Rest in peace, Baby Girl ~ I am sure that your angel wings are exquisite! Much love, xo ~
The vet had called me Monday night to say that the second set of Baby Girl's test results were very discouraging. I cried and cried until about 4:30 in the morning, to the point of making myself sick ~ and wrote this.
On Tuesday, we went to visit with Baby Girl. And just like I had predicted, when I saw her, I could see the smile in her eyes and hear the beat of her tail. I took the large quilt that my grandmother made me and spread it out on the grass under the trees, where we visited with her for several hours. And I saw life in her. Her face glowed and her tail beat at the sight of my children's faces. Her ears perked at the buzzing of bees and beetles. She lifted her nose and sniffed the air as the smell of grilled steak drifted by. She lapped water until her heart was content. If we ceased petting, she rooted her nose under our hands to encourage it. If I moved, she would look me straight in the eye and start heading in my direction. (I will miss that look in her eyes, it is as if she could feel you ~ hear your thoughts ~ read your mind) And when I remembered that how sick she really was, saw her IV or heard her cough, I really just wanted her to be able to go to sleep, to be free from her pain and to free me from the pain of making that wretched decision.
I excused myself and went to speak with the veterinarian. The questions that I had to ask ~ the words that needed to be said could barely come out of my mouth. I admitted to him that I was struggling to cross that bridge ~ from the side of having her, to the other and most dreaded side, of not having her ever again. I asked about taking her home for one last night. That was exceptable to him, but I knew that if I did, I would struggle to bring her back. I also knew that would be the same as me determining her end. And, so we talked about providing her with another day of treatment, which would be more fluids to flush out the kidneys.
"Is there hope that this will actually work", I asked.
And he said, "There is always hope, but she has a long road to recovery."
I went back outside, loved on her some more and decided that I was going to give her that additional 24 hours. And, at the same time, give myself that additional 24 hours. We kissed her goodbye and I carried her back inside for more fluids and another night of hope. I knew that tomorrow, if need be, I would be ready.
On Wednesday, we headed for another visit. On the way there, I laid it out in my mind, so that I knew the possible plans of action. I was not expecting good results. I know it is important to stay positive, but it is also important to be realistic. So the plans of action were: We could visit with Baby Girl for a few minutes inside the hospital before saying our final goodbye. We could bring Baby Girl outside for a while and visit before saying our final goodbye. We could take Baby Girl home until later that night or even perhaps the next day before saying our final goodbye.
When I saw her, I knew that it was time. The smile in her eyes had to be searched for and she tapped her tail twice for me, but only because I encouraged her. I spoke with the vet. The test results were worse, her condition was worse. Yes, it was time. I carried her out to the Jeep and we held her. And we cried. We talked about how all dogs go to heaven, how of all dogs ~ she definitely deserved to go to heaven and how she was going to look beautiful in angel wings. I tried to get Pippi to touch her one last time, but she wouldn't, she just wept. She wept like she knew what death was and that she knew that was Baby Girl's fate. That moment whispered again in my ear, it is time. And so, just one more kiss, one more hug, one more rub under the ears and one more goodbye from some of Baby Girl's biggest fans. I carried her back inside.
To the technician, I said, "We're ready."
The technician asked, "Have you ever done this before?"
I responded, "No."
But, as I promised, I was going to be there as her spirit slipped away. I placed her on the table and she nudged my hand with her nose one last time. I told her that she was beautiful and brave ~ the best ever ~ and that I loved her. And as quickly as she had entered my heart, she was gone from my life.
For the first time, I really saw the mother's perspective in this thing called death. What I have realized is, that as a mother, when a loved one passes away, it hurts 2x ~ 3x ~ 4x as bad. You have your own personal pain that you need to express ~ cope with ~ console. And you can't help but carry the pain that your children are experiencing. Your heart breaks again, for them. To hear their heavy sobs. To look at them and see that quiet loneliness and know what is missing. Its hard. You want to pull out a giant band-aid and wrap it all up. But you can't. As much as you want the unquenchable sadness to pass, you don't want to forget why the it was there in the first place. And so, you try to help them express, cope with and console their pain.
I wondered why puppies don't live forever. Then I remembered that little boys and girls don't either.
I wondered why puppies only live for a part of a child's life. Is it to teach the value of life? So that compassion will be learned? To mold a frivolous heart into one that is tender and caring?
I wondered ~ and I think ~ maybe so.
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