Blayze was a very shy border collie.
We worked many years to bring this boy out of his shell. He was funny, loyal and eventually became leader of our small pack. It took a lot of confidence for him to assume the role of leader to our little pack.
Blayze thrived on fetch, was off-leash trained and a joy to own. He blossomed into a lovely companion for our family.
One day, at the age of 14, our boy was not eating. Now Blayze never refused food.
Initially, I thought he was attention seeking, which is something he did on occasion, to illicit cuddles and hugs. Today however, Blayze did not even want to move. With some encouragement he managed to get outside to do his business but collapsed on the way back in.
Alarmed, I arranged for a trip to the emergency vet. After some time the doctor came into the room and asked if Blayze had been hit by a car or if anything traumatic had happened to him.
I explained that he hadn't been feeling well and collapsed at home.
The verdict: Blayze had massive internal bleeding, a ruptured organ that was most likely caused by cancer. My world went from helping my precious boy to losing him in that one moment.
Now Blayze was "a perfect gentleman", said the vet. He allowed the exam, despite tremendous pain, and gave kisses throughout. (Blayze had always feared the vet.) I think he knew what was coming.
Once the reality of saying goodbye hit, Blayze was carried in to me (he was unable to walk due to the loss of blood) his tail wagging furiously when he saw me.
The room was cozy: a desk, an end table, leather sofa, soft lighting, very calming. The vet placed Blayze beside me, wrapped in a towel, on the sofa.
I cradled his head in my lap and talked softly to him, a natural thing to do even though at 14 he was completely deaf. I think we snuggled for about 2 hours together. Sharing our secrets and telling Blayze about the Rainbow Bridge.
Finally, it was time to let him go. I stood up from the sofa and walked slowly to the door to usher the vet in to the room.
At that moment Blayze summoned all his strength and leapt up from the sofa and ran after me. I could hardly believe it. I'm not staying here without YOU. Mom, don't leave me behind! he seemed to say.
I motioned for the vet to come and guided Blayze back to the sofa. I gently sat with him as he lay on a towel on the floor and held him close.
Blayze watched quietly as the vet prepared the injection to help him sleep. Then, he lay his head on my lap as the needle slipped into his leg seamlessly.
He was sleeping, breathing quietly, as I kissed him one more time. Then came the final injection and his final breath.
There was my boy lying on a plush towel lifeless, trusting, gone. In his final moments he showed his incredible love for our family by summoning his last bit of strength to follow me, his mommy, home.
Loved and remembered always. We love you "Bubba." You will always be our "Little One."
The love of one dog. xoxo. Claudia Crosier and Blayze.
Walter Stoffel is a substance abuse counselor and GED teacher in correctional facilities. When not behind bars, he likes to read, travel, work out and watch bad movies. Major accomplishment : He entered a 26.2-mile marathon following hip replacement surgery and finished—dead last. The author currently lives with his wife Clara, their dog Buddy (another rescue), and cat Winky (yet another rescue).