I don't know why I'm writing this; the subject is something that is dear to my heart, and something that I should be able to talk with my nearest friends about, but have struggled to do so.  I think this is form of me having a conversation people who I should be able to talk to, but can't bring myself to because of the way I feel about this.  To fully understand the significance of what I'm about to say, I need to recap the last six years of my life.  

My wife is a flight attendant, and whilst she's spent a fair amount of time on maternity leave of late, when we initially moved to Melbourne she would be away for 8-10 nights a month.  This left me in a city where I had very few contacts, with my then fiance away a lot.  This is the point when Wilson entered my life.  He was a little bundle of fur, and out of all the puppies in the litter, he was the puppy that struggled to climb up the stairs.  When we drove home with him he was carsick.  When he was 16 weeks old there were fireworks down the street, he was petrified and peed all over me.  Every day would start with him and I taking a walk around Yarra Bend park.  He was afraid of swimming, but loved wading in the water and jumping at sticks and rocks thrown for him.  At puppy training I would make a fool out of myself trying to get his attention.  We reached milestones including moving from being dragged along by the lead to being able to walk sensibly on the lead; I still remember the day that he was able to jump into the car unassisted.  I was such a hypochondriac that the Vet recognised my voice on the phone.  I had built a kennel before we got him and for 6 months he was a mile too small for it.  We got to know our next door neighbour well after Wilson dug under the fence and stole one of her shoes.  All of these memories come from the very start of his life.  Over the years I've enjoyed many many happy hours with Wilson (and Molly), and have many many happy memories that are now torturous reminders of moments I will never again be able to enjoy.

Ruby, our 2nd child, was born at 2:32pm Monday 12/01/09.  On Wednesday I came home to tidy up some loose ends. Whilst home I went to the park for a run, Wilson and Molly jumped in the car with me and I warned them that I would be running fast and they'd need to work hard to keep up.  We got there, I ran two hard laps of the park, and came home.  I got out of the car, and inexplicitly went inside without getting the dogs out.  It was hot.  I had lunch, a shower, made a couple of phone calls, and had written, but not sent, an email.  Then it happened.  Someone knocked on the door saying that I'd locked the dogs in the car and the windows were fogged up.  I walked out to the car, realised I didn't have keys, and turned around to go back to the house.  At this point I started to panic.  By the time I ran inside and got back to the car I was very anxious.  When I opened the car and saw Wilson's limp body I panicked.  I got him out and put him down on the nature strip, he was breathing, but was completely limp and not responding.  Molly wasn't in the boot, I opened the back door and found her underneath the back seat.  She was in a similar state to Wilson.  By this point tears were streaming down my face and I was hyperventilating.  I didn't know what to do; the lady who had knocked on our door told me to get some water on them.  I ran to the back of the house with Molly and put the hose on her.  I needed to go and get Wilson, but I didn't want to stop hosing Molly.  I screamed for help.  I left the hose running on Molly, and ran back to get Wilson.  When I had brought Wilson next to Molly I had both my beloved dogs on the ground, in the shade, with the hose on them.  I was sobbing uncontrollably as I hosed them down.  I dialled the Vet's number and gave the phone to my Mum.  She spoke to them and was told to get wet towels on them and bring them in.  Everyone else had come through the house, and I was outside with the dogs.  The back door was locked and they needed to open it to bring the towels out, I didn't have keys but tried to yank the door open with brute force, unsuccessfully.  Clare's Mum arrived with keys and opened the door.  We got the towels on the dogs and wet them.  I gave Mum the car keys and told her to start the car and put the air conditioning on full.  

I carried the dogs' limp bodies to the car and Mum drove us to the Vet.  I ran in with Wilson, then ran back and got Molly.  When I opened the door at the Vet I couldn't see anyone.  No receptionist, no Vets; and the consulting rooms were empty.  I ran straight into the consulting room calling "hello?" as a Vet was coming out.  I left Wilson there and went back for Molly.  We now had 2 Vets, the receptionist, me, and my Mum, all running around trying to do things.  The Vets put drips in Wilson and Molly, and turned the fans on, as well as taking their temperatures.  Wilson's was 44 degrees.  I now felt that there were enough other people doing things for me to let my emotions go.  I ran from Wilson to Molly, and back again, hugging them, and saying sorry over and over again with tears streaming down my face.  After an hour or so of fans, cold baths, wet towels, and IV drips, their temperatures had returned to normal, however they were not good.  The Vet told me that I could leave them there overnight, or take them down to the Vet hospital; however I got the impression that things "should be ok".  Mum suggested I go home to think about it and have a rest from my emotions.

Before getting home I had already decided that I would take them to the hospital.  On Mum's advice I lay down on the bed, but all that I could think of was their limp bodies.  I was already torturing myself, but had no idea of what was to come.  

Mum and I returned the Vet, collected the dogs, and headed to Werribee.  We got there, put the dogs on a trolley that was waiting, I signed some forms, and they took them in.  We were in the waiting area, they had taken the dogs and were doing "something".  We waited for what seemed like an eternity.  I read the cards of thanks that were pinned up on the wall - the vast majority were "thanks for trying, our pet X had a good life"; these messages did nothing to ease my fears.  The Vet came back to get me so I could have a look at them, they were on the ground in the corner of a big room full of animals in kennels.  They had drips in, and ECG machines.  They were both lifeless, although would make eye contact.  The Vet then asked that we go and talk about them "somewhere quiet".  She explained that Wilson had suffered badly, and whilst there was a chance, it wasn't good.  I didn't quite realise just how little hope there was, and she outlined a treatment plan for him which I agreed to.  My mood swung from self-hatred to positive-thoughts and back again.  When we left I had a conversation with Wilson in which I told him to hang in there, and we'd be back chasing planes at the park in no time.

I drove home, dropped Mum off, and then went to the hospital to see Clare and Ruby.  I told Clare everything that had happened.  We were still talking when Clare's phone rang (mine was out of battery and being charged).  It was the Vet, they wanted me to go back.  I knew this was bad, and Clare and I talked about putting Wilson down if that was what was required.  When I arrived at the Vet, Wilson had been intubated and had a machine breathing for him.  Looking into his eyes I saw nothing.  I collapsed, I had left only an hour or so earlier full of hope, and it was now clear that I had killed my beloved Wilson.  I had a very brief conversation with the Vet, and we agreed it was time to put him down.  They took me into a room, and brought him in.  I signed a piece of paper, and they told me to tell them when they wanted to do it.  Looking into his eyes was painful.  A machine was breathing for him, but he was already gone, he wasn't there, his eyes were glazed over.  I told the Vet to "do it now", and as she did it, I said "Thank-you for all you have given me", and "Sorry", over and over, to Wilson.  The Vet left, and I was in the room with Wilson, now completely lifeless, with all tubes and drips removed.  I spent some time talking to his lifeless body, recounting fun times we've had, all the time with tears streaming down my face.  I eventually left, and went to speak with Molly.  I don't recall talking about Molly with the Vet, but left believing that she would be ok.  Given that I'd just seen my best friend die, I don't know why I wasn't more worried about Molly; perhaps its that she's always been the stronger one between the two.

The above all happened on Wednesday 14th.  As I write this 10 days have passed and Molly has made slow but steady improvements, and despite many worrying signs, is continuing to hold on.  I am now holding onto the hope that Molly will one day soon be home again, but at the same time cannot get away from the fact that it was my action of leaving Wilson and Molly in the car that led to Wilson's death.  I loved him like a child, yet now blame myself for his death.