On Thursday, April 6, 2023 we made the extremely difficult decision of saying goodbye to you. To those outside of our household, you appeared almost your usual self. I spent night after night awake with you, rubbing your back and trying to sooth you back to good health while you were coughing and breathing so rapidly. Hearing you cough, gag, and throw up every night for the last week of your life still haunts me. In the daytime, for whatever reason, you seemed almost completely normal. I can’t explain how that is, but I’m sure there’s a vet out there that could.
During the last week of your life, we could easily see that things were not going to get any better. We spoke to our vet, and set a date. I consulted with other vets and sent away your scans and details, and everyone had agreed… give you the best week of your life, and let you go.
I knew I wasn’t going to get through this letter without crying.
You left a mark on everyone who met you. You were an incredibly gentle soul. In the 8.5 years that you were mine, I only heard you bark a few times.. and that was while you were waiting for me to come downstairs and give you breakfast lol.
During your last week we visited friends that we made over the years, both dog and human. We went to all your favourite places. I know you loved the snow SO MUCH. And I KNOW you enjoyed all the special meals we made… hamburgers, pork chops, steak, chicken, and in your very last five minutes… a big chocolate bar.
I miss your hugs so much. I miss your big wet nose sniffing my cheeks. I miss you nudging me and waiting for me to share whatever I’d been eating. I miss your snore, which oddly enough, became a source of comfort over time.
I miss how you would come to me and put your paw on my leg when I had been crying, or pant hard and come sit on my feet if tensions in a room had gotten higher. You were very gifted with understanding emotions, and even more so when you couldn’t see anymore.
There are members of my family who had suggested early on when you lost your vision, and had to have your eyes removed, that then would have been the best time to let you go. I admit, I had weighed that option at the time (but very briefly). I am so thankful I went with my heart and kept you with me. Can you believe you lived another 6.5 years after that? That’s more than 45 years for you. We moved so many times, and each time, you relearned everything, and took it all with no fuss. It was definitely harder on me.
I will never forget the day I picked you up from that big scary surgery. I opened the door to the dark room where you had been resting off the anaesthesia, and I said “Hi Boo” and you wagged your tail and looked in my direction groggily. Still my girl. Forever my girl.
I will miss you always Gracie. There’s not a day that has gone by, or will go by, where I won’t miss your presence. Thank you for giving me the best years of your life, and mine.
P.S. Dad asked me to marry him yesterday, and I said yes. I know you would give the paw of approval.
Click the images below to make them larger. Here are Grace’s last days.