Eternal Love

November 7, 2008
By Shannon Heintz, Kingman, AZ

A small blanket of yellow, green and orange
Spread out beneath his struggling body
He panted and whined
And finally subsided with our
Soft crooning of “No”
He sat with that pink tape encircling his front leg
The bright green tube buried beneath its layers
And was laid down by our knees
A sedation was inserted
So painless as the needle went through the tube
He stopped squirming but instead
Breathed deeply and traced his eyes around at us
I knelt down by his head so he would see my face
Another needle found its way to the tube
His breathing slowed
A last insertion
I could no longer count his breaths
A tear rolled down the vet’s cheek
Another followed blindly in the path of the first
I had promised myself,
I had promised,
But my face still contorted
Before I could regain the calm demeanor
Not for me, or for him,
But for my mother,
I knew it would pain her unnecessarily to also see her daughter weeping
“He passed peacefully” the vet said
As if a prepared line at every end
It was true
Yet his eyes never closed
They still stared at me
But his breathing stopped, his heart no longer was beating
Unlike last night when I laid my hand upon it
His eyes looked at me
And yet they were not those of death
But of kindness
I cried for a different reason then
Yet I could feel his fur beneath my fingers,
I could feel him in a different way
His presence as bright as if he were licking my face
He was still there.
He was still there.

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