This weekend we said goodbye to our sweet girl, Lucky. It was incredibly difficult, as anyone who's gone through the process can attest to. Adopting a senior dog from the shelter is always an interesting one because you know their time is very limited, and anyone who's had a senior dog will know what I mean when I mention how it seems that one day they are fine and yet once they start to slow down, it is exponential in how fast they age from then on out. Six months ago she was trotting around the pasture, taking little adventures into our 'forest', and climbing up the stairs each night to sleep on her other bed, just feet away from where we slept. Then she stayed downstairs. Then she stopped wandering so far. Then we had to get her up to do her business outside. Then one day she tore her ACL and, at fourteen, there was no way we'd put her through a five thousand dollar surgery that would stress her out immensely (with a recovery she would abhor..I've been through it with my first dog), just to buy her a few more months. So we got her some meds to help her sleep, and a month later we said goodbye. We were fortunate in our rural area to be acquaintances with the shelter director, who came out to our house to do it (unlike in the city, none of the vets out here do housecalls, which I feel is incredibly tragic...the last thing we'd ever do is take her back to a place she hates to die, you know?).
Thanksgiving season has been an odd one in my life. It was just 3 years ago this month that we said goodbye to our mastiff Ruby, another senior shelter dog we'd had, and 17 years ago this month that I brought home my first dog (as a grown woman), Daisy. This week also marked 12 years since my father died at the too-young age of 62, which is what had led me into blog-land in the first place. This blog that led me to my husband, who just under a decade ago left that first fateful comment that started the life I now live.
The house is eerily quiet now. That frequent surprise not to hear her breathing, to have her nudging me with her wet nose to go outside to "go to work!" in the barn tracking down where rodents may have once been, or to scamper through the grasses of our pasture chasing after bumblebees, or to have her wander in when I am making breakfast, looking for snacks (red bell peppers? yes please! but carrots were her favorite...). To lie on our sectional at night and not have her crawl right in the crook of the back of my knee and my bum, or to come home from the grocery store and not see her raise her head with excitement...yet be too lazy to actually get off said sofa to say hello. Or the memories of her during the first year, when she was still incredibly spry, racing after the mower to tell it who's boss, climbing up on the sofa and putting her nose against the glass of the window to see me as I ventured outside, or wildly chasing her tail - the catching it and growling under her breath at that darn thing. The love we have for this dog is big, and we miss her terribly. But we know she did not deserve the tremendous pain she was in, and that it was an honor to give her the retirement she earned after a rough first 11 years on this earth.
Love you, Lucky Dog.