Monday, September 8, 2014

The blog post I never wanted to write.

On paper, a dog shouldn’t mean so much. But often things aren’t the same on paper as they are in your heart.

Today I had to get Cleo put to sleep. The vet said it could take up to a minute, but it was a matter of seconds, really. She was old, and she was hurting, and she went very quickly.

So I’m a mess, of course.

Twelve years is a long time. I think it will take me a while to be able to go to sleep without listening for her claws clicking across the floors, as she’d flop down beside my bed with a long sigh before snoring like a chainsaw.

Cleo and her BFF Grub, being accidentally photogenic. 
Once upon a time – and I’ve probably told this story before – Cleo ate Christmas.

It was my first year in my own house, and I was going to make the latticed veranda beautiful. I went and spent a lot of money on Christmas lights and decorations, then spent hours threading them through the lattice. Hours, getting the spacing just right. My arms and shoulders were killing me by the time I was finished. I flicked the lights on once to make sure they worked.

God, it would look so good at night when I turned them on. I could hardly wait!

Then, studying the molding above the front door, I thought to myself, That would look great with a piece of tinsel above it.

I went inside to get some tinsel.

And, in the thirty seconds I was gone, the dog chewed through the power cord for the lights. Hours of painstaking work with a chair and a step ladder… ruined.

“We are never doing Christmas again!”

I pulled all the lights and the tinsel and the decorations down while I ranted and raved and had a meltdown, and the dog just sat and placidly watched me go insane.

“Never again!”

We did, of course. Lots of times. And Cleo never really lost the uncanny ability to hone in on the things I least wanted eaten, and eat them. My brother-in-law’s new expensive sunglasses. Books. Yummy crunchy CDs. Any bra she could reach.

She was fun and stupid and lazy and sneaky and sweet and stinky and happy and naughty and bouncy.

I’m going to miss her like hell.


Shadowspawn said...

I am so sorry for your loss, but I'm so glad she had you in her life to share her time and make that last horrible, but best, decision. You and your family, Cleo and Grub included, are in my thoughts.

Unknown said...

I am so sorry for you loss, Lisa. No matter how many legs she had, or how hairy she was, she was family. Of course she was a part of your heart and meant a lot to you. Making that decision has got to be one of the most painful ones there is. It took a months for me stop randomly bursting into tears because I would suddenly think of Sam or something would remind me he was no longer there. It took probably a year before I stopped constantly thinking a noise was just Sam moving around and expecting him to come trotting into the room. Even almost three years later I'll hear a noise and forget for a moment that it couldn't be him. They may not be the same species, but they are very special nonetheless. *HUGS*

Birte said...

Loosing my Vitello was the hardest thing ever, he's gone now since 6 months and still I often burst into tears or call out his name when being in thoughts while hearing a noise. Yeah, so I know how you're feeling and I'm so sorry for your loss :'(

Anonymous said...

Awww, hell, Lisa, that's sad * BIG SQUISHY HUGS *

It's the hardest decision we have to make. And even though it's the right thing to do, it hurts like hell.

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Keeping you in my thoughts...

Lisa said...

Thanks so much, Shadowspawn.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Aniko! It's a terrible decision to have to make, even though it's the right one. I think it will be a while before I stop hearing her around the house as well.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Sofia! I need lots of hugs this week.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much, Tia.

Unknown said...

Oh, Lisa! So sorry to hear. In the past two months I've had to put two of our four dogs to sleep because of cancer, so I feel your pain. It's no damned fun.

It may be too early to hear this, but this is how I have learned to deal with the loss of a pet: Even though we cannot have them for all of our lifetimes, we are given the unexpected gift of being able, instead, to experience the love of more than one pet in our lives.

You gave your dog the very best he could have had - a full, complete life rich with food, a happy home, your unconditional love, and all the Christmas lights and sunglasses he could eat. In the end, isn't that really the very most we can give to a pet? You could not have given your dog a longer life because he lived his entire life expectancy, so he got his entire wonderful lifetime.

It's sad that their lifetimes aren't as long as ours, but it means we get to offer to and receive the love of a pet more than once in our own lifetimes. How lucky is that for both of us?! And there are so many pets out there who need our love, it makes it even more important that we get the opportunity to give it to more than just one.

Even if it's too soon for the idea of another pet, I hope this advice will help you feel a little better. :-)

Lisa said...

Thanks, db! I will definitely get another dog, but not yet. And you are so right about all the animals out there that need our love. Hugs!

Lisa said...

Thanks, Birte. Animals just work, their way into our lives and our hearts, and we never quite realise how much, until times like these. But I wouldn't change it for anything.