We buried Zoey in a deep, deep hole in the garden this morning. We laid her on a worn, much used, washed-out quilt I had made as a cover for one of her dog beds.
Up until six months ago, she acted like a two year old pup. We wondered if she'd ever start behaving as a "mature" dog should. She was a happy dog and not much bothered her. We always marveled that she must have had a high pain tolerance because more than once while tearing through the woods on a hike with us (which was her very favorite thing to do) she incurred one minor injury or another without it slowing her down. Even when she was attacked by another dog and went through two surgeries, she handled her month's recovery with dignity.
Last fall we noticed the beginnings of a slight decline. She wasn't doing her "demented dog trick" nearly as often. (She would run at top speed around the yard, stopping to turn in tight circles while bouncing into the air at the same time, then zoom off before stopping to do it again. Ah, the sheer joy of being a happy, healthy dog.)
As one little affliction started to show up after another, we wondered how long it would be before she might be in pain. She never showed sign of that happening.
Even with her failing eyesight and almost total deafness, Papa Pea could still wake her from a sound sleep and she would gladly go out with him to do chores or take their morning and evening walk.
Last night she ate her usual good dinner. Chicken Mama was here doing some computer work for me and Zoey leaned against her leg for a long time getting some one-handed petting and lovin' from her "big sister."
As we were falling asleep last night, we both heard a muted clump-thunk. Papa Pea thought it was some wood shifting in the wood stove. Knowing Zoey wasn't on her bed in our bedroom, I thought the sound was her shifting positions on her bed in another part of the house.
We think that was when she collapsed. Papa Pea found her this morning on a throw rug between two rooms. She was lying on her side looking as if she was asleep. She didn't look as if she had suffered. She just went down.
Hard as it feels today, and no doubt will be for a while until we stop automatically thinking about her as the integral part of our household she was, we're so thankful she didn't have to spend her last days in pain and/or not being able to move about.
She's buried in a raised garden bed that will now always be "Zoey's Bed." I won't use it for veggies anymore, but just keep it covered with flowers.
Cures for what ailed me
12 hours ago