Good Bye is not Forever
I remember the morning I said good-bye to her. It was the single most heart-wrenching thing I have ever endured, because really, how do you say goodbye? Is there really a finalization? If a person was to ask me, I to this day would say no, there is no closure for me, she is always here with me, it’s a door I don’t want to close, it’s a door I must keep open, a memory I keep as alive as I am.
I bathed her that morning like a princess, every nook, every cranny, she was as beautiful as a show dog taking best of show, even with her crooked little feet and her lop sided ears she was in my heart perfect! I dried her off ever so slowly and ever so gently, letting every ounce of love flow from my fingertips to her body. I kissed her wet face over and over and over again.
We took a long walk that day. We sat underneath the mulberry tree talking and I can still remember every bit of the conversation I had with her. To this day I will hold that to be one of the most precious things to me, because what you say to an animal, I truly believe they understand. I had to try to come to terms with the decision I had made for her, and to explain to her that I loved her enough to set her free from her agony and confusion she harboured so deep inside her.
As we were saying our last goodbyes, I cried and she nuzzled her head into me, as to acknowledge what was to come. I asked God to take her quietly and peacefully. When we had said our good byes I walked her to her room, where she was given her tranquilizer. As I lay there with her I saw what I felt was fear in her eyes, which didn’t make it any easier on me at all. All I wanted to do was grab her up and run as far away from the world as we could go, but I knew that was not the answer, so I sang to her. I sang the song that had always comforted the both of us. I sang softly in her ear the Co-Co Bear song, and stroked her ears as I leaned down to kiss my baby for the very last time.
I felt the moment she had left this world, it is a feeling I cannot explain.
When it was over, I felt as though I was going mad, I was so angry, with myself, people, everyone. Her death literally brought me to my knees.
That night I don’t think I slept for one moment, all I could do was think of her, all that ran through my mind was did I do the right thing? Did I make a wrong decision? In my heart of hearts I knew what I did was what I had to do, but my heart refused to let go of her, for a long time I was angry, until it seemed one day as I was looking at her pictures it seemed to me that she was in a strange way telling me to not be angry, to not let her have died in vain, but to take what experience I had had with her and turn it into something good, in her memory.
And in time I did, I made that promise to her, and it’s one I will always hold close to my heart.
It wasn’t long after her death that I had made a decision to leave animal control. I felt as though her death had changed my life so much that I couldn’t do my job as I should. I felt as though there was something I was supposed to learn from her death but I didn’t know what it was. All I knew was I couldn’t stay - I had to leave. And I did, It wasn’t until I was out west in California crossing over the long highways with nothing else to do but think, that it suddenly came to me, She was reaching me spiritually, letting me know that in the wake of her death, this world - the one that I thought at the time was so evil, was, in fact, still full of good, and she taught me not to ever be angry, but to love and forgive, just as she did in her life.
I learned from her that there are certain people put here on this earth to help the animals, in some way or fashion, whether it be in animal care and control, humane societies, foster care homes, kennel workers or simply someone that may see it in their heart to donate old blankets or provide medical care. They are very special people, people with strong wills and love.
She taught me that I was one of those people and that giving up now was something that I could not do. I truly believe she was put here for me to teach me this and to guide me.
It’s strange how animals teach you life lessons without you even realizing that they do, and even after they are no longer with us in this life, they never truly leave; they are with you, teaching you as life goes on. I may never find the relationship I had with her ever again and there are many days that I wish she were physically still with me, to hold, to hug, to kiss … but I know where she is, she is with the angels. Moreover, I truly believe that one day I will be with her again.
Some people and animals are connected in ways that are simply unexplainable. They can come into your life unexpectedly and sadly they may leave as suddenly as they came … and you ask why would God let you love something so much just to have it taken without any answers? However, there are answers, there are reasons, you have to look deep into that relationship … they teach us without us knowing.
She taught me lessons no one ever could have, she got through to me where no one else could. She taught me true love; she is all around me, every moment of every day. She is my laughter, my smile, and my happiness. As I sat here and wrote this, many memories came flooding back to me of her, a gentle breeze brushed by me, and it was she.
We all believe differently about the emotional abilities animal have or do not have and that is ok, I choose to believe they are Grand Teachers of this world, and I am but a humble pupil.
Copyright © 2004 Laurie Adams. All Rights Reserved.