Monday, January 4, 2010

Farewell to a Ball of Unconditional Love

This week was at once liberating and extremely challenging at the same time. We put down our love, Roxie, on Saturday 1/2/10. During her life, from start to the very finish, she was the epitome of Unconditional Love.

My husband and I adopted Roxie from the Los Angeles County Animal Shelter December 2006. She was a calm, smallish dog who was unassuming and seemed to have given up on life. Upon reading the paperwork taped to the outside of her cold, cramped, concrete cell, we saw she was approximately 9 months old and had been returned 3 times by her adopting families. Only the last one left a hint as to why: "I can't afford to take care of this dog!" We questioned the caretaker who said she was on antibiotics for kennel cough, but otherwise is fine. We paid our $38 for her spaying, licensing and first round of immunizations.

The county gives you a voucher to get the first veterinary visit paid for. When the vet came back into the room after taking xrays due to an irregular heartbeat, I felt my own heart drop. Roxie had an enlarged heart, likely due to an unknown illness as a puppy, which required expensive treatment which would never cure her, only prolong her life some. His recommendation was immediate euthanizing.

Huh? Not this sweet, unassuming little ball of licks and love. She looked so longingly into my eyes that I abrasively thanked him for his expert opinion and told him we will give her a home, love and a great life for as long as she wanted to stay in her body. He cocked his head like a hound listening for a high-pitched whistle, shrugged his shoulders and wished me luck.

At this point, I chose to look at time as precious and to never tell my family of the "death sentence." I just said she had a few health challenges that require the best of care and we will love on her and enjoy her (as we should one another) for as long as God saw fit to keep us together. We had great adventures together as a family. We camped, hiked, went to the beach, took long walks at sunset and watched chick flicks together into the wee hours of the night. She was my friend, my girl, my spiritual partner and co-parent in so many ways. She touched the life of every person she ever met. And when she was done, she went to Heaven without a minute of regret...self-assured that she did the job she was sent here to do, now free to return to Heaven.

I've learned alot of great lessons from that Roxie Girl. I learned to savor every moment, to love without hesitation, to forgive without exception and to give and receive as much love as I possibly can. Rest in peace precious angel.

1 comment:

  1. My heart goes out to you MiChelle. We had to put down Bear, our lovable Lab, this time 2 years ago--only 2 months after losing Darrin, the orange kitty in our cat our trio. (Darrin and I were extremely close.) We still feel their presence in our family and talk about them all the time. I so resonate to your last paragraph. "Fur people" teach us everything about love and entertain us, too! Healing to you and yours.