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.


Finn said...

I've had send two of my babies over the Rainbow Bridge. They were sick, and they needed me to be strong. It sucked. But the calm they exhibited in the vet's office, which they detested, helped me know it was the right thing to do.

I laid on the floor with each of them, curled around them, helping them along on their journey.

Your sweet girl is grateful that you helped her. And she's waiting for you.

Hugs and healing thoughts to you. xo

Candace said...

Oh Dawn! I'm typing this with tears in my eyes. I know how hard it is. I am so very sorry.

(((HUGS))) and prayers for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I offer my condolences. I'm very sorry. It seems that pets never have an easy passing.

Karmyn R said...

I am so sorry - She was one of the family - such a loss.

I used to work for a vet while in High school. You did the right thing - she went peacefully with you by her side.

Diana said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. We get so close to our pets that they really are a part of our families. You did what you needed to do to help her along as she knew that.

Anonymous said...

I've been there. I'm sorry for your loss.

Todd said...

Losing a loved one is hard. My condolences.

lisa's chaos said...

I'm so sorry and know that those words sound so little. :( It is hard and will be, the pain will lessen and you'll be able to enjoy the memories. I lost a little Lhasa almost two years ago and still miss her.


Oh Dawn... now this? You have no idea how many hugs and prayers I've been sending your way over the last month... here's a few more now xoxoxoxoxo. And there's a million more where that came from - I luv ya. And somethings gonna give good - soon, I know it. So sorry about your Coppergirl honey.

ablondeblogger said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words, prayers and support. I feel so awful not being able to respond individually because you all have been so wonderful, but it's just too hard right now.

Please know that I am SO very grateful to read your comments and it has helped me at a time that I really, really need it.

Today, I tried to get out of the house and just fell apart. So many reminders and...well, it's just so hard.

It's a physical pain and ache that won't go away and I keep bursting into tears at random.

I sleep with her collar at night. I have her picture as my screensaver now and I "pet" her on my computer, which probably sounds crazy, but it helps me.

I pray that all of you are blessed for the kindness you've shown to me.


J Morgetron said...

Oh this is hard. We just did this with our golden a few months ago. Just know that it is the kindest thing you could have done. Thank God (doG) we have this option for our beloved pets.


Pamela said...

I think I wrote your blog post before I even knew I would have a blog.

It was mixed emotions. I had to put my gorgeous 12 year old rottweiler down. He couldn't stand up on his back legs anymore, and he was too big for me to help him up.
The breaking point was coming hoome from work and seeing him in the exact spot I left him that morning... with sad eyes.

I was told something special "Dogs do not understand death. They do understand pain."

And yet... I think he knew it was goodbye as I held his big brawny head in my arms and wept while they administered his sleep. I weep as I type this.

How I understand... I felt like a murderer.

I have been unable to own another dog since.

I hope you have healthier grief and recovery.

take care... hugs.