Thursday, April 22, 2010

The End of the Journey for My Lady

We all have best friends. They are always with us to cheer us or comfort us. They never question or fault us. My best friend of nearly 14 years was that way. She couldn't speak as you or I can, but boy could she express herself! She had four legs instead of two, but to me she was just as human as any other member of my family. Sometimes I thought she had better since than they did.

But now she was old and tired. She had seen many things happen during her life's journey. I tried to convince her to hang on just a few more days. But that was not to be. Lady had walked many a mile on her short legs. I remember when the kids went to get her so that she could be a member of the family. I laughed when she nervously crawled into the arm of Traci's school jacket because she was scared of riding in the car. I still remember the day she chased one of Pat's friends down the hall because she did not like him. As it turned out she had the right opinion of him.

Somewhere there are pictures of her. I'll have to dig through boxes to find them. Traci, Annie, Pat and Amanda have all been caught by the camera with Lady. So many times they all looked guilty...even Lady. Now there are grandchildren who are forever preserved in time with her. Cheyanne was the first to be "pictured". And of course Brad, Aryn, Skylar and Michael did too. There is even a picture of one of Brad's friends asleep on the couch with his arm around Lady. Lady tolerated it all. Sometimes she seemed to say, "Not again!"

Lady learned to work the system. Just how many times did she beg to be picked up into the beds with the kids? And how many times did she wait for the kids to come home only to pee on the carpet, floor, or bed in excitment? She was always happy to see the kids and grandkids.

She was not really happy to welcome Daisy. Lady made sure Daisy knew who was in charge. "It ain't you, kid" she told Daisy many times. Lady was truly the Grand Dame of the house. Even when she was introduced to Rowdy who she though of as just another "subject".

But over the last few months Lady began to feel less and less like bothering with any of us. As long as she could stay in her chair covered by her blanket she was happy to be left alone. But I began to notice that time was short. She began to lose weight and became more and more listless. Then she quit eating. Dachshunds usually only live 10-15 years. My first, Peanut, lived to be 14. Daisy is now 5 and Rowdy 10. Lady was 13. As the days past, I began to wonder how much longer I would have Lady around. Would come home from work to find that she had died? I really didn't want that. Should I put her down? She wasn't in any pain or suffering. What to do?

I decided to keep her comfortable and wait. We came home Tuesday evening to find her lying on the floor. She did not want to move. I knew the end of the journey was near. I hurried with supper and dishes. Then I picked her up out of her chair,wrapped her in a blanket and held her in my arms. Her breathing and heart rate were erratic and she seemed to have drifted off into a coma. Her eyes were glazed over and I knew her time was near. Even Daisy and Rowdy seemed to know. Instead of bouncing round from chair to chair, they stayed quiet and watched over her. We went to bed a little after. We took Lady in her blanket with us and put her on the bed. Daisy and Rowdy stood guard. A little after mid-night Lady's journey ended peacefully.

Rest in peace little Lady. Thanks for being part of our family. Long live the Grand Dame. See you on the other side someday.


cube said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Lady's passing. I know from experience how hard it is to say goodbye to a beloved pet. At least she went with her pack by her side.

quilly said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I am certain your beloved Lady knew you were there and how very much she is loved. My heart goes out to you as you adjust to life without her constant presence. My you be always comforted by memories.