This is not the post we wanted to write this week. We had hoped to write about what's happening on the farm - the chickens, the bees, the peas we are finally able to harvest.
But we don't care about any of those things (we do care about the chickens and bees in that we are taking care of them!) this week. Yesterday we had to put our sweet Maggie down. She was nearly 11 years-old - a St. Bernard.
Our vet often marveled at how well she was for a large pure-breed dog. Generally they don't live past ten. That we've kept her one year longer than expected is a blessing for us.
Maggie, sweet, cuddly, blanket as Jamie called her. She would get in your lap - all 120+ pounds of her. She didn't slobber as much as other St. Bernards but she did slobber. I saw her food bowl this morning with the slobber on it and cried - why does that make me nostalgic? Slobber? What have I turned into?
I can't sweep the hair off the floor even though it used to drive me nuts. I did contemplate sweeping it up to give to a woman I read about years ago who takes your pet's hair and makes yarn so you can knit a sweater or whatever. I can't do that because it's creepy AF. But I can't sweep the floor because it's as if I am sweeping her away.
I can't vacuum my car which is full of her hair. Same reason.
I smell her collar because I need to be reminded of her scent. You might say that's creepy AF, I don't care.
She loved what I called the doggy massage. I would massage her back starting at her head and working down to her bum. Then I would scratch her bum as dogs like. I did that just before we put her down. She raised her head for me as if acknowledging that it pleased her.
She knew she was loved and we knew we were loved. She added to our lives and we to hers. She will be dearly, sorely missed. We have her memories and her photos and her friends (Cocoa, Maverick and Emma). We have her things.
Anyone who has a pet knows that their time with us is finite. We could argue all of us are here for a finite period. Dogs and cats, even less than us (if all goes well for us as humans). Why can't they live longer? Why can't we have them in our lives longer? Why must it end this way with us knowing, we think, they are uncomfortable and in pain and having to make the decision to end their already short lives?
It hit Jamie today as he sat in his office at his desk working on his computer. Maggie would sit at his feet and nudge his elbow with her nose when it was time for him to pet her which was all the time. She wasn't there today.
She wasn't here this morning to wake me up at 5 a.m. (I hated it but I would have given anything for it today). She wasn't there to bark at the neighbors or nearly push me down the stairs to get to her empty kibble bowl that will remain empty and slobbered on.
She won't be here to greet us at the door with that dog "smile" or run around the yard or go for long walks up the back hill or sit on Pearl's lap (or Jamie's). No more fighting with Cocoa or playing with Maverick or Emma (our former neighbor's dog).
These memories will sustain us and get us through the day. They are hard now because I find myself sobbing when I think about the good things - and the bad.
We know we made the right decision. She is at peace. She is running and playing where she is now and she is more than comfortable.
She was and is loved and will remain so. Our hearts are broken and aching but neither of us would trade the heartbreak for a life without her. She was the important in our lives.
Best wedding present ever.......
Rest in peace dear, sweet Maggie.