Monday, February 15, 2010

Wimzie: August 24, 1997 - February 15, 2010

As you can tell from the title of this post, this is just one of the saddest days ever. We had to take Wimzie to the vet to have her put to sleep. We knew it was coming - her health has been deteriorating since last September - but recently she got to the point where we could see her faltering week by week.

The poor old thing got to the point where she didn't like to go for car rides anymore, car rides having previously been her main joy in life. Instead of standing on my lap and peering out the windshield or sticking her head out the window with her ears blowing straight back, she would huddle in my arms with her face hidden in the crook of my arm. She couldn't go on walks in the neighborhood; she had lost a lot of mobility and had episodes where her legs would drag behind her. She wasn't even barking at the mailman anymore.

So my husband, the girls and I started embarking on a series of exceedingly difficult conversations. Like, How do you know when it's time to say goodbye? and Could she possibly be in pain? But yesterday, there was an occurrence that let us know beyond the shadow of a doubt that something was wrong. Really wrong. So I called the vet this morning.

We had hoped to wait until Thursday, which is my husband's day off, but knew now that there was a really good chance that she was suffering. So the girls and I took her in and let me just say this unequivocally: That was one of the HARDEST and WORST things I've ever had to deal with. Which, I don't know, may mean that I have lived a very sheltered and even boring life, although I don't think so. I chalk it up to the fact that I'm an animal person and that Wimzie has been my constant companion for the past twelve and a half years. Those things considered, a strong bond is just a given, particularly since she acknowledged my position as alpha dog, something the rest of my family is often inclined to dispute.

Anyway, for those of you who have never had to euthanize a sick and/or elderly pet, let me just tell you that the whole experience will make you want to fall prostrate to the floor and just, like, STAY THERE. But I'll also tell you that it is a peaceful way for a pet to go, despite the fact that Wimzie summoned up enough of her old testy personality to try to bite the vet's hand off.

I just don't have the heart to describe her passing because I am already typing this through a crazy storm of tears and I'm just about BLIND from the mascara leaking off my eyelashes and into my eyes -- yes, even in times of crisis, I can be counted on to be wearing makeup -- but let me just say this: It wasn't such a bad way to go, you know? After a long lifetime of being treated like a member of the family, to come to the end of that happy life and to leave it peacefully, surrounded by people who loved her, well, who among us wouldn't want that for ourselves, let alone fourteen pounds of fur and grrr, a Jack Russell to win the heart and test the patience of a loving family.

Wimzie, darling girl, biter of plumbers, sworn foe of squirrels, you will never be forgotten.

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