Monday, November 3, 2008

Good-night, sweet prince . . .

. . . And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Horatio, act v, scene ii

November 5, 1996
November 3, 2008

For over a week now Thomas and I have been dealing with some health issues with Boudreaux. He had several visits to the vet and he even stayed a couple of nights. He had a large growth on his right front leg that the vet called a nerve sheath tumor. They checked him for other tumors and didn't find any. So we were given the options to deal with the tumor and we gave them a lot of thought. Not only did we weigh our options we looked at Boudreaux's overall quality of life. For a little over a year now we have been noticing quite a few changes with him. His eyesight and hearing had deteriorated considerably, he had no ligaments in his hind legs and he was also becoming incontinent. With all these problems it was hard for us to make a decision with the options given us by the vet. Here were our options: 1) surgery to remove the tumor [with the understanding that there were considerable nerves and blood vessels in the area and there was no guarantee that they could remove the tumor]; 2) leg amputation or 3) euthanasia. Obviously, we chose option 3. We felt that with all the other things going on that he would have had a hard time with the amputation and even if they could of removed the tumor it would have probably returned in six months. After talking to the vet and to each other and spending time with Boudreaux we chose to make him comfortable and to let him go. It wasn't easy, but as I watched my Sweet Prince drift off to sleep I knew he was in a better place. Thomas and I have been concerned for over a year now that he wasn't the energetic, happy dog we had raised. He slept most of the time and rarely left his kennel. Even though he has only been gone a few hours the house and our hearts already feel empty. We already miss his scent, grunts, groans and snorts. He was a wonderful companion and was a big part of our family for twelve years. He will be greatly missed. Good-night, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


Mark said...

These are emails that we have received regarding Boudreaux. I decided to post them here and have a nice tribute. Thanks to everyone for your kind words - they mean a great deal to Thomas and I.

After hearing the choices that you, Thomas and Boudreaux were facing, I think you all made the right one. I know with a heavy heart, it was a hard one to make. Boudreaux is in a much better place.
Love you both!
Yell if you need . . .

Mark & Thomas, So sorry to hear about Boudreaux. I know you did the right thing. You both have such a good and kind heart. I hurt for both of you.
Dad & Janel

So sorry to hear about Boudreaux, sounds like it's been a rough week. That was a lovely blog entry and the b&w slide show was a wonderful tribute. I know you both will miss him tremendously. But he was a lucky dog, he had fantastic parents and a great life.
Hugs to you both-

I am so sorry about Boudreaux. I know ya'll will really miss him. But he is at peace now.
Love, Mona

I'm so sorry it had to be done but now he's in doggie heaven with all 4 legs, chasing cats and squirrels and who-knows-what! Those of us who knew him will never forget him.

Sorry to hear that but I am sure it was for his best. Thanks for letting us know.
Brent & Wendy

Mark said...

A few more notes . . .

Dear Mark and Thomas: Diane told me the sad news about Boudreaux. I am so sorry. John and I send love and hugs.

So sorry...and we know firsthand how hard it is. We had to put Midnight down last Wednesday after we got some blood work done on her thinking she was going to have major dental surgery done. Turns out she was in kidney failure and we too knew that was way beyond what she could handle at her age. Fortunately, we all have our memories and smiles thanks to our four-legged family members. Take care. T
Tracy, Ed, Tyler & Sam

sha said...

Mark and Thomas, i was so sorry to hear the news about Boudreaux. your slideshow was a great tribute.

these are some words that friends have shared with us at the passing of some of our cherished four legged friends and i hope they bring comfort and remind you of the many good memories you've shared with Boudreaux.

sha and ann


The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in
this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the
one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his
dog. A man^s dog stands by him in prosperity and in
poverty. In health and in sickness. He will sleep on the
cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow
drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master^s side.
He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will
lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with
the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his
pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other
friends desert, he remain. When riches take wing and
reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as
the sun in its journey through the heavens.

Senator George Vest, 1870



If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we two -- these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

-- Unknown


One last word of farewell, Dear Master and Mistress.
Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret
but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance
of my long happy life with you: "Here lies one who loved
us and whom we loved." No matter how deep my sleep I shall
hear you and not all the power of death can keep my spirit
from wagging a grateful tail.

- Excerpt from 'The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog' by Eugene O'Neill

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket --safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...

C.S. Lewis


Other Nations
by Henry Beston, circa 1928

Remote from universal nature,
and living by complicated artifice,
man in civilization surveys
the creature through the glass of his knowledge
and sees thereby
a feather magnified
and the whole image in distortion.
We patronize them for their incompleteness,
for their tragic fate of having taken form
so far below ourselves.
And therein we err, and greatly err.
For the animals shall not be measured by man.
In a world older and more complete than ours
they move finished and complete,
gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost
or never attained,
living by voices we shall never hear.
They are not brethren, they are not underlings;
they are other nations,
caught with ourselves in the net of life and time,
fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.


Do not stand by my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am a diamond glint on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle Autumn rain

When you awake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft starshine at night
Do not stand by my grave and cry
I am not there...I did not die



"You gave me love, and trust, and joy,
and though you are no longer by my side
your gifts remain and I have you ever in my heart."

-Elizabeth Yates

Mark said...

A couple of more comments . . .

Hi Guys,
I was so sorry to hear the news of Boudreaux's passing.
I checked out your blog to read the story.
Even when it seems like the right decision,
It is still an incredibly difficult thing to go through.
I have only had to do that once in my life and I know how painful it was to lose such a big part of my daily life.
Difficult to come home to an empty house.
So please know that I understand how hard this must be for you,
And I am thinking of you, and your loss.

Mark and Thomas,
Thank you for sharing the sad news about Boudreaux.
I know his absence is difficult for both of you, but you did the most loving thing by taking him away from the pain.
Know we're thinking of you both.
Our sympathy and love,
Tom, Stan, and Arktos