Friday, August 8, 2008
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.