London



"Goodbye London, we love you." Said Ace after he helped me bury our dog today.

We took London for a last walk earlier this afternoon. He barely made it and refused to drop the meaty bone I had given him an hour before. He held the bone as though it was a prize duck he had caught. He looked regal and proud. I had a nice little fire in the backyard Saturday evening and was able to cuddle London and have wonderful philosophical discussions with him about replenishing the soil and time travel. He was most attentive and gave me delicate and clear answers by placing his head on my lap as only he could do. We invited and welcomed him to wander through our home all last week. He slept in his usual places and pooped wherever he was. We cleaned up after him and patted him on the head.

Rio and I deserve the parenting gold medal of honor for how we have handled Ace throughout this process. We have been discussing with Ace since Christmas that London was going to die. We've remained very matter-of-fact regarding what was happening, the where and whys leaving out only the fact that we were making the decision to end his life.

I escorted the vet around the side of the house to London who was on the back deck leaving an unknowing, unsuspecting little boy in front of the TV watching The Best of Thomas The Tank Engine. Before opening the gate, I told the vet that if London appeared energetic, it was probably from the half pound of chocolate we had let him nibble on and did not reflect his overall state of health. As it happened, London tried to stand but fell over. She assured us that it was time. We knew. A brief shock after the injection and he was out. He was very calm and without a struggle, went to sleep. Rio and I cried. I asked for the same injection. Later, Rio mentioned that the calm and caring demeanor of our vet was similar to that of a mid-wife, only at the end of life. She was absolutely correct.

I escorted our vet through the house and told Ace, who was the TV that London's doctor was here to check on him and, that London had in fact died. The vet said to Ace, London was very happy and is OK now.I was grateful she stopped at that and Ace said, "Daddy, shall we bury London now?"To which I replied, "Soon, son. Let me take care of a few things and then, if you would like, you can come say goodbye to him.""Great Daddy."Said my little man. "I'll finish watching Thomas and help you when it's over."

I threw my back out on the third shovel load. Rio said, "I'll dig the hole." I told Rio that London was our dog but I had to say to her, in this way, "He's my dog and I will bury him." I dug a 3X5 foot hole, 5 feet deep. It was mostly mud. Rio and I brought Ace outside to see London who was lying on his side, a posture he had not been in for months due to the pain in his hind legs. Ace gently stroked his fur and said, "He's so soft. He's so beautiful."

With Ace back in the house, Rio and I placed London in the hole in a flurry of tears and joy over his life. I put his chewy treats next to his mouth and covered him with a few feet of dirt. Ace told Rio he wanted to help and came outside, took a shovel and helped me bury our dog.

Ace had many questions about how other animals were buried including giraffes to which I told him, it would take a back-hoe to dig a hole deep enough to bury a giraffe. He asked about lions and gazelles. It was a good experience to have with him. Ace asked if we could pet London one last time and I almost lost it. I told him that London's job was now to replenish the soil and feed our pear tree and the flowers. We finished covering London and Ace said, "Goodbye London, we love you." We are taking Ace to a nursery to choose the flowers we will plant on London's grave.

It was a gray, cold day today& our favorite kind of day.

Goodbye London, we love you.

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