The road of life never is even without hills and valleys, but the last several weeks have been filled with some big ups and some big downs. After more than two years of nursing an aging dog with many ailments, we lost our precious gem of a dog, Princess Pearl Petite on Sunday afternoon, August 26th at about 12:45. The hardest decision we've ever had to make, became a bit easier after several days of greater decline. Those last moments are burned into my memory and are so painful. If I go into the details I won't be able to get on to the good stuff, so I won't share those now. It doesn't matter too much now anyway. What does matter is that Pearl was the most loved dog in the world, and we did everything we could to make her life long and with the best quality it could possibly be.
Below I've copied the words I used on that day and the day after.
From Facebook on August 26th: The sweetest dog in the world is now an angel and my heart is completely broken.
In response to all of the supportive comments on August 27th: I'm sorry I haven't thanked you all for your warm, caring, supportive comments sooner. It's been too painful to do it, and I'm crying now as I write this. I always knew this day would arrive, and knew it would hurt, but I never imagined just how much and how big the ache would be. I miss her "smile", her trust, playfulness, loyalty and so much more. I miss my "shadow" as I walk into my studio or her waiting for me there, knowing it was time to work. I will miss going out to run errands through drive thru's, not because they needed to be done right then, but because i knew she'd enjoy it and reward me with her smiles afterward. Mostly right now I want to bury my nose in that sweet, soft, yummy fur and inhale a deep whiff of her. Every night as she fell asleep between by legs and lay her head on my leg, knowing she felt so safe there, she dug a hole deeper into my heart that will never be filled again. My sweet, lovable Pearl—your were truly the best gem of a dog, and you will shine in my memory to the end of time. Thank you all for understanding just how much a dog becomes a part of your family. I'm blessed to have a community of family and friends who care so deeply. And, if you have a pet, please give them a kiss tonight for me.
What did help to ease some of the pain was working with the most compassionate vet. Dr. Tabatha Regehr at Perimeter Veterinary Center, was a godsend. Over the past two years she'd given us her cell number and email address so we could call anytime of the day or night. She emailed to check in when it had been a while since she'd seen us. Tabatha took Pearl home with her overnight after she did the last surgery in October so she could care for her because we were so nervous about the large incision. She cried with us and comforted us and checked in on us and is a true angel. She even made a donation to K-State's Pet Tribute in Pearl's memory. We are planning to do the same in her honor.
A few days later I went to the groomer that we'd been taking Pearl to for years. I planned my trip for right at five o'clock when she'd be closing, so it wouldn't ruin her day and so we'd have time to talk. When I walked in a new assistant, who I hadn't met yet, came out to answer the door. I told her I was there to see Jean and she went to the back room to get her. Jean knew why I was there, opened the door, waited for me to nod my head to confirm, and then came out crying. We held each other and cried together. A card arrived from her a few days later saying how she appreciated us entrusting Pearl to her for so many years and that the memories would be very dear to her. How wonderful to be surrounded in life by people who are so empathetic and supportive! We are blessed.
And, so now I sit here at my computer, and could continue to for as long as I want since Pearl isn't here to remind me it's time to go to bed. I suppose it is easier to work when I want to without distraction, to sleep through the night without having to trod down the stairs holding her sweet smelling, furry little body and hope I don't trip and fall, to come and go from the house without worrying about the little one who needs constant love and attention. But, the house feels so empty all by myself without my little companion and it will be a very long time until I stop expecting her to come clean up the kitchen floor when I drop food, or welcome me home or miss the weight of her little body nestled between my legs in bed at night.
Rest in peace sweet Pearl.
Come back for the hills in the road.....