Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bye, George.

I lost my George last week, at the age of five. It was very sudden and unexpected, and caused by "a neurological event" (exactly what, we could not determine without a $3000 MRI and a time machine) and a myriad of genetic flaws that went undiagnosed until the day before his death. Over a period of about a week his body completely shut down to the point where he lost all the qualities that made him George, and he no longer had the functionality to do any of the things that brought him joy. I'm being purposely vague to save myself from launching into a detailed, tearful explanation of George's medical problems, which were shockingly vast. This entire experience has been excruciating. George's genetic problems are the result of inbreeding on a level that is to me grossly negligent at best, and at worst, highly unethical with a cruel disregard for the consequences. I had in the past raised concerns about some of these health problems that I'd observed, but they were dismissed by my former veterinarian as "behavioral problems." Even if I only learned the truth at the end, I'm relieved to know that George's quirks and problems all had a medical explanation, though nothing could have been done to save him ("George is a ticking time bomb" were my vet's actual words). In another home, George may not have lived more than a year or two. George was such a rascal, he cheated death a number of times. I grew to believe he had nine lives. Every time he found himself in a pickle, I prayed that he would survive his latest scrape, and it was such a helpless feeling to watch him die so young and be unable to help him, and to learn that I could never have helped him survive this.

My mom was by my side as we said goodbye to him. Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" was playing on the radio. I sobbed uncontrollably. As heartbroken as I am, I am glad George was mine. But I don't cope well with death or bad news. I'm not the kind of person who wants to be cheered up or is able to put on a smile and be a brave girl. I'm more likely to stay in my pajamas, in a dark room, listening to sad songs and eating chocolate, if I eat at all, and taking frequent naps. This grief is going to take a while to shake. Until then, I'll be on blogging hiatus.
"You know that place between sleeping and awake, that place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always think of you."
— J.M. Barrie


  1. i'm crying and i don't even know george... i can't imagine how i would react if anything happened to pete. corey and i just pretend that he will live forever. as a fellow pet lover, my heart is with you, sam. i'm so sorry.