Not Ready To Say Goodbye

Jasmine. That is her name.  Named after Princess Jasmine from Aladdin, thank you very much.  The first day we saw her, Matthew and I knew she was our puppy…“Puppers” is actually what we began calling her.  The previous owners had been calling her Taz because they said she was wild like the Tasmanian devil (Looney Tunes fame).  That name just wouldn’t do.  So Jasmine is what she became.

We loved her.  She is Matthew’s first pet.  Matt was just three years old when we brought Jasmine home. He has no memories without her.  And now he is 20 and she is almost 17 and she is struggling to move, to eat, to live.  And all I can think of is that puppy who kept hitting her head on the couch as she attempted to jump on it time and again until she was finally big enough to accomplish this feat.  All I think of is this puppy and her boy Matthew tucking her in before he himself fell asleep each night.

I think of Nicholas, who began crawling at just about 18 months, and one of the first things he crawled to was Jasmine’s food dish.  And as Jasmine stood guard over her food, this little boy reached in and began taking food right out from under her nose.  Had anyone else done that, they would have lost a hand.  But it was Nick, and I think Jasmine knew he was special, because she just sat patiently and waited for me to retrieve Nick before attempting to eat again.

Jasmine survived Parvo, being struck by a car (after which, she chased said car down the street, barking the entire way), and most of all, she survived not 1 but 3 boys picking her up, carrying her around incessantly, stumbling over her, and loving her.

But Jasmine has grown tired.  And that little boy who once pushed her around in his Little Tykes shopping cart for hours on end has grown up, and this precious dog has grown old and weary.  She has cataracts and can scarcely see.  Her hearing has been diminished to the point of deafness.  Her back legs just don’t work anymore.  Now, she has begun to stop eating and she barely drinks.  She has even stopped wagging her tail. And while she still perks up when I enter the room, and I know she would (if still able) wag her tail when Matt walks in, I don’t think we can wait for her to see Matt just one last time.

I know it is time.  My head knows it is time we let her go.  But I am just not ready to say goodbye yet.  I know I have to.  But my heart is hurting at the thought of watching her breathe her last.  I have been praying that she will just go in the middle of the night while we are all asleep, that I won’t have to take her to the vet for them to do what they must.  And so I hang on to every little indication that she is not in pain, that she can tolerate this life for just a bit longer.

I am torn.

Her boy, my boy, Matt, is playing baseball right now in Wisconsin.  Before he left, he basically said his goodbyes to her already, knowing she was failing.  But he also said that  if the time comes while he is away,  he didn’t want to know about it until after he gets back two months from now.

Why does the love of pets affect us so?  I know she is “just a dog.”  But to us, she is truly much more than that.

As I am crying writing this, Nick is hugging on Jasmine and petting her and kissing her.  Nick, like Jasmine, loves unconditionally.  Totally.  Whole-heartedly.

So, I will do what I must.  I will call the vet and make the arrangements.  But not today.  She just walked over to me and snuggled next to me to pet her.  She is not ready yet…and neither am I…

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Not Ready To Say Goodbye

  1. ..not ready either..

  2. Oh Leslie, my heart is just aching for you right now! And she is absolutely not “just a dog”, she’s YOUR dog. A four legged member of your family. We went through this a year ago with our cat Moon Unit. In the end I cried all the way to the vet, I cried holding her in the vets office for over an hour, then cried all the way home. To this day her collar tag is still on my key chain and I get misty every time I think of her. It’s going to be hard, but you’ll do what needs to be done because you love her and I’m sure she knows it.

    • Thank you so much. I love that name “Moon Unit.” You do love the 80’s! We must be kindred spirits:-) It is strange. Jasmine was doing so poorly just a couple of days ago, and today she is much better. She is actually eating her dog food and she even walked down the 3 steps to get outside. She hasn’t been able to do that in at least 3 days. So, for now, we are just watching her, waiting for her to let us know when. I am just praying for courage to do the right thing and the wisdom to know when it’s the right time.

  3. *sniff* My Jake is nearing that, too. For the last few years he has had his times when we thought “this might be it” and then he perks up and decides life is worth living a little longer. It was so bad when our son (Jake’s favorite person in the WORLD) went to college. He was so sick and couldn’t walk… College Boy came home for the weekend and he was REVIVED! But NOT completely… It was almost comical, though. Then son had to go back… UGH!!

    We lost his collar. ??? COULDN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE!!! He was still not doing great, but without his collar HOW could we try to get him to walk a bit?? We rigged up an old leash by wrapping it around and clipping it to itself. WELL, the next weekend, when son came home again… He revived some MORE! He might DECIDE to stay with us a bit longer… The collar mystery remained… I mentioned it to my married daughter and how it was driving me crazy. She comes by and hands me a frame. A shadow box frame… with pictures, THE COLLAR, etc… She had TAKEN it thinking it’s REALLY IT this time and wanted to give that to me when it happened… OMG!! I didn’t know whether to HUG her or wring her neck! LOL!

    So YAY, the collar got back, and Jake is STILL kicking… Some days can’t get his bum off the ground or up the steps… But while he still seems to have some quality in this life, I’m hanging on!!

    Our other dog is also Princess Jasmine… frequently shortened to Jazzi… because she can be SPAZZY… LOL!! Yes, our dogs ARE part of the FAMILY!!

    • Within 2 days after I wrote that she perked up mightily. We were all so lovey-dovey with her I think she decided she wasn’t going anywhere as long as she is being spoiled rotten. So all is pretty good…but we are still carrying her up and down the steps most of the time, etc. I don’t mind.. She IS part of the family. It’s funny because we call her Jazzi often also…sometimes DJ Jazzi Jazz which sounds ridiculous but we are corny so there it is! Thanks for stopping by!

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