I said good bye to Missy on Tuesday. I had watched her slow decline become much sharper over the past week and a half and prayed that she would go peacefully in her sleep so that I wouldn't have to make the final decision. But on Tuesday it was painfully obvious that her body was close to wearing out on her. Her heart was still willing to try, but she just couldn't anymore. I made the appointment.
I gave her extra pain meds and we spent a couple of quite hours at home. Made a slow trip to the barn where Katie cat caught Missy's attention, then we sat in the front yard with her head in my lap and I told her what a good girl she was. She always lived to please and she always quivered in happiness when I crooned to her that she was a good girl. She couldn't do much, but her tail wagged a few times at the sound of those words and she'd open her eyes if I quit petting her.
Those couple hours with her were a gift. A little while later she slipped away in the back of my car as I again stroked her head and told her she was a good girl. She was free from pain.
I knew it would be hard, but I didn't know just how deep down my heart would ache. I'd been mourning since the diagnosis over eight weeks ago, but now it was final and it cut my to the core.
She was such a part of the family, a part of my life, a part of me. It hurts like crazy right now that she isn't here to share in life anymore. I drove over to the other barn tonight to shut the sheep in and found myself sobbing because Missy wasn't in the back seat. She loved going to the barn and helping with chores right up to the end. It was our evening routine. On Monday night when I let her outside she slowly walked over to the car with a look that said "are we going?". We went. Got to the barnyard and I told her to "go bring". Her ears perked up and I helped her push the sheep (who were very used to her and knew the routine) out of the barn. It was her job and of all the things that she wasn't able to do anymore, I was glad she was able to do that right up to the end.
But those little routines are painfully empty now. No nose coming over to beg at the table for food (she was always so polite about it that no one really minded), No barking when my brother walked in the house tonight. No nose nudging open my bedroom door. No black and white face watching intently as I grab my keys with body language plainly saying "can I come, too?"
Is the pain worth it? Without a doubt. Missy was the most amazing four legged partner a person could ask for and she taught me so very much and she was my best friend. But right now the emptiness is hard. So very hard.