Our dog died a couple of weeks ago. She was nine years old.
We will bury her ashes in our garden. It feels right – the memory of her is all over this space. After her walks, she would smoosh her face into the lawn, perhaps saving the smell of it for later. She and T-Boy, our other dog, would chase each other around the cobblestones, always being pretty careful to stay out of the garden beds. She loved to bark at any other dog that walked by, and she loved lurking in the grass, as though a little lion hiding on the savannah. In the back yard, she would run her zoom-zooms, tearing around in a delight of movement.
KiKi had cancer and we have known for over a year that we would have to decide when to say goodbye to her. That was the last thing we were able to give her, a death that was quick. Knowing it was coming did not help. We were never sure that we would recognize the day she had stopped enjoying her life. I think for a while we just kept accepting lower and lower levels of activity as the new normal, hoping she might rally. In the end, though, she showed us the way.
One evening after our walk, she wandered over to a tucked away part of the garden, went into the bed and started to tear away at the plants, with her teeth, with her paws. I have never seen her tackle anything so energetically. She lay down and she looked at me. She was making a den to hide from her pain and her vulnerability, and I think she was telling me that she was done. She stopped eating; we let her go a couple of days later. Even knowing that there was no better path, that we had tried all there was to try, it was a miserable day for us, saying goodbye to that sweet face.
What is left of her will remain in this garden that she was usually so respectful of, and we will plant our trillium over her ashes.
She has covered our garden and our lives with love and we miss her.
Last modified: August 7, 2012