I don't own gargoyles or anything associated with them.
This is not actually a story, this is a memorial to my dogs Lassie who past away some years ago and Max who just died today. Also to my other dog Gismo who thankfully is not dead yet and I hope he stays that way a good while longer.
Although this is set in the gargverse, the scenes of the characters and the words they speak are similar to what was said today between my family and I, as we said our goodbyes but have been altered to fit into the gargverse.
This fic may not make sense to all but as I said, it's not really a fic, but a tribute to some of the best dogs and companions that anyone could ever hope to get.
Good bye Max!
The clan assembled together in the courtyard as the trio walked in solemnly with Bronx's corpse carried between them.
Angela sniffed back some tears as she watched them carry the faithful hound to his final resting-place.
Hudson remained as stoic as Goliath, neither of them saying a word or giving any indication to their true feelings.
The trio placed Bronx on the woodpile where Xanatos was waiting with a lighted torch to light the flames.
When they rested Bronx on the pile, they stood back and the whole clan bowed their heads for a few moments to give respect in honour of their beloved pet. When the moment past, Xanatos lit the flames and watched as they burned through the fabric that Bronx was wrapped within and slowly reduced his body to ashes.
It had all been a great shock to the clan to learn of Bronx's illness. With all the aliens, Fay, Mutates, Demona and clones… etc, you never would have expected Bronx to die of a mere sickness.
Even more shocking was that it had happened all within the space of a couple of measly weeks. One night, he had been perfectly healthy barking at anything that crossed his path and chasing birds and Quarrymen. Then the next night, Bronx stopped barking. He didn't make a sound and just lay down wherever he was, not noticing anybody even when Elisa came to visit.
The clan had thought that he was merely tired at first so they left him be, but then his condition worsened and they noticed the sudden violent shuddering in his back legs. They got Xanatos to have a specialist Veterinary come and see what he could find out.
The Vet tested him and gave them some pills to give him to help and Bronx seemed to make some improvement mush to the clan's relief. But their relief was short lived as Bronx's condition deteriorated even further and Goliath nearly straggled the Vet when he demanded what was wrong with him.
After further testing and X-rays, they finally discovered what was wrong with Bronx and none of it was good. They found out that he had cancer of the spine along with a stomach ulcer that had actually been caused by the pills they had given him.
Needless to say, the clan was furious with the Vet's incompetence and Xanatos even more, but the Vet assured them that this was totally unavoidable. They had no way of knowing what was wrong until it was too late.
When the clan heard these words they froze with stricken horror. The Vet looked at them with true sorrow in his eyes and revealed to them that it was too late for them to do anything to save Bronx. The cancer had spread too far and even if it wasn't too late to operate, they couldn't because of Bronx's age.
The clan howled in denial and the Vet almost fled in terror, but he understood their grief and confusion. How was it possible that anyone, even a dog, who had only just recently been so healthy suddenly fallen so ill????!!!!!
The clan gradually accepted this revelation and embraced one another in their pain, but the worst was yet to come. The cancer had Bronx in terrible pain, which they could not stabilise. They could give him a sedative but it wouldn't last long so there was only one alternative… They had to have him put to sleep.
Each of the clan dealt with Bronx's condition in their own way, but the three who took it the worst were Goliath, Hudson and Elisa.
Hudson had been with Bronx since his arrival into the clan. Bronx had not been born of the clan like the others; he had been adopted from a neighbouring clan that was unable to keep him. Bronx had had a rough life, being shoved from one clan to the other with no one to truly care for him and he had even been mistreated at one time.
The clan had been uncertain when they first took him in because they feared he would not fit in with the others. However, their fears were soon put aside when the loveable hound barked and played with them, staring at them with his shining eyes. He soon found his way into their hearts.
Not that he had been easy, oh no. He had been almost non-stop trouble from day one starting with his constant barking at anything that moved or any little sound. He had also been a fast runner, which had all the clan practising their jogging when going after him in the park or even round the castle.
He also, like any dog, had a tendency to sneak up on people at dinner looking for any treats that might come his way. With those eyes of his and the puppy dog expression, it was almost impossible to say no to him and offer him a scrap of their meat together with a scratch on his belly.
But with these few faults, he made up with his incredible loyalty and faithfulness to his masters. He stayed by their side (especially at dinner), licked their hands whenever one of them had been in pain or sorrow and the reason for his constant barking was because he wanted to protect them.
Hudson sighed as he remembered how he used to take Bronx on walks in the fields by Castle Wyvern. He had loved the walks and the fields when he would run in the sunshine, playing ball with his master and barking at the horses and cows in the other nearby fields. He had also got his master into quite a few troubles with the local farmers because of that.
Hudson moaned slightly as he remembered Bronx's final moments in this world. The Vet had sedated him so he was more or less unconscious when they last saw him. The Vet had allowed them a few moments alone with him to say their goodbyes.
Hudson had stroked the poor dog's forehead like he had always done and scratched behind his ear. Bronx had looked at him briefly with his eyes but did not really focus.
Goliath had not come with him because the sight of Bronx and his oncoming passing was too much, even for the great leader and warrior to handle. He had even cried before arriving at the Vet's surgeon much to the distress of Elisa who tried to comfort him but only ended up needing comfort herself.
Elisa had come too, but as she made her goodbyes to the former healthy hound she could not bring herself to stay either. She kissed Bronx on the head and told him he was the best dog they had ever had and there would never be another one like him.
Elisa wept as though her heart was broken and Hudson made her leave the room not wanting her to suffer any longer. He had not cried as yet and preferred to keep it that way, as he didn't want to loose control in front of his clan. He had to stay in check for them and comfort them in their time of need.
In truth, Hudson wanted to leave too. He did not want to be there, he did not want to see his faithful friend lie dying on that blasted metal table! But try as he might, he could not bring himself to go. He could not bear the thought of his friend lying on that table alone and dying in a plain white room with a stranger, even if he was heavily sedated. So he stayed seated and waited for the Vet to arrive.
He continued stroking the dog's head and ear, whispering to him softly. "Bronx," Hudson had whispered gently. "You know I love you. Elisa was right when she said you were one of the best dogs we ever had. I do not want you to go, but… I do not want you to suffer either, but know this! No matter what happens, I'll never forget you Bronx. Never! You will always live in my memories… and in my heart forever."
The vet arrived shortly after. Hudson knew he was only doing his job and he had probably done this sort of thing loads of times before, so he was bound to be used to it but… Nevertheless, Hudson could not help but feel resentful of the man and the way he so casually handled Bronx as though he was only giving him another damn sedative.
The Vet told Bronx that he was a good boy and asked if Hudson wanted to leave, but Hudson could barely move so he refused and said he wanted to stay.
"He won't feel a thing will he?" Hudson had asked. "And it will be quick?"
"Yes," the Vet answered simply.
They half covered Bronx's face with the blanket he was wrapped in so he wouldn't see the needle. He didn't protest, bark or woof, or make any kind of noise or move as the Vet injected him.
Hudson stared into the eyes of his friend and lifelong companion, the sorrow and love in his eyes for him. For one moment, it looked as if Bronx was staring at him and that moment stayed with him forever because at that moment the drug had kicked in… Bronx had passed away.
"His heart has stopped," the Vet said taking a stethoscope and listening to the hound's chest. Hudson wanted to pound him!
Bronx looked exactly as he did as when he was alive. Hudson felt tears welding up in his eyes and dripping down his cheeks. He asked the Vet if he could be alone with his friend for a couple of minutes. The Vet nodded and left.
As soon as the Vet was gone, Hudson broke down and cried until his hearts content. With his head bowed over Bronx's, hugging him as though it would somehow bring him back.
A couple of minutes, but it might as well have been an hour for all Hudson knew. After the tears had run their course, Hudson dried his eyes on some tissue he found and looked once more to his late friend.
His eyes were still open and no matter how hard he tried, Hudson couldn't close them. The sight made Hudson feel eerie but he couldn't take his eyes off them. He also noticed that some of his tears had fallen on his friend's nose and wiped them off.
"Good bye old friend," he said tearfully. He found it strange that he was still so warm. He would almost swear that he was still alive and only asleep or staring at him… But he knew better. He covered the beast with the blanket and stepped out the room.
Goliath and Elisa had both broken down on their way home. Elisa just collapsed and held her own animal Cagney as she sobbed her heart out.
Now here they were as the flames built higher and Bronx became as ash. They would then take his ashes out and scatter them with the wind so that his soul may finally know what it's like to fly.
The clan all cried and said their goodbyes bringing up happy stories of the hound and their good times with him. They then went inside and each took a hard drink and drank a toast to Bronx wherever he may be, so that he may finally know peace.
Hudson looked once more over the battlements into the night sky. Even now, he still expected Bronx to come around the next corner sniffing for food.
"Goodbye old friend," Hudson sniffed back another tear. "Rest in peace."
He turned and walked back into the castle.
To my dogs Max and Lassie, rest in peace.