Megan woke up after her fourth long night shift last week to find a series of texts from our dear friend Lu. Lu had taken her huge, sweet Rottweiler Marco to see Dr. Karen and discovered that he had the same cancer that claimed Lichen’s Rottweiler Padawan at this time of year a few years ago.
Marco’s cancer was so advanced that the bone in one of his legs was almost gone, unbeknownst to Lu and probably Marco, and had spread through his great chest, so it was clear that the time had come. As you may remember, Marco suddenly and inexplicably went blind three years ago, and I’m sure many people would have put him to sleep then. But Lu and Rik dabbed doorways and the location of his food and water bowls with different essential oils, so he could negotiate his way around the home he had lived in most of his life, and it worked well.
When Megan arrived at Lu and Rik’s house, Rik was giving Marco a warm bath in the outdoor clawfoot tub, a treat which Marco always loved. Tears were pouring down Rik’s face as Marco basked in the warm, soapy water. He enjoyed a towel dry before settling down in front of the heater, surrounded by family and friends. Dr. Karen’s dedicated staff made one last house call, making Marco’s farewell as peaceful and comfortable as possible.
Poor Harlow, his little sister (she and Marco can be seen together here), was very sad. Her forehead was wrinkled all evening, and she sniffed him carefully. At least she knew what happened – I would think it would be much harder for Harlow if Marco just disappeared one day. Hopefully she will adjust, along with Lu and Rik, but Marco leaves a big hole in our lives. He may have been 137 pounds, but the biggest thing about him was his heart.
Marco was too big to bury, so he was cremated. There is a local glassmaker who will make the ashes into a special piece of glasswork, so Marco will always be with the people who loved him. Sleep well, gentle giant. You are loved and missed.
A YEAR AGO: The other side of the circle of life, celebrating Jessica’s 11th birthday.