I woke up early this morning but I didn’t move at all. I knew that if I moved Toni would wake up. She is (was) just as in-tune to me as I am (was) to her. So I tried to be as still as possible listening to both my dogs, Toni and KC lightly snoring. It’s funny but I hate, hate, hate the sound of people snoring yet one of the best moments in my day is just before I fall asleep and I can hear both my pups lightly snoring next to me. It feels cozy and safe. It tells me that my babies are peacefully sleeping all warm and happy. It never fails to make me smile and I never feel more truly content and happy with my life.
For the past couple of months I have been sleeping in the family room instead of upstairs in my bedroom because Toni has lost the use of her back legs and can’t make it upstairs. I don’t want her to be alone at night. She hates to be alone and I hate to sleep without her near me. Since Toni became ill I sleep like a mom with a newborn baby. Every stir Toni makes wakes me up and even before my eyes are really open I’m comforting her and trying to determine what she needs. I bring her fresh water or a pain pill or I just set up with her and rub her tummy until she can fall back to sleep. I love her.
This afternoon Toni went to sleep for the last time. As the doctor was giving her a sedative I told her that this just feels cruel. Toni is still very alert and beams life. How can it be time for her to go?
But she is in pain most of her day, she can’t walk and she can’t go outside to potty without help. I learned that dogs really do have a sense of dignity. She hated being carried outside and would not do anything until I went back in the house. After she was done she would call for me and I would carry her back in and clean her up. I knew it was time to let her go when Saturday morning I took her out but she kept trying to get back in. I assumed she didn’t need to go. I put her back on her blanket next to the open door and went upstairs to take a shower. When I got out I could hear her crying so I ran downstairs and found her out in the rain crying. She made it outside but couldn’t get back in the house. I cried. I cried that my baby was helpless out in the rain, I cried over how she was trying to be independent and couldn’t, and I cried harder when I realized it was time to let her go.
I called the doctor and arranged for her to come out to help Toni leave this life. In the couple of days Toni and I had left I did my best to make them the most comfortable and happy for her. Saturday night I even gave her the last Christmas gift she hadn’t opened and she actually played a bit (see picture).
Today just after noon, Toni left this life. The house feels completely empty and my other dog KC went to her bed and hasn’t asked for a treat or even dinner. The house just feels wrong, too silent, too empty.
I did manage to fall asleep a little this afternoon but in the cruel way life can sometimes be, I was awakened by what I thought was Toni stirring. I was instantly up on my feet and asked before I realized what I was doing “what do you need my baby paw?” Then I looked over at her usual place next to me and remembered. Toni left this life today. My house is empty and I will never again fall asleep to the sound of my two pups lightly snoring, safe warm and happy next to me.