It has taken me longer than I anticipated to write this post. Almost 2 months to be exact.
On September 14, 2010, at 9:40pm, I let my puppy go. Or rather, I think she let me go. She had fought bone cancer for 6.5 months and her little body was tired and her spirit was down. She was ready. Or at least I hope she was.
Her rib tumor was growing in size and I knew she was uncomfortable. She was not eating at all. On her last day I struggled to get her to eat 1 tsp of oatmeal. Her limp was overwhelming and I knew. I had made an appointment for the vets that evening to have her evaluated, to see if it were time. I did not go in thinking I was putting my baby to sleep, but in the back of my mind, I knew I was not walking out with her.
Lola despised car rides. Most car rides led to the vets, so she hated riding in cars the final months of her life. This night was no different. She sat on my lap, her head resting on my shoulder. I could see the worry in her eye and I just did my best to hold her tight and soak in every second.
At the vets, they had blankets laid out on the floor in anticipation that she would be put to sleep that night. Oddly enough, Lola walked into the room and immediately laid down; something she normally wouldn't do. It was at that moment that I finally thought "She is so tired and in so much pain, she wants to be set free.".
I laid with her in the room for about 1.5 hours. I covered her with one of her favorite blankets from home. I petted her. I tried to memorize every inch, every line of her body in those final moments. I told her how much I loved her and would miss her and how very sorry I am that her life was cut so short.
Around 9:30pm, the vet came in and begin to set Lola free. At 9:40pm, her heart stopped, and so did mine. There she lay, limp, lifeless, but free of the body that failed her. I kissed her on her nose and finally said "Thank you for being my puppy, have a safe journey.", looked at her for the last time and finally walked out.
I thought it would be easier, or at least get easier, not having her in my life. However, I was not prepared for the deep sorrow I feel and the overwhelming grief I feel at her absence. I miss her like crazy.
I still talk to her from time to time. I often look at her pictures. And I still tell her I love her.
I don't regret having Lola, even if for only 19 months. I don't regret the cost and time involved in fighting her cancer. My only regret is that she had to suffer in her short life.
If love could have saved her, she would have lived forever.