I couldn't sleep last night. Erick and I have made the horribly hard decision to send our sweet Golden Retriever Daisy back to doggy heaven later this afternoon. It has been a painful decision that has made for a lot of conversations and tears.
Last night I asked Erick to say a prayer with me, I needed comfort and assurance that this decision was ok. I felt better, but so sad. I couldn't stop crying. Erick suggested I go snuggle with our sweet girl for a bit. I lied down with her on the cold kitchen tile-her preferred spot. And sobbed. I listened to her breathe and mug on me and she just let me hold her.
Then, her whole life flashed through my mind.
Before Jed was born I quit my job and spent a summer sitting on a chair while tossing a tennis ball waiting to become a mother. Her and Jed were pals. He would crawl into her crate and sleep on her. She was my friend for those long days and nights when Erick was working 2 jobs, going to school, and our life with a newborn. She would greet Erick at the door every day and look for us out our window when we would go on our dates.
When I was in labor with Ella I took Daisy and Jed for a walk to get contractions going. We did the same with Luke. She greeted each baby in our family with a happy face. She didn't do that doggy jealous thing, just sniffed their diapers and hung out. Babies meant strollers and walks and trips to parks.
We taught her to run outside and grab our newspaper from the end of the driveway.
We found out she had hip dysplasia at a very young age. It has never slowed her down-until now.
She has eaten our pizza crusts, peanut butter sandwiches off the table, and kept high chairs nice and clean after messy toddlers.
She has moved with us 4 times in 2 states. She came to Utah with me and the kids in our minivan for 3 days of driving in a blizzard and two hotel stops-turns out she doesn't love elevators. She's only got lost once. Shortly after moving to Utah she got confused about which door was ours in our townhome and a neighbor took her in over night. We found her playing catch with the family the next morning. She has chewed up only one couch and a few shoes, eaten a million rawhides, destroyed a ton of tennis balls, and shredded ropes and de-stuffed quite a few squeaker toys. She stored them under our couch for years. She has patiently tolerated toddlers climbing on her while they learned to stand, poking her eyes, and touching her feet. She has been fine when we added a pet bird, a cat, a lizard, and even another dog.
She has always had health issues. We used to joke about how she was the most expensive dog ever. Hot spots, strange eye bulging, hip problems, and more. She has taken pokes and prods, medications, shots, and exams in stride. Now her body has lumps, cancer on a foot, and kidneys that are failing her. Our kids' childhoods have been captured on video and photos in the last 12+ years and most of our pictures have a fluffy tail or silly dog in the photos. She's been here for it all. I would take her lumps and bumps and scrapes and endless hair and do it all over again in a minute. We are lucky to have spent almost 13 years with the Best Dog on the Planet, and I am grateful for every minute of it.
After all she has given us, giving her peace is the one thing left we can give.