Dear Dr. Royal and Superstar Staff,
Thank you for all the love and care that you gave to Eli. I wish we met earlier so Eli could have benefitted more from everything you do.
You are all so wonderful. I got my first glimpse of this after Eli’s endoscopy. I was pleasantly surprised to receive follow-up calls from both you and Dr. Harris over the weekend. I continued to be impressed as other staff members called to check-up on Eli throughout the week.
I was also always blown-away whenever Alex, Kate, Tash, Veronica, Zoe or Jessica would say “I heard Eli is having issues with such and such. How’s he doing now?” Everyone seemed to always know what was going on with Eli, even when I hadn’t spoken to them recently. The level of communication and coordination between everyone was impressive – even down to the detail of not leaving water out for Eli because of his Cushing’s. Now if I could only get this level of care from my primary care physician and her staff!
I wish you could have all met Eli in his younger years when he was rambunctious and exuberant. Even his gait was full of joy and boundless energy. With his head raised high, he was the embodiment of happy-go-lucky back with the way he pranced. You would have appreciated the playful lightness in his steps as his hips swayed blithely when he walked.
Though I miss him dearly, I am hanging in there. 13 years is a long time to be together. When I get down I try to remember that he had a great life with a caring dad who loved him very much.
I also try to remember the good times we shared together, including his trouble-making days (which I appreciate now with a nostalgic fondness). Oh what I would give to come home again to see Eli among a sea of trash – he could be naughty when he was a pup!
It is also comforting to know that he is no longer suffering or in pain and that I was able to be with him up until the very end. I will always remember, when I was feeling particularly sad on our last day together, when he stood up on his own from his bed (a rare occurrence during his final week) to walk over and put his head affectionately on my lap. Even when he was weak and struggling, he found strength to comfort me.
I can’t tell you how grateful I was that Eli was in good spirits during his final hours. He really enjoyed being at your center and all the loving attention (and treats) he received there. While it was not easy for me to bring him in for his last visit, it was a little less difficult once I saw how happy he was when we arrived. It was so reassuring to see him make a beeline to the dog bed in the exam room and flop down with such ease and familiarity. I shudder to think what his experience might have been like elsewhere, on a cold, stainless steel exam table elevated several feet above the ground (he never enjoyed that). During our final time together, Eli’s comfort and happiness meant everything to me. Thank you for making that a reality.
As I adjust to my new life, part of me wants to run out and get a new dog to fill the void left by Eli. But I know I’m not ready. When I am, I will definitely be back to see you. You guys are the best and I would never think of having anyone except you care for me and my pup.
I miss you all,