When I met David Alliker on July 4th weekend in 2008, I knew that I’d met the man I’d spend my life with. At the time I had a Norfolk Terrier named Bruno (who passed away 3 years ago), and he had Java, a Chow/Lab mix he rescued from a shelter in Washington DC when she was 6 weeks old.
David and I married on July 24th, 2011, the first day Gay Marriage was legal in New York, and we celebrated with a few friends, and our beloved Java. I know most folks with pets think that their dog or cat is the best pet ever, but honestly, Java was the most gentle, loving, and loyal dog either of us have ever known.
She was diagnosed with liver cancer last summer, and after wrestling with the risks of surgery for a 13-year-old dog, we went ahead. She rebounded, and we began to have hope she would live another year as the vet suggested.
Unfortunately, that was not in the cards. Quite suddenly two weeks ago she stopped eating, stopped responding to us, and within days was unable to walk. David had Java in his life for 13 years, so the decision to shift the focus from his grief in loosing her to compassion for ending her suffering wasn’t an easy one, but he made it. Together, like countless other pet owners, we held her while our vet put her to sleep. David’s was the last face she saw as she left, which we have to believe comforted her.
This post is for you David. There really isn’t anything I can say to ease the pain of loosing Java, but there is a song that I think might offer you some hope.
Rest in Peace Java. You will be missed.