She had been struggling for weeks, with more tough days than good ones. Last Friday, I called and made the appointment I’ve dreaded ever since she turned 10 (somewhere I’d gotten the idea that dogs don’t live long after they reach double digits? So glad that was wrong!)
Over the past few days, Steve and I loved on her extra, spoiled her, and thanked her for being such a marvelous, miraculous part of our lives. Wednesday night I fed her human food off of my plate for the first time ever. Scraps of chicken alfredo pizza. I looked at Steve and said, “She might already think she’s in heaven!”
When the time came yesterday to say goodbye, our vet was wonderful. It could not have been a more peaceful and loving; a fitting end to a beautiful life. And he had lots of tissues on hand. We needed them.
Today I’m weepy, as I learn what it’s like to live without her. It’s been 18 years of morning walks and daytime play and her sleeping next to me while I type. Of figuring out how to keep her feet safe in icy snow (see right for what I came up with – she was mortified) and how to keep her Afghan-Cocker Spaniel fur from tangling. So much mundane joy, every day. On a practical level, I can’t imagine how long it will be before I drop a scrap of food and remember that I need to pick it up myself.
As hard as this is, it’s the good kind of sad. We had time to prepare, and time to say goodbye. We had 18 amazing years. Kylie lived with me in 7 states and 2 different countries (border patrol in Canada thought she was so strange looking, they made me promise with each crossing not to let her reproduce in their country) She was there on my first date with Steve, waiting patiently on the front porch for her walk as he and I had the longest first kiss in history. She became THAT DOG when she tipped over the trash can and made a huge mess the week I began my first blog. And so you all got to love her a bit too.
It hurts, missing her. And yet I’m so grateful. 18 years ago this month, I went out with a friend who was looking for a fish, and came home with a 4 pound puppy who would be with me through adventures I couldn’t imagine.
Last year, when Princess Peach lived with us, she’d often exclaim, “Wow, Kylie sure is going to have fun playing with all those dogs up in heaven!” She envisioned a time when Kylie wouldn’t be old anymore, and could jump and play and run again.
Steve and I were so blessed by that picture yesterday as we said goodbye. We believe she’s right.
Rest in peace, THAT DOG. Thank you for taking such loving, diligent care of us for so many years, and for being such an unique and wonderful you. We love you.