I'm saddened by each loss, but Alan Rickman touched me the most. To watch him was to respect his sincerity and his dedication. You'd think, it must be lovely to work with him, to get to play together.
Yesterday, I learned of another death this week. Our client Roger came in to run a couple questions by me, and he didn't seem quite like himself. In his late 60's, you'd never know it from looking at him. He's trim, full of energy and quick with a sly smile. We met several months ago when he needed a little help, and through the course of a visit or two he talked about his life, his late partner Jane and his beloved Cockapoo, Milo. He and Jane had been together for almost 25 years. She died unexpectedly seven years ago and the loneliness was unbearable. A friend of Roger's introduced him to a rescued tawny Cockapoo named Milo, and they saved each other.
Fast forward to yesterday. While we were talking, Roger asked me if I had any animals, and I told him about our cats, our boys Rhett, Murry and Bagheera. Then he told me that he had had to put Milo to sleep on Sunday. I was shocked and asked what happened. He said on Friday when he came home from work, the neighbor woman who watched Milo during the day told him that he wasn't acting normally. He was lethargic and wouldn't eat. When she walked him, she noticed his urine was cloudy. Roger got him to eat a little that night, but on Saturday it was more of the same. When Sunday morning came, Milo wouldn't or couldn't get up. Roger rushed him to a local animal hospital that is extremely helpful and kind, having used their services myself. Roger told me that after blood work and an exam, the vet gave him the news. Milo had a heart murmur and autoimmune hemolytic anemia. The vet said that he could treat Milo, and it would be very expensive, but more than that there would be no guarantee it would work for very long, if at all. He said Milo would have no quality of life when he got him home - vomiting, urinating on himself, possible seizures. He said, Roger, if you love your dog, you'll put him to sleep.
Deciding that he didn't want Milo to suffer, he took the vet's advice. He said that there was a couch in the room where they had been waiting. Milo was laying across his lap, and Roger laid a hand on his back to keep him still. The vet had two syringes, and Milo didn't stir through either shot, didn't make a sound and within a few moments he was gone. Roger didn't look at me throughout the story, just stared down into his hands. At this point, he looked up and said, Heather, I wish the vet had taken what was left in those syringes and given it to me. We looked at each other, and I told him that Jane and Milo wouldn't have wanted that for him, how sorry I was for his loss. We chatted briefly after that, then said our goodbyes. We hugged, and as he left he told me to keep an eye on my boys.