Friday, August 8, 2008

Goodbye



The hardest part of sharing your life with a pet is having to make the last final decision. Katie has been steadily going downhill and I've tried to dismiss all the signs that the time was getting closer and a decision needed to be made. But this week walking had become nearly impossible. Katie's an incredible watch dog and has stood guard at our farm, watching all the comings and goings, alerting us to any arrivals by barking (and sometimes barking and barking and barking...). She loved life on the farm. In fact, that's exactly why our vet asked us to take her home with us almost 8 years ago to the day. He told me that he had confiscated her from an abusive client and wanted us to adopt her. It was immediately clear that she had suffered plenty of abuse. The mere sight of a stranger would send her fleeing under the nearest piece of furniture. It was like that for years, but slowly she began to trust others beyond our immediate family, who she loved fiercely. And despite the confidence she gained over the years, home was the only place she felt happy and secure. So when I had to call the vet, they understood exactly why I wanted them to come to her to put her to sleep. This was her home.
She laid her head in my lap as the vet administered the drugs. And one last time she looked up at me with her aged and cloudy eyes and licked my face, and slipped away.
The vet had tears in her eyes as she reassured me that I had done the right thing. "You gave her Eight years she wouldn't have otherwise had." she said. "She was in our, what we call, 'witness protection program'."
I was confused.
"Her previous owner had brought her in to be euthanized. They thought we had put her to sleep but we couldn't do it. She was a good girl, her owners were the problem. That's why you were asked you to take her."
A new flood of tears came over me.
I carried her down to the field where she could forever watch over the horses, next to longtime companion Trixie. And as we walked back up to the house we were meet by a double rainbow stretching across the sky. I couldn't help but feel Katie and Trixie had sent them just for us.

9 comments:

janiece said...

Oh you are making me tear up! The vet is right--you gave her 8 good years and that is a blessing for all of you.
And there isn't anything more awful then a person that abuses animals. There is a special Hell for them right next to the child abusers!

Hilary Marquis said...

I am so sorry, I know what an important part of your family she was. She was a sweetheart...she even put up with Anara's constsant chasing and harrassment! If it would help, I'd be happy to Fed Ex Dudley to you :)(hahahaha!!! Yeah, he's not what you're looking for...he's not even remotely bright enough for the job ;) Did I at least make you smile a little?

Kate said...

Sorry about your dog Mala :( She looked like a sweety-pie!

Elizabeth and Bill said...

Oh Mala I am so sorry to hear about your loss. You have me bawling my eyes out over here! We had to put one of our babies down last year. The pain has gotten a bit better but sometimes we still cry when we think about her. How wonderful that you were able to show her how to trust and show her what love is. My prayers are with you and your family.

Elizabeth

Mom to 2 Angels said...

So sorry for your loss!

Jackie S said...

Mala, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know Katie is with Fendi and they are having the time of their lives at the Rainbow Bridge with all the other loved furbabies. May time heal your heart.

Hugs,

Jackie

Maria said...

Your story was so beautiful and I have an "old girl" who is very near so this made my heart very sad. I know how hard it is to love an animal/friend and want to do what's best for them but selfishly to want them to still be with us. Dogs are such good friends and parts of the family. Know that my heart is sad for you and your family in your loss! Big Hugs!!

Anonymous said...

Mala,
We just checked out your website for the first time. We enjoyed it. Sorry about Katie.

Cindy and Molly Hamilton

Jessica said...

I feel your pain. We had to put our beloved baby of about 6 years down in November. She was a black lab mix shelter dog and the sweetest thing ever! She even loved our cats. I'm sure Katie and Jasmine and all their friends are having a hay day in doggie heaven.