Yesterday morning I disregarded my alarm clock and decided to sleep in. At around noon (didn’t want to sleep that late) I was awoken by a vibrating phone on my nightstand. Seeing my mom’s caller ID, I answered. The first words I heard yesterday morning were “Well, do you want to come with me and do it?” from my sobbing mother. With no context, I knew it was about my dog.
My first words yesterday morning were “No, you’re kidding me.” I immediately rose from my bed, not sure if I was coherent and the message I just heard was real or not, putting pants on and walking out of my room. I sat at the top of the stairs, where my dog should have been after her vet appointment that morning, and watched as my sister got ready to leave to go to a friend’s house.
What started as a day we had hoped would discover an abscess tooth living inside my dog’s mouth soon turned into a lump in her chest and sores coating her tongue and throat.
As I sat there listening to my mother repeat the message to me, igniting my sobs from leaving my body. I trembled and shook as I learned the fate of my beloved dog. After deciding I had to say goodbye, I tried to do something with my unkempt sleep hair and swollen eyes while waiting for my mom to pick me up to head to the vet.
As I walked into the private room at the veterinary office, a sudden gust of sadness engulfed the room. As I sat on the floor waiting for the receptionist to bring my dog into the room, I remembered why I had worn sunglasses on that gloomy day, so no one could see the red clouds that were my eyes.
This was it. The second I saw my dog, sad, scared, and desperate, I was done, tearing welling in my eyes, hoping to burst past the levies and ignite a flood of emotions I wasn’t prepared to unleash.
After seeing some familiar faces, she took a seat on my lap and all I could do was hug her. Hug her for being the best dog I could ever have, hug her for being sorry that she was in so much pain, and hug her for being so strong.
After we left I cried more. I have tears staining my cheeks, my coat, my pillow, everywhere. The house is quiet and empty and every time the doorbell has been rung I expect to see her getting up to see who is there, or whenever I eat food, I expect to see her wanting some and I keep closing the bathroom door behind me, even though there is no need. It has been a weird day and I know it will be a weird few weeks or months as I get out of the habits I took 9 years to build.
I won’t be able to eat popcorn or carrots the same way again and I will miss our couch cuddles you pushing me off the couch you weren’t even allowed on. I will miss my slippy slippy lovie girl. She was the greatest joy to come home to. Cancer sucks and I will miss and love you always.
“It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch.”