I replay the footsteps of Dr. Edwards when she walked back in the room from getting the test results. , “It doesn’t look very good, the tumor seems to be malignant”
The unconvincing look of compassion in Dr. Edward’s eyes told me what I already knew from the start; your days were numbered. “I understand”, was all that I could muster up, in my attempt to choke back the tears. I left with you that day, knowing the next time we came back, only one us would be leaving.
I was used to scheduling doctor’s appointments and interviews, but nothing had prepared me for this. I remember choking on the word “Euthanasia” while I was on the phone with the receptionist, “She’s not doing well, She’s suffering” It made my stomach turn to even let the words escape my mouth.
The next morning we got to the clinic not a minute before our appointment was scheduled. The girl at the front desk had a smile on her face and her voice was cheery. “I can take her now and get her ready, if you guys want to head back to the room. As she took, Bella, one of the technicians led us back to a dimly lit room. The room wasn’t small, but I could feel the bright, blue walls close in on me as soon as I sat down on the cold metal chair. I had almost forgotten there was anyone with me. With everything going through my head I felt alone; I was completely detached from the world, until my mother’s warm touch accompanied with her concerned tone shocked me back to reality. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine” I responded in a plain voice. I’ve always hated when people ask me a question with such an obvious answer. No, I’m not okay.
My thoughts were abruptly interrupted by harsh knocks on the door, “Come in”
After my mother’s invitation to enter the room, the nurse slowly peeked around the corner of the door, “She’s fighting me, so I had to give her a sedative to calm her down. I’ll be back in a few minutes to take her again” She was so close to the end, but yet she was still so alive; I’d expect nothing less from her. I moved on to the floor and lied her down next to me, while I waited for the to come back in. The floor was hard and cold, but it didn’t matter to me. These last few moments with her would be what stuck with me for the weeks to come. These moments would be the ones that I would think about in bed, late at night when her presence is absent. I would think about this in the shower when I don’t hear her pawing at the door to let her in. I would look back on these moments, just like the past 13 years and I will cherish them. I heard three hard knocks, and my heart sank. They were coming to take her away again.
Everything went by very fast after they brought her back in. We asked for a moment alone with her while she was still here with us. We took the time to reminisce about when I was little girl and I followed her everywhere she went, or when I was in elementary school and no one wanted to be my friend, but she was always there waiting for me when I got off the bus. We talked about when I suffered from chronic migraines. I couldn’t even lift my head from my pillow, but she was always right by side, Then how the older we got, the more the roles reversed themselves. When you started to go blind, you started to follow around the sound of my footsteps, because you didn’t know where to go. We joked about your weird, little growl, and how you always had to eat on the carpet.
Mom knocked on the door three times when I gave her the okay for them to come back in the room. The vet came in with four vials. “This one is a sedative. After she gets this, she won’t know what’s happening anymore. These are just to flush the catheter, and this one is what’s going to stop her heart” I listened intently, but the entire time my eyes were on her. “Are you ready?” I knew if I tried to talk, I would choke. I nodded my head. I’d only seen one other dog be euthanized and it was sad to say the least, but it was nothing like this. I moved your head to kiss your forehead one last time; your body was completely limp. That’s when I lost it. My soul was crushed.
I still listen for the tap of of nails on the floor behind me when I walk around the house. Sometimes I forget you’re not here anymore and I call for you when I go to bed. When I move my legs in bed at night and I don’t feel you there, it reminds me of the pain. There’s a constant feeling of something missing in my life now, but i can at least take comfort in knowing your finally resting peacefully.