Yesterday was a very sad day for our family.
It was time to say goodbye to Daisy Duke. The sweetest, gentlest dog I have ever had the pleasure of doing life with.
The fact that it had been discussed and planned ahead, with the family all in agreement that it was time.The understanding we had a duty to relieve her suffering and to do so in the most respectful and least stressful way possible didn’t make it any easier.
Old age creeps up on us all but the slide is so gradual that we can be caught off guard, not wanting to see what was happening right before our eyes. The incremental loss-quality of life slipping away. Simple pleasures that are no longer possible, like going for a walk without being in significant pain afterwards. The night she didn’t even get out of her basket for dinner we knew it was time. She had been having seizures that day and just was unable to move. She was having good days and bad, but the scales were shifting more towards the bad. There was nothing that could be done, time is cruel sometimes.
But then, when the decision is made we must stand firm in it and not wallow in self doubt. How do you do that? I have no idea. It is still raw and I still doubt.
I am grateful though that we were able to at least attempt to prepare. I was still struck with the shock of it at the end, the finality and loss. One minute she was there and the next just gone. Her body was on the blanket by the fire but she was elsewhere.
We made sure her last day was a special one, a day of goodbyes and affection. The final “I love you” spoken with words and actions.
It began with a car ride and brunch date for samosas with her favourite human in the world. Then a very slow walk along the beach in the winter sun. She was so unsteady on her feet and stumbled a lot on the way back that we thought we may have to carry her but she made it -dignified to the end. The afternoon was spent with her snoring in her basket and finally settling by the fire as the vet came and made the house-call we had all been dreading.
Her pain did not vanish, it simply moved from her failing body to our hearts instead.
It is our role to carry that for her now. To know that unlike her pain that was worsening with every week ours will eventually heal-although it doesn’t feel possible today.
The house was too quiet this morning. I went down to the kitchen and there was no bellowing deep voice calling for her breakfast, just a quiet poodle who is sticking very close to my side right now after his first ever night without his constant companion.
I have to wonder if he is grieving too.