EVERYONE tells you they’re old, they’ve lived a good life, it’s time. They use the word time as if there were a place on the clock that says time to be born and time to die.
But the reality is that even when it’s time to say goodbye, you wish for a little more time.
When it comes to pets, time is your friend in the beginning, the cute and cuddly puppy stage when they lick your face and everything they do seems funny. Time is your friend in the middle years when you’ve grown comfortable with each other. They know what time they are going to be fed and what time they go to bed, even if they don’t think of it that way. Experts tell us that, in fact, dogs do not have a concept of time, but no question they know habit and routine.
Then comes the latter chapter when the clock ticks and the heart races and you never know what month, day or week is going to be the moment time runs out.
Time ran out this week for our little Loki, a 4lb bundle of love in a silky terrier. The black in her fur gave way to silver as she aged, but we hardly noticed unless someone else mentioned that she was aging. She didn’t walk so much as bounce and that, too, changed, to a slow prance. I don’t remember a time that she did not sleep with us. She thought of the bed as hers as much as we did and would often run to the door telling us it was time to call it a night.
That, too, changed in the end. For the last few weeks of her life, she wanted to sleep alone, first on the floor of the room, then in the hall on a straw plait runner. She was blind and had failing kidneys. The vet had given her three to six months. That was a year and a half ago.
We had extra time. And yet when the time came, it still felt like the alarm had gone off too early, at the wrong time, though for her it was right. She was done. She had given us all she had to give and had outlived anyone’s expectations.
They say pets are like family. No, they are not LIKE family. They are family. We got Loki when she was just a babe in arms, brought home by our daughter who could not be without a dog even in college.
And so when Loki took her last breath and uttered the gasp of death, my husband was by her side, rubbing the back of her now shrunken and tiny head. We had taken turns all morning. I left and he stayed by her side. We buried her later that day in a deep round grave behind my office, near the lake. There is a circle of stones around the spot and a purple and green Moses of the Bulrushes plant on top in the centre. We said goodbye. And we cried because the little soft piece of fur that used to annoy me no end when she slept between us would not be there anymore. The little four-legged creature who followed me everywhere would not be there to trip me up when she got between my feet in the kitchen.
The house felt empty that night.
Here’s what I wished. You’ll understand if you lost a pet that was family.
You wish you had spoiled them with more treats instead of sticking with the special diet that the vet recommended even though you knew the vet was right and the special diet worked. It prolonged their life and provided a better quality of life, but how much damage could a few treats here and there have done? It’s not as though we would have been ignorant enough to give her cooked bones.
You wish you had taken them to the beach more, cuddled more when they got older, didn’t pronounce her name with a question mark at the end of it like lokeee very time she tripped you in the kitchen. You wish, I wish, she had died without pain.
We will adjust because they were right. It was time. She is at peace. Goodbye little Loki, goodbye.
ONE LETTER’S JOURNEY THAT TOOK IT ROUND THE WORLD
THIS slightly whimsical note from a reader – “Flying to the moon these day does not take very long… Two envelopes posted from France, December 5, 2022, arrived Nassau January 23, 2023.”
Through no fault of The Bahamas post office, the wayward letters’ journey took them from France to Amsterdam, though it is not clear how anyone could mistake Bahamas and Amsterdam except that they both have A’s in their name but so do thousands of other places so hardly an excuse.
From Amsterdam, the travelling letters made their way to Surinam in South America.
From there, they went back to Amsterdam. Because they were registered mail (imagine if they weren’t), the individual was able to track them down through international intelligence, snaring the wandering words from the whimsy of their accidental tour arranger and lassoing them into her hands this week.
In the 49 days, the two envelopes were crisscrossing continents they could have gone to the moon and back 16 times and had a day to spare.
Hard to believe, but the first time a manned crew landed on the moon, the journey took four days, six hours, and 45 minutes. That was in 1969. Today getting to the moon takes only three days.
birdiestrachan 1 month, 4 weeks ago
Many become very emotional when they lose their pets, how soon is too soon to get a new pet it may help I hope
ImaNobody 1 month, 3 weeks ago
So sorry for your loss
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