January 28th 2012 12:47 pm
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Today -- 12 years, 6 months and 1 week after Baby came into my life, I took her to the vet to have her euthanized, and then just dropped her off for cremation.
I'm in the eye of my personal storm right now -- the decision was made, carried out, she's physically gone, and for better or worse, I have nothing I need to do until I pick her ashes up in a couple days. As quiet as she's gotten in the past year or so, it's easy to fall into disbelief & think she's just in the other room, on the bed snoozing under a comforter.
After the death of Nike in 2009, Baby became the lone entity that I shared so many memories & important events with -- moving across the country to California, then moving to SW Utah. We shared the experiences of 4 different homes in 3 different states. Human family was long gone, acquaintances, friends & girlfriends come & go, but Baby-Girl & her brother Nike were the one constants in my life that I could count on as being there for the long-term.
Unfortunately, a dog's natural lifespan doesn't come close to that of a human, but they're so much smarter than us, they can live a full-life in 10 or 15 years. The death of a faithful, wonderful dog should teach us a lesson about life, but unfortunately for me, I've already learned that lesson several times over, so the death just seems like cruel punishment that I wonder if I really deserve.
I truly thought & expected that Baby would be gone last September, but thanks to a lot of veterinary work, she survived the month & did fairly well afterwards, until the combination of her longtime medial maladies as well as what seemed to be basic age-related difficulties resulted in her being alive, but not having any sort of quality of life. That reality made me start to consider what was absolutely something I couldn't consider. Over the past week, she lost interest in food, and eventually even water. I couldn't let her sleep on the bed because it's about 2 feet above the ground, and she was no longer able to find the doggy stairs leading up or down. She'd spend the night restless, wandering around & bumping into the walls, and last night I tried to keep her in the bed with me but eventually she decided to get up & wander again. I had to put her bedding, food & water into the walk-in shower stall just so that she couldn't keep wandering around & bump into things, and when I woke up (or I should say got up, since I didn't really sleep) this morning, I just kind of accepted what needed to be done, and I did it.
While I have FOUR other dogs at home & love them very much, the reality is that Nike & Baby were & still are in a totally different league. I'm proud to say that in terms of being the human companion responsible for providing them with a great life, they/I/we were lucky enough to get that accomplished -- they were never lost, never had a need to be afraid, always plenty of toys, treats, exercise and medical care when needed, and I'm glad I was able to provide them with that, though it pales in comparison to what they provided me over the years.
I really, really wish I had some religious beliefs, so I could be thinking that she's re-united with Nike & lots of other dogs we all had a part in helping, but unfortunately, all I know is that her suffering is over with, and mine is just beginning. But if anyone needs to suffer, I'd rather have it be me & not her.
I'll get her ashes on Monday, and they will be combined with those of Nike, so that I'll just have one urn to move back & forth between the bedroom & living room each day, & take with me on overnight trips.
Like was the case with Nike, this will be the last diary entry/update for my dear Pretty Baby Girl. Who knows how many people will see it, how many people will understand the loss & emotions, and how long it'll be on the Internet. The reality is that all of us are mere blips in the big picture of life, but in the blip, that is and was *my* life, Baby's life & death are tremendous events.
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