My Heart Aches

by Cecilia Marchi
(Monroe twp, NJ, USA)

Kong, a yellow lab came into our lives when he was three months old and he was full of energy that just never quit. Big for a lab, his name King Kong fit him perfectly!

When we went on vacation we would leave him at the vets for a week. They soon realized that Kong was not going to stay in a cage because he destroyed every one that they put him in.

So Kong was left free to roam around and actually loved going there when we went away.

Everyone in our old and new neighborhood knew Kong, he was the neighborhood icon. Everyone had a story about Kong.

My husband's brother decided to watch Kong for us when we went to Florida one year.

He had just moved into his new house and still had boxes on his porch that were not unpacked. At night they put Kong on the porch figuring he couldn't do much damage there. When they woke up the next day they found that Kong had actually helped them unpack their boxes. Every box was ripped open and all the contents were spread out on the porch.

Kong was so full of life we all just couldn't see anything happening to him. So when we were told he had oral cancer at age 11 we couldn't believe it.

He was such a strong and powerful looking dog, how could this be true? The only good news was that the cancer hadn't spread anywhere else. We decided we would do radiation and we were so excited when they told us it worked and we wouldn't have to come back to the vet for three months.

However, we were back in a few weeks because Kong started vomiting profusely. That is were they found two spots on his lungs and said the cancer had spread. However, the vet said the vomiting had nothing to do with the cancer so it was decided to do Chemo.

Kong was only able to take one of those pills because he still wasn't strong enough yet to handle the chemo. We decided to wait a few more days. Christmas Eve morning he woke up with me and followed me around like usual.

I brought him downstairs to eat but wouldn't eat. We noticed his nasal passages were swollen so called the vet. The girl said we couldn't bring him in until 2:30. So I ran out to get some last minute presents and I will never forgive myself for that.

He came to the door after me, he was trying to tell me he didn't have long. I told him I would be back soon. He went and laid down by my husband. Then in an hour he asked to go outside.

He walked down the patio trying so desperately to get to "his back yard" but fell and never got up and just stopped breathing. I will never forgive myself for not being there with him. I am so glad my husband was. We are all so devastated.

Last night I read the Rainbow bridge poem and I felt some relief knowing that I will see my Kong again.....

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