Day 191 of Firsts: Say Goodbye to My Sweet Dog Angel

9 Jul

 I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner

It’s pouring down rain in Philadelphia. Pouring like tears I can’t stop.  We’ve lost a member of our family.

I knew in my heart she wasn’t well. I knew the last time she was at the vet we were dancing around whether to do more tests. More tests to show what I knew and didn’t want to know.

Angel was 12 and was no angel.  Oh, but we loved her spoiled rottenness and her sweetness.  From the time she was a pup she was a contradiction.  Half golden, half border collie, she was among a litter considered a mistake and given away by a breeder.

She was too smart and trained us more than we trained her. She hated rain. She loved snow. She truly despised other dogs, but loved (and tortured) our cat. Angel was sweet and gentle  with babies but humped toddlers. I can’t remember  a person (neighbors, mailman, friends) she didn’t want to lick and shake hands with.  ( That may be why our recent house burglar was not deterred.) Yet she barked at everything that moved outside much to the dismay of one neighbor. 

Angel could learn any trick you taught her but performed only when she felt like it.   She howled like I was her long lost friend when I came home from work and could not be calmed until I gave her a good pet down and butt rub.  She hated to be groomed and cried like a baby when we recently had someone come to the house to bathe and trim her. She cried so much the neighbor came over to see what was wrong.

 I got Angel for my daughter, but I think she was always my dog; mine and my husband’s.  Phil walked her.  I loved her and fed her , bought her ridiculous toys and rolled around on the floor with her.  She licked my face when I cried and would try to fit her entire 50 pound body in my lap.     She ripped apart expensive underwear and slept under my furry robe.   

Last night I knew, but once again didn’t want to.  She cried trying to tell me she was in pain.  I didn’t understand at first.  It  became clear as she paced and was sick through the night. It was bad.   She didn’t fight like she usually does when I drive her to the vet.  No head out the window, no attempt to run back to the car.  She submitted and so I knew in my heart she wasn’t coming home. This was the end.

She was tired.  I don’t know how long she was hurting from a large tumor , ignoring her pain so all I could see was a wagging tail and her naturally smiley face.  The vet said we could try surgery and chemo but she suggested it would be hard on her and without much hope of giving her time.

I don’t know if it was right or not but I wanted to document some of our last moments and our best moments with Angel.

I can’t stop crying and I’m glad the heavens are pouring.  My Angel is gone but I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving that dog.

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6 Responses to “Day 191 of Firsts: Say Goodbye to My Sweet Dog Angel”

  1. Rod Ivers July 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    All of us have made that final trip to the vet, and for us we have done it twice. When you leave, it is as though you have left a part of your heart and sole behind. But please know that it was the right thing to do. Angel thanks you for having the strength to help her. While you may get another dog in the future, there will never be a replacement that will take her place. Time will make it better, and your memories will replace the sorrow, but the love will never die!
    Rod and Loyce Ivers

  2. Jackie Strauss July 10, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    Dear Lu Ann

    We’ve been where you’ve just been three times, and it is heart-wrenching every time.
    When we put our last dog down, I was so uncontrollably grief-stricken, I had to see a pet grievance counsellor. I only had to see her once, and she told me that dogs don’t fear death the way humans do, they just know instinctively that it’s their time to go. They stop eating and functioning the way they used to because nature takes over and they follow their instincts.
    We feel like their mothers and fathers…they’re our babies because they so depend on us for so much. And when they die, we surely lose a member of the family.
    Time will heal. I knew I needed another dog in my life…not as a replacement, but to take care of. People say that they don’t want to go through that again, but you have to think of all the years of joy you had with them, and the short amount of time that they’re ill, and that you grieve, is a small price to pay for all they’ve given you.
    I wish you strength in the coming days. My deepest sympathy.
    ~Jackie

    • oneyearoffirsts July 10, 2010 at 8:26 am #

      Jackie, thank you. It helps to know . I keep thinking I’m hearing her in the house.

  3. julius may July 10, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    I am so sorry for your loss Lu Ann

  4. Judy July 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    The tears are flowing freely down my cheeks after watching your video Lu Ann… One can truly only know how truly heart-breaking it is to have to make a humane loving decision for a pet. I do. And I wouldn’t give up a second of that time together no matter how much pain it brings to your heart later. Having pets is one of the purest forms of unconditional love a human being can ever have.

    I was already grieving over the passing of a dear friend, and it just touched my heart so, that you shared such a private moment. Thank you.

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