Aug 29, 2007

Remembering Copper

Her last night with us.

A smile and a wink, despite her pain. She was always smiling like that.

In our old house, when she was younger, Copper would flop down in the yard and sun. It was the cutest thing ever....she would be totally out.

The younger Copper, enjoying all the love from Amanda and her friends.

This came from the vet who put Copper down. She was wonderful and so compassionate. I didn't expect to get Copper's pawprints, so this was a nice surprise (although it made me cry again). We're still waiting to receive her ashes.

Close up of Copper's pawprints. She had such cute, little, puppy paws.

Again, thank you to everyone who has shown me such kindness and comfort. I wish I had the time and emotional energy to respond individually to each of you and I feel so guilty that I don't.

I promise to get back to my regular blogging soon and to visit each of you in return.

I tried to get out of the house on Monday in an attempt to escape from the sadness. But as soon as I got in the van, I remembered what happened the last time I was in it...that I had taken Copper to the hospital.

Call me crazy, but I actually pet the air in the space she had laid in, in between the two front seats, crying and telling her I love her.

I was waiting for another sign as I drove, in the form that I usually receive

The first song had no meaning to me, but I felt compelled to leave it on. Then they announced the band....Toto. Toto was my parent's and sisters' dog who recently passed away and one of Copper's buddies.

I changed the station and heard, "I'm gonna run to you...." And I smiled and cried.

Next song was the new one, "Who Knew" by Pink and again, I just left it on not knowing what it was about. Then I heard:

"I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I'd give anything

When someone said count your blessings now
For they're long gone
I guess I just didn't know how
I was all wrong
They knew better"


"I'll keep you locked in my head
Until we meet again
Until we
Until we meet again
And I won't forget you my friend
What happened

If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone
I'd stand up and punch them out
Cause they're all wrong and
That last kiss
I'll cherish
Until we meet again
And time makes
It harder
I wish I could remember
But I keep
Your memory
You visit me in my sleep
My darling
Who knew
My darling
Who knew
My darling
I miss you
My darling
Who knew
Who knew

So by the time I got to the post office, I was sobbing uncontrollably and thought I'd have to go back home. But I sat in the parking lot letting it all out for about ten minutes and then got myself together.

I headed to Home Depot next and had to pass the animal hospital and Petco. And lost it again.

There are just so many things that make me cry. Going up the stairs for the first time without her. I usually had to carry her up when I went to bed and I literally could not walk up the stairs that first night. I had to turn around, pace the hall crying for awhile, then use every ounce of strength I had to walk up without her.

Tonight was the first night I've had to cook dinner since we lost Copper. Usually, she is right under my feet when I cook, something that used to annoy me to no end. Tonight, I would've given anything to have her back there, begging for food and tripping me up.

But I smiled a big smile for her and said, "Copper, can you smell this dinner? I know you'd love this one, and I bet wherever you are right now you actually get to eat it!"

We're waiting for her ashes to be delivered to us. I don't know what I'll do when that day comes. Every time the doorbell rings (and it rings alot), I freeze and fear overcomes me, but so far it's always been someone else.

I've moved her blankie out of the corner of our bedroom, her bowls out of the kitchen, her sleeping bag out of her favorite chair. It was just too hard to look at those things, but now the house seems even more empty than before.

I sleep hugging her collar to my face at night and every time I hear her tags make a clinging sound, for a split second, it feels like she's there and then I remember all over again.

Right now, I seem to be stuck in do-over mode. I want to go back and do it all over again. I want to turn the van around and come back home and see if she could hang on for longer, even though I know that wouldn't be the right thing to do. I just want to take it back. I want to wake up and have it not be true.

I just want her back so bad. :(

Aug 26, 2007

I've Lost My Coppergirl

I knew it was coming. Yet I can't stop bawling as I type this. This morning at around 4:30 a.m., Amanda and I were at our beagle Copper's side as she was put to sleep.

It is so hard to have had her fate in my hands. To be the one to make this decision. I've been putting it off for so long, but the past couple of weeks, she was going downhill fast and I knew I wouldn't be able to wait much longer.

The vet said that our pets will hang on for us. I think she did that. She'd lost all bladder control and was bloated. Her organs were enlarged and she was having breathing problems.

But, as I contemplated whether or not to put her down, something strange happened. The past two days, she didn't have one accident. She slept up against my side of the bed, which was not her usual spot. She followed me around the house. She curled up next to the couch on the floor when I was sitting on the couch.

And tonight, as she became distressed with breathing, panting, shaking and anxiety, she looked up at me with eyes that said to me, "Please help me. I can't do this anymore."

Yet, even though I knew/know I was doing the right thing, I still feel so guilty. It's bittersweet though because at the vet, she lost all bodily control. She vomitted, defecated and urinated. She was shaking and panting uncontrollably. She was just so miserable.

So when they gave her the injection and she peacefully fell into my arms, I felt the strangest of emotions. Relief mixed with extreme grief. How can you feel both at the same time? I was so happy that she was at peace and not suffering, but I wanted her to get up again, wag her tail, and sit by my side.

The vet assured me I was doing the right thing. I do feel, logically, that I did. I feel like she is grateful that I let her go. That I did her a favor, not that I betrayed her.

But another part of me feels the opposite of all those emotions. It's just such a confusing mess of emotions. I can't believe she's gone.

I look at her empty chair, her empty bed, her dog bowls. I hear the clink of her collar as Amanda moves it around in her hands. It's just so.....empty. There's a void that is so deep.

Amanda didn't want to leave her. I told her she was going with us. "Just wait," I said. "We'll get a sign."

When I went out into the reception area, hanging on the wall was one of those tacky dog pictures. The ones where they're dressed up as humans as if they're a person.

It was a beagle. In full regalia. Happy. Head held high. It was my sign.

This poem below is for Copper. Please read it and pray, send good vibes, whatever you feel is appropriate. Anything to make sure she's crossed the rainbow bridge. Thank you.

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Goodbye my sweet baby girl. I will love you forever and always.