I knew she was old, and that her time to leave us would be in the near future. I had convinced myself in the past few months that I was ready for her to go. I believed that I knew I gave her a good life and that she would be in no more pain. All these things sounded good, but once the time actually came it was much harder.
Luckily for me, and her, it wasn't something I had to think about long because I noticed a very rapid change within hours and knew if I didn't want her to suffer that I would have to take the step to help her along. I was completely convinced that I would not make that choice. I very much wanted her to go peacefully in her sleep while at home, but if you knew her you would know she would have hung on beyond any comfort just to stay with me.
The process was much more dignified and peaceful than I would have imagined. Without going into specifics, the actual process was only minutes. They allowed me and my husband as much time as we needed with her to say goodbye and allowed us to stay with her during the whole process. I will soon receive her ashes, her paw prints, and some of her hair as physical symbolic ways to remember her.
I am so grateful she chose me to be her "Alfa-dog", and that she loved me unconditionally. I would never change the fact that I was with her all the way to the end. Cliche or not, I will always carry her around in my heart. Not only will I always carry her around in my heart, but I will always walk with her too...after I get the tattoo I customized to honor her to the right. I plan to get it on the side of my heel. Sadly, I also thought ahead to a way I can add on to the design I made for her to include my other pets when it is time.
I haven't cried so much as an adult over much else, but she was such a common and "comfortable" part of my life that I didn't realize the things I would miss about her once she was gone. It is so quiet without her, and there are many things that I had built into my routine that I no longer have to do. The worst thing is that I still wait to hear her bark to come back in while I get dressed and I still expect for her to be at the door when I arrive back home.
I really believe that it IS ok for adults to cry, and share their pet stories with others. I have found great comfort in the last several days sharing some stories about Sally with them. this includes things that make me laugh remembering them, things that she did that drove me crazy, and the story about how I made the decision to take her to the vet to have her put down. Talking things through with others has helped me validate that I did the right thing and that I know I did right by her!
I will miss you girl!
Sally a.k.a Salsa, Salsie-Pie, Big Girl, Sals, Salsie