Sunday, February 18, 2007

Goodbye, Sweet Girl

Last night, I got the call. The call. Not a call.

Tommorow morning, first thing, my puppy dog is going to be put down.

There were many tears last night. There will probably be more today (okay, not probably - I started again a few lines down, and they show no signs of letting up). Despite some of the semi-good over-the-counter drugs, I got all of 5 not very good hours of sleep last night, and here I am now with crap on the TV and a laptop in bed because sleep is just No Good and Not Coming right now, and possibly won't tonight either.

Now, I have to decide if I want to be there or not when it happens. My parents, who adore her and take care of her will be there with her, so she absolutely won't be alone at the end, and hopefully won't be too distressed or upset immediately before it happens. My brother likely won't. But I still find myself scared that if I'm not there, she won't know how much I love her. But, really, no one seems to think it's necessary that I be there, and my parents have suggested that I not make the trek so that my last memories of her will only be the good and happy ones. Really, I know that she knows that I love her, and that she loves me back with all of her big, open, unconditional doggie heart. I also know that as much as my heart is breaking right now, going back and coming in the door to see her for the last time, and then having a last night with her, and finally watching her rest her head on her paws for the last time would probably tear it completely asunder. I would absolutely do it to ensure that she wasn't alone at the end. But she won't be, and I just don't know. Logically, I know that being there is probably not the best thing for me and, given that my folks will be there, my presence won't drastically improve anything for her, given the situation. Mostly, I think I'm just torn apart that even if I go home, this will be the last time I see her. There's a last time, and it's not in some far flung future - the last time is either going to be the time I saw her a few weeks ago or tomorrow, and there won't be any other times now - no visits in between, no stops home to see her, no wagging at the door, no walks, no sharing the bed, no chin scratched or belly rubs. No more Annie. But still, I feel torn.

I know this is the right thing to do. She's been sick for years, even though she's only eight and a half years old. Her kidneys are shut down, there's all manner or tocix crap coursing through her, it's physically painful for her to eat, and she doesn't go for walks or even get off the bed when dad gets home from work any more. She's still as loving as ever, but that's about all that she's got left, and it's just not fair to leave her like this, especially when the end will come in the next few weeks and, if it's not at the hands of the vet, it will be the result of toxicity or starvation, which is far worse. We won't let that happen, and it's not fair for her to suffer just so we can have a few more days with her.

Of course, knowing this doesn't make it any easier on me right now, and even though I've been expecting this for quite some time, I still feel as though death has come up, kicked me in the ass and tweaked my nose. I think grief is highly personal, and don't really know about the stages of grief model as a whole, but I've been through a few of them already. Denial's been going on for months now, with me hoping and hoping that she'd get better through changed diets, love and all the positive energy we could send her. I've been bargaining for a few weeks now, since some of the first signs that the end might be coming showed up. I'd hoped I could trade something I loved - barring my sweetie, family, and friends - and for awhile I hoped the loss of the TV remote counted as a trade off, but apparently that was a no-go and I found it again later (and yes, that was a weak attempt at a joke-through-tears, and not one of my better efforts.) Grief I've now got in spades - just tears and tears and tears, interrupted by the occasional bit of weeping and gasping for breath. Even when I'm not actively crying, I sit here and the tears just roll down my face, one after the other.

There are no pictures for this post. Some may come later, when I'm up to it, but for now I can't bear to look through them long enough to pick one, or to get it up here.

I'll be fine. I know I'll be fine, in weeks, or months. This too will pass, and there will be good memories, and great relief that my sweet girl isn't itchy or in pain or unable to have a life anymore. Soon, I hope, there will be some posts where I remember some good times and some funny times, the ones that will mark our time with you much more than this terrible time will. But right now, this second, this hurts like hell, and makes me want to alternately tear out my hair, scream, and throw up at the sheer awfulness of it all.

Goodbye, Little Girl, my Munchkin, my Annie. I hope you've had a good life, in spite of it all, and that you know how completely you are loved, and how we would have done (and did do) everything possible to have more time with you and to keep you as healthy and happy and comfortable as we possibly could. You will always, always be remembered, and loved, and treasured. I love you more than I can possibly say.

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