Honey. 2015. I just looked up from my work and caught her gazing at me. ❤ Of course I dropped everything and gave my attention wholly to this sweet thing!
Five days since I’ve seen Honey, yet I see her a thousand times a day.
My grief is beginning its metamorphesus. I am crying less often, though my cheeks still feel constantly wet. My eyes still worn and depleted.
In place of the shellshocked random tearful outbursts that plagued me, however, I now have a little more control but I wear this dark, wet, heavy blanket around my body that acts as a constant drain. Its weight compresses on my lungs to such a degree that each breath is painfully shallow yet deep and each exhalation sends all of my core muscles into spasm at the effort and expectation of yet another belaboured breath to start the weary cycle over again.
And while I don’t delight in donning this dreadfully suffocating garb every morning upon rising, I am finally beginning to see that my joy never was really stolen from me. The joy is in the wearing of the blanket! Yes, that dreadfully heavy, suffocating, saturated, black blanket.
The joy simply caresses me from the blanket’s fibers, enveloping me in love, reminding me of the happiness that my Honey brought me and of the perfect love that the two of us shared.
Only in this kind of pain and deep mourning can one ever come to realize the depth of love that they had once known and shared in life.
Yet another one of those double-edged swards.
I sat down in my chair with laptop in hand. I instinctively looked down to my right where Honey always lay when I worked in this spot. I saw the plush pillow I had laid down beside her dog bed to give her a head rest, as her long length often meant part of her body was on the floor.
The sight of that pillow struck joy within me. I was the last place she had laid her head to rest before we went to the vet.
I snapped up the pillow, brought it to my chest as though it had her life force still in it, and hugged it and cried in it. It was the most wonderful refuge for my grief. I just held it and I knew I was sharing it with her. She was there with me.
Honey in May 2010. Still in her prime!
August 8, 2016
Today was the day I decided it must be done. She was getting no better and her struggle to move about was breaking my heart.
She was 11, and I guess for big dogs (80 pound) that’s pretty old.
Honey had developed severe hip dysplasia (which is also common for her breed) about three years ago. As she overcompensated for her hips, she blew out the nerves and muscles in her front two legs, making any kind of hip surgery/recovery impossible.
She had some other stuff going on with her liver and kidneys that gave her problems as well.
This last month her left hip finally dislocated and there was nothing they could do for it. She was in terrible pain – I saw it every time she moved, even with the pain meds that I was giving her. She could only get up unaided about 40% of the time, the rest of the time she would give up, but I would come behind her and lift her hind end up for her. And even then, walking was a terrible struggle for her.
It was a terribly difficult decision for me to make, especially when I would see her excitement and spirit shine through. But I had been telling myself for three years (after seeing her hip x-rays) that once her hip comes out of its socket, I would spare her the pain and agony going forward.
I went through this once before with my 17-year-old Ollie, and I thought I was prepared. But this time is so much harder. I guess because Honey depended fully on me and I kind of depended on her. She and I were attached pretty tightly.