

We got him in the back seat after helping him. We decided to stop at burger king and pick him up a couple double cheese burgers.

As we pulled out of burger king freebird started playing, I thought what a poignant song to be playing right now.

We got closer to the vets, and GNR knocking on heavens door started on the radio, I looked at my wife and said are you kidding me right now.

We pulled into the vets and luckily no one else was there, they scheduled no other appointments, so it was just us and rufus.

They took him right in to the room and the Dr came in, he went over what the procedure was. We will shave his leg, we will inject the drug into his vein, it will take less than a minute. There will be some residual motor activity, that isn’t him fighting, that’s just the death process.

The doctor asked me to put him on the table.

There’s no way.


There’s no way doc, he is in so much pain, there’s no way, heck I have tried helping him up from the floor and he has snapped at me,

me, the man he loves.

Well, we have to get him on the table, I can’t do it on the floor, we will have to muzzle him.

So the assistant grabbed a muzzle and I set it over his nose and we gently lifted him up onto the table.

He was scared and wetted himself.

I grabbed his muzzle and started kissing him, looking him in the eye, telling him it was okay, he was a good boy, I love you.

I just kept saying that over and over as they shaved his leg, I was breathing in his breaths, kissing him over and over. When the vet administered the shot, I just kept holding him, kissing him, looking into his eyes, I wanted, I needed him to know he was loved, I wanted my face to be the last thing he saw.

And his breath slowed

his eyes, faded

and he was gone

and I lost it

I totally lost it

and now it’s done

People have been reaching out and sending me thoughts, prayers and well wishes. Things that will help overcome the sorrow. He are a few that really stood out for me.


Just this side of heaven is a place called the 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 vigor. 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…

You’re giving me a special gift,
So sorrowfully endowed,
And through these last few cherished days,
Your courage makes me proud.

But really, love is knowing
When your best friend is in pain,
And understanding earthly acts
Will only be in vain.

So looking deep into your eyes,
Beyond, into your soul,
I see in you the magic, that will
Once more make me whole.

The strength that you possess,
Is why I look to you today,
To do this thing that must be done,
For it’s the only way.

That strength is why I’ve followed you,
And chose you as my friend,
And why I’ve loved you all these years…
My partner ’til the end.

Please, understand just what this gift,
You’re giving, means to me,
It gives me back the strength I’ve lost,
And all my dignity.

You take a stand on my behalf,
For that is what friends do.
And know that what you do is right,
For I believe it too.

So one last time, I breathe your scent,
And through your hand I feel,
The courage that’s within you,
To now grant me this appeal.

Cut the leash that holds me here,
Dear friend, and let me run,
Once more a strong and steady dog,
My pain and struggle done.

And don’t despair my passing,
For I won’t be far away,
Forever here, within your heart,
And memory I’ll stay.

I’ll be there watching over you,
Your ever faithful friend,
And in your memories I’ll run,
…a young dog once again.



Last Minutes with ODEN from Eliot Rausch on Vimeo.

you always waited for me, keep waiting, I will be there some day, RIP my friend