gretchen

The Left Side of the Room is Empty

It has been a rough few days in the Soard household. My baby dog, almost 14, has finally crossed the rainbow bridge. She was having liver issues and went downhill rapidly. After talking to our regular vet, I knew I could no longer let her suffer in pain. She was miserable and it wasn’t going to get better but worse and suffer more and more pain. There was no way to stop her pain fully but to let her go.

Tonight, the left side of the room is empty and barren. She was always right next to me, day and night. She layed to my left on the couch, snoring as she got older. Her teeth were few in the last couple years and her tongue would hang out. In recent months, we had set up a small portable playpen in the left corner where she could be when I was cooking dinner or doing other work as she was blind and couldn’t be left to her own devices. The last few days, she’d pretty much stayed there as she started to ail more and more.

The left side of the room is empty without her and I’m not sure I’ll ever completely get over this loss. She was a tiny, two-pound puppy when we met. It was love at first sight and while you aren’t supposed to buy pet store dogs, I couldn’t help myself. I insisted my husband buy her “for the girls” and $700 later she was ours. Yes, it might seem ridiculous to pay that amount of money for a dog. However, looking back on it, I am so glad we did. $700 was a very small price to pay for the best friend I’ve ever had.

She was a tiny miniature dachshund. Most of her life, she weighed around 8 pounds. She quickly took up with me and never left my side. She loved me when I was mean, when I was kind, when I was stinky, when I was thin and when I was fat. In her eyes, I was the best thing in this world and she couldn’t get enough of me. I have had many pets I’ve loved over the years, but I don’t think I’ve ever had one that loved me quite as much or as hard as she did. No one else compared in her eyes and some days she didn’t even particularly like anyone but me, especially as she started to feel bad.

She loved to eat cucumbers and McDonald’s French fries. If you had even been in a McDonald’s that day, she would lift her nose and sniff the air. She loved to go “bye bye” and was smart enough to have learned many tricks. When she was younger, she would chase her tail, wave bye bye, dance and high five as well as sit, down, beg, etc. She knew so many words and what they meant that we almost communicated in the same language at times.

When she was about a year, we tried to go to obedience school. She was a little dog who thought she was big and tried to attack the Rotweillers in the class. We were politely told it might be best to not return. If I was gone for more than a day, she was so excited to see me that I had to greet her outside or on solid flooring because she would get so excited she would tinkle.

How empty the left side of the room is without her there. How empty my heart is without her love. My only solace is that I got to tell her goodbye. I got to reminder her how much I love her, how good she is, how I believe I will see her again one day. I got to make the decision that this precious creature would leave this world and no longer be in pain. Although it was a very hard decision to make, because hope always wants to believe there is a chance, I know I did what was best for her under poor circumstances. I honored the love she had for me all these years by giving her the gift of peace. Not for me, but for her.

I’m not sure my heart will ever completely heal from this particular loss, but life goes on. What a blessing to have been loved with such pure devotion and affection. What a gift she was to my life. I love you and miss you, baby dog. I always will.

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