Sunday, March 04, 2007

Goodnight, baby dog ...

At 5 p.m. this evening a friend and veterinarian made a house call, and we said goodbye to our sweet dog Maggie for the last time. She was 13 years old.

She was our first baby.

She was not in pain.

She stopped eating almost completely two days ago but she had not gotten lethargic.

It was time.

Last night she spent a lot of time standing in the snow in the backyard just staring off into the distance. She did not sleep where she usually does, at Annabel's bedside, but in the hallway between the kitchen and the "great outdoors." I went to check on her at 4 a.m. and found her in the yard again looking off into the distance.

I had a dream a few days ago that we'd taken her to the vet, telling her the vet would make her better but knowing it was impossible. Her eyes were almost human; relieved and willing it to be true. It broke my heart.

We were never going to be ready to let her go or say goodbye. But we knew it would be best to do it before discomfort or pain took hold.

It was such a wonderful thing, for us, that her last moment on this Earth would be at home and not in a clinic that she had tolerated dutifully but a place that always made her shiver fearfully. This friend traveled more than an hour to do that for us when our vet would not, and we are indebted to him.

He adminstered the last treatment downstairs in front of the woodstove with Maddy laying next to her. She went peacefully as if she just fell asleep. Jed wrapped her in a warm blanket and buried her in the backyard under the honeysuckle.

She will now be a part of this place just as she was once a part of us.

You are a good dog, Maggie. We love you.

23 comments:

Firestarter5 said...

It couldn't have been said better.

kimmyk said...

Oh I'm bawlin.

I'm sorry to hear that your Maggie is gone. I never understood how people could feel this way about an animal until almost 3 years ago when I got my very first dog. Now I can't imagine a day without Dan or Maggie. [I too have a Mags]

My heart goes out to all of you...

victoria said...

oh,i am sorry about maggie. i know it has been a long journey to this point, but my heart just breaks for you.

debbie said...

god. I'm so sorry.

it's always so goddamn hard to lose your friends, pets though they may be.

Gail said...

RIP dear Maggie.

Whirlwind said...

I am so sorry to hear about Maggie. It sounds like it was very peaceful! One of my friends lost one of her dogs last week as a very quick cancer diagnosis only 2 weeks prior. She is a vet and still feels bad bacause she feels like she should have been able to do something to save him.

xdm said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I hope she's running and jumping and barking and licking and eating anything she wants to without getting sick in that great big dog park in the sky.

Sarah said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your loss. What your friend did for your family and for her, however, is priceless. I'm sorry to hear she's gone, though.

Redneck Mommy said...

My heart breaks for you and yours.

I can't imagine parting with my pooch. He has helped me come to terms with the loss of my Bug.

May her memories bring comfort to you all.

Now I need kleenex.

BlogWhore said...

bye maggie.

Andrea said...

Be at peace, Maggie.

I am so sorry. Though death is a part of life, it's never easy, regardless of it being a pet. She was loved and she had to know that. It sounds like she went peacefully.

Nicole said...

I'm so sorry. It's certainly better that she felt no pain and was at home, but that doesn't take the sting out of it for those she left behind.

Peter said...

I hope I know when to do it and have the same strength for my Jackson that your family demonstrated for Maggie.
Rest in peace old girl.

wordgirl said...

I never had a dog until I was married and I honestly thought that there was no way I could get attached to one. I was wrong. I'm thinking about you guys. I know this is a hard time.

Nancy said...

Oh, I am so sorry. I am crying for you and for Maggie. It has been many years since I've lost a pet, but I still feel your pain sharply -- I am watching my elderly cat grow older by the day.

I hope you find some comfort in your memories, and in knowing you unselfishly made the best decision to bring Maggie peace.

ECR said...

It's hard to type through the tears and think through the tightness in my stomach. I'm so sorry.

This piece should be published somewhere so a lot more people can have the privilege of reading it.

Kelly said...

Wow.

I said goodbye to the dog of my youth last June. We'd had her since I was 16, so she made it 14 years.

Unfortunately, my parents had to take her to the vet, but they took her home to bury her back by the hedgerow beyond their pond. I had to say goodbye to her after she was already gone.

Your dog was obviously loved. So loved. I'm so sorry for her departure, but glad that it was entirely peaceful, for her and you.

TSM said...

Very touching. I was directed here by 24/7, and was moved beyond words at your post.

Beautiful. Thank you.

Lucy's Mom said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. We also lost our beautiful girl, Bess, just a few months ago. We still cry regularly. I really understand how you feel. Our baby was barely 6 years old. Cancer. What a heartbreak. Hang in there.

Ruth Dynamite said...

So sorry for you. It's terribly painful and sad. I just said goodbye to my 14-year old cat.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I'm so sorry. I've buried two dogs in my life, both beloved.

It is hard.

Wishing you peace.

sashiman said...

You have so many beautiful and moving photos of the two of them. Thanks for posting the photo you did this week (TCKB), because the links led me to several of your posts, and reminded me what a phenomenal photographer and writer you are. When I got fed up with my "Opera" browser, I lost touch with all the blogs Caro and I had bookmarked, yours included. It's time to fix that.

Her Bad Mother said...

I was just scrolling back through your blog to see what I'd missed, when I came across this post. I'm so sorry that I missed it. I know that I am saying this much too late, but I'll say it anyway: I know how this hurts. I know the gap in the heart that is left.

((()))