I took Eppy over to the vet at eleven. Once he laid down at night, it took longer every morning to get his 80 pounds up on all fours and his first balance was drunken. He perked a tad when I said: "Come on, Peppy. We're gonna see the Doc." It took some awkward movement and strenuous contortion to get him in the van. The Animal Clinic was five minutes away. He became more animated as the familiar houses passed and certainly more excited as we turned into the parking lot. His leash put back on, he almost leaped and sometimes fell on the pavement, straightened up, took a quick leak on the grass and the leash took on horsepower to the office door. The staff loved this fourteen year old gentle black Lab mutt. We went through the weekly routine -well, twice a week now. Pep didn't need directions to the scale in the hallway and we didn't need to move a leg anymore to get all four on the rubber. He had lost two more pounds in three days. "Good baby." Dr. Welter entered the office (four feet from the scale) at the same time it took the nurses and me to get Eppy there. Epp always wagged his tail while it was between his legs and the Doc gave him the immediate injection in the back thigh with the few sweet words. Occasionally, Eppy-peppie would stay a few hours for tests. I kissed him on the rump and said be a good boy. I'll be back in a little while. Melissa said, on cue, pulling his leash: "Come on, sweetheart. That's a good boy." He didn't look back. I'd be back. In the waiting room, the Doc said he'd call. It was a take. A wrap. Eppy was great and the staff was perfect. I was good, too. Later, I thanked Dr. Welter and all personally for their great work. It was moving. Perfect. Earlier that week, the Doctor called with the bad news that they had found a pronounced cancer in his liver, The puzzling growing arthritis now made sense. There was no fault. Eppie had, at best, two weeks. No. He was afraid of hurting butterflies or afraid of butterflies. It was a ride back home that morning six months ago. The van made it. I never did but- Eppie's playmate for seven years, Scooby, needed him as much. The love inside Epp was not that difficult. It helped Scoob because Epp reminded me there was more than me.
In memory of Eppy
Remembered by Glen Epstein, USA