when we adopted a senior dog we knew that we would not have a lifetime with her. what i didn’t expect was that i would fall so hard for her. or how good she would make me feel. i thought we were bringing her into our home because she needed us. i never imagined how much of a two way street that could become. she was so goofy. so sweet. she was an incessant licker. she had horrible gas. but how she made us laugh. the first time we saw her at work with my exercise ball i cried from laughing so hard. she had the body of a 12 year old dog but she had the heart and spirit of a puppy. i promised her that as long as she was happy we would fight to keep her healthy. when our vet suggested that she shouldn’t run until we got her blood values up, we decided that as long as she was living in our house she was going to live like a dog. what better way to leave this world than chasing a ball. the last couple of days she hasn’t been herself. i think all of the meds she was on had finally taken their toll. she stopped telling us when she had to go outside. it was as if she was surprised by the urge. she couldn’t get on our bed by herself anymore. she was having difficulty breathing. she had even lost her appetite.
she had an appointment for follow-up blood work today and on the way to the vet’s, i let in the voice i had been ignoring for a week. she looked at me as if to say she was tired. that she was ready. i didn’t want her to go. i didn’t want her to stop feeling like a dog more. i realize that this is a very personal decision, but for me, pet ownership comes with responsibilities. the hardest, the greatest responsibility is to put your pet’s need before your own. knowing in my heart of hearts that it was the right thing for Gabby has not made this decision any easier. my heart is broken. it will break further when i have to tell my children.
when my breath catches and i feel that it just hurts too much, i remind myself of how lucky i am. that it can only hurt this much because i loved so deeply. when i turn and she is not there, i will find solace in the shadow that she used to cast on my every move. though she was not in our lives very long, just a year, she taught us many lessons. not least of which is that in a loving home life flourishes.
we did our very best for you Gabby. we will miss you.