Went garaging this morning with my friend Marcia. Had fun, bought a few things. But that’s not what I’m going to write about today.
Our sweet, sweet Lizzie dog died yesterday. We found out in October that she had a tumor on her spleen, and there was a fifty-fifty chance that it was malignant. Even if it was not, that kind of tumor can start to bleed internally, and the animal dies. We had to decide whether to do surgery.
Lizzie was nearly 13 years old, which for a dog her size was quite elderly. We wanted to give her the best chance of a happy life, however long it would be. The decision was not clear to me. So I did something that some of you will think is crazy, but I’m very glad I did it. I used an animal communicator recommended by a close friend to talk over the situation with Lizzie and find out what she would want.
It was a fascinating session; all our pets got into the conversation. In fact, our cat Noll insisted on talking first, because he wanted to demand “more food that tastes better.” Lizzie communicated that she did not want the operation, and after more discussion with my husband, we decided against the surgery. We knew that her time could be long or short, but that we would just enjoy her every day as long as we could.
Perhaps the most important part of working with the communicator was that Edward was able to know what was coming. He was appalled. He had absolutely no idea that Lizzie would not always be with him. He’s five years younger, and has been with her every day since he was nine weeks old.
We had four more wonderful months with Lizzie. She was happy, energetic most of the time, truly in great spirits. She was a little creaky at times because of her age, but has done great.
Yesterday turned out the be the day we hoped would not come, though we knew it would. Lizzie collapsed when she got up, and I knew at once what had happened. We sat with her, talking and crying. She was calm and not in distress. When the vet’s office opened, my husband called to consult, and because the process she was going through could have taken many hours and become worse for her, we decided to take her in. The staff at our vet’s were so kind. It was a hard thing to do, but we had to let her go to sleep forever.
All of our pets, mine and yours, bring so much to our lives. To live with another species so closely gives us the opportunity to expand our awareness of the world. The laughter they bring would be enough, but they give us so much more. Absolutely no one is ever as glad to see you as your dog.
Lizzie was a pound puppy who went through some hard times in her first 3 months of life. To her last day she was anxious that someone else might get her food, though I promised her every day that I would never give her dinner to a cat. We did a lot of training with her to overcome her issues. She was the smartest and most sensitive animal I have ever lived with. She always knew exactly what everyone around her was feeling. I’m not sure if she was psychic, but nothing escaped her attention. When our cat Buster had cancer, he underwent two surgeries, and we were told that he was cancer free. After a few weeks, Lizzie started inspecting his surgery site several times a day with her nose, and I was sure that she had detected a new growth. The vet assured me that it was just scar tissue. But Lizzie was right and the vet was wrong.
So we are sad today. Edward is taking it hard. But we have no regrets. I believe we made the right decision four months ago. Of all the gifts our pets give us, one of the greatest is that they teach us about dealing with death. It’s in the contract from day one, and as hard as it undoubtedly is, it’s something we must learn.
This morning I decided to make a cup of tea to drink while I read my email. I took a clean mug out of the dishwasher, filled it with water, and put it in the microwave. When I took it out, I found a small black dog whisker on the rim of my mug. I choose to see it as a little hello from my Lizzie.