On Monday the time had finally come for me to say goodbye to my dog of seventeen years, Miley. Often called ‘The Elder’, her body had begun to fail in too many ways to ignore. She was no longer comfortable even laying down due to arthritis and no medication seemed to help her find comfort, so I made ‘that’ choice, the one we all as dog owners dread.
I always knew that Miley would be the last of her ‘pack’ to go, Sprite and Ari were each lost within the 15 months before. She was the mutt, the healthiest and the one damned and determined not to leave me. She was the first true dog that was mine and we bonded late in my teenage years, still so early in my life that she was my everything for so long.
Since it has been such a short time since losing Ari the pain from her own death is still fresh. It is strong enough that a few weeks ago I bawled over a happy story about a cat that shared her nickname and had diabetes, the illness that began her downward spiral.
Most can tell you their favorite dog, but I could not choose between the two of my girls, they were one unit and everything to me. So why is it now that I have cried so much less at the loss of Miley? The first day I cried so long and hard that my head would not stop aching, but since then hardly at all. Is it that she was older, her death more gradual? Or, is it simply that I have suspected for a while that it was time for the pack to be together again?
I know the tears will come in their own time, they always do and I want to hope there is a place where they are reunited…but I suspect even if there is after the first initial greeting Miley is sitting on the sidelines patiently waiting for me.