A New Angel in Heaven
My dog Angel had been with us for 16 long and wonderful years, but it was time to go. She was barely able stand, let alone walk, and she had symptoms of liver cancer for the past several months. We couldn't remember the last time she had wagged her tail, although she still looked at us with love in her eyes.
The day she stopped eating, we knew that she was forcing our hand. She was telling us it was time to go, and we couldn't postpone it any longer. The next day, after work, I went to the vet and made the arrangements. I set the appointment time for 6:00 in the evening - the same time she would eat dinner.
My brother came by to say goodbye. He wouldn't be there when it happened, but he wanted to see her one last time. After all, she had been his first pet as much as mine. We all gave her a treat - I gave her a sausage, which was always her favorite.
I carried her into the vet, followed by my dad. We were going to be with her when it happened. She never wanted to be left alone, and we certainly weren't going to make her face this without her family.
When the vet said it was time, she laid down against me like she used to when we were together on the floor - me reading a book, her snuggling against me. The injection caused her to fall asleep within seconds, and her furry head rested against me for that last time. As she was going under, my dad and I were stroking her and telling her that we loved her so much, that she was a good dog and our best friend.
When I left the vet clutching her collar, I left my heart on that floor with her.
The house is filled with memories of her. I keep expecting to see her on her favorite spot on the floor. I keep expecting to come home to her. It's like it's hard to believe that after 16 years, she's never coming back.
She knew it was time, when it happened. For the first time ever, she wasn't afraid of the vet. It was like she was telling me that it was okay. That she loved me too, and I was a good dog and her best friend.
The grief clutches my throat like a vice, and the tears run hot on my cheeks as I sit alone in this empty house and wail for my lost love. Sometimes it feels like the pain will never end. How does one get over losing someone who shadowed your every step for half your life? Everything has changed, and nothing is what it should be.
I put her things out in the garage, but I don't know what to do with them. Throwing them out seems like throwing her away, and giving them to my next dog just seems crass.
Angel was my everything, and I can only pray that in time the pain will lessen.