Saturday, September 04, 2010


The veterinary assistant walked in the room, took one look at me, paused, then stated, ''let me bring in another box of tissues."

I am secure enough in my masculinity to be up front that I cried like a little girl many times last Saturday. It's just a little disconcerting that she had me pegged from first sight.

While I wasn't crying right at that moment, maybe she or one of the other staff members spied me out in the corner of the parking lot trying to catch my breath through my own tears. I was trying to be strong, of course, but didn't want to distress Tovah while we waited to go inside the clinic. I walked down to the sidewalk. The whole scene probably only upset the guy across the street cutting his lawn.

I'd like to say I know what triggered it - and yes, you can attribute it to Occum's razor (and I do) - but then I guess I don't know where that threshold is....the tipping point, if you will.

As with Kylie, I was the stoic one and Denton more emotional for the day or so before we had to go to the vet. With each instance, I attempted to be rational about the joy they had brought into our lives. Of course - and you could see this coming a kilometer away - at some point the closer we got to the event, we changed roles. I guess that's what makes us, us.

Oh, and I did blubber.

I know we did the right thing at the right time, but it's never easy. I could pull the plug on either one of my parents without this kind of emotion. ...and that is with all deference to my folks.

And while trying not to upset Tovah with my crying, I honestly could not keep it in check. Denton so nicely offered me to leave if I wanted - and I did want to, but knew I could not. I had to be there for her. This was so not about me.

Without knowing anything in advance - for any of us, Meredity posted a great article on her FB page. The timing of that piece couldn't have been any less planned and any better timed. And part of it flooded back to me in that vet room. Unlike the author though, I not only said 'thank you', which I never would have thought to do probably, but I did continually tell her we loved her.

Afterward, the vet assistant hugged Denton and then she caught sight of me - again. I'm not an overly demonstrative person, especially with people I do not know, and when she hugged me, I swear I gripped her for dear life - once again heaving while trying to catch my breath. One might assume I felt the fool, but I did not. Not a bit.

Later in the day, needing something to eat, I went to Wendy's to get us lunch. While waiting in line (inside) for no reason I just started to tear-up and this older gentleman just looked at me. I was dying to say, "I'm just really happy they still have the boneless hot wings!" Even the thought of saying something like that helped snap me out of being a mess waiting for my extra value meal.

Our sorrow will continue for awhile, of course. How could it not? And it's the little things: where we moved the food and water dishes, what furniture we had left in place that we don't use, but Tovah did, or just that we don't have her sleeping between us anymore.

I look behind me when I go upstairs, expecting to see Tovah trailing me, as she always did.

We are waiting to see how Sophie continues to react. She watched us put Tovah in her carrier and she seems a little lost. She hasn't been as talkative (and trust me, she's a talker). While they didn't play, per se, Sophie needed Tov as something help her expend energy. She chased Tovah a lot.

This lack of dispensing of energy has already shown itself - on night one, actually. Sophie ended up bringing many of her toys and strings into our bed in the middle of the night. I woke up to them partially on the bed or at the foot. She let's us pet her belly now, which she didn't before and she hasn't been consistent at meeting us at the door like she always had. Instead I find her sleeping in another room unaware that we've come home.

I see her looking for Tovah, I'm guessing at first it was to stalk her, but not just to figure out why she's not around. Maybe I'm projecting...........onto a cat. Ugh.

Last night's dreams were all about Tovah - well, except one with James Franco, but that one may have included Tovah too.

Sadness still prevails on me. Yesterday was the first day I didn't visit their burial sites. I know, it sounds morbid, and it is. I just like to say "hi".

Denton was funny about the top image. I don't think most people sit Shiva with a Banana Republic shirt as the item to cover the mirror, but it's all he had in black. He made me smile with that.

And as for the graves, he did point out that it's odd he was so insistent to do something with them that neither of us want for ourselves. We don't want to be buried - and we certainly don't want to be buried in our yard! But it is nice to have them near us.

Now when I continue to cut the lawn and pass near them, I can say "hi", like I've done just to Kylie for the last four years.

Sorrow will lift, it will just take a little time. Tovah was a great buddy. I miss her a lot.

Song by: the National


Breenlantern said...

*choke* big hugs.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that. Our pets are as much a part of our family and make an impact upon us. Our mourning is as real as any other mourning.

Benton Quest

Birdie said...

Never apologize for love. That's what grief is all about.

Your story brought back memories of our two kitties, each put down after 20 years of a great life. It is a terrible, necessary act of love when we take them to the vet and hold them in our arms one last time. Big hugs to you, sweetie.

Ur-spo said...

I envy you. I have longed to weep for some time but can not do so.

Having lost pets, I know what you are going through. Hang in there; you are not alone.

John said...

Thank you for telling the story.

You reminded me of the experience of cradling a favorite old cat in my lap while the vet who had come to the house gave the injection. I was all composure and compassion until the injection took effect. It was startling to feel the sobs come up so suddenly and uncontrollably.

Cubby said...

I'm glad you said you cried, Blobby. I'd be concerned if you said you didn't. I was inconsolable when we put our dog Dahlia to sleep five years ago. I know what you went through, and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Mark said...

I had to put my sweet, beautiful border collie Jesse to sleep on Friday. I am right there with you, so sad and heartbroken. I don't know you, but...hugs!

anne marie in philly said...

it is never easy to say goodbye to someone we love deeply, whether it be animal or human.


Raybeard said...

Heartfelt deep condolences to you, pal, from another passionate animal-lover. The loss of your dear little loved one, so vulnerable in life, is truly devastating. My thoughts and best wishes are with you, as are surely also those of all with a heart.

tornwordo said...

I remember that feeling. I was unconsolable for 5 days, crying every five minutes. If I think about her enough, I will cry still. Hugs to you guys.

Mike said...

As you can see from these many comments, you are not alone. Truly the hardest thing i've ever had to do...and I can tear up just thinking about that day --- way in the future -- when we say goodbye to our beloved dog. Thanks for writing so eloquently. Hang in there...