This morning we said our final goodbyes to Meg.
It was terribly hard. But it was finally time to let the old girl go.
The image at left was shared here before, in a post from July 2013, where I said, “Meg’s health is slowly failing. She’s deaf, has arthritis, some strange problem with her biliary tract, which we keep under control with a strict low-fat diet, and her muscles are weakening. She could be with us for years still. Or something catastrophic could happen and take her sooner. I hate to think of that day.”
I’m actually quite surprised that she was able to stay with us as long as she did. Her health really has been declining slowly over the last few years. She’s had a couple of really close calls, the most recent few episodes involved her biliary tract, and were sort of like pancreatitis, which is very painful and life-threatening.
After the last episode late last year, we resigned ourselves to the fact that Meg was getting old. We told each other that, as long as she was relatively pain-free and enjoying life, she would stay with us.
I guess it was earlier this year that she really started losing muscle tone and weight. It became harder and harder for her to navigate the steps. And she was getting slower and slower on our daily walks. I guess it was a month or so ago when I decided she was too slow to walk with the younguns, so I did two dog walks each evening.
Meg hated being left behind, but she enjoyed her solo walks with me. I let her go at her own pace and sniff stuff for much longer than I would’ve if the younguns were with us.
I always told myself that when her bad moments outweighed the good, it would be time to let her go.
Earlier this week, the scales started tipping for her. There’s a cold front coming through and I think it really affected her. She was sleeping even more than usual, seemed much weaker, and had even more difficulty than usual on the steps.
It really became clear yesterday. I was in the front yard with her, waiting for her to poo. She found a spot, squatted on her weak, wobbly legs, and pooed. I could tell she hadn’t quite finished, but her legs gave out on her and she collapsed onto the pile she’d just made. I hurried over and helped her up. Then I had to clean a matted pile of poo off of her rear-end and tail. She was not pleased.
I couldn’t get her to stay inside, though. So we went back out into the yard. She just stood there, all wobbly-like, looking really pathetic.
I had my phone in my pocket and took this short video so you can see what I mean.
She was weak. And she looked frightened. That special light had gone from her eyes.
That’s when I knew.
I dreaded walk time. I couldn’t bear making the decision for her, so I hooked her up as usual and told her, “This is your last walk, Meg. Let’s make it a good one.”
Much to my surprise, she wanted to walk. And there was more pep in her step than there’d been in days. She was sniffing everything. Even more than usual. And every now and then she’d just stop and look around.
She was tired, but moving well and did not want to turn around until she was ready.
I’m glad there weren’t many people out and about to see me sobbing along beside my sweet, old girl.
She had an even more restless night than usual. And this morning, I could tell she was very uncomfortable. As much as I would’ve liked to deny it, I knew it was really time.
So we took her to the vet and stayed by her side as she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
She was a special dog. Stubborn as all get-out, even to the very end. She never stopped eating. She never stopped looking forward to her special treats. And she especially never stopped wanting to be with her people.
We will always remember Meg for the laughter she brought into our lives. And for her absolute, unabashed joy that was so obvious when she was running, something she hadn’t been able to do for quite some time.
Here’s a pic from April 2006. She was young (not quite 7) and her face was still orange.
She always liked to make a game of running at me at fast as she could and racing by. I called it Buzzing Mama.
I imagine Meg is buzzing around at the Rainbow Bridge right now. With CeCe, our first dog, at her side.
We will certainly miss our Crazy Girl.
Goodbye for now, baby girl.