Tuesday, February 25, 2014

goodbyes are better left unsaid

I originally had planned to write about my weekend, and the few little things I did during it. But something happened that put me a bit off course.

Over the past year my dog Sophia had been battling a heart condition. She had bouts of heart failure landing her in the ICU for weekends at a time, she had good days, and she had bad days.

Her good days always outweighed the bad days, and we always secretly dreaded the day when that would switch. Her cardiologist was always baffled at how she just kept on going, and her kidney values (while we always expected them to plummet drastically since she was maxed out on diuretics) never went below “good”, they even got better the past 3 weeks.

She passed away suddenly Sunday night.

Saturday evening she was running around, begging for our food, and doing her usual. Before bedtime she started to have a bad spell, so I did what we’d always do. Put her in her bed, and try to keep her calm until she felt better.

Sunday came around and her breathing rate had not decreased so we decided to take her to the ER again. I stopped being able to emotionally handle taking her to the specialty care facility she’d been going to, so Kh got ready and took her.
That morning looking into her eyes I knew I wouldn’t see her again. I kissed her bald spot and whispered I loved her.

We’d been prepared for this for 11 months now. Since her original diagnosis we knew it was fatal. It gave me time to go through every stage of grief. I was outraged, I was hopelessly pleading with the stars to make it not true, and I cried. A lot.

I’d tell her I loved her every night, and on the nights she was having a bad go of things I told her it was ok for her to go whenever she was ready. And I knew looking in her eyes Sunday morning that she was ready.

Steadily over the past year she’d been having increase, after increase of her medication. Anywhere from every 8 hours, to every 12 hours apart. She had 5 separate medications she was on, totaling 9 pills in the morning, 3 ½ in the afternoon, 5 at night, and 3 ½ again around midnight. Every day, for 11 months.

We planned any and all of our social outings on when she needed her medication. We didn’t take trips because we didn’t trust anyone to take care of her. We catered to every single whim she could have had, and in my heart I know we took care of her to the absolute best of our ability. I wouldn’t change any of it, not even the slightest thing.

Sunday night I had a headache I couldn’t shake, and I couldn’t focus. We went out to dinner with a couple of friends to try and take our minds off everything.

I see the number to the hospital show up on my phone, I give it to Kh and she runs outside to answer it. A couple of seconds later she comes back in and signals for me to come out with her. She tells me Sophia’s heart had stopped and they want to give her a shot to make sure it won’t start again. We give the ok.

I gather my things and leave the bar. We walk home almost in a trance, shedding a few tears talking about her.

She went out the same way she lived her life, on her terms. She was the most stubborn, intelligent dog I’ve ever known. Through her I learned what it was like to care for someone more than yourself. I’m so very thankful I was able to spend her life with her, and experience what an amazing being she was.

It’s hard not to feel her absence every second of the day. We go through bouts of crying for an hour straight, to keeping it together for a few more hours. The mornings and nights are especially hard. We’re still leaving the bedroom door open for her and expecting to hear her tiptap around the bedroom at night.

I knew this day would come, as death takes us all, and I’m so thankful I was able to spend 11 more months with her. She’s left a hole in my heart that’ll never fully close.

You’ll be missed, my little peefoot. 

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