Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Dark Night Before Earth Hour

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.


Forever Young said...

oh no not dottie, and you have been so down about the snakes this week. it is clearly a time to grieve and you just take time to do so, am very sorry debs. lotsa hugs and kisses xxxx

Fern said...

Big hug, Deb.

kj said...

oh debra kay, i am so sorry. i know what this feels like. what a loss. dottie was loved and she knew it. that counts so so much.

Debra Kay said...

Thank you all. Dottie was a true soul mate-the little body is gone, but she is always and forever with me. Even across the country I could reach out with my heart and find her, and I can still do that tonight.

As she drew closer to the end, I felt the presences of others waiting to greet her, including her beloved Fancy who passed away several years ago. Fancy appears to have more self esteem now.

Bette was there too. Snakes don't have a lot to say, she was just there. In spirit form, animals don't eat each other, so Bette being there was a good thing. I also glimpsed Tandy, a long ago dog that predated Dottie, and Dollie, another Dottie contemporary.

So, weird as it may sound, Dottie leaving kind of opened a veil for a moment for some old friends to visit. They do periodically anyway, but never in such numbers.

Apparently Dottie was well thought of in both this world (all the vet attendants held her and cried) and the next.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Debra Kay. It was a dark night and hope your days will quickly brighten ...

Forever Young said...

what a great procession they must have all made...strutting forth, no one unhappy or ill at all.hooray dottie.

Mim said...

oh deb, this broke my heart. No matter that are doing the right thing, it is just heartbreaking for us humans. Animals often do take it less seriouly, but I had a cat who wouldn't eat for a week after my dog was put down. how did the cat know? Dog had been left at the vet before? But that little cat mourned and mourned.
and then he got over it.

love to you and all your other animals

Robyn said...

That is such sad news, my heart goes out to you. As the owner of a very elderly dog I really relate to what you have gone through. I think you are right about the wise attitude of the rest of your dongs.

Michele said...

I am so sorry about Ms. Dottie. She was a sweet sweet girl. You know I made the decision to let the vet put Bonnie to sleep a few weeks ago and that was hard enough, and I wasn't even all that close to her. But the vet sent me a nice letter and I wish I'd kept it now because she said something so sweet about how I did what was best for Bonnie and that showed more love for her than keeping her alive and in pain. It really was such a nice thing to say and it made me feel better so know that you showed true love and compassion for Ms. Dottie and she loves you even more for it.

studio lolo said...

I always tell people who are on the threshold of making that decision that it's not something we're doing to them, but rather it's the last thing we can do for them. I'm glad you were with her in the end. I hope you find comfort in your memories, and eventually, peace in your heart.
Hugs and blessings to you and the rest of the four legged friends.