I had this idea that I was going to write about my latest travels, and that it would keep me occupied from what is bothering me. The truth is I can’t think of much else besides what I’ve lost, and I don’t have enough tools to cope with my grief, but this is one way I can share my feelings. My followers have been great to me, I get encouraging emails, I feel like I can share on this platform without being judged harshly. I am about to share something that others may find disturbing, sad, and/or depressive. If you suffer from anxiety like me, or depression, I encourage you to skip this blog post, because it is sad and the last thing I want to do is trigger someone. That is not my intention. My true intention is to share my feelings, to find ways to cope, and to tell others being sad over loss is okay.
Wednesday night, my dad took my dog to the hospital. I was worried sick all day, as soon as I woke up I went to see my dog, who looked like he was in pain. I came down the stairs and kneeled by him, he wouldn’t move because he was in hurt. I put my hand on his head and he closed his eyes. I watched him for a good thirty minutes before I realized he was so uncomfortable, he couldn’t lay on his side, so he would sit up, he couldn’t put his head down, so he just stared at me. He stared at me with his usual sad eyes, but with less light. His usual dark orange-brown eyes seemed like they were lacking the orange tint they usually had. I grabbed a pillow and a blanket and wrapped him up as best as he could and took his final picture. Hoping he would come home from the vet better and happier.
Wednesday night, I saw my dog take his final breath. I’m still trying to sort it all out. I was hoping it was something easy to fix, maybe joint pain or the doggy flue… Anything would have been better. I wasn’t hoping for a miracle, but I was praying to God my dog would be okay. I’ve believed in him so far, how could he let me down now? Solar had a tumor, that was all over his belly and insides. This tumor caused internal bleeding, and the only thing we could do at this point was to put him down.
I knew it was his time before I would admit it to myself. I waited in the car for ten minutes before going into the vet because I just knew, I knew if it was bad enough for me to be at the vet that it was the end. In the car, I kept talking to my dog even though he was somewhere in the cement building. I kept saying “It will be okay boy, we will go home, and you and I will snuggle on the couch and we will be fine.” I knew none of it was true.
I walked into the building and made it right on time to hear the vet say herself, that we could keep him alive for a few more days doped up, or we could make it easy for him. If we are honest people who choose to keep their dog doped up for a few more days are just holding on to false hope. If we had done that my dog would be in pain, miserable and we would watch him suffer so we could have a few more hours with him. By the time she gave us the two options, my dad had put up an emotional wall, nodded his head and said he needed to be put down because he didn’t want my dog in pain anymore. I knew my dad was right, but in that minute, I couldn’t look at him. I felt betrayed and hurt. I kept thinking “How the fuck could we miss a tumor? How the hell are these are only two options?”
The vet walked us to a room with a brown leather couch, a padded rug, with brown tiles underneath, a salt lamp on the far end, two tables by each end of the sofa, a tissue box on both tables with two dimmed lights. Above the couch were pictures of happy dogs with little quotes in each picture. I hated those dogs, I looked at those dogs, and thought “You’re only happy because you’re alive.” By the salt lamps, there was a paper cup dispenser and a white dog bowl with a sink. Farther away from the sink, passed the salt lamp was a clear jar of doggy treats that my dog wouldn’t want.
It’s funny. In that room I thought of a therapist’s office, trying so hard to be a relaxing environment but where you face your fears. I was crying so hard in that room I didn’t think I would remember any details. But I remember everything. I remember everything in such detail I can’t sleep without having panic attacks in the middle of the night.
I was sitting farther away from the door, and my dad closest to the door. I was bawling by this time, using as many tissues as I could. Would the snot ever stop? I was focusing on breathing when my mom called, I picked up my almost dead phone and said hi. She asked me one question, and it was almost like a stab in my stomach. I felt like I would explode starting from my numb toes to the blonde roots in my hair.
“How is the old boy doing?” I couldn’t answer, and she already knew. I could hear her voice shake, this was her baby as much as he was mine. Then she started to try to distract herself, she was trying to make things better, telling me stories of how naughty he was. My dog was an asshole, but he lived his best life, and he makes a good story. All the naughty things he did still make me smile. I am currently bawling writing this, but I have a smile on my face because out of all the assholes in this world I truly believe he was the best of them.
My mom came in ten minutes later, she looked at me with a sideways head and started crying with me. She sat her purse down and sat between my dad and I. Next came in our dog. For our final goodbye. Even with pain pills, his body hurt. He couldn’t lay down right away. He sat uncomfortably and let us pet him. His ears were always the softest part of his body, and I couldn’t stop touching them because I knew I would miss his ears, and his eyes, and his freakishly big paws he never seemed to grow into. He came in, and we all decided it was time. My poor old man couldn’t even lay down with pain pills.
When he finally laid down, he put his head on my moms’ feet just like when he was a puppy. I wanted to think this was the right thing, but I felt like I was being murdered and murdering all at the same time. It was hard to accept my dog was in so much pain this was the only comfortable choice for him. Death hurts the living. I felt sharp pains all over my body. I looked down at my moms’ feet, and the only thing I could think of was “I’m so old now I don’t even care that she is wearing the thickest ankle socks with flats, I should have done that today.”
I stared at her feet for a long time till solar finally moved his head between his paws. He looked somewhat peaceful, he looked like a puppy, how he used to sit. I reached for his ears again, Solar didn’t budge, it’s funny every single day I would tell me dog he was naughty as hell and only sometimes a good boy. Wednesday night, I never once told him he was naughty, he was only my good boy in that moment. He will always be my good boy. Someone came in the room after lightly knocking. She was there to sign the paperwork which my dad did. Thank God because my mom and I couldn’t keep it together. He signed the papers.
The vet came in and laid down on the blanket they had set up for him she was criss-cross applesauce (yes, I still say this) and had three syringes. One pink one, one clear one and one semi-clear one. She looked up and told us the dogs usually go right to sleep. She grabbed the pink syringe, and I had to stop her I asked her what it was, and she said it was the one that would end his heartbeat. I wondered what the other two were and she said they were to flush. I wanted to know if I had to watch all the syringes go in his paw or just one.
It was just one, the Pepto-Bismol pink one with thick goo all the way full. She stuck it in his IV and said she would go slow because sometimes the dogs don’t like the feelings in their veins. Poor Solar was in so much pain he didn’t even budge, I expected him too. This asshole fought anyone who got near his paws, but he was just done. He had no more fight in him, and that’s how I knew it was over. If it weren’t his time, he would have tried to nip her, but he made no moved. His head between his paws, his ears on each arm, he was done. His last breath was halfway through the Pepto liquid, they didn’t really need the full dose, but I assume it was measured by how big he was. He just simply had no more fight left, and he went quickly. After the halfway point my mom looked away, my dad looked away, but I watched every drop of that pink liquid enter his body. The vet quickened the pace after she realized it was done. She took the syringe out and took out her stethoscope from her neck, she scooted closer to my dog to check his heart.
“His heart stopped.” She said
She told us to take as long as we needed, but my parents rushed me out. I patted his head one more time and walked out the door. I had tears pouring down my cheeks, and I knew the front desk ladies were looking at me. I was leaving without my dog.
I think that was the worst part, when you go to the hospital you hope for the best, I was hoping my dog would be okay, but instead, I left watching my dog die. I left my dog dead in the fake therapist office. I felt numb. In fact, I still feel numb emotionally.
Every inch of my body is pounding, my head is aching beyond any a a migraine I have ever felt, tears feel like bricks against my cheeks, and my breath feels short and raspy. I sleep and wake up exhausted, I eat, and it feels like it turned to lava in my stomach. I feel pricks on my elbows, and I feel bruised on my back. I wake up with my hands clenched, fingernail dents on my palms. My old man bear covered in tears and drool. You may be thinking it’s terrible or not okay to be going through this and I’m hear to tell you it’s normal.
Maybe not to this extent but when you lose something or someone, and you are grieving it is normal and okay to feel pain. It is normal to feel exhausted, It is normal to feel hurt. It is normal to not feel happy, society thinks you need to show everyone how happy you are ALL the time, fuck society. You are allowed to feel numb and hurt once in a while. I am drained from writing this, but I had to share. I don’t have a lot of coping skills when it comes to this sort of thing, and I could never share this in person. I can write, it’s something I am good at.
I want you all to take a minute and thank God for the pets he gave us, and then I want you all to go and be with your pets. I didn’t know my last snuggle would be a week ago, I work so much I feel like I missed his whole life. I focused on work, and I forgot to be with my family, I forgot to come home and snuggle my animals. If you’re not religious that’s okay, think your happiest thoughts and then go snuggle your animals, be with your family, at the end of the day that’s all you have.
If you’ve been through any kind of loss, I will pray for you tonight. If you find yourself sad and anxious, know you are not alone, and it is okay to feel things other than happiness. Anyone who has read this whole thing thank you. This wasn’t easy for me to write, I don’t want any “Sorry for your loss.” Comments, if you feel compelled to leave a comment, please tell me your best pet stories. I don’t care if it is 8 pages long, I would rather hear your best memories with your favorite animal than a sorry. I’m not sorry, this happened for a reason, and I will be happy again.