How do you say goodbye to your pet when you know in your mind it is time but your heart isn’t ready? It will never be ready but you look at your friend with her soft eyes gazing up at you and you know that she hurts and that she is not the dog she used to be.
Today I keep looking for her at the back door or laying on her impossibly huge pillow that she spent so many hours lazily napping on. Her nose prints are still all over the sliding glass door and I can’t bring myself to clean them off yet. I’m ready for the snow to melt but when it does it will melt all her paw prints away.
There are reminders everywhere, I look and I still will for a second forget that she is gone and think the rattle of keychains are the tags on her collar. Then you remember that you had to say goodbye to your friend and that you will never see her again on this earth. There is a jerk in the pit of my stomach.
When we were all sitting around her as she drifted off from the sedation we shared our stories of her. It felt good to remember her in her glory. I’ve never seen a dog so excited about camping and chasing squirrels, she had a never ending enthusiasm for the pursuit of rodents. When we would be sitting by the campfire at night her collar would be blinking off in the darkness signaling her never ending fun of digging holes and trying to catch the elusive ground squirrel. Or the first time we went camping with her and at some point on the hike she cut her foot open but didn’t even slow down. We discovered a bloody paw when we stopped for a picture on the side of the trail and she didn’t even care. She was just so excited to be alive.
She was the smartest, kindest, and most loving dog I ever had. She did not have a mean bone in her body. It was hard at the end watching her fade away. Not able to hear much, not able to see much, not able to keep her balance in the back end. The last time we took her camping she could barely hold herself up to use her front paws to dig, but she tried.
She tried so hard to please us and to never make a wrong move. It was hard not get mad at her for having diarrhea all over the carpet because she lost control of her bowels but maybe it was my fault for letting her go on too long.
I miss her so much and it was so hard to make the decision to say goodbye. I felt like the executioner serving out her death sentence when it was time, but I have to think of her and how she felt. She was so skinny and bony and just simply did not feel good anymore and would never feel good again.
Some people think that dogs don’t go to heaven but I think they are wrong. How could something with such a sweet and loving nature and that had such an individual personality possibly not have a soul. I think she is in heaven. I think she is there right now jumping through the tall grass, chasing chipmunks, digging holes, and thoroughly enjoying herself. No more pain, no more anxiety, just happiness. I can see her sitting there with dirt all over her nose, her tongue rolling out panting, and the excitement of getting back up and doing it all over again.
I can see her at the gates waiting for me. Someday when I get to heaven I know she will catch sight of me and jump up in the air sideways like she used to and come running straight for me. I hope that she forgives me for being the one to put her to sleep. I hope that she will tell me that I did the right thing and that I released her from the suffering. I hope we get to spend eternity in heaven camping, taking long hikes, and enjoy each other; and never having to make these king of hard decisions ever again. Goodbye Cheyenne my friend, our ever present companion for all our life events. I will miss you, I can’t wait until we meet again.