Saying Goodbye to Georgie
Last night, my beloved Georgie died.
It happened suddenly and there wasn't much time for a goodbye. I hope that also means there was not much suffering for her, but I don't know.
I was fighting traffic on my commute home when Cabbage called me to say "Don't stop at the barn. Come right on home." When I asked him, sharply, "What?" he said "Well, Georgie's not feeling too good..."
His tone was enough. I got there as soon as I could. There were stoplights, slow drivers, the crush and congestion of rush hour traffic. My gas tank, which I'd been intending to stop and refill on the way home, was almost on E.
I pulled through the gate, teeth gritted, gripping the steering wheel. Flying from the car, I stopped short at the sight on the back porch. It was Georgie, lying on a pallet of soft rugs, with Cabbage (holding Beep) softly petting her sweet face. He had a fan blowing cool air on her.
He looked up at me. "It's ok," he said.
I took a hesitant step forward, then another, and bolted the last couple of steps to them. Kneeling beside her, I put my face down and cried "Georgie girl? I'm here. I'm here, JoJo."
He ears perked up, her eyes shifted to mine. I ran my eyes, and then hands, over her and immediately found her swollen abdomen, panting breath, distant gaze.
I thought She's hemorrhaging. Oh my god. This is bad. I knew she was dying.
I pulled out my phone, dialed the vet clinic for the emergency clinic number, and Cabbage called them for directions. As quickly as we could, running, we loaded the baby, opened the back of the car. I checked for gas in our lawnmower cans. There was none. Goddammit.
I didn't know how to move her, how to gather her up without hurting her... Cabbage swept past me and scooped her up to his chest. I carried her head, walking backward. I smoothed her face and talked to her. She looked at me, passive but coherent. When we laid her in the back compartment, she didn't move.
I sat in the back seat, trying to soothe my fussing baby and comfort my dying dog.
Georgie? Can you hear me? I see you, JoJo. I love you. Do you hear me?
I tried to find a place to pet her that I thought wouldn't hurt.
I covered my eyes to pray. "St. Francis, please bring comfort to this sweet girl of mine. I'm begging you to take away her pain and give her peace. Send your better angels. She's my girl. She needs your better angels."
I did not ask for her to live. I knew it was too late.
Her abdomen seemed to grow tighter, distend more. Her breaths grew shallower.
We had to stop for gas. It didn't take two minutes. We had to stop for fucking gas.
My baby was crying and saying:
We were getting closer to the clinic, but there was a train. There was construction. We had to flip a u-turn and drive a block through a neighborhood. The sun was shining through the trees.
Her breaths grew shallower.
Georgie? Can you hear me? I love you. I remember the farm where you first found me. I remember everything. I love you.
"Oh, no. Oh, nonono. Cabbage, hurry." She wasn't taking every breath anymore.
"I'm trying," he said.
We finally pulled up at the clinic, and as Cabbage carried her through the doors she took her last breath. They did CPR, they administered drugs. They tapped her abdomen to relieve pressure on her organs. They did more CPR, tried and tried to start her heart. The vet came to talk with me while the others continued to work on her.
She was gone. I told them to stop and let her go. I knew she was already gone.
Her stomach had bloated, flipped, and compacted arteries. Her circulation was interrupted, her body couldn't function. There was so much damage and oxygen deprivation. The vet told us it doesn't happen often, but they see it more this time of year.
An hour and a half before, she was playing with Annie, running through the yard.
We said goodbye to her in a private room, right after I looked Cabbage squarely in the eye and said "This can't be it. This can't be the end of it for Georgie and me. This can't be the end for us."
I hugged her head and stroked her ears. I asked Beep if she wanted to say bye-bye to JoJo, and she didn't.
I petted her a long while, and told her I remember everything... I remember everything. You're my girl, JoJo.
In Memory of Georgie
1998- October 14, 2011