Dear Knox, Part III: The Legacy

Dear Knox,

I’m so sorry it’s taken me a few days to write this, bud.  I thought I’d have it all ready for you on Wednesday, but here it is, Thursday night and I’m having trouble even starting.  I think the other two posts about how you found us, and what our lives turned into, were a lot easier.  This letter is to say goodbye, and I think that’s where the struggle is.

Knox, you have done so so much for a whole lot of humans and animals, and I’m very impressed by that.  After all, that was your doing, not ours.  I was shocked to see your face everywhere on Monday (blogs, articles, and facebook pages).  What a celebration of your life; an honor really.  How did you do that?  Boy, you’re busy up there.

But the thing is, aside from how proud I am for you… this past week, none of that mattered to me.  So much.  My heart is heavy and it aches for you.  I’ve felt every kind of emotion this past month.  I felt angry, confused, sad, guilty, helpless, lost… you name it.  I’m a planner bud, you know that!  You messed up my plans… some day you were going to be the most perfectest big brother to a human baby, that was my hope anyway.  Thinking of you in that way, and knowing now that won’t happen… it just makes me so sad.  You were part of my plan.  A big part of it.

I, of course, was confused about why this rare, horrible and ruthless killer (ultimately you died of Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia) had to take you down so terribly and so soon.  I felt helpless that we couldn’t fix you.  I felt guilty when I worried about money.  I felt more than sad for you, when you were suffering.  It was suffocating; I felt like until you were free of this sickness, I couldn’t breathe.  I was unsure at first, but a wise friend told us,  “It’s that look that says, ‘I love you, but, I’m tired, really, really tired and I can’t stay any longer’ – they just tell us with their eyes.   You will know, or already know.”

Those last 24 hours, I knew.  You let us know that you were tapped out.  You couldn’t fight anymore and as soon as I knew that, I had a great desire to let you go as soon as possible.  But knowing you were going was absolutely devastating.

I was frantic to find someone who could come to the house.  The last thing I wanted was to stress you out and drag your weak body to a vet’s office.  Of course that T from MABB had the answer and hooked us up with a vet she knew of (she helps at the SPCA and that’s how we got hooked up with her).  It was a quick phone call to a mobile vet we’d never met before. She was willing to come in a heartbeat.  We were so thankful.  Finally something to be thankful about… ironic, isn’t it?

You mustered up all the energy you had when she arrived, and got down from you chair to give her a few wags and licks and welcome her into our home, like you were a pro at doing (you didn’t even know she was a vet, not that you ever had problems with vets).  B picked you back up and laid you down in you most favorite spot.

Sharing your favorite chair with B this past fall

We rubbed you head and surrounded you with love.  We tried so hard to stay strong for you, but who were we kidding, you were the strongest out of us three.

It was the most peaceful ending we could have given you, and I’m glad we had the opportunity to pay you back in this small way.

You left us behind, and way too soon.  But we are better humans for knowing you.  I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.  Thank you for influencing who we are as human beings, and for teaching us to forgive, to forget, to live in the moment, and to embrace the signature Knox Zest for Life.

I know you are free now, to run and play and roll in the grass (the good kind, not this stinky, patchy city grass).  I’m relieved you are no longer suffering, but instead enjoying your favorite things… you had so many favorite things.

You leave with us your Legacy.  You, inside of our hearts.  Our hearts that are forever changed.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.