I began it with the statement that I was heartbroken. But, no. I was wrong. NOW I am heartbroken.
The Poochie of My Heart is gone. Dead.
Just when she had turned the corner. Just when she had become our baby girl's best friend, best playmate.
Something got her.
It started out with a few scratches on her ear. Then the scratches got red, so I made a vet appointment. Then just a few hours later, fever and an abcess.
Then surgery, IV antibiotics, sepsis, blood transfusion, pulmonary embolysm, and cardiac failure.
We called her The Tank because she was so indestructible. Chasing tennis balls full speed into concrete walls. Eating bees and railroad ties like they were dainty petit fors.
When the vet called and said she was failing, that there was less than a 2% chance she would survive and even if she did he couldn't say what she would be... like... my god, how I howled.
I must have said the word "no" a hundred times. A thousand times. It just wasn't possible.
My husband rushed to the vet to say goodbye, but when he got there she was already gone. He called me on his cell phone to tell me. Standing next to her, clutching her fur, he told her again and again how sorry he was. How sorry we were that we couldn't save her.
The guilt overwhelmed me at first. The guilt that I had considered giving her away, that I had ever shouted at her or cursed her, that I didn't clean her scratches well enough or call the vet soon enough, that I didn't love her enough, that I couldn't fix it all.
I scurried to remove traces of her before my husband could return from the vet. Her beds, her toys, her dishes all dumped hurriedly into an empty diapers box. I re-arranged the furniture to conceal the marks from her crate. I'm not sure what I thought I would erase.
It's like that old song...