Two months ago, I wrote this post about our dog, Penelope.
Shortly after I wrote it, she seemed to turn a corner. Her tail started wagging again. She pulled for longer walks. She swiped food from the kids once more and just seemed to be back, from wherever she’d gone.
I thought that, perhaps, I’d been mistaken. Maybe it was just a crappy few weeks — the vet’s diagnoses was pretty inconclusive and it could have just been a bad spell. I stopped worrying every time she didn’t immediately respond to her name and bought the big bag of dog food and the six month supply of heart-worm pills and ear cleaner. I vowed to have professional pictures taken of her in the spring and to plan a Penelope Day where we lavished her with all of her favorite things. Suddenly, we had the gift of time. Thank goodness.
But, yesterday, her legs just didn’t want to work when she woke up. She couldn’t stand or walk or sit back down. Yesterday, there was nothing inconclusive about the vet’s diagnoses: It was time, just like that.
Penelope, who always bolted from the office walked willingly inside. She didn’t pant or whimper or pull. I think she knew what was happening and simply had no more fight left in her. We kissed her sweet face and rubbed her ears and told her how much we loved her and what a wonderful dog she’d been to us for the past twelve years. Mere moments after the shot, she was peacefully gone. Her chin on the floor and body gently curled up, as it had a million times before, but she wasn’t in it anymore. Just like that.
Lily and I fell asleep crying together last night. I told her that, although there may be other dogs in our future, there will never be another Penelope. She was a once in a lifetime kind of pet.
Goodbye, Penny. We will miss you forever.
Edited to add: Thank you all so much for the kind comments. It really does help to know that we’re not alone. I just can’t believe how much this hurts.
I wanted to pass on an article which a friend sent to me a couple of months ago. After reading it, I vowed to give Penny her Perfect Day, but thought we had some time to wait. Time until it snowed, until spring, until… We never did have that day and my biggest regret is not giving her that final gift. I think I would find comfort in it now. If you have an older pet — hell, any pet, don’t wait. They deserve their perfect day, and we deserve the memories.