It started with my husband's job layoff. He was alerted about definite possibility. We prepared for it, well, as ready as one can be. We decided to continue on a trip North in spite of the upcoming announcement. No matter how ready you are, it hurts to be downsized. Unappreciated. Dumped. By itself, this event was both unwelcome and stressful. However, it was only the beginning.
Our Pom mix Curly had been ill for a few weeks, suffering from partial kidney failure. He was our first dog together when we returned from living in Chile and had graced our lives for 11 years. The day we left town, Curly didn't want to eat, so my wonderful Tracy trekked to several stores in search of a rotisserie chicken. Poultry was without a doubt Curly's absolute favorite meal. Leaving town yet feeling hopeful, our kind, sweet dogsitter stayed with the goobers, instructions in hand that if anything went wrong, she should take him straight to the vet. We didn't have to wait long. After enjoying his special chicken dinner that evening, he got sick. The next day he went to the doggie hospital for I.V. fluids and evaluation. Our sweet neighbor visited him and snapped a photo, which she uploaded to Facebook. The sweet boy seemed comfortable and was in good hands. We were only going to be gone a few days.
Our caring vet gave us an update daily. After three days his kidney numbers weren't improving as well as she hoped. I was conflicted about staying, anxious to hold him in my arms to comfort both him and me. We only had two days before heading home, but we could leave sooner if necessary. That night I couldn't sleep nor get Curly off my mind. I cried and cried, praying that the Lord would comfort him in my absence. To be with the little dog, so he wouldn't be alone. I left the vet a message saying we could come home the next day, just let us know how he was.
In the morning, Tracy took the call we didn't want. Curly had passed just an hour before. We were immediately heartbroken in a way that I could not imagine. I was not there for my boy. Did he suffer? Should we have stayed home? Did he miss us? Did his little body just give out? The flood of tears burst forth and I thought I may never stop crying. I felt desperate to get home. There was only one decision left to make.
Back in Atlanta, I picked up the small, furry body encased in a thick, black plastic bag, It was hidden inside a clumsy, white, “slightly too big” cardboard coffin. It felt so heavy, just like my heart. So very heavy. I didn’t know how I was going to get him to the car. Hot tears stung my cheeks. My vision blurred as I stumbled out the vet office door and somehow reached the parking lot. It seemed right to bury him in the backyard. A tranquil, shaded place where he romped, sniffed, chased, wandered. When I close my eyes, I smile and envision him laying on the deck, keeping our home safe from any wayward squirrels, rabbits and deer. Yes, the backyard was perfect, a place where we could look out the french doors and remember all that he was to us. Goodbye sweet Curly. We will always love you. Thanks for loving us so well.