Monday, February 20, 2012

She Gave Me Sun, She Gave Me Snow

On Friday night I lost my best friend.  My dog was my closest ally and best source of comfort for the duration of her nearly fourteen years of life.  She’d been sick for awhile.  We had a very good week together, though, the best one in awhile. We went on walks, played with her squeaky toys, she was excited to eat with the recent addition of soft food mixed in with the hard.  She got lots and lots of love and cuddled with the cats.  Friday night was no exception.  I got home and she was waiting by the door for me, and we went on a walk together.  She investigated everything, as per usual, and finished the walk strong.  Back at home she brought me a toy that still managed to have a functioning squeaker in spite of the fact that most squeaky toys in my apt. were squeaker-disabled long ago. 

She got sick very suddenly, but very acutely.  An ultrasound revealed a mass on her spleen that was affecting her pancreas and her liver.  She was horribly uncomfortable and sick.  Her eyes were pained and tired.  Her body was weak.  I gave her the best gift I could give her…I let her go.

It was the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done.  But I was with her every second.  When she passed, I was holding her head.  A vet tech was holding her paw.  The vet had a hand on her side.  She was covered in a soft blue blanket, and she went peacefully.

The vet office was amazing.  Simply amazing.  I got so many hugs.  Reassurances I was doing the right thing.  Other vets who had treated her before coming in to see us.  People were running around getting me Kleenex and water and doling out hugs and kind words at every turn.  They offered to call me a cab after, but I chose to drive myself home.  I took a few minutes in the car first then steeled myself to get through the short drive.  I failed.  I sobbed hysterically for the entire drive. 

The weekend was weird.  Saturday started off very rough.  But then I set to keeping myself busy with practical errands.  I organized her belongings at home, tossed out all the stupid medicines she’d had, washed all of her blankets and bedding.  I met up with a friend for dinner, like I’d previously planned.  It was so good to get out and have company.  I felt halfway normal at least part of the time, and it was nice.  Back at home I cried.  I flailed. 

Sunday was worse.  I cried off and on all day.  I had brunch with my ex-H, and ended up getting out of the car afterwards crying after yelling at him.  I went to a movie with a friend in the afternoon.  I fielded phone calls from concerned family and friends, and felt numb and dull for the duration.  I felt the paralyzing fear of intense loneliness.  Anger.  Frustration.  Resentment.  Most of last night is honestly a blur.

I overslept this morning.  I’m just so tired.  Work is ridiculous today.  Most places are closed for the holiday, but not us.  At least it’s quiet.  I thought about staying later to make up the time I missed, but I don’t care today.  I will leave at my regular time and go home to rest.  My limbs feel like jello.  My heart hurts.  I am so tired, inside and out.  I feel weak and drained and overwhelmed by what lies ahead of me.

My apartment is wrong without her.  Everything reminds me of her.  I took a bath last night and cried because she wasn’t in there trying to drink the water out of the faucet, or making a bed out of my towels on the bathroom floor like she so often did when I bathed. I cried when I unloaded the dishwasher and found her food and water bowls.  I cried at the sight of furballs on my kitchen floor in the corner, where they’d lurked behind her giant container of food, which I’d thrown out Saturday afternoon. 

My world is off balance right now without her in it.

In spite of the intense sadness, two things made me smile this weekend.  Saturday, the day after I let her go, it was a spectacularly beautiful day.  The sun was shining, it was nearly sixty degrees.  There was a good breeze.  It was the kind of day she would have loved.  We would have gone on a walk and she would have sniffed everything, and the wind was the kind she used to bark at when she was a puppy. 

Then on sunday, all I wanted was snow.  They'd taken it out of the forecast, and I was so disappointed.  I wanted the snow.  Later in the evening, I went outside to go to the store for a couple of things.  It was snowing.  Big, fat, wet flakes of snow.  It was beautiful and lovely and unexpected.  She would have wanted to go on a walk in it, and I would have walked with her and caught snow on my tongue. It made me smile.  She gave me a wonderful, spring-like day when I needed it most, and then she gave me the snow I wanted the following day. 

I felt her in the sun and the snowflakes.  My sweet dog was sending me a sign that she was okay.  That she was finally not sick anymore.  That she was in a place where it could be sunny and beautiful or snowy and serene as she pleased, and she shared it with me. 

In loving memory of my beautiful girl, M. 
May 5, 1998-February 17, 2012


  1. My heart breaks for you. I have been through this twice with a dog of mine, once with a cat and it sucks. It is just. the. saddest. thing. So hard to be home without them, doing their cute little idiosyncratic things. It's hard as hell right now but the passage of time does help and you can take a huge amount of comfort in the fact that you both gave each other love and joy for her whole life. You couldn't ask for more and neither would she. But I know her absence is hard no matter what you tell yourself. Rest in peace, sweet Mercy. xoxo

  2. Thank you, Alison. Your post made me cry. I know that anyone who has ever loved and lost a pet understands what I am going through, and I very much appreciate your words.