Wednesday, April 21, 2010

She's an Old Dog

My dearest friends, I know that I have been going on and on about my birthday and I have loved every minute of your sending me those great wishes. I wished a lot of things for myself...

But, I've had to make a very painful but realistic decision within these last few days. I have to put my dog down. I don't want to, God knows how much I don't want to, we've been through quite a lot together she and I.

I hand fed her when she was just 10 hours old and her mother walked away from her. We lived in a teeny tiny little camp trailer back then, in the mountains of Nevada with cattle and coyotes for company. She protected my back from every harm and I protected hers.

She played tennis with a vengeance, Andre Agassi would have been proud, she loved swimming in the ocean even when it was 30 degrees and she slept at the foot of my bed every single night. We crossed the country twice, moved 8 times, and she never once complained. As long as she had me and a tennis ball, all was right with her world.

After a fashion, she even got used to sharing me with Monster Baby.

But now I have to say good-bye. My heart is breaking again. I've said good-bye before to pets I've loved but every time I have to do this it gets harder and harder. Every time I have to do this I say I'll never get another one. But I do.

I busted my balls and my shoulder building the fence for her, so she could have her acre to run in, to play bally in, to be able to roam around and not be tied. And now it's too late. She just can't walk anymore. I have to carry her up and down the stairs. It's time. And I don't want it to be.

I'm sorry I won't be able to post the next excerpt from Genna & Tony. I know you all understand. I won't be around much, even though I said I was going to take a break, and I said I would sneak in and out, I don't even think I'll be up to that. I was going to pretend like everything was all right and just go around with a shiny happy face but I can't. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I don't know if you can see it or not but it's broken. This hurts just too damn much.

So, I'll see you when I see you. Truthfully, I don't know when that will be.


Kelly@ JustWrite said...

Oh, Anne. I'm so sorry for you. I've gone through this two times, and you're right, it doesn't get any easier. You are in my thoughts in prayers. Hugs to you.

You'll be missed around here...come back when you can.

Matthew Rush said...

I'm so sorry Anne. I lost my own first dog last year (first since becoming an adult). It's really hard.

You'll both be in our prayers.

Jen said...

Anne I'm so sorry, putting an animal down can be so hard, I've done it before and it does take time to heal. I love my two cats and to lose them and have to put them down would kill me, so I understand where you are coming from.

My thoughts are with you.

Jayne said...

Oh my heart goes out to you Anne. Saying goodbye is such a hard thing to do. When my first cat's time came I was devastated, but later took comfort in that I didn't let him linger and I knew in my heart it was the right time to say cheerio for a while. Small comfort I know, but comfort all the same.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

My heart's broken too. I wish words of comfort were enough, or virtual hugs. But I know they aren't. Nothing but taking things one day at a time, working through the pain, will get you to the other side. I'm so very sorry. Thinking of you.

You're one of my blogger BFFs, Anne. I have an award saying so chez moi today. When you're back, heart on the mend, come on over and pick it up. Until then, know my thoughts and prayers are with you.

((hugs)) Nicole

KarenG said...

This is truly one of the hardest decisions. I can't even go there with our doberman a few years ago. I'll stop right there. Blessings and love to you.

Falen said...

ugh. that sucks, straight up. It's taken me years to stop crying when i think about the dogs i've lost. And even then, the tears still sneak up now and then. It's a hard choice, but from personal experience it's much better to let her go a little too soon, than to feel like you waited too long.

here's my favorite poem - it will probably make you cry (it does me), but hopefully it will make you feel better too

We have a secret, you and I,
That no one else shall know,
For who, but I can see you lie,
Each night, in fireglow?
And who but I can reach my hand
Before we go to bed,
And feel the living warmth of you
And touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths,
And see, ahead of me,
Your small form racing with the wind,
So young again, and free.
And only I can see you swim
In every brook I pass...
And, when I call, no one but I
Can see the bending grass.

-- by Beulah Fenderson Smith


Bish Denham said...

Oh Anne. I'm so, so sorry. How well I understand. I had a dog much like yours a male who put himself between me and harm on three different occasions. He too got to the point where he could walk. All I can say is as hard as it is, it is for the best.

Take as long as you need. We will be here when you decide to return.

Summer said...

I think it only gets harder. And now with a background in animal abuse, I'm extra-sensitive to these things. But it makes me glad to know that you and she both had such a loyal companion, and that your memories of her will always be with you.

People who have never had a true love dog just can't understand what it means to lose one.

I'll be thinking of you.

Tara said...

Anne, I am so, so sorry. This made me teary (and that's hard to do!). I am going to have to make that same painful decision, probably sooner rather than later as our "first baby" gets old and weaker by the day.

Take some time, but know you will be missed.

Christi Goddard said...

No words really bring comfort in a time like this. I understand your pain. Take as long a break as you need. We'll all still be here.

Anonymous said...

Take as much time as you need, Anne. I've been there; I know how it feels. When you do come back, there's an award for you on my blog. I'll be thinking of you and looking forward to your return.

Dominique said...

I'm so sorry. I'm sending you mental hugs.

Shelley Sly said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, Anne. *Hugs* I know how much it hurts. I've lost 3 dogs, and a fourth is going soon. We all understand, and there's no pressure to return back to the blogging world. Take your time and take care of yourself.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Anne, I have no words to bring comfort in such a dark time. I have been in your place, and it is a spot I would wish on no one with a loving heart like yours.

I held my Lucky in my arms as he slowly went to sleep to awaken in that place where no shadows fall. I do not know if I could do that again. Hercules, the dog I crawled out of my burning home with in my arms, died in the vet's while I was healing from the burns. I compare the two hurts, and I do not know which gutted me more.

Take all the time you need to heal. You friends will understand -- and they will be praying for you -- as will I. You know where I am cyber-wise. I will pray that this time is one where you will feel the love and concern from all your friends here in the blogging community.

You are being kind to a hurting friend. Mercy is not cheap. Nor should it be. Mercy is priceless. And too seldom shown.

I have told myself in similar circumstances that I was being selfish at the expense of my friend, who was always there for me. It was time for me to be there for him. Remember the happy times. In my worldview, your friend will be waiting for you in that land that knows no tears -- only love, Roland

Talli Roland said...

Oh, no. Anne, I am so sorry to hear that. I hope some time away will be just what you need. Please take care of yourself. We'll miss you but we'll be here when you get back!

DL Hammons said...

Anne ~ I'll be thinking about you while your gone. Take care of yourself!

Wendy aka Quillfeather. said...

You poor darling. There are no words of comfort I can offer. No warm shoulder to cry on. Nothing to bring a smile to your face.

I have walked in your shoes. It is not a pleasant place to be. One, I never wish to return. But, return I must someday, for I too have dogs. One is heading rapidly towards 10yrs old.

My heart will brake when she is gone, like yours is now.

Be good to yourself Anne, and celebrate the wonderful times you and your beautiful dog shared. Memories will never die.

We will all be here for when you return xxxx

Cynthia Reese said...

Oh, Anne. (((()))) I've had to do this not once, not twice, but three times, and each time it feels like both the ultimate betrayal and the ultimate kindness.

May your heart heal.

Crystal Cook said...

Anne, I'm so sorry for you. That is one of the hardest things I think, to be the one to say goodbye to a much loved friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

sarahjayne smythe said...

I'm so sorry for you and your loss. It's a hard thing to lose a friend you love. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Susan Fields said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. I still think the day we had to put my dog down when I was in high school was one of the saddest days of my life. They give us so much, and it's so hard to say goodbye. Consider yourself hugged, in spirit if not in body.

When you get back, there's something waiting for you at my blog.

Lola Sharp said...

Christie is right, there are no words in times like these. BUT, I am so sorry.
I truly know the pain. A dog is a very special best friend, the most loyal of all friends.
I'm sorry.

I know this sounds trite, but it is your birthday, so I'd still like to wish you a happy birthday. You may not feel happy on this birthday, but the world is a better place that you were born. I know your dog would agree.

MT said...

(love) It's almost time for me to do the same with mine. I'm sorry.

roxy said...

I'm so sorry, Anne. It sounds like you've had wonderful years with your loyal friend. I think you were both lucky you found each other. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Tara said...

Even though you didn't blog today, I wanted to wish you a very happy birthday, Anne.

Elaine AM Smith said...

Sad news.

I stopped by to wish you Happy Birthday - hope you can find some joy in a life lived.

Wendy aka Quillfeather. said...

Anne, I've just popped back to wish you a happy birthday. Hope you're OK.

Big cyber hug coming your way.

Erin Kuhns said...

Anne...I was thinking of you throughout the day and vowed I would not let the 23rd come without wishing you a happy birthday. And then I read your blog and I was so sad to hear that you have to make this difficult, difficult decision. Doesn't make it a very happy birthday.

I know all about taking time. Like many wise people have said to me: I will be here when you get back. Promise.


Palindrome said...

I'm sorry about your friend. Take all the time you need. We'll be here when you get back.


VR Barkowski said...

Anne, I am so sorry. I don't know what to say. You're losing a member of your family, and nothing will make it easier. Just know we'll be here when you're ready to return. *hugs*

Lady Glamis said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I want you to know I'm thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. I'm also here anytime you need, phone call, chat or email.

Terry Towery said...

Oh God, I'm so sorry. I've had to do the same and it's so, so difficult. I will be thinking of you. Happy birthday, although I'm sure that's not your primary concern.


Dangerous With a Pen said...

Oh Anne, my heart aches for you. I have been unplugged because of work for the better part of the past two weeks so I am just beginning to catch up on blogs and yours was one of the first I stopped by. I'm so sorry to read your devastating news. Dogs are family. It's so hard. You are in my thoughts and prayers. We'll all be here when you are ready to come back.

Rena said...

I'm so sorry. I just had to do this with my cat about a month ago. It still hurts. Bad.

Big hugs!!!

Tahereh said...

oh ANNE!! i had no idea :(

i feel like such a terrible friend.

i'm so so sorry you had to go through something so heart wrenching at a time that should've been so auspicious. it's a testament to your strength and character, truly.

big hugs, bestie. big hugs.

my heart is with you!