The only thing “good “about “bad.”…is getting that tingling feeling , when you let out a big sigh, and part of you knows…..”The worst..is over”. It’s not lollipops and sunshine yet, but it is no longer dread, and sobbing, and constant questioning…”Did I do the right thing? “. It is no longer the feeling that someone lit off a firecracker in your eyes and it hurts just to keep them open,because they have been gushing out waterfalls and buckets of fears, and sadness, and obsessive thinking, and “Will I really be able to handle this?” Will I be ok ? Will I be able to actually live on? How will I navigate this new life? Kind of like divorce. Kind of like labor pains. Kind of like nothing else ever. Knowing it is the right time to let your beloved family member go …to hopefully a better place……I vowed I would never ever do this again in my life. One dog…in one lifetime was enough. Otis was beyond his last legs when I was tear and fear stricken, and took him to the vet all my myself, more than 25 years ago. I didn’t want him to leave me. I didn’t want to suffer more then he was suffering. “When you know better…you do better. ” Or do you?”
Back and forth I ranted to myself.She wasn’t “Sick “enough. After all she could still walk. She couldn’t make it to her two favorite places any more, and she couldn’t wait sometimes to get outside before things came out of her. But she always ate her food. Labs LOVE to eat! Labs love to play. Labs love the ocean. Things were revving up in a bad way for her all of a sudden now. I knew it was only going to get worse. Did she want to experience herself like that? Did I???? I kept her dreadfilled Cushings Disease at bay for over a year and a half. My love…Soozie’s love…Coda’s love….and CUSHEX DROPS…..brought miracles and relief to her body, and she was able to fight off alot of the horrible things that tried to hunt down her body …but Peachie Girl has always been one strong, tough cookie, and she never complained about a thing, which also helped me believe she could just live on forever like the mouse in “The Green Mile”.
I could see in her eyes….when her dignity started to leave her. After all, she was a show dog in her younger years, before we were lucky enough to have her join our family. We had to actually “untrain” some of her habits and teach her how to have a little more fun in life, which she took to immediately! Now she had lost her ability to walk very far at all…just navigating the hallway to the elevator to get outside, was becoming fear filled for her. She had a few “accidents”. Not many. But I could tell, she was just mortified. Her face was losing it’s vigor and she started having that vacant..nobody is home look, every now and then.
I decided I was a terrible mother. I decided I had not done well by her. “If only” became my mantra. If only…I could have taken her to the beach every day…maybe the disease would not have come after her so hard. If only I didn’t work so much and had the time to take more time with her. If only I hadn’t listened to the Doctors …If only I knew the horrible side effects of prednisone years ago when she had to take so much for her constant ear infections…….My son reminded me that we must play with the cards we are dealt. Soozie reminded me of all the great things I have always done for Peachie…gotten her the right meds to keep her comfortable for so long. Giving her great healthy food, taking her to the Park and the Beach whenever I could. I was always rushing home to make sure she could go out when Soozie wasn’t able to….
After much crying, and many sleepless nites, I was able to decide I had to get myself and my selfish wants of keeping her with me no matter what….out of the way. I had to let her keep her dignity, and have an incredible time before she left the planet to hopefully go on to a place with less pain, and more mobility. This was most difficult for me. I felt like a murderer. Who do I think I am to decide her life’s fate? When I realized….that she was unable to do her favorite things anymore….when I realized that if I were in her position…what I would want…when I remembered my core beliefs about life and death and that I don’t think this is it….I think we recycle into something else that is familiar …surrounded by beings we have known…yet a new world to learn and cultivate….I was finally able to choose. That didn’t mean the voices in my head stopped chastizing me….but it did give me a little more resolve. I prayed. I cried. I prayed. I decided.
We took Peachie to the Beach and she frolicked as best she could, in the waves with her beloved master since she was a puppy….my son. She ate ice cream. Haggen dazs. Vanilla. We took her to the vet. They were kind beyond imaginable. They gave her a sedative to help her go to sleep. She started snoring REALLY LOUD…which made us all laugh unexpectedly and broke the silence of sadness in the room. She gave us that gift. Then she left. She was finally able to rest. I swear she flew off somewhere really fast! She was relieved. Right before she left us, she nuzzled up to my son so tight…..she adored him more than anything in life. It felt like she was giving him everything she had left of herself and her sweet soul.
I miss her. I went to give my other pup dinner tonite and I just automatically reached for her bowl too. I know I will be doing those things. I still have cringes and crying jags. I get really sad. But I also feel happy when I look at the photos of her last day at the beach and how happy she was …playing with my son…I know I will miss her for the rest of my life here on earth. I know I will for I still miss my Oatie Boy. But I suppose…these are the agonies and the ecstasies of love. I feel like an orphan somehow. I am not sure how to move forward now, but I know if I am easy on myself these things will come forth to me. She will help me. I know she will. She will always be my favorite “Snow Dog” who I will always cherish in my heart forever and ever.