Last time I wrote a blog post it was right before Christmas. We had an awesome holiday and I could have blogged about it, but wasn’t sure anyone would want to read about our crazy bocce on the beach Christmas in South Carolina.
In January, my husband went to Italy to teach for a month with 23 Colby College students. My task? I had to put down both my beloved dog and cat. It was a decision made long after he had committed to that gig, and he felt awful to leave it to me.
I had to bring our cat Pearl to the vet alone, and I broke down so badly I couldn’t even be with her for the process. I felt like such a loser. That was January 8th.She was 13 years old and had been in failing health for two years. The vet care seemed unending and even with constant tweaking of her food and meds, she wasn’t improving.
A week later, I had to go through it again with my golden retriever, Henry David Thoreau. My son Burke came up from Massachusetts, where he was coaching soccer, to be with Henry and me at Henry’s end. It was snowing heavily and we were the last appointment of the day. I imagine the vet schedules these appointments like that to spare you being seen sobbing as you leave without a leash in your hand and your crazy dog no longer pulling you out the door on the other end. I won’t go into detail, but Henry went to sleep while I talked softly to him. Again, I couldn’t bear to be there when he sighed his final breath, so Burke and I left, sobbing, after Henry fell asleep with the sedative.
Part of me is engaging in magical thinking: Maybe the vet couldn’t go through with it and she gave him to a rescue group and he will find his way back to me, across the withered hay fields we walked along on our rural country road. Then again, I am aware it’s not a sensible thought. Henry was in a lot of pain and he was old and the vet knew he was suffering.
I believe things happen the way they’re supposed to. After the horror of letting go of my animals, I experienced the wonder and joy of becoming a first-time grandmother. I still can’t believe my “baby” has had a baby. She and her fiance and their darling little boy are doing just fine.