Monday, November 30, 2009

Fritz, R.I.P.

After a sudden relapse over the weekend and one really bad day, Fritz passed away in his sleep yesterday afternoon. I still don't know what was wrong with him. After a week of praying it wasn't cancer or something else incurable, I woke up this morning praying it was: Then I wouldn't have failed him so badly. I had intended to rush him to the vet this morning, but I should have bundled him up and driven him to a 24/7 clinic a couple of hundred miles away. I didn't even think about it until it was too late. I should have done that Saturday.

I was ready for Magnus to go; he was old and had a brain tumor. But Fritz was a complete shock. It wasn't his time yet. And he seemed to be doing better. Maybe my own state of denial killed him.

Fritz was a big, dumb, goofy retarded five-year-old in a fur coat. Of all the dogs he was the only one who really cared, from one minute to the next, what I thought of him. He could be a handful; he was excitable, and when he got worked up he could be like a hundred-pound self-propelled chainsaw gone berserk. And yet he loved his people, including me, without the slightest reservation.

Landlady still says she blames me for the cop incident, and I've never denied that she's right. Fritz was my KopKruncher, the only dog I ever had who'd try to take a bite out of a cop just because he saw that I didn't like him. I haven't committed a violent act since I was a teenager, but as god is my witness if that guy had drawn on my dog I'd have dropped him in the yard, the consequences be damned.

I loved him, and I failed him, and he died. I guess that's all I have to say now.


Uncle W. said...

You didn't fail him, Joel -- though I know you'll continue to think so. Fritz had long been old before his time. Even if you'd pulled off a miracle this weekend, he would have spent the rest of his life in pain from his hip dysplasia.

Anyhow, I knew him. And I saw him in his last days. You couldn't have given him much more life.

He was everything you said. He was also a pain in the butt and a bully -- but one who became more loveable (to all but cops) as he got older and more mellow.

You took the best possible care of him and he was lucky to have you in his last days.

iloilo jones said...

Condolences on the loss of a friend.
I am sure you did all you know to do at the time, and that is all any of us can ask of a friend.

Plug Nickel Outfit said...

Very sorry to hear of this, Joel.

Anonymous said...

Since the call came, my mind has been echoing with should-haves. I should have been more concerned the last time I was there and saw the lump. I should have listened more closely when you called me this weekend. I should have insisted the vet expedite the blood tests. I should have suggested the emergency vet.

If there's blame to be had, it's 100% on me. You didn't fail him, not for a second. You did everything you could. Most importantly, you were there for him, Joel. I wasn't.

And I can't even be there for you now. For that, I'm truly sorry. I'll see you as soon as I can.

- The Landlady

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, Joel. :(

C.M. said...

No words...but my heart.

Jac said...

From what I've seen, a dog couldn't have a much better friend than you... all that failed Fritz was his health.

It just sucks that the good ones always have the least time.


Junker said...

Over the rainbow, somewhere.
But with all our other friends.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Joel.

Anonymous said...

I've been AWOL from blogs for way too long and just read about Fritz's passing. Please accept my condolences. He was a good dog and a good friend; you were gold to him Joel, a true and loyal friend.

I sent condolences regarding Magnus' passing through Uncle W.

CaptGooch said...

And I am sorry I am not even on time with My Condolences.

Stay Strong Joel.
Ghost, L.B. and the gang still need their Uncle Joel.