My girl has been gone a little over a week now and life is looking for a new norm. Like the new norm found back in 2007 when my girl chose me to be her mom. |
My daughter-in-law came to live with me when my son left for Iraq. She brought with her this little "funny looking" dog she had gotten from her aunt (Jazz was replaced with a new dog and they didn't want her anymore). I really didn't want another animal much less a dog but after 1 week this little girl knew she wanted me and never left my side after that. She was already over 12 years old so I didn't know how long I would have her but it didn't matter she was at my side and loved me completely.
I did the best I could to provide her with the kind of life that would allow her to be happy, healthy, and as dignified as she could be.
Many years went by and she did well until last year. The horrid Chicago winter was brutal to her. Her little paws stuck to the snow and ice, the salt would make them sore. I tried puppy pads but that proud little Mama would not use them, she would only go outside. As her eyesight worsened over this last year getting down the stairs made things more difficult for her and fear of falling was always present. Over the past few months incontinence and decreased mobility were now very apparent and the shame on this dogs' once proud face was very apparent. She would hang her head when I would find what she had done. When I started putting the gate up to keep things contained she would hang her head like she was embarrassed.
I didn't care about her aging, vet bills, cleaning up after her, carrying her downstairs, what hurt so bad was her continued mental health decline, she was getting depressed. She slept except to eat and go out. She wouldn't even eat the treats she once loved so much. The only thing that brought her happiness was seeing me come in the room, always would get up and greet me with her little stumpy tail wagging. The greetings grew shorter.
As a nurse in a very high acuity trauma ICU, confronting quality over quantity of life was always a discussion. Every living creature deserved a quality life and that was always the bottom line for me. I was often asked what was the best decision to make for a loved one and my answer was always the same. "Look in heart and whatever decision you make, if made out of your love, then you have made the right decision".
Oh how I miss my girl, oh how at peace I am that proud creature will never suffer again.