Everyone has their stories about their dog. Every person believes that THEY have the best dog in the world. That is why dogs are so amazing. They are a tried and true companion to their owner. It is no different with me and my Tinkerbell. My 3 1/2 lb Pomeranian, who was a diva, and wore her crown like a champ. She ruled the roost and I let her because she loved me like none other. Last week, after 13 1/2 years of her with us on this earth, she let us know it was time for us to not let her be in pain any longer. It was time for me to do the thing that I had dreaded and prayed would never happen. I tried to make her promise to live forever and she just couldn’t hold on for me any longer. I am devastated. I am a mess. I see her everywhere I look in my home, and I don’t know what to do with that pain. It’s just not enough time.
Tinkerbell has been sick for a long time. I remember being pregnant with Tessa 4 years ago, and my vet telling me I had a very sick dog in heart failure. I cried so bad at that appointment and for the last 4 years have done what I could to make her OK. It’s been 4 years of 5 medicines a day. She needed them all to make her comfortable and for 4 years my dog would remind me that she was sick. But that tough little dog still was a HUGE part of our family. Almost a year ago is when I was away on vacation and Captain Awesome came home before me to tell me she didn’t look good. He took her to the vet and the doc said I needed to give more meds…so we did . In September I had to take her to the ER due to the the fluid build up in her lungs and I think from there it was getting bad. From there I checked on her daily to make sure she was breathing. She seemed to walk more slowly, and although she still looked like a puppy she was an old lady. It broke my heart. But we still had eachother and my job as “her person” was to take care of her.
It pains me to admit but I was frustrated with my old lady. She would poop and pee all over my house, and would be picky about which food she ate. I could never guess what she would take down. She would turn her nose up at her food and then only eat chicken nuggets for a while. Captain Awesome reminded me she was old and deserved whatever she wanted to eat. So that’s what I did. Now, she’s gone and I feel horrible that I was frustrated.
People tell me to think of all the good times we had and boy were there many. Tinkerbell was a part of EVERY adult moment in my life. She took care of me when The Captain was in law school and I was alone alot, she was there when we got engaged, she was there on our wedding day to sit on my dress train and not move. When we had our first miscarriage she laid on my belly while I dealt with it at home, she was there when I was up all night having contractions with Christian. I remember looking at her and saying “i’m so sorry Tinky, but your life will never be the same”. She was with us in 3 homes, in 3 towns, and for me bringing home 2 children. Which if we are to be honest wished were never born because they took my attention away from her.
Although she was little she always was a huge presence. Less so this past year but she was always THERE. EVERY night I would carry her up to bed with me. I would put her in our big bed and she would cuddle up on my side or my back. It’s those moments that are the hardest for me now. I feel the loss so bad at home. I feel a ghost around me always. I feel like I am seeing her walk in the room, or lay on my floor. Captain Awesome moved some of her things so I wouldn’t have to. But I notice that they are missing. I see her medications in my kitchen drawer because I am unable to toss them, and I have her bed next to mine for the same reason.
I am lucky I haven’t experienced tragic death in my life but there has been death, but this one affects me so much at home. I am reminded at every moment that she isn’t in our home. Its all so final. How did 13 years pass so quickly? I don’t want to remember her as the old lady we had at the end. She was a little crochety (understandably so). I want to remember the playful pup who was by my side always. The one who loved fetch and would sit with me every night. Who would sit by the closet door knowing her treats were in there. Who loved walks and who would bark incessantly at big dogs because she thought was tough.
Those that met me more recently don’t know that I brought Tinky EVERYWHERE with me before kids. I had dog birthday parties, she dressed for halloween (I may have even trick or treated with her), I would sit home at night because I hated for her to be alone. I did all this but the bottom line is she just wanted to be with me….always. After we said goodbye The Captain and I were just driving around numb thinking where we could go to honor her and there was nowhere to go? She hated being everywhere pretty much but if she was in my arms life was good. That is where I said goodbye…in my arms.
I am thankful she didn’t make the decision hard. She was aspirating and couldn’t breath. We tried a few things but she was in distress. I brought her stuffed monkey that was her boyfriend her whole life (she was monogamous not a slut), and the blues clues blanket I carried her home in. I held her though she couldn’t really breath and sobbed. I told her it would be OK and that I loved her. I told her I didn’t want her to be in pain any longer. Although I didn’t know how to be without her I knew I had to do that for her. It was one of the hardest things ever, and it plays through my mind all the time. I am hoping those flashes of sadness fade and whats left is only smiles about what was. She deserves that.
So here I am alone…..sad….and a bit lost. I am trying to be strong for my kids when all I want to do is sob. When will the pain fade? I am not sure…..I am hoping you will tell me soon. Right now my heart aches, and I feel like I could vomit at any given time. Especially when I am at home. Normally, when I am sad I plan….and am able to focus on a task to keep my mind off things. I am good at working towards a solution. There is no solution for death. I can’t fix this, or make it better. It just is…and now we learn to live without her.