Growth Chart

I can’t believe that we are down to one dog. The Ted. We have always been a two or three dog family. We have bowls, beds, leashes, and food bins. We have an entire kitchen cabinet full of canine medicines and supplements. We have a sign on our door indicating to courageous firefighters that that they should press on after the miraculous rescue of one pup, to the back of the house to rescue the others. We are dog people.

If you are curious, or if maybe this helps you in the future, I’d like to tell you a little bit about June 22nd. We chose to have Meazi and Melese with us when the vet came over to put Moses to sleep. I had been preparing Meazi, a little bit, over the last couple of months. I told her that Moses was near the end of his long life, that he was probably going to die soon, and that we needed to show him a lot of love every day. On Tuesday Moses went to his bed like he always does. Melese got a bottle, but was not falling asleep easily. Melese kept getting out of the bed. He plopped himself down next to Moses, gave him two gentle pats, and then finally went to sleep. The vet came into our dimly lit room where we all sleep together. She gave Moses two shots, the first a sedative, the second one to stop his heart. We were all there. Meazi had brought Moses two teddy bears, ‘Pinkberry,’ her pink bear that Pip and Squeak made for her, and another small bear. The three of us sat around Moses, holding him and talking to him. The most upsetting part for Meazi was seeing her daddy cry. (I think it was my fourth time seeing Steven cry in the nearly fifteen years that we have been together). Although this part was tough for Meazi, I believe that we made the right decision. I have mentioned before that Meazi has some experience with death. What she didn’t have, until Tuesday, was an experience with a peaceful, gentle, death. Moses simply died in his fleece-lined bed.

Shortly after Moses died, we began telling Meazi our favorite, happy, Moses stories. We told her again about the Easter when he and Lummi ate thirty-six dyed Easter eggs and pooped in Technicolor for weeks, and about the time he and Lummi unzipped our camping tent in the middle of the night, went for a moonlight adventure and then came back and leaned against the outside of the tent, convincing us that a wild animal was about to attack us. We talked about all of the trips we took with Moses, all of the hiking, all of the swimming, all of the fun.

The next part was harder to explain so we stretched the truth a bit. We didn’t think she was old enough, or mature enough, to hear about cremation. She knows about burial. She knows that bodies are placed into the earth. She also knows (from school) that things decompose. When the man from the pet mortuary came to get Moses, we told her he was taking the body to decompose. I showed her where we keep the decomposed body of Lummi (really her ashes) and she asked to see them. So, not totally honest about that, but we felt it was too much. When the mortuary guy came in, smelling ironically like smoke, he saw Ted lying in the hallway, pointed at him and said, “So this is the pup?” Poor Ted, he had already become visibly agitated when he recognized the Kevorkian vet who helped us with Lummi three years ago. I said, “Uhm, No, Teddy is still breathing. Leave him alone please.”We had talked to Meazi about it just being Moses’ body at this point, and that his spirit would always be with us. (I know, I know, a lot for this almost five-year old to take).

The next day, in an incredible moment, Meazi for the first time ever, walked to the pantry, opened it, and got Teddy’s breakfast ready. It was as if she knew that the sight of two bowls, and two bins, would be way too much for me to handle that first Moses-less morning. She also said, “We have to be extra nice to Teddy today momma. He might be lonely and missing his friend.”

Meazi and Melese came to us with grief. Steven and I have had losses of our own. Moses, (and I realize he is a dog, and that this is a lucky, privileged, women's lament), was the first loss we shared together. It's like we took a black sharpie pen to our family's growth chart, and added a new marker.

On the day following the evening of the sadness, we knew we would have to do something fun and life affirming for the kids. Steven went into work late. After breakfast, the four of us went to the hospital where we were lucky enough to meet two new friends.

Doesn't get much more life affirming than that; twin babies, a boy and a girl, just a day old.

Later that afternoon, Meazi and Melese got to go swimming with Pip and Squeak, and we even went out for ice cream after dinner.

Thank you for your advice on how to handle this. I hope it was the right decision for our family. It was definitely the right decision for Moses.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...