We had to let her go last night.
It was strange that, as she lay down in what must have been agony, the storm was coming through and I only asked for no thunder, no lightning – that she not be terrified as well as so very sick. And so it was – the rain pounding but quietly as we tried to rush her to the emergency vet. Too late…much too late. A ruptured intestine with septic infection all around.
I took that photo on her next to last night, her quiet rest and seeming smile did not ease my mind as I knew, knew intimately, that she was not right. She’d seen the vet that day who noted a swelling in her belly and scheduled the ultrasound 2 days later when she could fit her in at lunch. Fit her in…
I could burn the place to the ground in my current state of mind. I consider that their negligence killed my dog. I believe my waiting and relying on them made me her cause of death.
And as the emergency vet stated so gently, so factually, one could operate but she would not make it…she was dying as they put her on the gurney. We made our farewells and I kept my wits in the midst of it. But all night and all day I have known only waking terror and guilt. It will pass, as all such troubles do. But it will take me a very long time to not feel that burden. I shall carry it until its weight becomes one and I no longer sense it…until I don’t open the wound fresh each hour.
Strong, she was so very strong and never once yelped or protested as I forced her in desperation into the truck. Even at the end when they put in the needle she still raised her head in demand, in how dare they…until her head was too heavy and sleep took her pain all the way away. And brought our share to our hands. Strong. So strong. What will I do without my shadow?