It has been said that a puppy is a heartbreak waiting to happen. That statement has never been more poignant because, today at 4pm, our awesome vet will be coming to our home to help Dixie take a walk over the rainbow bridge. It’s something we have debated for quite some time and I’m not ashamed to admit that I have thought the time was right for her to go for a while. Dale, however, was not there yet and he has struggled with this decision greatly. But, even he has come to realize that her quality of life is practically nil.
She is 14 years old and that is old for a yellow lab. Our vet told us over a year ago that Dixie had beaten the odds.
She is blind. She mostly knows her way around our house and yard but there are times that she walks into things (sometimes it’s funny, I will admit) and there have been a few times where she has stumbled and fallen off the deck when negotiating the couple of stairs we have.
She is deaf. She can still sometimes hear me but she can’t hear Dale’s deeper voice and that is awfully sad because he is her person much more than I am. I think because of her deafness she thinks she’s alone a lot of the time and that breaks my heart.
Her hind legs are shot. She blew out her knee several years ago when she got so excited about going bird hunting that she jumped off the deck and tore something or other. Permanently. Since then she has been on a slow decline, physically. She can still (mostly) get up on her own but we can see that it’s a real struggle for her and we are worried that soon she won’t be able to do this and her last bit of dignity will go down the drain.
She barks all the time. And Dixie is a dog who never ever barked. Now, though, she barks and whines and cries and I firmly believe that she is doing this because she is scared and lonely and confused. We haven’t been able to find a way to keep her comfortable and it’s gotten to the point where she flinches when we pet her because she doesn’t know we are there.
And so, today is the day.
We made this decision a little over a week ago and we have spent the time since spoiling her rotten. Honestly, eating is the only thing she enjoys anymore so she has had numerous servings of Frosty Paws and special cookies and hot dogs and yesterday we had a party so that everyone could come and pet her and love on her and tell her goodbye.
She’s the only dog I’ve ever loved and I’m grateful for every moment I’ve had with her. She’s been loyal and good and faithful. She has kept me company when Dale was out working late with the band. She played with Mason and she protected Patrick when he was a toddler. She went with us on vacation and in the car and to the beach. She loved the water and chicken more than anything in the world – except for us, because she surely loved us best of all.
Think of us today, won’t you? Send some love and comforting thoughts our way because we are going to need all the support we can get as we say goodbye to our girl.