I have learned a very valuable lesson over the past few days…
Losing someone you love as a woman is so much more gut wrenching than as a man. At least it has been for me.
For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you know that I had to put my sweet boy Dozer to rest yesterday. I’ve seen it coming for some time, but prayed every night that he would hold out until late September or early October. Unfortunately, over the past week or so…he was letting me know he couldn’t make it until then and he was ready to go.
It’s been gut wrenching for me…on a level that I never experienced or expected. I don’t have children of my own, so Dozer WAS my child. He was my perfect baby boy. My prince. He was my rock in real life who I had become even more attached to as I have been on my journey. And the way I loved him, cared for him and cherished him changed as drastically over the past several years as anything has in my life.
When I did my post on Sunday night talking about how I hoped Dozer would make it until I was presenting full time, it was silently my last plea to him, God, some high power…whoever…that he would bounce back from the bad week he had. It was me selfishly begging some cosmic being to give him the strength to make it until that point with me. Logically I knew it wouldn’t happen, but selfishly I begged for it in my writing. I had only told one or two people that I thought the end was near. I needed that grasp of hope to get through my weekend.
But when I woke up Monday morning and went to take him out for his walk, I knew he was telling me he couldn’t go on. I knew he was telling me he was ready to go and that he had given me everything he could. In that moment, I knew I had to be not just the responsible pet owner…but the loving mother he so desperately needed. I knew I had to make that difficult call that he deserved better than his body allowed him and make the decision he couldn’t. I had to let him go.
I know I could have, and should have, shown him more love than I did at various points of our time together. But I do think he always knew he was loved. Lord knows he never quit loving me through all of my faults and mistakes. He remained my constant companion when I was doing my internship full time and still working 30 hours per week while he spent far too much time home alone. He always greeted me with happy pants and a wagging tail, even when he couldn’t make it to the front door to greet me. With that in mind, I made sure to give him the absolute best last 24 hours of life I could…only leaving his side long enough to get things for him and do the little extras he so richly deserved. He had 125% of my attention and was always by my side.
Yesterday, as we were spending our last morning together, he found a way to let me know it was ok to let him go and that he was ready. It helped…some. It at least made the decision to let him go easier and assuage some of the guilt I was carrying. It also let me know that not only will he always be in my heart, but that he was going to always be beside me, loving me…protecting me…supporting me.
For all the love Dozer gave me over the years, he was never one to give a lot of kisses. But he showered me in kisses as I would lay on the floor with him…or when I picked him up and put him in bed with me…something he had never been allowed to do since the first night I had him and he literally shoved me out of bed three times. He gave me more love back than I gave him. He kissed me so many times that I think my face is raw as much from the his licks as the tears I have cried.
He was my perfect baby boy.
The pain of losing him was much harder than the pain of any pet I have had to say good bye to before. I know part of that is the total emotional shift of being on HRT. The way I process and respond to things is so totally different now and this is my first encounter with grief since beginning this journey. But also too…Dozer was special. All of my pets have been special…but the love he showed me while I have been on my journey, the fact I changed so much over the last three years of his life and yet his love for me only grew deeper. He will forever be my favorite of all my pets.
I honestly could not have had a better companion these past six and a half years.
I miss you so much, my sweet boy. This house is so incredibly empty without you here. You will always have a very, very special place in Momma’s heart. I will see you, when my time comes, at the Rainbow Bridge. ♥
See it on Flickr.
Le Poppycock – Sad Song