On 30th Nov. 2016, Rowdy was very sick. It had been two days of any solid food getting into her system, no toilet breaks in the last 30+ hours and no mobility for a day. The previous night, we made the hardest decision of putting her down. The doctor was supposed to buy the medicine and prepare the clinic and by lunch, we wanted to see it through.
My wife and I had taken off from work. We wanted to spend the last few hours with her. We wanted my son (all of 10 yrs) to stay too but then, for some reason, he decided to head to school and said that he wished two things: one, to take a selfie with all of us and two, to be brought back from school before we headed to the vet. In the rush of things to leave for school, I told him that we can do the selfie later that afternoon. And all this conversation happened in Rowdy’s presence, who was very much in pain and lying still on the floor.
Through the day, her health started to deteriorate faster than we had anticipated. There were many calls between us and the vet and for some reason, there were more unexpected delays with the vet.
By 1pm, I requested my wife to bring my son from school, sooner than his usual closing time. By 2ish, my son was home and requested me to take the selfie with Rowdy. We did our best to smile and take that pic. It was a difficult moment for all of us but we had to keep the “promise”. The picture was taken and then, we saw her slowly slip away. It was 2:55pm when her heart stopped for the last time.
I see this picture as a powerful message for our family. A picture that will remind us of the pain that this loving creature endured to keep her side of the promise even though it meant that she had to fight excruciating pain every second for several hours just to ensure that a 10-year old’s request was fulfilled.
Rowdy has always been a great teacher and a living example for compassion, integrity and endurance.