…..She had drawn her first breath; she quietly drew her last, with no farewell but one loving look, one little sigh.
With tears and prayers and tender hands, Mother and sisters made her ready for the long sleep that pain would never mar again, seeing with grateful eyes the beautiful serenity that soon replaced the pathetic patience that had wrung their hearts so long, and feeling with reverent joy that to their darlings death was a benignant angel, not a phantom full of dread.
When morning came, for the first time in many months the fire was out, [her] place was empty, and the room was very still. But a bird sang blithely on a budding bough, close by, the snowdrops blossomed freshly at the window, and the spring sunshine streamed in like a benediction over the placid face ….. a face so full of painless peace that those who loved it best smiled through their tears, and thanked God that [she] was well at last……
– from Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The time finally came to let our beloved family pet, Lady, go. She had been with us for so long that it is hard to remember a time when she wasn’t here. She “grew up” with all of the girls – she was already part of our family when Rebecca was born.
Lady was always our quiet guardian – she placed herself between us and the rest of the world, and every night she followed us upstairs and laid on my side of the bed to protect us from intruders. Whenever a particularly bad thunderstorm blew through, she would “patrol” the house, making sure that all of the girls were safe before she took up her post.
She was a faithful companion for so many years. The last few days she hadn’t been eating or drinking, and she had lost a lot of weight. But she still soldiered on, going up and down the stairs to be with her “people”, and taking her place where she could keep all of us safe from harm.
We knew that it was time to let her go, but it was so hard. She didn’t appear to be in any pain, but it was obvious that she was tired. We wanted to let God take her in his own good time, but knew that there might come a point when we couldn’t in good conscience let things go on any further. We prayed that the end would come swiftly and peacefully, and we tried to make her last days as comfortable and full of love as possible.
Lady passed away quietly in her sleep this afternoon.
We will miss her so very, very much.
The race is run, the battle won.
Well done, good and faithful servant.
She’ll be waiting for you all at the Rainbow Bridge…..I know it hurts, our pets are truly family members.
It was a blessing that she passed so peacefully – she had been having problems walking this afternoon, so I was really afraid that we might have to make “that visit” to the vet. She laid down for a nap, and a little while later I noticed that she was gone. It was sad, but I am so glad that she is at peace now.
It’s going to be hard not seeing her on my side of the bed at night….
The little lady in the fur coat will be waiting for you when it is time for you to go home. She will love you like you never left – because you didn’t. She is waiting. But there is no hurry, she is playing and watching over you. As long as you remember, she lives in your heart and soul. And she will never forget who loved her.
I am in tears, so sorry for your loss, my friend. And now I have to go hold my baby for a while, letting her chew on my hair and paw me for a bit.
Sending you prayers of strength and comfort.
Thanks, darlin’ – we’re doing OK. We knew it was imminent; just wanted her to be able to die at home if it was possible. Thankfully, it was – we’re grateful that we were able to have her with us until the very end.
It reminded me of my favorite scene from one of my all-time favorite “Twilight Zone” episodes:
It came as a whisper…..
All who knew Lady loved her.
I remember so many times coming to see you and she would come out the door barking to protect all of you, and I would tell her to stop barking and she seemed to recognize me then. She would stop barking and come to be petted.
I also remember the night that you had thunder and she went over to Paul’s side of the bed and kept nosing him until he got up and let her go out of your room to the hallway. She then proceeded to check each of the girl’s bedrooms to make sure that they were all right. Then she spent the rest of the night outside their rooms to protect them.
Also I remember so many times when we were there or if I were on the phone with you and the postman came on the porch to deliver the mail. Lady would go to the front door and would bark until the postman left. According to you, her job was to run him off – and she was successful at her job whenever he left.
I have so many wonderful memories of Lady, and I know how much you will miss her .
Love to all of you,
She was a wonderful member of the family.
It was really weird not seeing her on my side of the bed last night. And again today, not seeing her in any of her “usual” spots.
We’re grateful that the end came so gently – just like Lady was, all those years.
(And now, I’m gonna need to find another Kleenex…..)
The other 2 dogs know that “something” isn’t quite right around the house – I’m sure they’ll get used to their new normal in a week or so.
I’m so sorry for your loss, but thankful that the end came peacefully. What a blessing to have had such a wonderful friend for so many years!
Thank you, my friend. (Sorry it took so long to respond – didn’t realize you had commented on this post)
Lady had been with us for 13 or 14 years, and as you said, she was a wonderful friend.