Today we said goodbye to the house dog, the Boyo's dog really, our Zelda. I took her in to the vet on Tuesday, thinking I would be coming home with antibiotics for a supposed secondary infection, caused by kennel cough. The only apparent symptom was a persistent and worsening cough. The vet was immediately concerned about an accumulation of fluid in her belly, and recommended a series of xrays and other tests offered in the "senior package." Things went from bad to worse after that. The xrays showed fluid in her chest cavity as well and a large mass in one of the lungs. Damn. Cancer.
Two days of steadily deteriorating condition and two nearly sleepless nights listening to her cough, as her breathing got shallower and shallower, ended in humane euthanasia in our living room this afternoon. Fast, efficient, quiet and at home in Zelda's environment, on her terms and surrounded by love. I wasn't at all ready for this, nor was anyone else in my family, but we did the best we could, for Zelda's sake.
I'm going to miss her at the foot of our bed (on Mr. Celia's side - she was his girl). I'm going to miss the way she caught tossed carrot pieces and devoured them with gusto. I'm going to miss the baby harp seal look. I'm going to miss her digging up the carrots in my garden. I'm going to miss her glossy white fur. I'm going to miss finding white hairs all over the seat of my black wool trousers. I'm going to miss the sound of her toes hitting the floor in the morning. I'm going to miss her solid, stolid presence.
I'm really going to miss pulling up in the driveway and seeing this.
As I write, we're in the middle of a satisfyingly wet thunderstorm - a rarity in these parts.
Zelda, kickin' it in heaven.