There’s no way for me to wrap this up nicely. And I don’t even have it in me to be my usual hyperbolic self. We all knew that our time with Gromit was limited. And forgive me that this will be totally disjointed and rambling, but the Xanax was a necessary part of the day and my body is floating from my head, or my head my body.
Today was the day we had to say goodbye. It was time, but the worst part is the guilt. The guilt, and the anxiety of having to let him go. To watch his life leave his body. Everyone I’ve talked to said it was the right thing. You see his tumor had gotten big enough to finally split open, about the size of a golf ball, protruding from his foot. Splitting open, no doubt was painful for him. We kept it bandaged. He was getting an antibiotic, but eventually, it started to bleed. It stopped healing.
It was ultimately me who had to rip the band-aid off of my heart, rather quickly to make the executive decision and stop being around the bush. His back legs were horrible, his one foot constantly bandaged up and weeping. The Meester was taking a diplomatic avoidance approach, “yeah, I know, we have to call the vet, but I’ll get to it.” I don’t blame him. I feel no judgement. We both knew that the quality of life was declining. But here’s the problem, Gromit was the type of dog that was always content and happy. I’ve never once known that dog to whine in pain, and people, I saw that dog jump ten feet from the ground, over the side of a slide and rip his hip out socket. I saw him recover from surgery, and never once did he whine about it. He was just happy to be with his people. So watching him go from this happy dog, wagging his tail to seeing him quickly end up as a shell of a body that once hosted his soul, it’s just too much for my heart to handle. That image forever etched in my brain.
This is the first time I’ve had to put an animal to sleep. I’ve lost them over the years, hamsters, and things like that. This was my first dog. He was my first baby. He was there for me through a lot of things. He had an amazing spirit and personality. He didn’t want to do the typical dog things. He was happy being connected to us at the hip. He loved to bark at farts in Wisconsin (ok, maybe a little hyperboly).
This is the first time I’ve felt grief that has caused me duress. On top of the sadness there’s anxiety. “Maybe we should have waited.” I tell myself. But every single person that I’ve talked to, experts in grief counseling, experts in dog behavior, our vet, they all said, we were doing the right thing by not letting him get to the point of suffering for our own selfish reasons.
All of this advice has helped, but naturally the wound being fresh, It’s obvious that it’s going to hurt, and I have guilt over it, I’m going to give myself the time to not feel guilty about anything else associated with this day. But the way people truly experience grief in their own way. I’ve heard it before, but today it’s an epiphany.