The Last Few Blocks

The cats are gathering around my bed now.  They can feel the change as much as I.  It’s just us now– Tickle, Tonks, and myself.  The world has changed again.

It was a day like any other- gardening, a few things around the house, a nap, some volunteer work.  Then tonight I took Bella for a walk.  We were almost a block from the house when she collapsed and began to seize.  I recognized it immediately.  It was just like her predecessor, my last dog, Sam. It looked to be a stroke.

I began to carry her home.  A man and his wife stopped at the end the alley.  He came and asked if he might help.  I handed her over and he carried her the rest of the way to my garage and laid her in the tatermobile.  She still had the energy to move herself from the passenger seat to the driver seat.  I put her back on the passenger side and took the driver seat.

I wasn’t able to immediately reach the vet and didn’t know when or we were going, so I took her to lay down on my bed.  Shortly after we heard from the vet, so back to the van.  I carried her large, limp body.

We made it to the vet’s office a few minutes before he arrived.  I was able to just sit with her, to clean the mess a bit with the bags I had with me for the walk when her body let go of that last bit of bile, and to look into her eyes, and tell her that I love as I watched the life leave them.

I was in tears when the vet arrived.  I let him know that he just missed her.  He took out his stethoscope and confirmed that I was right, then got a cart for her body while I said goodbye.

It doesn’t seem real yet.  I just needed to write this, to hold what happened before it becomes real.  I wonder about the morning.  Every morning I wake and the first think I do is tell her good morning and ask her if she’s ready to go outside.  I let her out the door for a few moments while I put food in her dish and the cats’.  Once I have poured the food I hear her bark at the door and open it to let her bust her way past for breakfast.  I shower and have breakfast and we go for our walk.

Tomorrow, we won’t do that.  It hurts.


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