I woke up today about 5:30am thinking of my little dog, I never wake up this early. Couldn't get her little face and big eyes and long nose out of my mind. Restless, kind of like self torture in a a way. I went to the moment of yesterday when she was sedated, then to death...that exact moment in time. I witnessed EXACTLY when comforting sedation took affect and EXACTLY when death froze her still. Nothing prepares a loving parent for this moment, nothing. I'm in unknown territory here, nobody talks about this part of a pet owner's life. If you're reading this now I doubt anyone like myself will ever report on it, as the process goes forward, like I will. This helps to type words on a page rather than talk. I want to come back to this time in history later on in my life. Now it is fresh and vivid in my memory like i was just airlifted out of a war zone...looking back at where I was just a short while ago.
I tossed and turned until about 7am, then got up and felt this emptiness of no dog at my bedside like all 12 1/2 years before. No dog bed, no bowl of water. My home had been alive because of that little life. I grew up with dogs in the home and had such a wonderful one for myself and family in my home. I have been blessed, I realize that, but it's no comfort. I feel an intense loss and can't shake it, it stays with me.
I have a busy day planned and hope that keeping busy will clear my head, and it does a little. I drive to one of my business locations about 10:17am and look at the clock...that's when I was holding my dog close while my wife drove the truck to the vet yesterday. At this very time 24 hours ago I was kissing my dogs little head and holding her near, knowing that in about 13 minutes from now I would have to enter the vet's office for the last time. The dark curtain of sadness dropped on me once again. The video of my little Sheltie played once again on an endless loop of memories and I couldn't press "pause " or "stop"..."The Best of My Dog" clips kept on until I reached my destination.
Work was good and productive, like a man possessed I was at this location. An hour goes by and back in the truck for the next locale. First is early lunch with my sweet wife. I pick her up and she can tell I'm sad as I hear about her busy day in the office and stories to tell. We get our food and eat in the truck today, she mentions our little one, I can only nod in agreement to her inquiries. Usually I am quite the conversationalist and full of pep and originality...today I am satisfied to listen and be in silence with my grief. Good thing I wear sunglasses today, all day, they aren't coming off.
Now I'm back at home, have some night work to do but want to get this off my chest and mention something I've been feeling all day...the cold reality of death. I focused on my sweetheart's eyes while comforting her on those last seconds, stroking her face, her eyelids gently like she always liked me to do for her. The first and only powerful sedative within seconds put her in a deep state of calm, distant look to her eyes. I knew that the next injection was the death injection. I never looked away from sweetie's eyes as she went from calm dog seemingly thanking me for letting her go, to sedated "thank you daddy, it doesn't hurt any more" to...(had to stop typing for a couple minutes...this next thought was getting to me hard, very hard...)...her lower eyelid drooped ever so slightly...to a blank, cold stare. I just witnessed death. I know what it looks now. I stroked her face and eyelid, trying to gently close it...(damnit, there I go again, another break. I love that dog, this is tough but I've got to get it out, I'm back again)...there is a difference between sedated and death. I guarantee it. Death is unforgiving, final, stark, empty, cold, heartless, one way...so immediate. It hits you hard. I was very upset during sedation and went to another level of sadness upon death. When the vet's stethoscope metal was pulled back from her fur, it hit me...my best little friend was never (oh man, there it goes again...give me a minute...) ...I've got precious few minutes to see her with my eyes. That 15 minutes we are down on the ground with her as she lies on her pillow of death, that was so brutal for us and so wonderful for her. (let me catch my breath here...)
Nothing readies you for this. This part of dog ownership is never mentioned when you take your first pup home. Maybe it shouldn't be, I understand, and let me stress...the happiness she's given is worth the horrible feeling we're all experiencing now. You read this and maybe, maybe understand 5% of what it's like to be me now. If you do it right, if you love and cherish and spend time with that pet...maybe, just maybe this is exactly how you SHOULD feel. I gave my all to this sweet little one and she gave me her all. What more can you ask?