We sent Spirit over the Rainbow Bridge Sunday. I'm still not ready. My tears fill my days and nights and sleep seems to be sporadic. I know that the thought of a future without her is haunting me. I'm 26 years sober and when they asked if they could get us anything at the hospital I thought "bourbon".
We picked her out almost 11 years ago from friends her were breeding. Out of the litter of 7 there were some peeing, some yelping and one who was put in my arms where she nestled in quietly and decided I needed to love her! The woman said she was the leader of the little pack, the first to do everything, breaking out of their fenced space and getting around the house. I was to learn so much from her.
We would walk her religiously through the Lynn Woods, Breakheart, around the city, not unusual to do 3-4 miles in the morning after I got home. We did a few mountains in New Hampshire where she would start introducing herself with "hi, you have to love me now". Now this is not to say she wasn't a leader. Any group of dogs over three and she would take the lead. I learned to move through large groups as we walked to keep her focus on me. I would tell others that when we walked she would stop and I could see everything was on; nose, ears, eyes and body ready to encounter whatever she was sensing.
She started slowing down with a knee rebuild a few years ago. The walks were becoming shorter but the love continued to grow. I had asked Jane to go easier with her Saturday morning walks as Spirit seemed to get less and less mobile. Last Saturday she trudged her through a foot of wet snow for a few hundred yards. By Saturday night she had no strength to use her hind legs. I went to work dreading the morning. Spirit had dragged herself to sleep near Jane overnight. When I came home she was dragging herself to see me. I desperately made a makeshift sling to help her up and try to see if she could go out to pee. It didn't work, if I let the sling go her rear legs collapsed. I came in and told Jane we had to get to the vet referral hospital(24 hrs). They said they would be waiting and to get right there. We were put in a side room, the vet said she had lost a disc in her back and went through the options but basically that she would never really recover and at her age rehab and therapy would not improve her much. I would not see my proud girl who never whimpered and tried to perform her job right to the end go through any more.
I cry all the time right now. There is a gaping hole in my chest. I am lost and mindless. I went to weightwatchers and had lost three pounds, I don't wish this diet on anyone. I know it will get better but at some level I never want her to leave my heart!