I spent last night holding Dottie, and this morning I held her while the vet put her down for....for what? For good? Sorry, I don't feel all that good. Forever? I know that isn't quite true either.
I spent the long hours with Dottie pressed to my chest, heart to heart, hoping that hers would just stop and I would be relieved of the decision. But, this morning we had long eye contact and she reminded me of my duty.
I carried it out as best I could keeping her close to me, calming my mind, letting her go not in fear but in love.
The pack amazes me-they howled all night long, but this morning paid her very little mind. It really was like "Dead Dog Walking". They had already accepted it, so, sitting at the vet, I tried to as well. Dottie rested her head on my shoulder, just glad for the closeness, as she was throughout the previous night.
Dogs, at the end, seem in no great hurry to go, nor are they reluctant. Dying is pretty much in the same category with going out in the backyard to pee, nothing to get excited about. Of course, maybe the lack of excitement is partially due to the fact that they don't feel very chipper sitting at death's door.
I, on the other hand, am pretty much a basket case. My energy now is so wrung out and distraut that the other dogs keep giving me sideways glances-sheesh, pull it together, what's the big dealio? I mean, come ON, we sang a lovely death dirge all night long, we said goodbye, she left-now there is breakfast to attend to and then a nap.
Somehow they know the difference between gone and not coming back, and, oh, say, gone to be neutered. I don't think they sense where she IS, as much as where she isn't-in this world of shape and form with us.
I didn't bring her body home. Cody and Oliver are diggers, and my emotions aren't up to what would happen next. The newly vacated the life form that was formerly Dottie would have treated the remainder like a lovely chew toy, and I'm just not evolved enought to accept that. Maybe if I had spent more time staring at the sad little white body, I would have progressed to the same level as the dogs.
Like them, I get it-Dottie has left the building. But, I am not a dog, I am a human, and I feel her absence as a loss, not just as something that is. I do think the dogs have the right idea, I'm just not there yet.