Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in death, GRIEF | 2 comments

It is with the heaviest heart that I share that we had to put Mabel to sleep last Friday. We celebrated her 14th birthday on August 1, and a week later, she was suddenly moving slower, eating less, sleeping more. Her belly was distended and she was all wobbly and couldn’t easily get up and down.

We are not ones to prolong an animal’s pain and suffering, even though the loss is so painful. And so we made the decision.

One of the Park Rangers recommended the vet where his wife works in the office. She assured us that we’d be in a quiet room and would be well taken care of.

But it was not the experience we were hoping for. Mostly because we were there for more than an hour and a half, doing a lot of waiting. We waited for the special room to be ready, waited for the first tech, waited to see the doctor, more waiting for the paperwork, then the catheter, and even after she was sedated, more and more waiting.

And the room was anything but quiet and peaceful. We even heard the conversation where the new tech was being told how to put the catheter in.

And then, even after Mabel was sedated, we waited another 20 minutes for the doctor to return, even though we were told, “as soon as you’re ready, let us know and the doctor will be in.” I went to the desk and asked for the final injection, but the doctor didn’t come. Instead we got to hear his entire consultation next door, including how to boil chicken for a dog with an upset stomach.

And when it was all done, we were more angry than sad, and it’s taken a few days to move from that anger into the real grief.

The big blessing is that Mabel was calm and relaxed and ready. And this is what I need to focus on.

She was a great companion and a relaxed traveler, a tail talker, lover girl and bed hog. And what an athlete–mid-air frisbee catcher, any kind of water swimmer, football player, squeaky tosser, pigeon chaser. So many joys in her 14 years. And to think that just last month she was running to keep up with Cody in the forest.

We are all adjusting to her absence. Even Cody, who barely interacted with Mabel beyond a group growling when they got something special in the food, seems to be missing her. But he is soaking up all of the extra love, and enjoying the leftover chicken broth that Marika had made for Mabel.

Marika bought a beautiful bouquet of pink carnations in Mabel’s honor, and, just like with Saffron, Zasu, Bikini, Petita, Jammies and Laddy before her, we’re telling her stories and holding her in our hearts.

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