I'll always remember her enjoying the sun in this room. It feels as if she's still there.
We could tell something was wrong with her from about a couple weeks before her passing, when her appetite started to wane. She didn't want to each much of her food, even her favorite homemade food of chicken and rice. Eventually, it got to the point where she didn't want to eat at all and she didn't want to drink much either.
She lost a lot more weight and was close the point of being skin and bones. Even in this state, she was still such a beautiful dog. She had a smooth, white coat so it masked any signs of her aging.
It was difficult watching her decline so quickly. We could see that she was getting close to her time when she didn't breathe as well. She would take short, quick breaths. She was also dehydrated, occasionally smacking her mouth because it must have been so dry.
We were all planning on being there when the veterinarian euthanized her but my mom was in so much distress over how fast she was declining and didn't want her to get to the point where she was gasping for air. My mom also told me of how she walked into the kitchen and Lady took all the strength she had to follow her because she didn't want to be alone. I think that drove my mom over the edge because she knew at that moment, that Lady's time was getting close.
Mom decided to take Lady to the vet the next day, on the morning of May 1st.
Before I went to work that day, I had a chance to say goodbye to my very first dog. It was a sad time because I knew she wouldn't be there when I got home... But when I looked into her eyes, I could see that she was suffering and stripped of so many things she loved: eating, going on walks, getting happy when we got home, snack time, playing, and just being able to walk around and be who she was.
I could see a certain sadness and helplessness. It was like she was trapped in this dying body and wanted to be free of her suffering.
The only thing she could really enjoy was being in our company and laying in the sun.
A happy day at the park.
Frenemies for life
I actually feel very much at peace with her passing which is strange because I felt this way so quickly, right on the day she passed. I cried for a little while, but after that, I shed little to no tears.
For many years, I contemplated on how I would feel when my dog passes. I've heard many stories about how painful it is and how it's never easier with each dog.
Strangely enough, my grieving process was relatively short. I pretty much skipped over all 4 stages of grief and into the 5th of acceptance.
Maybe it's because I see death as something natural and inevitable. I also feel fairly spiritual in the way that even though my dog isn't physically here with me, her spirit still lives on with us and I'm grateful to have so many happy memories with her. She's the dog I grew up with since my pre-teen years into adulthood. She taught me how to be responsible. She taught me about self-sacrifice. She taught me patience.
Lady lived a long and good life. I truly believe we gave her the best life a family could give a dog. We made sure she got walks, made her homecooked meals, let her sleep on the bed and wherever she wanted, gave her all the love a dog could ever want and more, and we always provided her a soft place to sit or lay on, especially in the sun. She even went camping with us while we were still in Hawaii!
I think I'm at peace with everything because I feel like her passing was natural (even if the method wasn't), and that we gave her the best life we could possibly offer. She also lived a long life full of love, and only got ill towards the end.
I will still miss her and I'm sure I'll cry from time to time because I love her so much even now, but I understand that it would have been selfish of us to attempt to prolong her life at the cost of more suffering.
There's this saying that I heard from somewhere, but the reason a dog's life is so much shorter compared to a human's is because their hearts are more pure and it takes them much less time to become a good dog compared to a human becoming a good person. It makes sense, seeing that the average dog is way nicer than the average human. So, they are granted earlier passage to the afterlife.
My mother and father brought her home and it was also my mother and father who guided her into the afterlife. Perhaps it was meant to be. Everything came full circle.
Thank you Lady for being so loyal, loving, and protecting our family. You helped us ease into our new life when we moved, and you supported us lovingly for all those years. I'm glad that we could ease you into the afterlife with minimal suffering.
I will always think of you and remember all the happy memories we had together. You were my first baby girl and I'll never forget you. Eventually, we will all be together again.