My Sweet Little Biscuit
by Margaret Houck
(Costa Mesa, CA)
Yesterday I said good-bye to my Sweet Little Pekingese boy "Biscuit." He was diagnosed in May with hemangiosarcoma, and with his surgery to have it removed, I was told he probably would not make it from the operating table. Much to my joy and amazement, the vet was able to remove the huge tumor, and within days Biscuit was like a little puppy again, though he was 11 years old.
He endured 4 rounds of chemotherapy, but the last round of medication caused a urinary tract infection. Biscuit stopped eating and lost almost half his body weight. Then the vet told me that the hemangiosarcoma had come back, several tumors this time. And that it was just a matter of a few weeks before Biscuit would decline.
It was practically 4 weeks from that day that it became apparent that Biscuit was slowly dying. He was eating little, sleeping alot, barely taking walks, he had lost control of his bladder, and no longer loved to snuggle with me. My heart broke as I watched my beloved puppy shuffle painfully across the floor to try to make it out his doggie-door to go pee, and then not make it in time.
Signs of his personality left one-by-one, and it became apparent that the time to put him to sleep was upon me. I cried, I prayed to God, I threatened God, I begged him to make my little guy well again so that I didn't have to make this terrible decision. But to no avail.
I made the appointment for a Tuesday, but then chickened out. Biscuit had rallied, or so I thought. But Wed. and Thurs. brought more of the same. Finally I called a wonderful vet tech named Sam, who talked me through the process of euthanasia, and told me it would be the right thing to do. His words of encouragement and compassion strengthened me, and I made the appointment for the next day.
The next morning was all about "final" things: the final walk, the final feeding, the final ear-scratching, the final ride in the car to the vet, the final walk down the hall to the room where Biscuit's journey would end.
My wonderful vet and Sam the tech came into the room, and quietly explained what would occur. A catheter had already been inserted in Biscuit's leg, to make sure a vein was available. As soon as I said I was ready - and all the while cooing to Biscuit and scratching his ears - a shot was administered which simply put him to sleep. He fell softly down onto the examining table on which he had been standing before, and actually began to snore his soft little snores.
Then the vet asked me if I was ready; I said yes, let's do this. And she administered a shot of pinkish liquid. There was no discernible sound or movement from Biscuit; he just stopped breathing. The vet checked for heartbeats with her stethoscope, and said "He's gone."
I was suddenly wracked with sobs, as I realized my little boy was really gone. The vet and Sam were wonderful, hugging me, consoling me. I watched as Sam gently picked up my lifeless Biscuit, and cradled him in his arms. I walked with them down the length of a hallway until they turned into a door through which I could not go, and I gave Biscuit one more kiss and scratch. Then he was gone, forever.
The last two days have been numb. I still feel Biscuit's presence around me, and yet his absence is overwhelming. I cry at the slightest thought of him, but find myself laughing at things he did. I have no idea where this grief will take me, but I'm determined to see it to its end, and to honor the memory of Biscuit with courage and dignity.
We had 11 happy years together, Biscuit and I. I can only hope that I was as good a human friend to him as he was a doggy friend to me. He was my good little boy, and I shall miss him so much.