Nothing is tougher to do that to have to make the decision about your beloved pets when “that time has come” where the pain and suffering is only going to get worse and you have to do what is best for them and not us.
Today was that day I knew was soon coming. You see, Heidi was 15 years old and had been with me since she was 6 weeks old. She was with me through some tough days and some great ones as well. Always one to jump at the chance with the words “do you want to go”, she loved her rides in the car. Long trips or short ones, it never seemed to matter much to her. She was such an easy hound to travel with. Just put her in the seat and she would lie down and ride until the time came to stop.
So many memories are with me today. She loved Debra. And when Debra came into my life 10 years ago, Heidi became “her dog”. Heidi loved Debra from the moment she first met her and was by her side constantly. Shower time? Heidi would be at the door waiting on her. Time for “couch time” and Heidi could care less where I was, it was always with Debra.
When she was just a pup, she was a bit “standoffish” and wasn’t one of these “cuddly pups”, but preferred her own bed and her own place to relax. But when she wanted your attention, she was fast to let you know it too. And the kisses were never ending. I would come home, she was in my lap and the affection and love kept coming. They know when you need that welcome home at the end of the day.
A few years back, I had some surgery. Heidi knew something wasn’t quite right and had to let me know as she was right there by my side. And she had to jump up, on the incision, to let me know she was concerned. Even Debra had a few days of recuperation and Heidi was always by her side too. They know. Don’t ask me how, but they do and their concern is just as real as it gets.
I remember the day she was in the very back of the property, near the fence, A storm came up fast as they tend to do in Florida, and the downpour started. You have never seen a dachshund’s ears flap so hard or fast as her short little legs bee-lined back to the safety of shelter. She hated the rain. One drop and it was inside for her.
And she was short-legged. Few dachshunds I have seen are as short as Heidi was. Her poor belly would literally drag the ground after she had her litter of pups. And she was a great mommy too. Her love for us translated to her little ones and she cared for them until it was time for weaning.
Today, the tears are real. No matter how much you know in your heart that you did the right thing, it still is a loss you have to grieve through. The silence of the house is tough. You already miss the patter of her toes on the tile floor. You look over at her empty bed and just can’t seem to find it within yourself to put it away just yet. Her toys and collar lay there and you know it’s a memory you have that you’re just not ready to let go. You hope that you are in a dream that will end soon. The little things you already know are going to hurt every time you do it, like going to check the mailbox and Heidi was right there with you.
You know that the pink bathrobe of Debra’s will never find Heidi curled up in it again. Nor will she climb up on the back of the sofa that was the same color as she was and not come when you call as you look for her for over an hour. She had to be laughing at us that day.
If you are losing your beloved family member with 4 legs instead of 2, don’t be afraid to cry. My tears have been endless today. These are tears of memories and of the things I will miss dearly. It’s sadness and still, peace for Heidi. I wasn’t going to let her suffer needlessly until her actual passing came. She wasn’t going to get better this time. She has loved and lived her days as the spoiled and loving Heidi she was.
And with that, I must keep in mind these words that someday, she will once again be with me. Just as happy and ready to go as she always was……
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
Today, the pawprints of my beloved Heidi are on my heart. Rest in peace my dear hound. I’ll truly miss you.