I wrote the first part of this on the night that I lost Gracie. I just had to write it down because my heart hurt.
I have a major headache. My heart is hurting. There’s an empty spot at my feet. I still smell her and feel her.
A few hours ago I had to say good bye to Gracie. She was 11 years old. Gracie was our English Mastiff.
She has forever changed my life. I have been saying that “I identify as a Mastiff owner” Seriously, I cannot imagine life without her. She was the family dog. She was last dog in the house that was a part of raising our kids ect. All of the memories of the last 11.5 years.
I didn’t really grow up with dogs. My parents weren’t nice to dogs…and they never lasted long if we did manage to bring one home. My love of dogs has happened since I was an adult. Well I should say I have always loved animals. I didn’t get to develop relationships with dogs until I was an adult.
Gracie was my first English Mastiff and now I am forever an EM lover. I love everything about their personalities, how fiercely she protected me. I know not all of them had the high anxiety that she did. But I was ok with it. She would have laid down her life for me in any situation. She has proven that several times in our time together. I felt safe with her. I felt like my home was safe. I feel unsettled without her here…even for this short amount of time.
A funny fact about Grace is that she typically would accept most people that came into our home if we accepted them & introduced her to them. However, one person that she never loved was my ex-husband. LOL! He has stayed the night in our home …sometimes more than one night at a time for various family functions. She would never warm up to him. She would give him warning barks and growls ect. She would watch him closely. She wouldn’t let him look at me cross eyed. He tried over the whole 11 years to get her to like him. It never worked. I told him that she is a good judge of character and that she knows he was hurtful to me. LOL! He didn’t ever take that well. But it made me chuckle.
I don’t understand people that say they are just dogs. People that say that have no idea what it is to receive unconditional love from a dog. I had a very difficult time transitioning as each child left and my dogs became my life. I literally spend my day talking to them, cooking and serving them meals…..I spend my time with them. They have been therapy for me. I know Gracie held on as long as she did for me. I would tell her every day that I loved her and that she was the best.
I am not really sure how to process this? I wont get over this for a long time. My heart hurts.
The leader of our pack is gone. She took a piece of my heart with her.
So this happened the night before we left for Sew Expo. The truth is that Grace had been struggling for about 2 weeks and I think, I just couldn’t face the reality of what was happening. She had started to have accidents. We couldn’t take her on walks anymore. The tumors had invaded her lungs and she couldn’t catch her breath. I had tried giving her several different meds believing if I found the right combination it would work to make her better. That last day she couldn’t get her hind legs to work at all. She was fighting to get up and she couldn’t. She really wanted to…but her back hind was literally paralyzed. If she tried she would lose her breath and struggle to breathe. So I quit making her try. I took everything to her. But It was progressively getting worse through out the day that she was struggling to breathe. So we took her in and they told me there was nothing they could do.
It was almost better that I left town. I was distracted and I couldn’t see the emptiness of everything. But the waves of grief still hit me almost daily if she is mentioned.
When we got home I immediately recognized that Kali was sick. I didn’t really see anything too terrible the first day. She had vomitted. But there was chunks of her food in it. I thought “Ok, well maybe she is just having a bad day” it happens. But then she threw up again the next day and she was pretty lethargic. She wasn’t acting normal. But I thought maybe she was in pain because of her legs. Well then Wednesday night she realy was not acting at all like herself. She kept going outside and none of us were there with her. If it’s night time and she doesn’t have to go potty she is with us. So I kept going out and checking on her. giving her water and making sure she was drinking. I figured that she had a fever because she wasn’t feeling well and wanted to be in the cold. So I kept checking on her. Trying to get her to come in. But she kept wandering back outside. I went to bed and Rob got up in the middle of the night and she was still out there. I got up at about 6 am and she was still out there sleeping in the far corner of the yard like she was going off to die alone. So I waited for the vet to open and drove down there first thing. I knew we were in big trouble.
My Sweet Kali was in the hospital for 5 days. She was at death’s door. I would have lost another dog within 7 days. I was just beside myself. She is diabetic. She was in terrible shape. So she lost her BFF, I went out of town for a few days..she got sick and had to be away from us again. She was refusing to eat. They couldn’t get her to eat even with a stimulant. I think she had just given up on everything. We went to visit her. Reassure her. Well Sunday night we finally got to bring her home. I have had no problems getting her to eat. She is eating fine. However, learning how to give her shots with all the fur has been an issue. She is also refusing to take her pills. Peanut butter isn’t working. She eats around them and spits them out. I am investing in a pill crusher. I will do everything I can do to get her better. I feel thankful that she is alive and that I didn’t lose another dog. So hots twice a day for the rest of her life. I am already trying to figure out schedules and getting back ups ready in case we aren’t home ect.
Dog mom life.
I can’t express how much I love my dogs. They have given me something that nobody in life has ever given me. They entertain us, give us purpose, love, companionship and a lot of other daily things that make our life so much more full and rich.
So although I have a piece missing that went with Gracie….i do feel ever so thankful that I get a bit more time with Kali.