Sunday, February 21, 2010

The heart of loss.............................










I didn't intend on writing this post for a long time..... a really long time. You see I gave a big part of my heart away the week of Christmas 2007. I drove myself and my 6 week old baby to New York to buy a puppy. A special puppy that I had looked for for over a year, a puppy to fill the gap because our beautiful wonderful Standard Poodles Lilly and Chloe were getting older and I wanted to not be "dogless" if anything happened to them. We wanted to fit a dog into the family for an easier transition.

A dear friend and veterinarian of mine had a contact and the breeder was so nice and easy to work with. Logan and I made the long trip to New York together. The weather was horrible! Driving along the water with the lake effect made the travel a bit dicey but my trusty Jeep got us there. We drove most of the way and found a great new hotel to stay the night. When I laid my eyes on Maggie I was in love.... she was beautiful. A bit straggly, needed a bath from the kennel smell but I loved her. I loaded her up and off we went, she looked so afraid, so scared. I got her home gave her a bath and got her settled in. When the girls got back we boxed her up with a big bow and yelled surprise! They opened the box and there inside was this cute, tiny, scared puppy. From there she has been a joy to our family. We did so much together. She taught me the ropes in the dog ring, a true champion! We didn't fit the dog ring business very well. Maggie wanted to race the other dogs around the ring. I on the other hand just couldn't justify baths between classes and the silence between competitors.

She was a part of the poodle trio. Lilly and Chloe would dig the hole and Maggie would jump in head first and pull out ground moles. She loved to ride but hated to get there, she was uncomfortable being away. We liked to take her with us but felt so bad for her when she didn't feel comfortable. Those eyes of hers just made me melt ..... she was my joy right along with my kids. Don't get me wrong I was not Maggies "Mom". She was our pet, but that made her no less an equal part of our family. I spent the last several years sitting with her in my chair beside me at night.

I bothers me now to remember that there was time when I didn't like to share my chair. It upsets me to think that now. I would do almost anything to have her right beside me. My boys grew up with Maggie, Logan especially was a protector of Maggie. He has that "gene" that I do, I am sure I got it from my Dad, and my Grandma before him. We love animals, we have a heart for them and can't pass by and not care for them. I think that is why I have 20 stray cats even though my husband hates cats. It is a drive that I can't stop, I need to nurture kids and animals. Maggie made friends with everyone who came through the door.

Over the last year Maggie seemed to get old, she seemed to slow down and she seemed to have lost a lot of the hearing. I chalked it up to her being 9 years old. She just seemed to be cuddlier. At Christmastime she stopped eating her whole bowl of food each day. She also started to cough when she got up. I knew this was a sign of heart failure. But I was sure this was a slow thing..... we had plenty of time with her. In January she had 2 "spells". She seemed to have pain and then she was nuerologically impaired the first time and the second she seemed to "pass out" briefly.... I told myself we still had plenty of time. She still sat with me, jumping up into my chair everytime I sat down until about 2 weeks ago. She just couldn't make the jump anymore. I still had time ...... plenty of time.

It all came to a head last weekend, Friday she just seemed off and sad. Her eyes just didn't jump anymore. She actually didn't even finish her treats, my radar went off the screen and I started to panic. Thankfully my Mom and Courtney were visiting for the weekend so I could take the boys and Courtney skiing for the first time. It was comforting to have my Mom here. She gives me the strength I can't find when she is 2 hours away. We skied and had a great time, my Mom stayed and had one on one time with Kendall. When we got home we brought sandwiches and Maggie and I shared a few bites. She ate and I felt better, well I told myself I did anyway. I knew in the deep part of my mind that time was short I think, but I didn't want to even start to accept that thought.

You see Maggie was my confidant she had been with me during the dark. The time in my life that the wheels came right off the bus...... the time during the level II ultrasound I was told "Everything looks good, EXCEPT". EXCEPT..... those words still send chills up my spine and echo in my ears. Yes, I am at peace with Mackenzie not being here with us... her purpose was filled. But the memories of that day and those that followed still sting. My dog was there when my family wasn't, long passed the time Tim didn't talk about her I needed to. Maggie was there for me, I truly think she was what held me from falling all the way in. She always could listen and I didn't cause her any pain to hear my stories.

Courtney and I got up and ran out to get her birthday gift, I told her on the way that I thought Maggie would be fine. She seemed a bit out of it that morning but she would be fine. I wouldn't let her be anything else. But that wasn't up to me... I came in and she was having a hard time. She couldn't walk more than a few steps and she would have to lay down. When I let her out she had a hard time making it off the steps, then as I watched her struggle to walk straight out in the drive I knew I needed to be there for Maggie this time. My heart started to panic and then the common sense popped in. It was a Saturday and it was getting late, the vets office would not be open very late. If she got worse how would I handle it. How could I protect my sweet dog. So I made the call, I cried..... I cried and I made a soft spot in a box for Maggie. I gently sat her in the flat box and we went to take away her pain. When I looked in her eyes she wasn't there anymore, she looked so sad and so tired. They took us in quickly and then we seemed to wait for ever. Maggie slept soundly only moving once. I on the other hand cried buckets for my dog... the dog that meant so much to me ....... the one that soon would be gone forever. I wanted to pick up the box and run! I knew that made no sense and would not honor my dog, she deserved better.

They came in and with great compassion helped my sweet dog to go to sleep. And I cried...... so many tears...... I miss her terribly. I mark the day, I cry, and I miss her.... Well I always hear writing makes it all feel better, if so why am I sitting here crying? I know I will feel better someday. I know a new dog is NOT what I need. I know time will heal this wound, and I know that Maggie isn't in pain anymore. I just don't know when I will stop crying.......

1 comment:

Carolee / Home4ever said...

I am so sorry about your dog. I too had to put a dog to sleep.

After a time, we got another dog.

Had that for about a year, then she just up and died one day (this was a rescue dog, and terribly "barky" and hyper)Maybe a heart attack?

Take time to get over her, then maybe get another one.

We are currently raising a puppy for Canine Companions.

I have a page on my blog, "Dog Tales" where I blog about my dogs.