Loosing a best friend

March 6, 2010 § 4 Comments

So on Thursday morning Carlton woke me up around 6am and told me to call my Mom, that he had texts from her that Shiloh was sick. I was in a bit of shock of course, as I was quickly awakened and really disoriented. I quickly grabbed my cell and saw two texts from my mom and sister. Both implied Shiloh was sick, but they were sent around 2am. Given I had nothing past that, I thought maybe he was ok. I ran to the other room and called my mom. She answered, and started to explain that around midnight Shiloh started to act very strange, crying wimpering and having his tail down. That she had tried walking him, but that during his walks he was biting down on his leash hard, and seemed to be going downhill quickly. My sister Becca had tried to let him out, and he tried to run away. This was not like Shiloh at all..Becca and I have always been scared that if he was trying to run away it’s because he was going to die..so my mom, Becca and her boyfriend Mike got Shi in the car and to the emergency vet on the otherside of Syracuse. My mom recalled, petting Shi in the backseat while Becca frantically tried to keep it together while driving.

They got to the vet, and they did an Xray. The Xray showed Shiloh’s stomach had flipped. They had to put him to sleep immediately. The Dr.’s were able to give him some strong pain medication, which made him very loopy but took the pain away so my Mom and Becca could have a bit of time to say Goodbye.

It wasn’t until that point in my Mom talking that I realized that he was gone.. Shiloh was gone. I lost it, sobbing and just overwhelmed by shock and grief. I immediately stated to to think, “no, it wasn’t supposed to happen like this”. See he had been diagnosed with a Sarcoma in January, and we had been told it was super slow moving and that his heart and lungs were strong so Shi would most likely die of natural causes. Stomach flipping is not a natural cause in my book. The other crazy part is Shi had a really bad habit of swallowing EVERYTHING, he has ate more underwear,washcloth’s, socks in his life- and never even needed a dr. Now how after all this, could this happen to him.

My next thoughts were for my Dad. He had been working out of town (he’s a lineman for National Grid) restoring power to people downstate since the big snow storm last week. My dad hadn’t been there to say Goodbye, which is something he had mentioned in conversation about Shiloh’s sarcoma- how important it was for him to be there with him when he went. I  wanted to be there too, Shiloh was our family, our friend.

The past few days I have been overwhelmed by grief, for Shiloh, and for my mom and dad and Becca too. I also have been especially sad for Chaz my dog. Chaz just loves Shiloh so much. The first year I had Chaz we were living at home while I was going through chemo. So when Chaz was a puppy he has Shiloh to “teach him the ropes”. Because of that he has a lot of similar mannerisms and little quirks that Shiloh did. Chaz talks a lot, like Shi. He also pounces, and has quite the attitude. Which we love. 🙂 It will be tough to head home with Chaz in a few weeks and see him looking all over for Shiloh. I don’t know if I can even prepare for that..

I have also been so thankful to have had Shiloh growing up. Becca and I were really sad when our dog Bobby died when we were young. I was 9 and she was only 6 I think..so we begged and begged for a dog so when my Dad walked through the door that early summer afternoon after a day spent fishingand shouted, “SARAH, BECCA— I  caught this big hairy fish” He then unzipped his jacket and out jumped Shiloh. We cried tears of joy and hugged Shiloh for what felt like days. We’ve both spent the past 14 years kissing him goodnight, tucking him into bed and always considering him when we left the house. When we left for college, we were so sad to leave Shi behind, standing in the window watching us drive away. It was really at that time that it became clear how important he was to my parents too. My mom had been his primary caretaker, because we really didn’t do anything but the occasional walk- so when we left for school Shi started getting more attention. It’s so hard to think that he’s really gone. If it’s so hard for me, I can’t imagine what the three of them are going through being home. I want to be with them, but I think it would be really hard.
Friends and family have been so supportive. One of my best friends has been Shi’s petsitter for the past few years, and her support/love/phonecalls/cards has been so wonderful. Carlton has been an unbelievable source of support. He grew to love Shiloh over the past 4 years that we’ve been together. So in that way, he is grieving with me. He’s let me share stories, laughs and tears with him- and just been giving me all the space and time I need. That is priceless. I am so lucky to have an amazing partner.

Shiloh was a funny, loving, caring and smart boy. We are all so sad to lose him, but we will not forget him ever. I am so happy he will get to meet a new playmate Bobby (our first dog) and a variety of cousins and most importantly he is now reunited with my Poppa. He loved Shiloh too! I hope they are all sitting around playing and laughing.

Loosing important people in your life, and in my family Shiloh is people- is extremely difficult. And I thank all of my family and friends for their prayers/love and support.


§ 4 Responses to Loosing a best friend

  • Laura Flynn says:

    Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear this… I remember your mom bringing him to the play days at Donlin when you first got him! We had a dog growing up, Bitsy, she lived to be 16 and passed away when I was a Freshman in college and I wasn’t there for it either… I’m so sorry for your loss. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Keep remembering the great memories and he’ll stay in your heart forever!

  • Emily Beck says:

    Sorry about your pooch, Sarah, but what a sweet tribute.

  • Mary Marshall says:

    Oh, Sarah, I am so sorry to hear about Shiloh! I first saw it on your Mom’s facebook…It is so ironic that that happened to his stomach! I remember him eating the leather sofa, and something like $300 once? And of course the scruchies and leggings(when becca was a lot smaller!). Our pets truly become a part of our families…and I think Standards are so unique-they really do think they are people. My dog will be laying in his bed(in our bedroom) and after I shut out the light he has to come over and put his paws on the side of my bed…like he has to make sure Mama’s still there and hasn’t disappeared in the dark. I know you are all so sad…you will always miss him…but as the sadness is less intense you will remember how much he loved you all. Hang in there!
    I also want to say, I was reading over your blog-Sarah it sounds like you are doing so well. Not that I am the least bit surprised but I am very happy for you. Congratulations on living so strong. I am proud to say “I knew her when…”
    Love Ya! Mary

  • Becca says:

    Although this made me cry, I absolutely needed to read this. It’s a beautiful interpretation of Shiloh and his life with us Sarah. You are a talented writer, a beautifully crafted piece here.

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