The title of this post pretty much says it all. While Liam rallied a bit midweek, it became clear that by Friday something was terribly wrong. He hadn’t eaten since Sunday, and nothing, not even ice cream, could tempt him to take a bite.
We brought Liam to the vets on Friday, and he had an ultrasound, which revealed that he had cancer that had metastasized. The time had come to have him euthanized, and Clif and I were with him at the end. For those of you who have had beloved pets put down, you know how heat-wrenching this is. But to us it was clear that this was the right thing to do. There was no hope of Liam getting better, only more suffering.
Oh, the house is quiet without Liam. Even in his decline, he had a bright spirit, so luminous that when we posted Liam’s death on Facebook, kind friends who knew him mentioned it over and over. How lucky we were to have this energetic dog who filled our days with joy and pizzazz. Until he went blind, Liam was always ready for a lark—a trip to the beach, a walk in the woods, an ice cream treat at the Dairy Queen.
One of my favorite memories of Liam was how he gleefully raced around the backyard. Soon after we got him, we fenced in our entire backyard, about half an acre, which gave him a good sprint. Liam raced around so much that his pounding paws wove a groove around the perimeter, and our friend Claire dubbed it “The Liam 500.”
When a motorcycle went by, this was especially exciting. Not only would Liam run, but he would stop to twirl once, twice, three times, barking madly. Friends who witnessed this would laugh and shake their heads. Our Liam knew how to liven things up.
What makes Liam’s death especially poignant is that there will be no more dogs for us. Our books keep us busy as we go to various events. Because of Liam, we could only go an hour or so away from our house. Now, we can go two hours and even, on occasion, three hours. While we gladly accommodated our schedule to Liam, we decided that after he passed, our energies would be devoted to our books.
One of the many lessons we learned from our vibrant dog is this: Life is short, so cherish the ones who are dear to you, be they family, friends, dogs, cats, horses, or whatever. This cherishing brings a richness to life that cannot be purchased, no matter how much money you have. At the end of things, there will be grief, but to be mourned is to be loved.
So farewell, Liam! You were certainly loved, and our lives won’t be the same without you.