So today I feel twelve years old in a very not fun way. My Dad called last night (after first calling Sam to make sure he was home - this is how bad family news is broken in new marriages, I guess) and told me that he had to put Abbey to sleep yesterday evening.
It wasn't a total surprise, we knew something was wrong with her for a while now. I've been worried and my Dad has done his best to keep me updated. Numerous trips to the vet turned up nothing until finally my Dad had had enough yesterday and took Abbey once more and told the vet he expected her to find what was wrong by the time he got back. Well, what was wrong was a huge cancerous tumor that had grown to the point there was no saving her. She was obviously in great pain and it was only a matter of time before her body would just give out. My Dad made the hard decision, choosing for Abbey a peaceful and quiet death instead of more weeks of pain. He said he sat with her til the end - playing with her and letting her eat a whole bag of treats.
I knew this was coming, that she had been sick . . . but it broke my heart nonetheless. And the vet enrages me. She might not have been able to do anything to save Abbey, but knowing that Abbey had to live with such sickness for so very long makes me want to strangle the vet. She's lucky I don't live there to come storming into her office this morning, though to be honest, I might not be able to keep myself from making a phone call. I feel like as pet owners our job is to keep safe and take care of our small (and not so small in Abbey's case) animals. And her job is to help us do so. She failed - miserably. And I think someone should say that out loud to her. Right now I don't' care how bad it makes her feel. It will still be less than what Abbey put up with.
As for Abbey, I'm trying very hard not to cry all day long. INstead I'm trying to concentrate on how awesome a dog she was. How when I was sick she wouldn't' leave my side. How she leapt onto the couch next to me every chance she got. How she would et so excited as a puppy when Scott Haden barked at her through the dog door, and how I took her everywhere - EVERYWHERE, and she was so very well-behaved. How when she was happy, which was often, her whole butt wagged and how she was scared of the smallest things - like the bunnies in the backyard.
I read a lot about how having pets reduces your stress, makes you happier. And I don't doubt that's true. But I'd like to think we make them happier too. I don't' know if that's possible, if keeping another animal in a house when they should be out to run is truly better for them - but I'd like to think the love and the attention and the care we shower upon them makes up for the rest. I hope it does.
I feel like having animals close is as close as you can get to having bits of magic personified for us. They are small spirits keeping watch after us, reminding us there is more to our existence than the big trip, the big move, the big presentation. That there are wondrous things like treats, and walks, and sunbeams, that deserve equal if not more of our energy than all the "important" things we overwhelm ourselves with. They teach us that it's the simple things that matter. The littlest acts that can change a day - the greeting at the door, the game in the backyard, the sigh right before we snuggle in for a good night's sleep.
I know it's ridiculous to write a whole entry about my dog dying. But right now it seems like all I can do. She was a great puppy and a better friend. And I miss her already. I hope she has big backyards and endless treats right now. And someone to hug her an' tell her thanks for me.
6 years ago