Some of you may remember a past post I’d written about my dog, Shiloh.
Shiloh was a part of Mr. Muses and my life for the entirety of our marriage up until now. Monday morning, my Little Peanut succombed to cancer. Hemangiosarcoma to be exact. I won’t go into the gory details – feel free to read about those on your own.
My Little Buttercup never showed signs of cancer, only aging – she had just turned 14 a couple weeks ago. Two Saturdays ago she even had her yearly veterinary visit and other than needing her teeth cleaned, she was the image of a perfectly healthy older dog. The same vet who saw her then, attended her final moments on Monday.
I won’t second guess signs leading up to Monday. I worked at a veterinary clinic, I saw the myriad of symptoms of dogs getting older, and after my time in the clinic I told myself that I would never, ever allow my pets to suffer longer than they had to because of my selfishness.
My Little Monkey greeted Mr. Muse and I on our return from a weekend of camping with laps around the yard, joyous bounding and lots of licks. The food she’d turned up her nose at for the house sitter all weekend, she ate with gusto. Monday morning, she was her normal, happy self for just over an hour.
I found her unresponsive on the kitchen floor other than moving her eyes to look at me. She lay still on her side, breathing heavy, heart beating hard but not overly fast. She didn’t flinch when I touched her and I asked Mr. Muse if he could bring her to the vet that morning. Just before I left for work, she staggered to her feet, looking confused and after a few steps, laid back down, exhausted.
I called on my way into the office and left a message saying something wasn’t right and we wanted to bring her in as soon as possible.
Mr. Muse called me a couple hours later. It wasn’t good. Our girl was in a lot of pain despite receiving a heavy dose of painkiller. I spoke with the doctor; blood counts were bad, she was anemic and they suspected she was bleeding internally. In my head I was replaying the scenes from a couple years earlier when we lost our “baby”, and Shiloh’s sister, RCA, to Hemangiosarcoma. I told the doctor that it sounded like RCA all over again. I asked to speak to Mr. Muse once more. Shiloh was fading fast and though I wanted to be there for her, and Mr. Muse, in her final moments, I was 45 minutes away and I was not going to make her wait, in pain, until I could reach her. I told Mr. Muse we had to let her go.
Our Peanut Butter Cup is now buried on a little rise in the East Pasture, visible from our bedroom, next to her sister’s grave.
Our consolation is that we were there for her at the end.
Last night, I caught myself about to ask if Shiloh had been fed yet as I plated up dinner. I told Mr. Muse, attempted to laugh about it but had to take a deep, shaky breath and we hugged, in silence.
I miss my Little Monkey.
P.S. – Grief leaves a really big lump in your throat.