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10 Years, 2 Months, 25 Days

September 26, 2012

I knew this day was coming. Yesterday, Goldie fell at my mom’s house and could not get up on her own for about 5 minutes. She struggled, helpless, on the lawn with my mom unable to help her. I wasn’t there and mom is in a wheelchair. She called me, sobbing, saying she could not do it anymore.

I had been watching Goldie tiptoe around in pain, her legs collapsing underneath her, getting a little worse each day.

So today was the day I said goodbye. It took all day of going back and forth, changing my mind, thinking “Maybe one more month…” She would have some good moments and I’d think that I couldn’t, and then she got stuck coming up the 2 big steps into the house, and I knew I had to. Back and forth, all day, but I had made a 3 pm appointment at the Humane Society, and we ended up going for that one last ride.

I have on million words trapped inside me about my dog, all of them good. I’m sad, but I’m also glad she is free of pain, because she had been hurting for too long.
Goldie's little head

On the way home from the Humane Society, I realized how much of my heart has been caught up in her struggle. I have been feeling dead, lost, trapped – all at once.

And now, even though I have the great sadness of missing her, I’m also feeling as if I am crawling out from under a great weight.

When I got Goldie, the shelter told me she was middle-aged (they were wrong – she was much younger). I liked the idea that she could be my first dog, a kind of practice dog that I’d have for a few years and not get so terribly attached to.

I was so laughably wrong about all of that. 10 years, 2 months and 25 days later I don’t see how I could have been more terribly attached. We had a great, close, adventurous life together and I’ll always be thankful for every bit of it.

I think the most fitting epitaph is what I said to her every single day of her life: “What a GOOD girl.”

  1. September 26, 2012 19:45

    I am so sorry you lost a wonderful friend. I had the same feelings after we lost our cat…and then we opened our hearts to two more.

    • September 28, 2012 07:01

      I have already agreed to dogsit my neighbors’ two dogs while they’re at work. I can’t stay away.

  2. September 26, 2012 20:16

    Good dog. Rest in peace. Hugs Sue.

  3. Rachel permalink
    September 26, 2012 20:22

    Lots of love your way. I know how hard it is to do what’s best for our furry friends.

  4. September 26, 2012 21:04

    Hugs to you, Sue. What a good life she had with you.

  5. September 26, 2012 21:59

    so very sorry, may her magic linger. hugs to you.

    • September 28, 2012 06:59

      Her fur will certainly linger. Along with her magic. 😉

  6. September 27, 2012 05:42

    You were right when you said she was out somewhere chasing bunnies in a green field now. Not to go all Rainbow Bridge on you, but I do believe you’ll get to scratch her little ears again someday. This next bit of time will be hard on you, though; I’ll be keeping you and your mom in my thoughts.

    • September 28, 2012 06:58

      Thank you so much. Laughing at “not to go all Rainbow Bridge on you.”

  7. September 27, 2012 05:54

    I’m sorry for your loss. You are a great pet parent, and your dog knew she was well-loved.

    • September 28, 2012 06:58

      I really tried hard to make her life pleasant. And she did the same for me, just by being there.

  8. September 27, 2012 05:55

    I am so sorry, friend. I have felt through your words all these years how much you loved Goldie and what an excellent life you gave her. Blessings to you.

    • September 28, 2012 06:57

      Thanks. Yes, we had an excellent life together full of adventures in dogwalking!

  9. September 27, 2012 06:32

    So very sorry. Been thinking of you today.

  10. September 27, 2012 06:40

    Godspeed Goldie Girl. We love you.

    • September 28, 2012 06:57

      Thanks, Kizz, and thanks again for your sweet post.

  11. Elvie permalink
    September 27, 2012 08:04

    So very sorry Sue She was such a big part of your life for so long We will all miss her so much Hugs and kisses and a couple of more hugs.

    • September 28, 2012 06:56

      Thanks, Elvie. I got your call but am at a writing conference. I will talk to you soon. Love you.

  12. September 27, 2012 08:19

    Hugs hugs to you. Sigh. I can’t even imagine….although mine is nearly 10 now and I’ve had a few moments of wondering how much longer her arthritis will allow her to be okay.

    • September 28, 2012 06:56

      I reminded myself every day to enjoy her, but nothing I could have done would have prepared me. Dang it.

  13. September 27, 2012 10:32

    Sue – with tears in my eyes and a sad heart – I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had met Goldie – she reminds me of my Shadow. Even though we know it will someday happen, I know you can never be truly “ready”. Hugs to you – and when you are ready, please come visit me and Shadow. Remember – she will be waiting for you at the Rainbow bridge – running and wagging her tail – pain free.

    • September 28, 2012 06:55

      Thanks, Missy. I know you have a big heart for animals and I love that you’re giving Shadow a good home in his elder years.

  14. September 27, 2012 14:44

    I am so sorry to hear this. You made the right choice, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Love to you. I know how hard it is to lose a furry member of your family.

    • September 28, 2012 06:55

      Thank you. I’m hoping I made the right choice. I know she didn’t feel like herself and was getting worse. Ah. So hard.

  15. September 27, 2012 16:28

    I had a hard time getting throught this post. Your description of Goldie’s last days sounded so much like one of ours. Thor was a stray who came to visit and never left. He wormed his way into our hearts and never left.
    So hard, so very wrenching, even when you’re doing the right thing. My hearts aches for you. Great big Hugs from Tacoma.

  16. September 27, 2012 18:24

    Oh my god, Sue. I am so, so ,sorry and sad to read this. When I think of you, I think of Goldie. You were such a good mama to her. I am so happy that the two of you were brought together for a reason.

    • September 28, 2012 06:53

      I KNOW. When I think of me, I think of Goldie, too. There may be another dog in the future, but never another Goldie.

  17. adriennevh permalink
    September 27, 2012 22:24

    aw man, such a good girl.

    • September 28, 2012 06:53

      Indeed. Dogs steal our hearts.

  18. Lisa permalink
    September 28, 2012 05:25

    So sorry to hear about Goldie….

  19. September 28, 2012 05:53

    It wasn’t until this year that I realized that phrase “if you love someone, let them go” was really referring to death. I’m so proud of your bravery and your kind heart. Hugs.

    • September 28, 2012 06:52

      I’m second-guessing myself over and over. Gah.

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