When you have a dog you are inviting a tiny tragedy into your life.
What I am feeling right now is not what I would define as tiny, but it is definitely a tragedy.
Today we had to say goodbye to our Crosby.
I have experienced grief before.
Grief with the loss of family.
Grief with the loss of friends.
I have even grieved the loss of pets before.
But grief over losing our first dog as adults is un-explainable.
I feel immense guilt pulling me in both directions. One that we didn’t see his suffering sooner, but then feeling remorse that we couldn’t do something to help him live longer or that we made the call to soon.
I mean how do I reconcile that we made an appointment for our dog’s death? This is a different kind of pain when you are the one making the decision. And then having to sit there watching him take his last breaths.
When we found out in January that he had cancer, I think I was in complete denial about the diagnosis and the caution from the vet that he only has 8-12 weeks left. Tom and I both made references how great we would make his last summer. Well here we are exactly 2 months later, now without him.
We got Crosby at a time when our marriage was still fresh, and it was the first time we were living together after Tom’s deployment. 2013 seems like a life time ago. So he has been with us as we have taken many steps as a family with different moves, careers, and expanding our family.
He really was the best dog who has been a constant for us in the great times and worst times.
I am fairly certain he knew before I did when I was pregnant with each kid. He was so cuddly and over protective during all of my pregnancies. I will probably remember this the most behind how patient he was once the kids were out and wreaking havoc in his life.
Crosby loved to chase all the things: cats, squirrels, turtles, chickens, tractors, neighborhood runners, leaves….you name it Crosby was not having it near our yard. He would just run with complete abandon.
He would even bark at things just because Grace was barking without even seeing what they were trying to ward off.
He loved to dig holes EVERY.WHERE. Then he would lay in his creation like he just made himself a king-sized bed.
He loved running into pools of water.
I will remember the first year we had him, he used to basically drag me around on our walks around Ft. Campbell.
I will remember that he did poop tornadoes.
I remember how he use to sprawl out wherever he slept. He hardly ever would cuddle with us, but he would cuddle with Grace.
I will remember that when both George and Daphne transitioned to big kid beds, we would often find Crosby at the end of the bed watching over them in those first few months out of the crib.
I am utterly heartbroken that we will not get to watch the kids grow up more with him. I am grief stricken that Walter and most likely Daphne will not have any memories of him.
This is hard y’all. He truly was the perfect dog for our family. We couldn’t have lucked out anymore with getting this chunk of love. He was such a happy chill dog who loved and protected us fiercely at the same time.
You always know that this day will come, but having to make the call this week to actually send him over the rainbow bridge is one of the hardest things I have had to do.
But watching him struggle to do basic functions, I know that he was just holding on until we were ready. Honestly, as weird as it sounds, when I watched him try for 10 minutes to do one of his poop tornadoes, it hit me so hard that this was the right call.
Although I would argue that you never are truly ready, it was time none the less.
Tom and I are a mess as this is a first for us both. It is a level of sadness and emptiness I cannot describe. Walking back into our home without him is truly awful.
The kids are truly the sweetest little beings. They threw him a party last night. They decorated the house and made him presents and a bone cake to send him off to heaven in style. George also wants a “cardboard” statue of him to keep forever. Daphne did cry when we left with him this morning, which was utterly devastating.
Grace keeps wondering around like she is searching for him. And she has been barking double in his absence today. Only time will tell if her separation anxiety will return.
I know that this week will haunt me for a long time, if not for the rest of my life. Watching him decline so quickly made me feel helpless. And then to lay next to him as he took his last breaths was very harrowing.
However, this is how I want to remember him. So I just need to play this on repeat, and I pray that we were able to recreate heaven on Earth for him.
Crobby Dobby, Crobbers, Crozie…
Crosby, there was so much love for you, but you gave us so much more.
See you on the other side buddy.