I woke up this morning feeling empty. Yesterday, Presley, our 15 year old Basset, passed away. I had gotten the girls home from where we board them and she seemed a little off. A few hours later, she was obviously in distress, so I made the decision to take her to one of our emergency animal hospitals. I knew, as Brian lifted her into the car, that this was the end.
People that don’t know her story, think we had her for her entire life, but we were blessed with her presence for a mere four years. She was owner surrendered at the age of 11. A friend, who knows my love for the neurotic Basset breed, prompted me to go and see her. I took Daisy, our other Basset, along with my spouse and Bailey to meet this special soul. I knew the moment our eyes met, that she would be coming home with us. She looked broken. Hopeless. Sad. Unloved.
I had never adopted a senior dog before nor had I really contemplated that we might not have her for long. I just knew that this was right. That giving her a home full of love, warmth, and an endless supply of happiness was my calling. And while most people would avoid committing to a pet for the briefest amount of time, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
When I got to the animal hospital, they came out to my car and transported her into a room. Working quickly, they found she had an intestinal obstruction that in a younger dog, surgery would possibly help. But, I knew what I needed to do. It was time to let her go.
They wheeled her into a room and allowed me as much time as I needed to say my goodbyes before they administered the drugs. I am not one to simply leave before the process is finished. I firmly believe, that our pets are aware of our presence, at the end of their life. She was lucid. Her tail doing a subtle wag while her dark, brown eyes met mine. I thanked her for being such a sweet girl full of unconditional love. My tears dripped on her soft fur. I sprinkled kisses on her head. And then, I held her as she took her last breath. That’s what love entails. The willingness to let go even when your heart is breaking. Even when selfishly, we want more time.
My heart is broken, but I am so grateful for our time together. I have no doubt that another sweet soul will enter our home. Until then, I am showering some extra love on her sissy, Daisy, and transitioning to our new normal.