This is long. This happened several months ago. I needed to write it to help me process it.
"It's ok sweetie, mommy will be back for you soon" The grooming salon assistant spoke these words to Daisy as she gently tugged the reluctant canine toward the back room. Daisy looked up at me with her huge brown eyes wishing she could just stay with me. I quickly turned and walked away. It was just a bath. I wasn't being mean to her, but it still always hurt a little to leave her like that. I squared my shoulders and pushed the door open and walked through the store, and out the double sliding doors. I didn't like it when they called me Daisy's mommy. It never felt right. She wasn't my daughter. It wasn't like that. She was my friend. My companion, and, if ever the need arose, I knew she would be my protector.
She was intuitive like that. If I felt nervous or surprised around someone, she would start barking and growling, letting them know she would not allow them to mess with me, her friend. Sometimes she got a little confused, wanting to attack anyone who showed up at the door unexpectedly, but she always let me restrain her at those times.
Daisy was not perfect. She was a dog, and had some habits that I wished she wouldn't continue with. I'm not going to list those imperfections. I don't want to. I want to remember all the good things, like how she would lay calmly on the floor while my toddler climbed all over her. She endured her ears being tugged, being sat upon, and even allowing herself to be pulled by the collar by kids so small she could easily have pulled away. I think she secretly adored the attention from the little ones. She often reminded me of 'Nana' on Disney's Peter Pan. In the evenings she would curl up on my feet while I watched tv. Her companionship meant so much to me.
Daisy was about 10 and 1/2 years old. She started slowly eating less and less. I tried switching to canned dog food. Tried to tempt her with all sorts or treats. She wasn't interested. When she began vomiting up almost everything she ate, I took her to the vet. They said it was probably acid reflux. In my heart I knew that she was dying, but I wanted to believe them, so I gave her the meds they prescribed. That didn't work. I took her back to the vet, and they took some x-rays.
That evening the 5 of us went to go pick her up from the vet and hear about the results. I knew that it would be severe, and that we would be saying goodbye soon. We waited in an examination room. We probably waited about 30 minutes, and the kids were getting restless. someone finally came and led us to the back. I had already talked to the kids about the likely possibility of losing Daisy. We were prepared for what they were going to tell us.
The Veterinarian showed us the x-rays. There was a large mass in her chest area. She said it was mostly likely cancer, and that it was very advanced. They could operate, but the chances were slim. I was ready for this. I knew this would be the outcome. I also knew Daisy was old and worn out, and that any procedures would just prolong her suffering. I started to speak, I said she needed to be put to sleep, but that we would like to take her home for a day to love on her. I wasn't able to get all that out. Instead, I began sobbing hysterically. I was holding my 2 year-old, and I hugged him tightly and walked as fast as I could. I had to get outside! No one is supposed to see me cry!
I nearly bumped into 2 people, and then finally made it through the labyrinth and out into the fresh air, still sobbing. Then Love showed up. It took the form of a small older lady with grey hair. She set down her box of canned food, and wrapped her arms around me. She started crying too. She said she had just said goodbye to her dear pet, but it was more like losing a family member. I nodded and tried to thank her through my tears. She understood. She just held me and knew. Jon and the other 2 kids joined us after a couple minutes. Lacey had tears in her eyes as she came over to hug me. Simon was worried because I was crying so much.
I began feeling calm, and the lady asked my name. I told her and then she said she would not forget, and that she would pray. She got in her car after giving me one more hug, then drove off with a wave of farewell. I will never forget her.
We took Daisy home that weekend, so that we would have a couple more days to cuddle her and tell her how much we love her. I don't know if that was the right decision or not. By Sunday, she could barely stand, and was in so much pain and misery. We called a local shelter and they said they would put her to sleep that day, if we brought her in.
All 6 of us piled into the van. I sat in the very back, on the floor. I held Daisy close and baptized her with tears of a thousand sorrows. Lacey cried with me. She understood. When we got there, Jon took Daisy in the fill out paperwork. I sat in the van with the kids, the tears just never stopping. I sent Jon a text telling him I really felt like I should be there with Daisy, so he came out to take care of the kids, and I went inside to meet death.
They led me into a small grey room, with an old blanket on the floor. Then they led Daisy in. I sat on the floor, and pulled Daisy next to me. They gave her a shot to make her sleep. She slowly collapsed next to me, and I hugged her close, telling her the whole time how much I loved her, and how wonderful she is. Then they gave her the next shot. The fatal one. The one that stops the heart and invites death.
I sobbed loud and hard. I hugged her so tightly. goodbye, Daisy. I will see you again when the world is perfect...