Email sent this morning

Dear Dr. Smith;

Thanks for responding to my wife Becky in November. The information you provided was very helpful, and I hope you understand our not getting back to you to thank you: we’ve been in denial since then as Zeke has given us a few more months of companionship, enjoying himself for the most part.

And now it looks like it’s time. Despite a still-robust appetite he’s losing weight. Our regular vets at Four Corners in Concord have done everything they can, and Dr. Kubicka there told me yesterday that he thinks it’s time. Zeke is a shepherd-mix mutt who’s made it to age 16, and heroically lived through three years of arthritis in the hips, and though he is in surprisingly good overall health in most ways he is just fading, losing muscle mass and getting weaker. Dr. Kubicka mentioned the possibility that he may fall and break a bone, and obviously we want to avoid that if at all possible.

He suggests this week, but I have to think about my wife’s well-being as well. Zeke is not in serious discomfort, and I am at home 24/7 taking care of him, and I’d like to see if we can get him through to the weekend of February 16: Becky has a four-day weekend, and I think the time together will help us deal with the loss to the extent that we can.

So what I would like to ask is whether you have time available for us here in Pinole on Friday, February 16 to put our dog down. I will be monitoring him closely in the interim, and it may be that we will decide to push things up depending on whether he begins to deteriorate more quickly. I understand that an urgent call involves some inconvenience to you and thus further cost, and we will try to give as much advance notice as possible if we need to change his date.

We have read the material you provided. We will be interring Zeke in our garden. He weighed 38 pounds yesterday: I hope he won’t have lost too much by the 16th, but it is likely.

I don’t know whether you make a habit of getting to know about the animals you work with — I can see good reasons why you would and equally good reasons why you would not — but if you care to, I have written extensively about Zeke on my website at

I can be reached at home at [phone number] if you have any questions or concerns.

19 thoughts on “Email sent this morning

  1. handdrummer

    Oh Chris, I am so sorry….

    Please give Zeke several thousand hugs and a million skritches from his online friends.

    And tell him we will hold him in our hearts always.

    Oh damn… oh f*ck….

  2. Amanda

    Dear Chris,

        It sounds as though you are going with the flow.  You are not rushing, you are not delaying, and you are simply following Zeke down the path. 

        Call me crazy, but I think Zeke knows you know that he knows that it’s time.  Zeke trusts you, you trust him, and you’re both holding up your respective ends of the bargain.  He will be there for you as long as he can, just to reciprocate your love and affection -even when it hurts him like hell to do so.  He knows it’s time to move on, but he can only do so much on his own:  he’s become accustomed to following your lead.  Now you are following his.  I’m sure Zeke knows how lucky he is to have spent his life with you and Becky:  two of the most caring, passionate, compassionate, loving, and faithful human friends he could have hoped for.  And Zeke loves you for it. 

      I wanted to say more, but I think a commenter in the last post said it best.  That quote is below.  I thought it was too important to have on the second page. 

      Peace and Love to Zeke.  I think of him as my own, as do so many here.  I’m weeping with you -as are many of us across the country.

        We couldn’t love you more.

    I wish you all the best the world can offer and all the blessings that you most certainly deserve.


    —->>He’s had a wonderful life, Chris.  Adventures, revelations, and feasts.  Love, protection, and the deep soul satisfaction of being protective; of belonging and mattering. 

    Something you said a few months ago has stuck with me:  “He is irrevocably a Good Dog.

  3. in medias res

    I am so sorry, I cannot help weeping. There is something about your devotion to Zeke and your persistent sharing of the details and deep sorrow of your impending loss that touches a very deep chord. I think that many of us who have gone through this terrible rite of passage have done so fairly alone in terms giving it the significance we feel it has; so that it became almost a hidden process -private, not shouted, trumpeted, shared with the world for the overwhelming sorrow and loss that it is and remains for years – forever, as far as I know, because it is still with me years since the event. All I can offer, aside from my shared sorrow is that my Zeke still shows up all the time in my life, checking in on me, sharing his presence, and I am again overwhelmed with missing him. I appreciate so much your generous airing of your grief and loss. It brings mine to the surface and eliminates the unconscious secrecy of pain. A very great gift. Thank you.

  4. JeffL

    Chris, as I read the last few entries, I bit down on the urge to point out to you that it felt like it was time.  It’s not my place, and I’m not there.  I simply hoped & trusted that your love for Zeke would lead you to the right place.  And it has.

    It was 5 years ago that I put down Rocky, my cat.  It was the one of the hardest things I’d ever done—and one of best things I’ve ever done for her.

    My thoughts are with you, and Zeke, and Becky.