|Barked: Tue Jul 12, '11 1:41am PST |
|But I still think about my dear Brownie every day.
It felt so surreal when we decided it was time. I keep replaying that day in my head, and feel strong feelings of guilt.
He went into heart failure. A few days beforehand, I nicked him bad with a pair of scissors while cutting out a mat, and wrapped a bandage around his neck to cover it. Part of me feels as if that contributed somehow, even though he was somewhere around 15-16 years old.
I worry that I handled him too roughly in his final moments. I lifted his chin up in desperation to give him one last kiss on the head, rather than letting him just lay down.
It hurts so badly to think about. I grew up with him. I can barely remember not having him around - I've had him since I was in fourth grade. I remember him as a crazy 2 year old, I remember not paying as much attention to him as I should have in my moody teenage years, and I remember him getting older and sicker. The day he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, we were devastated - it's shocking that that isn't what did it in the end.
We have no doubt that it was the introduction of our younger dog, Sierra, into the family that extended his life for two years. We weren't certain if we would get a new dog while he was still around, because we didn't want to stress him while he was sick - but, quite to the contrary, he fell in love, and on the first day they were sharing a bed, drinking from the same bowl. She took care of him in his final years.
So did we, if imperfectly. I try to take comfort in that thought.
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