I haven’t slept well the last couple of nights. I made the phone call that I’ve been dreading for the last 15 years. The phone call that will end our dog’s life. Our little Peanut, blind and frail, is not the dog she used to be. After losing her sight two years ago, her exuberance for life has slowly diminished and the happiness in her little body appears to be gone. Although she is perfectly content sleeping on my lap all day long, her periods of wakefulness involve bumping into walls and chair legs just to get to her water, or incessant howling out of loneliness and isolation. I can’t recall the last time I saw her tail wag. I know it is time. It has been time for the past year. Shamefully, I’ve often said that I wish she would pass on. Yet as I sit here typing this with her sleeping by my side, I already feel a hole in my heart beginning to form knowing that these are our last days with her.
I look back at the last 15 years of her life and a flood of memories pours into my heart. She was the first dog I ever had and we have had her for nearly as long as Curt and I have been together. I know for many who do not own pets, that she is just a dog, not a human, and therefore, not worth the same amount of love or grief. To them I say that our dear Peanut showed us unconditional love, loyalty and friendship to the same degree, if not more, than a lot of humans I know.
My gut instinct is to postpone this, to selfishly keep our feeble dog alive just a little longer. Just so I don’t have to deal with this grief yet. I’ve told Curt that I wish she would die peacefully in her sleep naturally and not because of us, because I think that would be easier. The truth is that I have never had to say goodbye to someone or something so close to me and that I’ve cared for this much. I’ve thought to myself as I’ve juggled making Laird a sandwich for lunch, unloaded groceries, nursed Leini and carried Peanut out to go potty that putting her to sleep would take away some of my responsibilites. And now that her death is imminent, I’m beginning to realize that I will miss her terribly. For the past 15 years, I’ve known that saying goodbye to her would be difficult, I didn’t realize just how difficult.
For the next few days we are pampering our little girl with yummy treats and lots of love and attention. And although I told Curt that I wanted her last day to be a celebration of her life, keeping it upbeat, I’m really not sure I’m up to it.
Peanut, we are so lucky to have had you as our faithful dog. You brought so much joy to our lives from the moment we first met you. We love you and will never forget you. Thank you for being you.