Today is going to be a very sad day indeed!
Just sixteen days ago, on June 3rd., Pharaoh turned fourteen. He was born on June 3rd, 2003.
I didn’t mention in that birthday post that Pharaoh’s rear hips and legs were very weak indeed and it was clear that he was living out the last few weeks of his wonderful, glorious life.
Yesterday, Jean and I came to the sad conclusion that Pharaoh had deteriorated rapidly in these last couple of weeks and that it would be cruel to prolong what cannot now be pleasant for him.
We spoke to good friend and neighbour, Jim Goodbrod, who is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and he agreed.
So this Monday morning, Oregon (PDT) time, I shall drive Jim to our local veterinary clinic on Lincoln Road and Jim will pick up the necessary drugs.
We will then return home and Jean and I will cradle Pharaoh until he takes his last breath. My guess is that will be around 11am PDT.
I spoke to my daughter, Maija, and son, Alex, yesterday as they have fond memories of Pharaoh from his very earliest days. Alex’s long-term partner, Lisa, then sent me the following email:
Dear Paul and Jean,
I was very sorry to hear about Pharaoh and understand how you are feeling. I had to say goodbye to my 19 year old cat Molly last month.
My parents have had German shepherds and when they had to have their last one put to sleep a friend of theirs sent them the following poem. It gave them a great deal of comfort and I thought it would be nice to type it out and send it to both of you. You may already know it.
I will be thinking of you all tomorrow,
Lots of love,
Here is that poem.
When the time comes
If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this, the last battle, can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me to where my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must be you
Who had to decide this thing to do;
We’ve been so close, we two, these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.
Dear friends of this blog, it means so much to share this sad news with you all and I know that your sadness for this day will be carried on the wings of countless thoughts across the air waves in Pharaoh’s direction.
You will understand if I close by saying that just now, this Sunday afternoon, Pharaoh’s last day with Jean and me and our furry family, I’m uncertain as to how I will approach writing posts for the next few days. I may go silent or I may share some treasured memories of my time with Pharaoh.
In memory of a wonderful companion.