Monday, October 29, 2012

Give Us This Day

Every pet owner knows that chances are, their pets will not outlive them. When we made the decision to adopt an eight year-old dog, we did so knowing the risks. Honestly, when we first got him I was far more nervous about my ability to not be crawling out of my skin at the thought of pet hair all over our house than I was about, what seemed like, the very far-off prospect of dealing with his loss. I was secretly relieved when both the vet and trainer said that it would not be good to have him up on the furniture or bed because it would be hard on his joints. I will never be the type of pet owner who spoons their dog under the covers in bed. And I will always be the kind who throws up in my mouth a little bit when other people talk about doing it.

However, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the pet hair (aside being a lot of work to keep up on) was just a part of him. And, oh how I loved him. I'm sitting here just three hours after getting home from the vet's office where I sat and stroked that huge, lovable, loyal (and yes, a little stinky) head for the last moments of his life. With Jack in the ergo sleeping, the boys at school and J at work, it was as it is the majority of the time; just me and D, also affectionately know as Sir Licks A Lot, His Nervousness and Our Dailey Bread.

On Thursday, when I dropped him off at the vet, I was just waiting to get a phone call saying that he'd swallowed an entire lego village (even though he never ate the kids' toys) or he'd somehow eaten a cloth diaper (even though there were none missing) because there had to be a silly explanation for his random vomitting and sickness. Sadly, there was no silly explanation, just the one you don't want to hear. As I stood on a Friday afternoon stirring a giant pot of soup, I was digesting the words that came streaming into my ear; poor prognosis, risk of ruptured spleen, tumor, cancer-the one I wasn't quite ready for came along. Euthanize. What a cold, hard word.

J and I decided to bring him home for the weekend, and I'm so glad we did. It gave us all a chance to digest the news, as much as was really possible it's still so surreal, get pictures, give him some love and say good-bye. This morning I loaded him into the car when I took the kids to school, had them give him a squeeze and a kiss as they each got out, and drove with dread to our appointment. As I walked back in the house afterward, I looked around and realized just how much our home centered around his being here. Then, when Jack went down for his nap and the house was just too quiet, I turned to my friends Ben & Jerry and consoled myself with some S'Mores ice cream, because I had almost forgotten to be an emotional eater.

I'm not sure how long it will be before I feel ready to have another pooch in our lives, but I know that it will happen. I also know that every other dog we have will be compared to him, which isn't a bad thing, but it would be a sad thing right now. Thanks sweet D for giving H a best friend in a new town, and our whole family the chance to love you for two years.


Anonymous said...

Oh Sara! I can't stop the tears. I'm so sorry for your loss! :-(

MaryBear said...

Oh Sara what a beautiful tribute to Dailey. I Love you guys!

Kate said...

Sorry for your loss of a beautiful companion! He looks like our puppy will in a few years. What type of dog is he? I am so glad that your family was there to care for him!

Sally HP said...

He was a big ole bundle of black lab love :) thanks for your comment!