Goodbye Alfie

If you’re looking for a laugh, or a lift to your day, I’m sorry but I can’t provide that for you today.

Today I’m in a cloud of sadness and fog after we said goodbye to our beautiful boy Alfie yesterday.

I’ve worried about this time since we got Alfie. Since he chose us as his family and exhausted us with his love. He was a dog. “Just a dog,” people say. I don’t even know whether I should really feel this hollow from his passing, but I do.

We had him for three years and one week. And for all three of those years he was the brightest, happiest, sunniest and most loving animal I’ve ever encountered. Some would tease us for how much we coddled him, letting him sleep in our arms, kissing him on the nose and telling him we loved him every chance we got. Now that he’s gone, I’m so happy that we loved him out loud. Given the chance I’d double the kisses, the hugs, the pats, the affection and the love. But sadly, we don’t have that chance now.

Alfie got sick a week ago. He had a day of vomiting that we put down to his habit of thieving food from the bin. After a couple of days he still wasn’t eating so we took him to the vet. They diagnosed a stomach virus and gave us bright pink antibiotics to give him. We used bubba’s panadol syringe to dribble the dissolved tablets into his mouth. We picked him up onto our laps and let him fall asleep lying between us.

A few more days passed and there was no improvement. He went back to the vet who thought, this time, he could feel something in his stomach. He came home for a night before the X-Ray. He was wretched. He was an old dog all of a sudden. Stooped over, in pain, crying in the night. We held him tight. He was sick again in the night and the morning before the vets. Taking Bubba to daycare I said my goodbyes at the house. Kissing him on the nose and telling him he’d feel so much better by the end of the day.

The Viking said Alfie wouldn’t get out of the car at the vets. Our energiser bunny of a dog, who would run for miles to chase a ball, had to be carried into the vets.

I spoke to the vets in the early afternoon. There was something suspicious on the X-Ray. How did I feel about surgery? I said “please, do whatever you need to.” I assumed, like last time, they’d go in, find whatever it was, remove it and we’d have him home the next day. I had booked an appointment for a facial. I could hear my phone vibrating as the therapist massaged my face.

I checked my phone.

Three missed calls from home.

I rung the Viking. Fear. Disbelief. We had to make a choice.

“No, that’s not right. Take a deep breath, I’ll call them and it will all be fine.” I rang the vet myself. Inside our little pooch they’d found perforations and poisoned tissue, caused by a stick consumed a month ago. If they operated there was only a small chance of survival – and a survival where he wouldn’t be able to function properly, absorb food, be himself. We had to let him go.

The dog, who one week ago was chasing bubbles and running on the beach, jumping on visitors and licking our faces, would never wake up again. We went in to see him, after he’d gone. Sleeping peacefully and looking so like a puppy that it broke my heart. We told him again that we loved him. We kissed his nose. We buried our faces in his soft soft fur and stroked his ears. We said goodbye. In english, norsk, maori – it all meant the same thing.

And now we’re home, and trying to find the best way to tell a two-year-old that her best friend who has guarded her and loved her since before she was even born, is gone. We said he’s gone to heaven and he’s happy, that Mama and Papa are just sad because we miss him so much. She’s been blowing him kisses and saying she loves him. I’m so scared she’ll forget him.

At the moment we’re lost. People go through so much more than losing a pet, but for us, this is losing a quarter of our family.

We went outside this morning and the last of our monarch butterfly cocoons was hatching. We’ve lost some of them, some were weak and took hours until they flew, if at all. This one came out big, bright and strong. It flapped its wings with pride. The Viking put his finger down and it crawled straight onto it. We went out into the open air and it sat happily on his hand. After a minute it flew up, circling us and our house, dipping and diving. It flew off strong and happy.

I’m writing this post because I don’t really know what else to do. For me, writing heals. And we need to heal now. The shock is wearing off and the pain of reality is setting in. I can’t fathom that our future babies won’t grow up with Alfie at their side, that our dream house with the huge section won’t feature a golden spoodle sprinting through the paddocks. He was so incredibly loved, and equally as loving.

We will never forget him.

Rest in Peace my darling boy.

Alfie – February 2011 – April 2014 IMG_1377

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Comments

  1. Éadaoin says:

    So so sorry to hear of your loss Steph. You write so evocatively. Wishing you all strength of spirit and happy memories.

  2. Alfie knew he was on to a good thing when he chose you guys to be his family. Anika will never forget her best friend, and he will continue to look after her. Take care, lots of love xxxx

  3. Oh Steph, that is SO heartbreaking! Sending big hugs to you guys xx

  4. Oh Steph, that IS heartbreaking! Sending big hugs to you guys xx

  5. Alfie was so lucky to have such an incredible family. He was such a beautiful light and so, so unforgettable. We will always remember him and his boundless happiness and big heart. We are so sad with you Mama. Sending loads of healing love xxx

  6. ♥ feeling a very heavy heart for you all xxx warm hugs & loads of love ♥♥