Momma Will Always Love You, Smeck
Today I had to take my girl, Smeckles, to the Vet for the last time. I have never owned a dog before her, and never would have foreseen the pain I am feeling. I hope someone can help me with dealing with this. Smeckles turned up on my front deck in Northern MI after recently having moved here in the summer of '00. I believe she was "sent" to me as a companion, as I was in a new town, away from family, my marriage had just fallen apart, and there she was. After trying to locate her rightful owner for several weeks, I gave up when there never were any calls for her. I would go to work, leave her some cat food on the deck and some water and come home 10 hours later to her wagging tail, happy to see me, as if she belonged here. At that point, I decided to bring her inside and make her my own.
On the Sunday before Memorial Day of this year, as I arrived home from work at 9:15p.m., I was looking toward my deck where my fiance' and our other dog were waiting for me to come home. I stopped to wait for the garage door to open, then went to pull in and thought, "What the hell was that on the ground that I just rolled over with my truck?" Then I heard the yelp. All I could think is Smeck is NEVER outside without me....what was she doing outside and coming from that other direction? I lost all my senses for a brief moment, couldn't think how to turn my truck off, put it in neutral, foot on the clutch...brake...what!?!? And was just screaming "Oh My God!" She had hobbled over to the grass and was kind of dragging a rear leg. There was some blood and pee on the ground, but didn't seem to be any open wounds. I regained my senses rather quickly and got on the phone to the emergency Vet. Thankfully, it turned out that all that happened was a dis-located hip which they were able to "pop" back into place. After a few days at the hospital she came home, but had no control of her bowels, and her tail just hung limp. For the past 6 weeks or so, I have had to keep her closed off in the mud-room on several throw rugs. She ended up with some severe "urine burns" that I didn't know were there because of her fur from where she would have an accident and not know it and lie in it. Since the initial visit for her injury, I had taken her back to the Drs. three times. Everything that could be tried was tried, short of putting her in a diaper. I work very long hours, and know that doing that would just cause more of those burns. The Vet seemed to think it was nerve damage, and even the steroids didn't fix the problem. I know she was not happy being stuck in the mud room, and I know it was unfair to her when the rest of the family is/was in the other part of the house.
I took her today to have her "put to sleep". I have never had any experience with this. It took me a month of struggling with trying to wish, plead, pray,... talk her into being well before I had to make this final decision. I stayed with her while she passed and I brought her home with me. I had a spot picked out for her. I bought a pretty white cross with some flowers on it that I wrote on to put at her final resting place. I gave up early this morning on kleenex and am just keeping a hand towel with me. My trying to get her well caused a great rift between my fiance' and I. He felt that I should have let her go sooner, and was angry about having to "smell" the mud-room when he got in from work. So not only have I lost my beloved pet of 11 years, but my personal relationship ended as well. Along with dealing with both of these losses, (and at this point I am certain that the loss of Smeckles is the greater of the two), I am dealing with the guilt that I caused this. If I never would have ran her leg over, she never would have gotten the nerve damage and everything would be as it was 3 months ago. I, fortunately, have never even lost any semi-close family or friends, so this is really my first death in the family. I don't have any children, and this seems too deep of a sorrow to bear. She has been my companion since I moved North, and I just don't know when the tears will stop.
I know this is probably too long of a story for anyone to read, but if you took the time to read it, and have some experience with how to make the tears stop, sleep come, and hurt ease up, please let me know.