Monday, December 28, 2009

Goodbye, Old Friend

It's never easy saying goodbye to someone you love. Even if you know goodbye is coming and think you've brought yourself to terms with it, the Sadness is inevitable.





When I was 13 the dog I grew up with, Lady, was being ravaged by cancer. We got the call from the veterinarian in the middle of the night saying most of her internal organs were being consumed. My mother and father made the decision to let her go right then and there. I was never able to say goodbye and it wreaked havoc on my tiny heart for months.

About a year later we swung by an animal adoption day for a local pound on a lark and met the sweetest mutt puppy in the whole entire world. We brought her home and my sister, who was 5 at the time, named her Laura after my best friend.

Laura was beyond a doubt, the happiest dog on the planet. She was always smiling and would dance, on her toes, when excited. She was great to wrestle and was always willing to cuddle and lend an ear when you needed someone to just listen. She had epilepsy and gained a remarkable amount of weight from the medication she was on (also probably due to her love of cheese which we kids frequently snuck to her) but she would still dance and flop on her back looking for a belly rub whenever we came home from school, work or a weekend at a friends.

When I moved out three years ago, I missed Laura tremendously and enjoyed visiting my dad's house so I could visit with her. Christmas was always the best time to visit because my father always gets catering and there were always lots of cheese sneakings to be had.

When I pulled into my dad's driveway on Christmas Eve this year with my husband and sister in tow, I expected Laura to come darting out of the house to greet us. When she failed to do so a dark feeling swept over me and as my love and sister bounded into the house with armloads of gifts I stood a moment under the stars (oh, how I miss those country stars) I heard a whimper and a whine and my heart broke. There, on the edge of the forest, lay Laura. If I had parked on the opposite side of the driveway I would have hit her. I tried to lift her, but her legs were jelly and I screamed for my husband as I cried. I made the call to the veterinarian, bundled my husband and sister back into the car and drove to town with our dear old friend.

While she was lying on the table with her head in my hands, Laura looked at me with eyes that told me not to cry anymore, she was awfully tired and ready to go. She was all smiles until the very end. I sobbed the whole ride home, but I'm happy that I was there with her and was able to say goodbye.

My heart aches and there is a void in my life where she was, but I know she's at peace and that she will be waiting for me, with a smile, a dance and a piece of cheese at the rainbow bridge.

15 comments:

  1. my sincere sympathies--the loss of a 'pet' is incomparable to anything else...perhaps its because they do not speak, do not complain, and are so dependent on us to provide, to nurture, to love...animals are so very special...I'm sure she knew she was part of you and yours--her life was complete with that knowledge...my heartfelt condolences.

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  2. My sincere sympathies to you. It is the chance we take every time we choose to love an animal that someday we will have to say goodbye. It is worth it every time.

    But you are so right. It is only for a time that we are separated, and then we will indeed be united with the ones who have loved us without question.

    Not long ago I said goodbye the same way to my loving protector Saint Bernard Murphy. I am hoping by chance that Murphy and Laura will meet and be friends in waiting.

    Be strong, Linda in New Mexico

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  3. I'm so sorry Danni. I am so so sorry. Nothing can compare to the love shared with a pet. My heart aches for your loss.

    -audio-astrophysics

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  4. i am so sorry for your loss its never easy to lose a pet

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  5. am so sorry for your loss... the love of a pet can run so deep. I am glad you were able to be there for her when she needed you most and also that you were with her when she passed.

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  6. I am terribly sorry to hear of your loss. Losing an animal-friend is such heartbreak. Know that she is running in the fields of the Summerland now, free.

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  7. I have been crying the whole time reading that post. My heart is with you along with wishes of serenity.
    Blessed be.

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  8. I am so sorry for you losing a best friend, especially like this. There is no way that we can console ourselves when this happens. I too have a few tears sliding my face as I type this.

    Sobeit

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  9. Danni....I cried when I read your posting! We lost our Lucy in May and I still miss her!
    I'm glad you were with her when she passed.
    BIG hugs!
    Patty

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  10. Ooooh there are no words. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I too have lost more than one four legged family member and even years later when you stumble across a picture or something it's not uncommon to shed a tear or three.

    My condolences to you and your family. You were blessed to have her in your life and blessed to be able to be with her at the end.

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  11. So so sorry for your loss. How blessed you were able to share in her life and she in yours. She sounds like an awesome friend and family member. My condolences.

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  12. I'm so sorry for your lose Dani. Hugs!

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  13. I am so sad to hear. =( *sniffles*

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  14. I'm sorry, Danni.
    Losing a pet is just as difficult as losing a family member because they ARE family.

    She was a beauty!

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