Friday, May 22, 2015

Love And Loss

This is how I will remember her, alert and beautiful and eager for a walk, with her absurdly large paws planted on the broken pavement of our alley, ready to race away as soon as she sees that both members of her small flock are coming. 

We explored the avenues of palliative care but found none that would restore even a modicum of the energy you can see in the picture. All the options amounted only to a few more weeks, and sad, tired, painful weeks they would have been. 

Better to let her go. 

Whenever I lose one of my pets, I like to think I am sending them to my Mom in heaven, and she will take care of them until I get there. There are a lot of assumptions in those ideas, but I take comfort in them anyway. Yes, Mom is there. Yes, she will love caring for my pets. And, yes, one day I can join them.

We spent the last few days feeding her all kinds of things to perk up her failing appetite, stinky French cheese, bacon, hamburger. She was delighted with all the treats and the visits from neighbors who stopped in to give her a last pat. I brushed her beautiful coat twice, just for the pleasure of feeling her warm fur.

A very caring vet came to the house and was greeted, as so many have been before her, with that lazy wag of the tail and a nose in the crotch. Cora liked to get to know people intimately right away and, since most crotches were conveniently nose-height, she took full advantage. 

We fed her hot dogs while they gave her the shot to make her sleepy, and My Beloved and I were both on the floor with her when she slipped away, our tears splashing down on her white muzzle. We shared some tears and some stories with the vet and her helper before we cut some hydrangeas from the garden to send her off to heaven. We are ridiculously sentimental about this dog and always have been; she was just that kind of dog.

Her ashes will come back in a few weeks to be put in the garden along with those of my two cats who shared this house when we first moved in. On the advice of a close friend, I have printed her picture to keep in the corner where I have a changing display of family photos. None of that fills the gap left by a cold nose and those soft, bendy ears, but it serves as a reminder of how much we have to learn about friendship from a good dog.

She and I met a man out walking his dog in the last week and, as he stopped to pat her and remark upon her beauty, I told him about our troubles in that odd way we can share with total strangers over the backs of dogs who are busy sniffing each others' butts. He said something very true that evening, "They teach us about love and they teach us about loss."


Anonymous Janie said...

Beautifully stated.

Friday, May 22, 2015  
Blogger Diane said...

My heart goes out to you both. You have written a truly beautiful tribute to Cora. I love that you sent flowers with her on her journey to your mom. I'll be thinking of you.

Friday, May 22, 2015  
Blogger nancy namaste said...

I know that she will be waiting for you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Hail and farewell, lovely darling Cora.

Saturday, May 23, 2015  
Blogger Katie Zeller said...

Lovely tribute.... I read it and remembered when we lost our 2 so close together.... kneeling on the floor, crying. We have our two now, but I still miss our Sedi and Emma. I love that you gave her flowers.....
She was such a gorgeous dog.

Saturday, May 23, 2015  
Blogger Whiting Hyland said...

Wonderful words Pam, I wept a little for your loss and mine too.....

Saturday, May 23, 2015  
Anonymous tea_austen said...

What a beautiful dog and what a beautiful tribute, Pam. I'm so sorry. Such love leaves a big hole. Sending best wishes to the rest of the pack. xox

Sunday, May 24, 2015  
Blogger Dagny said...

Noooo. Sorry for your loss.

Sunday, May 24, 2015  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

Dear Zoomie,

I am out of the blogging habit (both writing and reading) but do visit yours now and then to keep up with your life. And, I am terribly saddened to read about your sweet girl. I know how devastating losing a dog is and can only tell you (as you know) that you loved Cora as much as was humanly possible and that she knew it. And in the end, you were kind to her in letting her go without further suffering. I'm glad you had as long as you did with her. She was a big part of this blog, and your world, and I know she will be missed.

Hungry Dog

Tuesday, May 26, 2015  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Janie, thank you. She deserves a good tribute.

Diane, thank you. We are starting to emerge from our misery. The tears come only sporadically now. But we miss all those little things about having a dog. She was very special to us.

Nancy, thanks for that comforting thought.

Katie, I know you know the sorrow from when you lost Sedi and Emma. I'm glad you have two young, bouncy companions now.

Whiting, pets become so close to our hearts, especially when they are with us a long time. My heart breaks for your Manu, who was with you for so many years.

Tea, thank you. She really was a lovely girl, so full of beans and bounce when she was healthy. Happy times with that good girl!

Dagny, thank you - it's tough, but time will heal.

Hungry Dog, I'm happy that you check in from time to time. We do miss our girl (you know how that is) and all her little quirks. She was the most endearing dog - I have loved all my dogs but this one was truly the Best.Dog.Ever.

Thursday, May 28, 2015  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

We are sad to hear about your loss.

Friday, May 29, 2015  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Thanks, Paul. Give your pretty girl an extra pat in Cora's memory.

Friday, May 29, 2015  
Blogger Three Dogs BBQ said...

Sorry to hear of your loss Zoomie. Dogs really are furry children...

Friday, June 05, 2015  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Thanks, three Dogs. So many sweet things to miss, but it is getting slowly better.

Friday, June 05, 2015  

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