Biting the Heart

Sometimes, life will make us go there.

In my gut I knew she was dying.  Even before I searched the internet for how to tell when a dog is going to die, I knew.

I can’t say that I wasn’t sad.  I was.  Extremely so.  But it’s such an area of saturated blankness, that I found myself to be more of a clinical observer.

Loss of appetite.




Difficulty walking.


While she did not seem to be suffering, still, I confess I just wanted her to get it over with already.  Only she kept lingering.  On day two, it was decided that she really should go to the vet.  As she was carried away, I kissed her on the nose, tears sliding down my own, and I tried in those last moments, to tell her all I’d ever wanted her to know about what she had meant to me.

And then, afterwards, after she was gone, as it came out that the option had been given to take measures to save her life, ragged guilt began to seep into every crack in my belief that we had done the right thing.


Last Monday, my dear friend Nina and her daughter Britainey were visiting.  And some how the subject of Willow came up, and I found myself confessing that for months now I’ve been plagued with the anguish that I betrayed a creature who trusted me implicitly.

And Nina simply told me to stop.

The end result would have been the same.


Yes, sometimes life will make us go there.  And it will hurt. But there’s something to feeling the depths of emotion so intensely. Hopefully it will make us braver and stronger in the face of what lies ahead.


One thought on “Biting the Heart

  1. Oh, Val. I have cried my heart out for every dog I’ve ever said goodbye to, clung to furry faces who would have gone on living if I’d asked them to, out of sheer devotion, no matter the struggle, until they gave out. You did what was best for her because you loved her, and she was met with a million wagging tails on the next road in her journey.

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