category: dogs / dog welfare, category: personal

a note on my recent absence from Twitter — and Reagan

Reagan

Tweeps: I was off Twitter for over a month and wanted to post a quite note about it. First, thank you to everyone who reached out via email, Word Press, texts, Instagram, and through mutual friends. I’m touched. The reason for my absence is as follows:

On Wednesday, Feb 25th, the day before I was set to fly out to CPAC, Reagan, my “dog” and best friend, was not feeling well (he seemed sluggish — first time ever he hasn’t wanted to take his morning walk – and vomited) so I rushed him to the vet. His eyes were yellowish so at first the vet thought it was hepatatis but, with the ultrasound tech happening to be there, we learned it was a ruptured gallbladder and would need emergency surgery to clean up the liquids that had spilled into his insides. The surgery was scheduled for the following evening. So I canceled the CPAC trip, needless to say.

Ever the trooper and strong-as-an-ox, Reagan, weakened though he was, made it through the surgery the following evening (the surgeon also removed his spleen, claiming he saw a ‘mass’ on it he didn’t like. Additionally, he said he’d spotted something in Reagan’s pancreas that could be pancreatic cancer). Reagan made it through and that night he slept in his bed, on meds but doing OK. The next day, we went back to the vet for some more of the IV fluids bag to be administered and they said he was cleared to go home. I gave him some of the anti-nausea and painkiller medication, as instructed, and sat down at my desk that evening, with Reagan relaxing in his bed behind me, as he always did. A few minutes later, at about 7 pm, I went over to sit with him … and he was gone.

The worst feeling in the world — and one which I’ll never forget — was the split second I realized he was gone — his head was not hanging as it should and, when I frantically moved him around, trying to wake him, I already knew he was gone.

It goes without saying that this has been very hard on me. Reagan was not my “dog.” He was my best friend, my son, my partner-in-crime, my everything. Some folks say soulmates come in different forms — for me, it was an English field spaniel dude with the heart of a California-surfer-hippie and the courage of a Marine. In “Gladiator,” there’s a great line where the Emperor remarks to his daughter: “Ah, if only you’d be born a man, what a caesar you would have made.” Well, I used to wryly say the same to Reagan. He was incredibly kind — always getting along with the other dogs. I’ve taken in 3 rescues since him and he welcomed each and every one, and took him/her under his wing. He was tough — but the strong and silent type. He loved going in the car to McDonald’s for coffee — and his favorite movie was “Goonies” (the sound of which would calm him during a thunderstorm).

We did everything together, went everywhere together, and he was always there for me. We had a bond like no other.

His passing has left a huge pain/void and taking some time to myself was necessary. I just haven’t felt much like participating on Twitter or writing. I still don’t, to be honest.

My apologies for not explaining my ‘sabbatical’ earlier but it is hard to type this, even now.

Hug your canine companions — you won’t always have them around. Enjoy every minute of unconditional love and support they give you. Give it back to them.

I think of Reagan daily, and the pain has not subsided, but I know he will always be with me, and I’ll always be with him.

See you on the flipside, Regmeister.

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3 thoughts on “a note on my recent absence from Twitter — and Reagan

  1. Randy Hrvatiin says:

    I feel your pain.We have had to put 3 dogs down in the last two years and it never gets easier. The hurt lasts believe me. Missed you on twitter and I will be praying for you. We serve a loving and compassionate God who hurts when you hurt.
    Randy

  2. Lou Segal says:

    Lost my Golden Retriever, Tracy, over a year and a half ago. I don’t think anything ever hurt as much in my life. I was in a daze for quite some time until I adopted my new guy, Milo. It felt almost treasonous at first to replace my best buddy in the world, but I knew I had to have a dog in my life.

    Although Milo has a completely different personality, I have grown to love him as much as Tracy. Now when I think about Tracy, instead of the piercing pain I use to feel, her memory brings a smile to my face. Of course, I wish she was still bounding by my side, but the ache has been replaced by the happy memories of the great nine years I had with her.

    As someone who has experienced what you’re feeling now, I wish you all the best. I would urge you to find another companion, not to replace Reagan, but to help you heal and continue the privilege of experiencing the great joy of a dog’s love and devotion.

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