Posted by: k | May 17, 2008

The Hardest Week

I’ve dropped off the face of the earth this past week, both from blogging, and in reality, to some extent. This week has been hard, trying, and incredibly painful, all rolled into one.

You see, on Tuesday night, I had to say goodbye to my best friend:

Snuggles
July 30, 1991 – May 13, 2008

Snuggles really was my best friend. We got him when I was 3 and a half – and he was 4 weeks old – and Mum had to get up every 2 hours to feed him mashed up puppy food and milk through an eye dropper. She was worried that he wouldn’t make it, but he did, and he’s stuck by us ever since.

He was a wonderfully happy dog, with lots of weird and wonderful habits. Up until about a month ago, he was very happy, despite his loss of sight, hearing, and teeth. Every time you pulled into the driveway, the sound of the car would have him running up to the gate to see who was home, and he’d always whine until you picked him up and gave him a hug.

Last week was really hard for him. He seemed disoriented at times, almost like he didn’t recognise you, or he’d walk somewhere, but forget where he was and walk into things trying to find his way back. On Tuesday morning, Mum went downstairs at 3am after hearing him yelping, to find him in his basket and unable to move. She went to pick him up, but he wouldn’t let her. I went down and held him before I went to work. He was in pain, but he let me hold him anyway. He was the one in pain, and yet he was comforting me…

Tuesday night, Matt and I realised that he needed to be checked out urgently, so we found a 24hr vet and took him down. The vet looked him over, and said that the kindest thing we could do for him would be to let him go to sleep. She wasn’t sure what was wrong with him, but aside from the infection in his last remaining tooth, she guessed that he had an internal problem that he’d had for quite some time, but he was now too weak to fight it.

So I bawled my eyes out, called home, bawled some more, and then made the decision. If there was any doubt left, it was banished when Snuggles lifted his head and looked at me. The look in his eyes… he was telling me that it was okay, and that he was tired. We went into a more comfortable room, I signed the paperwork, and held him until it was all over. Then we wrapped him in a blanket and brought him home.

The hardest part now is coming to terms with the fact that he really is gone. We’ve buried him in a garden in the backyard and now we’re working on making it a lovely place for him. Although I was with him at the end, and I watched him slip away, it’s still a shock to walk past through garden and see the yard and the laundry empty. He’s home, but it’s hard to fathom the fact that he’s actually in the ground. Yes, he was 17 years old, and he had a great life, but it doesn’t make it any easier at the end.

I don’t remember life before Snuggles. I sure as hell won’t forget life with him. The difficult part now, is life after him. I won’t have another dog, I’m fairly certain. And that may sound strange, a 20 year old saying they’ll never have another dog, but there was only one Snuggles, and there will only ever be one Snuggles. No other animal will ever come close to replacing him, or hold a spot in my heart anywhere near as large as he does. He is simply irreplacable.

All of Wednesday I was consumed with guilt, and the only image in my head was the one of him laying in my arms on the vet’s table. I was worried that would be all I remembered of him, and while Matt assured me it wouldn’t be, I still panicked.

Until I remembered all the good times – him trying to dry his ears after a bath by rubbing his face on the carpet; him ripping up newspaper as a puppy; watching him chase toys across the vinyl in the kitchen and cringing when he didn’t stop in time and skidded headfirst into the door.

Years ago, we used to leave him in the backyard when we went out, and when we came back, he was sitting by the back door. We had no idea how he did it – Dad patched up every possible hole he could crawl though. One day, we decided to try and catch him in the act. The three of us got in the car, drove around the corner, parked the car and walked back to the house. Lo and behold – we caught him mid-escape, climbing the gate!

Snuggles left his mark everywhere he went – there’s a stain on the carpet where he peed in an act of defiance to prove it – and he loved almost everyone he met. He especially loved Matt, and although at first he was pissed off with him for sleeping in my bed and leaving no room for him, he grew to love him.

I have his collar on my desk. It still smells. Snuggles was one of those dogs that no matter how often you washed him, he always smelt doggy.

I’m trying not to cry, because he hated it when I cried. Whenever I was sick or upset, he’d cling to my side and wouldn’t leave me alone until I felt better. He liked me best when I had food. Especially cheese or ice cream. He hated peas, just like me. He was always bullied by cats, but a couple of months ago he bailed up one for the very first time – I was so proud.

There are a lot of mixed emotions going on. I still expect to see him when I come home, and when I go downstairs to do laundry. I know that I brought him home wrapped in a blanket and we buried him. Sometimes I swear I can hear him barking at the dog in the next yard, or whining because it’s past his dinner-time. I guess the only way I can fully sum up my feelings at the moment is with just one sentence…

I miss my dog.

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Responses

  1. I feel for you, and will keep you within my thoughts and prayers. To let go of something as precious as even a beloved pet is the one thing in life that is not easy.
    May God Bless You in your time of sorrow.

  2. so sad to hear this Kellie
    animals are so truly a part of our family and losing them is like losing a part of ourselves. thinking of you and sending you lots of (((((hugs))))

  3. Hugs to you – you did the right thing, and you’ll never forget Snuggles!

  4. Aww no, Kelly, I’m so sorry! I felt so sad reading this, but at the same time it is wonderful that you have so many special memories with Snuggles. It’s never hard to say goodbye and it will take time, so don’t feel like you need to rush through this. You did the right thing and while it sucks that Snuggles is gone, it’s also a relief that he isn’t in any pain anymore. *hugs*

  5. That’s one of that hardest things about getting older, saying googdbye to things you love.

    I’m sorry it was so hard for you.

  6. that’s got to suck. isn’t it funny though, that it so often happens that even when they’re telling us it’s okay and that they can’t fight whatever it is anymore, they’re still the one’s comforting us.

  7. […] made me cry – because I know exactly how she feels. It’s only been nine months since Snuggles passed, and anything puppy related still makes me […]


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