Can I use the word sudden? She's been sick for the last year - not with one thing, mind you, but with an impressive series of back-to-back and overlapping illnesses, some more serious than others. Her medical history complicated matters, but the thing that killed her came out of the blue at 4am on Wednesday morning. And it struck her so hard, so fast.

If I can be a geek for a moment*, I want to recall for you an episode of Buffy, Vampire Slayer - the one where Buffy's Mum dies. Tara confides that her Mum also died. "Was it sudden?" comes the question, and she hesitates before replying, waffling back and forth. Eventually, she looks up. "It's always sudden."

Beloved Dog rallied twice over the course of the day. I spoke to her medical specialist repeatedly and at some length, picking over and reviewing the options. When she crashed the third time, late in the evening, my sister was still on duty and she leapt into action, barking orders and sending the whole ICU into a whirl. "M," I said as she uncapped another needle with her teeth. "Do we need to let her go?"

And suddenly there were tears streaming down her face, but she kept rushing back and forth, getting this, doing that. "M..." I repeated.

"Are you sure? Are you really really sure?" she said, but she wouldn't stop what she was doing, so I looked at the head ICU nurse, who just nodded knowingly and started drawing up injections.

"I've got an anaesthetic here," the nurse said a moment later, calmly and soft. "Should I give it?" I said yes, and I felt my Beloved Dog's little head sink into my hands and her breathing became deeper and relaxed. Only then did my sister stop, and with her all the nurses who had rushed to the scene, and in an instant the whole clinic fell silent. Then the ICU nurse said, "Just tell me what to do next." And we all stood there.

So I looked at my sister - the only person I know who found Sixth Sense predictable, who has a clinical instinct to match - and I said, "What do you think's going to happen?" She never spoke, but the expression on her face gave the answer clear enough.

Then I turned to the ICU nurse and asked her to go ahead. One of the younger nurses left the room with wet eyes. And I shut mine as the injection went in.

Later, they said I was brave. That word again. I think perhaps I'm just getting used to it.

In 2005, before we got to know her, wearing the coat she came in. She was supposed to have been euthanased several days before this photo was taken. We were her last-minute extra chance.


--
*I kid myself that I'm not always a geek.


36 Comments

Bea said...

Fuck, I need to stop crying, too, or my synarel won't absorb properly.

Bea

My Reality said...

Bea, I am so, so sorry. We lost our dog last September. I know the heartbreak. I am sorry she is gone.

Heather said...

I'm so sorry. I'm in tears. I'm so sorry.

Karaoke Diva said...

Oh, Bea she is such a pretty puppy! And obviously very loved. You are more than brave, you are selfless. You put the comfort of your furry friend above your own desire to keep her with you.

Pamela Jeanne said...

Oh, losing ones you love is so very difficult -- the furry ones hurt just as much as the human ones do. We were there to deliver our adopted pet, the neighborhood stray cat on his last legs, to the vet. My husband held him as the vet put him down. I cried the whole time seeing his little body once racked in pain go limp and at peace...

Patience said...

Oh Bea - I am crying so hard right now. When I checked in on you when I got back this was NOT what I was meant to hear....

I am so very sorry you lost your beloved friend.... x

Dramalish said...

How wonderful that you were able to give her such a full life and a loving home in her last years.

Our fur babies are so very special. I'm thinking of you and your loss tonight.
-D.

Bumble said...

Oh no Bea, I'm so sorry. She was a beautiful little pooch.

Rachel Inbar said...

Thinking of you.

Vee said...

Oh Gosh how difficult for you all.
She is a real cutie.

Cry if you need to, can you take an extra sniff ?

Sarah said...

oh no, i completely understand how devastating losing a pet is. i'm so sorry.

Ellen K. said...

What a sweet dog. I am crying for your loss. I am so sorry.

serenity said...

Oh Bea. Oh no oh no oh no.

I am so so sorry.

*hug*

Beagle said...

She was beautiful.

I am so sorry.

MLO said...

Bea,

I'm so, so sorry. It just hurts, and it sucks. Pets mean so much to so many of us, and she was a much loved dog from what I read here.

Pax,

MLO

Imogen and David said...

I'm so very sorry Bea. I know the Buffy scene you are talking about and perfect example, it is always sudden :(

Adrienne said...

It's so hard to let them go. I'm so so sorry, Bea. I truly am.

Meg said...

Oh Bea - I'm so sorry. You know we lost our dog in January; it's such a horrible sad thing. Much love to you.

Samantha said...

What a beautiful dog. I know how hard it is to lose a pet. The first cat I adopted turned out to have FIP, which was causing her a lot of discomfort and she stopped eat. Reading your post brings back the memories of taking her to the vet for the final time, where I held her in my arms for the final time until she too relaxed and escaped her disease.

I'm so sorry.

steph said...

I empathize what a hard time this will be for you and hubs (and everyone for that matter). There are no words of wisdon you don't already have in your head, it will just take some time for the grief to clear away enough for you to hear them properly.
She will not be forgotten....

Chris said...

I'm so sorry. It's hard to lose a member of the family.

Thalia said...

i'm so sorry for your loss, bea. Really not what you needed at this point, not that it's ever easy.

Jess said...

Oh, your story really broguht tears to my eyes. So hard to lose someone you love, even (especially?) when that someone is furry.

Lut C. said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

GLouise said...

Oh, I am so sorry. I love dogs. My doggy is a rescue, too. My heart is breaking with yours.

Geohde said...

Oh, I am so very sorry.......

Mel said...

I am really sorry Bea. I know what your going through. I wathced 2 of my dogs die and had to make the horrible decision to have them put down. However I could not stay with them when they were given the injection and I have always felt so guilty that I wasn't there.
At least you were there and I admire your bravery.
take care
(((HUGS)))

Jules said...

Bea, I'm so sorry. I don't know what else to say. They are more than just pets. They are members of the family. Take care.

Zee said...

It's so hard when you love them so much. I'm really sorry for your loss, Bea.

The Town Criers said...

I'm so sorry, Bea.

ak1908 said...

Oh Bea,
I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope Beloved Dog was at least able to go peacefully and with less pain. I've never lost a pet before, but I dread the day that my sister's cat (who we grew up with) dies. She's been in our family for 15 years. Again, I'm so sorry about your loss. ((((hugs)))))

Changing Expectations said...

I am so sorry. It is so hard to lose a loved one. I am sorry for your loss.

Aurelia said...

I'm sorry about your dog Bea. How sad, and right now, too much to bear.

millie said...

I'm so sorry. so very very very very sorry. Thinking so very much of you.

Portia P said...

I'm so sorry. I know how hard it is to lose a dog.

She was v cute.

I've a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes for you

Somewhat Ordinary said...

Bea, I'm so, so sorry about Beloved Dog! Losing a member of the family (no matter how many legs they have) is never easy. You are in my thoughts!

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