02 August 2009

Gone.



Gone Smoosh Jennifer Barko
Yesterday, she was here. Today, no matter how many times I've begged it not to be so, she is gone.

I know, of course, that when you get to the age 0f 16 and you are classified as a dog, each moment is a gift. It's just that while I knew that the time left was small, I assumed that the goodbye would be on my terms; when I was ready, when I was able to know absolutely in my heart that letting go was the only honorable option left.

This was not meant to be.

If I told you her story before yesterday, before that moment, I would tell it to you laughing, as would anyone who knew her. She always looked like she was smiling, her tail was always wagging, she was still certain that she could field her duck that she caught mid-air each time it was thrown, and for the most part, she did. She still wrestled with the pups like she was one of them and she still lolly-gagged with Jessie like the true companion that she was.

Beauty Queen Resting Place Jennifer Barko Serving The Queens
After dinner, I walked outside to give her and Jessie their medicine. She was on her bed in the garage. I petted her head, rubbed her ear and said, "Oh, Smoosh". I gave Jessie her medicines and sang, "Jessie is a beauty queen" while I waited for her to swallow. Then I went back into the house to get Little A's P.J.'s on her and stand at the window to wave goodbye to our dinner guests.  


Perhaps a minute passed before I heard a yelp--the sound that Smoosh makes when the pups have caught her and she is telling them to back off. I started to the door with a smile on my face, until I heard screaming. I dropped Little A and ran down the stairs as my friend attempted to hold me back, saying, "Don't go out there." "No! No!" I screamed as I hit her arm and pushed her out of my way, stumbling out into the place where I saw Smoosh lying by their tire.


I took her broken body and tried to put it back together with my hands, thinking, of course, that somehow, this would mend her.

I don't know how long I laid there, sobbing on top of her, begging God, damning God, saying no, saying please. Later I was told that our neighbors had come running over; they had heard my screams, but I don't remember that happening.

Little A went to a friends and I began to search for the things that needed to be with her when she finally was placed to rest.

I found her pink afghan that had been knitted her, easily located her yellow, tattered duck-it was right under her bed that's inside the house-and found some pictures of the three dogs together. I went outside to find a spot to bury her; I knew where she belonged. In the circular part of our drive, each day when we arrived home, there she would be, laying under the trees in the grass.

The world began to weep while her grave was dug in the rain as I whispered my final goodbye to her. I wrapped her in her afghan and my blue Michigan blanket, with her duck tucked between her chin and chest. Jessie nuzzled her, one last time, then slowly made her way to the furthest part of the garage. I kissed her one last time and covered up her sweet face as and I laid, sobbing, over her.

I want to tell you something happy about her. I want to tell you something to make you smile. I want to tell you that everyone she met said she was the happiest and sweetest dog they'd ever seen. I want you to know that she was always smiling, and I need to remind myself of this to get through the days that lie ahead.

God Speed, Smoosh.
I will love you until the day that I see you again.

19 comments:

someone somewhere said...

god bless you. and i'm sorry. so, so, so sorry.

Amy Y said...

Oh I am so sorry for your loss :(

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

oh, no, i am so, so sorry. am sobbing for you.

luckyzmom said...

Tears leak out the corners of my eyes and sadness overwhelms me as I think of the pain of your loss. So very sorry.

Scout's Honor said...

I can't tell you how much it hurt to read this. Tears are pouring. I just blogged today about my own almost 16 year old pup's cancer being back. You seem to be like me in that our dogs are family members. My daughter tells people we are a family of seven which includes our two geriatric dogs. They chose today to watch Marley and Me and I've been crying in the living room because I can't bear to tell them yet that the cancer is back six months after her second surgery.

Having lost pets from accidents, I know how brutal and unexpected it can be. My heart and my thoughts are with you and your family, my friend. Hang in there...

flutter said...

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Love you, Jenn.

Jennifer said...

Oh Jen, I am so very, very sorry.

slouchy said...

i'm truly sorry. xo

J and J Acres said...

I am so sorry. My pets are part of the family too and I know how hard losing one is.

Jonas said...

It's true. Losing a companion of many years hurts as much as losing any friend or family member.

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy.

Kim said...

I am so sorry! Trying to think of something else to say, and yet I just can't.

Again, sorry!

Lauren said...

I am so sorry. I bet your inlaws feel so very awful!

Mama Goose said...

Oh Jenn... I'm so very sorry...

Meg said...

how incredibly heartbreaking. my thought are with you. i am soo soo sorry for your loss of Smoosh. i hope that someday you can find comfort in the fact that she felt loved by you every single day.

Rebecca and Patrick said...

I saw your post on Facebook today and I felt so sad for you. Then I saw her dear, old gray face in the picture and while still sad, I figured nature had followed it's course. Then I had to go and read your blog and feel like I was just stabbed in the heart! I am so, so sorry. *tear*

aileen said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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Amanda said...

Oh, honey! I am so, so sorry!

bgirl said...

oh honey, i'm so sorry.

Kimberly said...

So, so sorry sweetie. UGH...my heart breaks for you.