“I made three birdies, and my dog is still alive. It was a good day.”-Benj
A day earlier, some time midday, my trusty companion of almost seventeen years looked at me like she had finally had enough. Well, I take that back, she barely mustered up the strength to even look at me. I knew she had been going downhill, but I just couldn’t believe that this maniac of a dog, a dog that has been with me her entire life, a dog that has been with me my entire adult life, a dog with energy for days, could finally want to call it a day. But after a few hours of deliberation, I asked Christy to call the vet and set an appointment for Tuesday. 9:30am, confirmed. We would put her to sleep.
I had a tee time set for 2pm on Tuesday at Hattiesburg Country Club, a former PGA Tour stop and an old school traditional layout that I had heard wonderful things about, but had never played before. I was very excited, except that I wasn’t any more.
I woke up about 4am with knots in my stomach. For the next three hours while lying in bed, I proceeded to replay my entire adult life over in my head. For nearly seventeen years, there had been one constant in my life, and it was Becks. For nearly seventeen years, regardless of what I did, where I lived, who I was with, I came home to her. Don’t get me wrong, she was a nuisance, a knucklehead, an absolute nut of a dog. But she was full of love, and always there.
By 7am, I was crying profusely, and around 830am, I told Christy that I couldn’t do this. Let’s go to the vet, get some meds for her, and keep trucking. Yesterday was an anomaly. I don’t think she is ready.
So we did, and I immediately felt better. We got the meds, they kicked in almost immediately, and by the end of the night she was exploring the yard, controlling her bladder, and snuggling up on the couch. I felt like I was 23 again.
After crying profusely for about three hours that morning, I wondered if I would have any energy left to play this beautiful golf course that afternoon. It was about 1,000 degrees outside, and I was emotionally drained.
The course was absolutely beautiful, and I stumbled around my first nine like a man who had wrestled with putting his dog to sleep that morning. At the turn, though, I got my second wind, and proceeded to blitz the next nine in one under par, enjoying my company, my surroundings, and the fact that my dog would still be alive when I got back home.
It ended up being a great day. A weird day. An emotional day. A crazy roller coaster of a day that took me from North Carolina to Mississippi, uptown to rural, banking to golf, bachelor to father, so forth and so on.
And she’s still here. I’m so happy. I know she’s got at least one more fall season in her. Maybe two. Maybe five.
Have a great week.-Benj
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