"Sorrow come in great waves, but it rolls over us...when it passes, we remain." ---Henry James
The day finally came and the day was yesterday.
We didn't feel like we could prolong the inevitable any longer without causing her additional pain and suffering. Lately, her stumbling had taken a significant nosedive and she only walked when she had to. We didn't want her to get so down she couldn't use the bathroom on her own or even move at all. She'd eat her food with her legs splayed out like the scene of Bambi skating on ice. One day I even saw her standing on her own tail, probably not even realizing what she was doing.
Every time we talked about it, right before bed usually, I cried. Knowing what we were going to do the next morning, I cried Thursday night and asked God what was I even supposed to pray for? I didn't want to be strong and not cry, I wanted to feel the pain.
Friday was a gloomy day with low hanging clouds and sad colored air. I didn't even bother to blow dry my wet hair and skipped the whole Tammy Faye Bakker getup entirely. After we loaded her up in the truck one last time and started driving, silent tears streamed down both our faces. We got about two miles from the house and feeling like I was headed to my own execution, I almost asked for him to take me back home. I didn't though, more than anything I didn't want him to be alone. I think we cried the whole trip, with the windows rolled down and my half-dry hair whipping around.
When our truck passed by one of my favorite country cemeteries I had to close my eyes, I couldn't bear a reminder. I took pictures of her with her head hanging over the side of the truck, enjoying the ride and the blowing air.
We stopped at McDonald's to buy her two cheeseburgers, one of her favorite human foods beside Popeye's fried chicken. She whined and watched for him the whole time he was inside getting her snack.
We drove on to the vet's office and parked on the farthest end of the crowded parking lot. I stood by the truck while he went inside and started bawling when he walked back out red faced and crying. We cried outside beside her for a few minutes before deciding to press on and get it over with already.
True to the disease, she flopped around like a fish on land all the way to the door, until he just picked her up and carried her the rest of the way. We walked straight through the waiting room past the other waiting pet parents and down a narrow hallway to a room at the very end.
He petted her and cried for a few minutes before taking off the pink striped collar I bought her last summer. I couldn't pet her one last time when he asked. It shattered my heart to see her try to follow us as we walked out the room, her open-mouth smiley face and big eyes looking at us as we left.
I wanted to stay with her and be there for the whole thing so she wouldn't be alone at the end, but it was just too much. We couldn't stay and watch her die.
The whole waiting room was probably upset when we walked back out, everybody was looking at us crying, this time with a dogless leash. We broke down and sobbed on each other out in the parking lot until Boots cried himself sick.
To some people a dog is just a dog, but to Boots and me she was more than that. I loved her and I'd only known her two years. The sadness I felt (and still feel, I cried all night off and on; I'm crying and typing now) is at least multiplied five times for Boots since he thinks he's had her at least ten years. He's had her so long he can't remember. She was his baby and he loved her like a big hairy child.
All dogs go to Heaven, if they didn't why would God give us such big hearts to love them with?