But sometimes, it goes as well as it can.
This shouldn’t have surprised me, Belle being who and what she’s always been–utterly focused on being perfect.
In the middle of March, I learned of Belle’s illness and wrote her a bucket list blog. What I didn’t anticipate was how well she’d respond to the new management.
At the time I wrote the blog, I thought we’d have a week with her–the changes had been coming so quickly even between the time of calling to make her vet appointment and taking her in, it seemed pretty inevitable.
But she did really well on the new mealtime protocol, and even better on the new supplement. She luxuriated in her new access to the Forbidden Tripping Zones (AKA, “Sleep under mommy’s feet”) and what had been a rising edge of anxiety turned gentle. She spent her mornings in the spring sun and her afternoons with me in the office. Evenings she shared with the Beagles here in the office.
Hospice suited her.
It worked for me, too–quiet final days with my best princess girl. Good days. The only thing that truly bothered me was that I wasn’t…well, all teary-eyed and stuff. Instead I kept smiling at her, and absorbing her presence, and enjoying her. Didn’t seem quite right.
In the end, we got two weeks. Each day presented subtle new changes, but nothing she found distressing. First she stopped losing weight, and then she gained back what she’d lost in the first place. For a couple of days, she seemed to be holding ground. But really, she wasn’t. And then there came a day when I knew it was close, and the next day I ambled out into the kitchen to feed her breakfast and she looked at me from her crate, and I burst into all the tears I’d been hiding.
So I knew, in the way that the heart does.
After that I had to pull apart the pieces of the decision and second guess myself, but it turned out that everything still fit together, and after a morning of kisses from family and a chance to sleep out in the sun with her boy Beagles one more time, Belle’s Auntie Vet came to visit us and Belle quickly and quietly slipped away.
Good girl, BelleBelle. Still perfect, after all that.