Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Goodbye my old friend

Today was a sad, sad day. My dog died.

I feel so silly saying that, I mean, she was JUST a dog. But she was a part of our family. She was our "first born". We had her way before we had the kids. We spoiled her rotten before the kids came. She went everywhere with me. I talked to her like she could listen. And I think she even answered me sometimes :)

Once we had the kids, things changed. She wasn't my main attraction anymore. The kids required so much of me. And often, I'd have very little left for her. The car rides dwindled. The walks stopped. I yelled at her a lot to leave the kids' toys alone and to quit licking the floor that their bare feet were now walking on.

And yet, she was still there - every day - waiting for me to show her just a little affection.

As the kids grew, the time we spent together came back. The kids started school. I was home. She followed me around. ALL the time. She always knew where I was and I always had to be within her sight. She was getting older - we both were - and she needed that reassurance that I was still there. I was. The petting started again. The walks happened every once in awhile. And when she was lucky enough, I'd even take her for a car ride again. She'd sneak up on the couch with me every chance she got. She was my cuddly friend again.

For 14 years, she was always by my side. We had our rhythm. She knew where I was; I knew where she was. I guess you could say we were BFF's :)

The last month has been up and down. She had a pretty bad spell a month ago, I thought she was leaving me then. But she pulled through and had some REALLY good days. A few bad days, but mostly good. Her habits changed - she had to go outside more often (like several times in the middle of the night) and she had a few accidents in the house. She'd stare at walls and couldn't hear me when I came in the house anymore.

But underneath it all, she was still my pal - she still managed to get up on the couch with me just a few days ago. She'd still follow me around and would always have to be right next to me. And just yesterday, she was up on the table eating the kids' leftover peanut butter. If someone would've told me that yesterday was her last day, I never would've believed it.

I couldn't have asked for a better ending. She had a rough night last night - she was up pretty much all night, pacing around, going outside a LOT. This morning, she went downstairs and never came back up. But we got to say goodbye. Emma and I sat with her, petting her for a long time this morning. She didn't have much strength and I knew what was happening. It was awkward and peaceful all at the same time. I told Emma that we had to go upstairs and get something to eat and we'd check on Maggie in a little bit. Maggie got up to try to follow us but couldn't make it. She laid back down. I pet her one last time and went upstairs. I checked on her a few minutes later and she was gone.

For a 14 1/2 year old dog, that's not too bad of an ending. The vet didn't think she'd make it past a few days a month ago. She made it - and lived the last month like a hobbly old lady, but she didn't curl up and give up. She fought with all she had, she just didn't have any more. At least she got some peanut butter before she went :)

I'll miss you, my old friend. Thanks for the unconditional love. You were a great dog. Even if you licked the floor and ate the peanut butter - and everything else for that matter! - right off the table.

Thank goodness for the dog overlap. Baxter sure is making things easier... But she is really sad and confused too...

I love this picture of my dogs, it is from a long time ago so they look fresh and young! Maggie's pretty black hair turned gray - especially on her face. She had gone through many (ugly) haircuts because her coat had changed and she didn't always let me brush her anymore. Now I can remember her being young :)

But it truly is a sad, sad day.

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