Sunday, June 10, 2007

Nurse Fritz

The story of Fritz and his devotion to my dad in his final weeks was just incredible. As soon as we got Dad settled at Jocelyn's, Fritz would lay on his bed all day and all night. The only times he'd get off the bed would be to go outside or to sit with my mom while she was visiting. After Dad had been here a week or so, I decided to shave off all of Fritz's hair as the sheer fluffyness of him was too much. He had mats and was shedding and it got to be like an unconsious addiction to gently work free big puffy balls of hair. And he was constantly panting and huffing and puffing. Gross.

So I cut his hair as short as possible, and I did a pretty good job of it, too! His face isn't as perfectly round as it could be, but like I told mom, she paid a fair price for a haircut like that! As soon as he was all finished with his grooming, he was so much more comfortable and cuddly, you could just tell he was thrilled with the results.

We were so curious about whether dad would notice the difference but he didn't at first. A few days later Dad was talking with us about our plans for his memorial and he said all of a sudden, clear as a bell, "Fritz... you look like a rabbit!" He seemed to enjoy the smoother version of his formerly fluffed out Pom.

Thruout the day Fritz would hop up on Dad's bed and circle and nest in a cozy spot between dad's legs. Then he'd sleep there or sit and watch whatever was going on. If we had to care for dad in some physical way, we always had to toss fritz out into the hallway and then listen to him scratching at the door to be let back in. he didn't like being kicked out, but if we didn't he'd make a growling fuss, refusing to get off the bed, making it sort of tricky to do whatever needing doing. it was very sweet.

The weather moved from hot and sunny to overcast and chilly and at some point Fritz began wearing a little green sweater. We had been horsing around a little bit and had outfitted him with a toy stethascope. He looked so damn cute.

Fritz stayed with Dad the whole time, and it was so wonderful to have him there. Because of where the bed and chair beside it were set up, when you were sitting with dad, you could also be practically face to face with Fritz. It was such a comfort to be able to turn to Fritz and have them there, ready to lick and greet you. And when you left Dad alone, you were never really leaving him alone because Fritz was in there with him. Towards the end Fritz was nursing all of us through!

We were all in there for Dad's last few seconds of life, and during that time Fritz moved up to Dad's shoulder almost, right over his heart, and stayed there. It was like he followed Dad's life force or something. like his heart was the last little spot of Dad left and Fritz centered his body right over that spot until it was completely over.

Thanks, Fritz. Good Dog.

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