Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Sad Day

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.

38 comments:

Dr. Momi said...

So, so, hard. So, wish they had longer life spans. She sounds like what I call a "once in a life time kinda dog". Saying a prayer for your ache today.

Jennifer Jo said...

I'm so sorry. How very sad.

judy said...

I'M SO SORRY MOMMA PEA-OF YOUR LOST OF A GOOD FRIEND

Fiona said...

What a lovely tribute to a dear and well-loved friend. She had a long and beautiful life with you and Papa Pea. Sending you a big virtual hug, healing thoughts and hopes for peace. xo

2 Tramps said...

Thinking of you today... It was a wonderful gift that Zoey went the way she did - better for her and for you. Your heart will lift in time - you had wonderful adventures together and they will all come flooding back to you and you will smile again.

fullfreezer said...

Hugs to you on the loss of your friend. But what a wonderful, blissful life she had with you.
Judy

Melissa said...

I know from reading your past blogs how very much you both enjoyed Zoey and her antics. She's had the best owners a dog could ask for. Our thoughts are with you and Papa Pea...((hugs!))

Jordan said...

I'm SO sorry for your loss, but happy that she went suddenly and without pain. She had a wonderful life with you - a very lucky dog indeed!

MaineCelt said...

Blessings to you in the midst of your grief for your dear, funny four-legged love. May Zoey's flowers blossom with color as pure and intense as her own zest for life.

Chicken Mama said...

Thanks for writing this, Mom. I wasn't sure how long it would take you to share the news. All things in their time.

"Yo-Yo" (as The Peanut called her) sure was a good, retarded-looking, dumb dog. :) I know you will take every one of those adjectives with the love they were intended.

It sure will be strange not greeting her each day I come to the house. I'm *so* glad that this happened like it did, though. I am *so* glad that Nature took its course, and you didn't need to make a difficult decision.

Ugh, I'm just now getting tears . . . thinking of . . . (oh, this is hard) . . . Dad. I'm SO sorry for him. I love you.

Jane said...

Oh Mama Pea, I am so so sorry. My deepest sympathy. May we all be able to enjoy a good meal and fade into the night surrounded by the ones who love us the most.

LindaCO said...

I am sorry for your loss. A good pet adds so much to our lives. She was obviously well-loved and well-cared for.

Ken and Mary of Fancy Fibers Farm said...

Oh my. We're so very sad over your loss. We send to you and all those who loved Zoey our deepest heartfelt condolences.

Sue said...

Oh honey, I'm soo soooo sorry.
I find it very nice that you are devoting a spot for Zoey in the garden. What a marvelous idea to plant it up with flowers.
You've lost a wonderful friend---it's going to hurt for awhile, but you'll muddle through.
Hugs
Sue

kayceebeebee said...

Tears. I just feel so sad for you and Chicken Mama's note made me cry for you more. I'm sorry. Dogs are such wonderful creatures and we love them so.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Many sympathies. Sending you and Papa Pea many positive thoughts and hugs. Zoey could not have asked for better human companions and you will always remember her when you see her flowers.

Sparkless said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. She sounds like a wonderful dog and I'm sure you'll feel her loss for a very long time.
After reading about her I shed a few tears for her too.
I'm glad to hear that she died at home, safe and well loved.

Mama Pea said...

Omigosh, thank you ALL for your wonderfully warm, thoughtful and kind words. I am touched so deeply.

Our pets aren't human but they do become a very real part of our family and daily routines. When they're no longer with us, our lives change to one degree or another. Change always takes time to get used to. (I [thought I] heard her soft, muffled bark that said, "Let me in, please," twice today and had to catch myself before going to the door.)

But you're right, it won't be long before we'll be able to laugh and talk about the times Zoey ran off into the woods and rolled in something despicably rotten and came back so very proud of herself. Or the day she decided she could dig through our bedroom floor. Lots and lots of memories and somehow even the bad ones don't seem so bad now.

Yeah, we gave her a good home and happy life. She gave a lot back to us and it'll just take a little while for us to get used to this time without her around.

Thanks to all of you again.

Nancy said...

So sorry you lost ah good friend in Zoey

Erin said...

I don't even know what to say, I've been there and it never gets easier. Our pets are true friends, loyal and always there, never judging us - saying good bye is never easy. What a lovely family and home she had to live our her life with, I'm so glad that I got to meet sweet Zoey. All the things she ever did to annoy you, her little quirks, dog hair, etc, will begin to bring a smile to your face in time when you think about them. Hugs to you, Papa Pea and Chicken Mama tonight, it sounds like she went the best way possible, at home in comfortable surroundings with those she loved most.

Lorie said...

Sad news. So sorry for your loss. We will soon have to put our little one down, as she progressively gets worse.

Tiny Gardener said...

My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your loss, and it is so tough to lose our 4-legged kids, but settling to know that she went without pain and lived such a wonderful life.

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

My thoughts are with you and your hubby. She will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge!

Stephanie said...

My heart and prayers go out to both of you Mama Pea.

Spiderjohn said...

The dogs who've shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know
their spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think
we hear a barking at the door.
Or we step back when we drop a morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place
the food dish used to be,
and, sometime, coming home at night
we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill, that one place in our hearts
belongs to them...
and always will.
---Linda Barnes--

Hugs to you and Papa Pea

Lisa said...

Our sympathies go out to both you and your husband. It is so hard watching a beloved pet decline in health and sometimes I wonder which is harder..... watching the decline, or dealing with the death.

What an honorable post to your beloved Zoey and what beautiful flowers you will enjoy.
Lisa

MamaTea said...

I'm so sorry, Mama Pea. What a special amazing dog Zoey was and we are all so lucky to have met her through your posts about her. What a blessing she did not suffer. You are in my thoughts today.

odiie said...

Mama,
I'm so sorry. Our animal friends can mean so much to us, their leaving can be so painful. Praying for comfort for you and your honey.
Rhonda

BrokenRoadFarm said...

I am very sorry for your loss...she will remain in your hearts forever.

mtnchild said...

Oh, I am sooo sorry for your loss of Zoey. I'm trying to see what I'm typing through my tears, so please forgive any misspellings ...

She will be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge and (sniff,sniff) be her usually happy self.

Many, many hugs to you, PapaPea and Chicken Mama,
Yvette

thimblevee said...

My thoughts are with you and Papa Pea today as you mourn. It is amazing how much a part of us our beloved pets become. I know your Zoey will be sorely missed, but you have plenty of sweet memories that will soon bring smiles instead of tears as time heals the void. What a precious tribute that she will always be crowned with flowers overhead.

Mama Pea said...

Great big bunches of thanks to all of you again for taking the time to give us your sympathy and good wishes. Losing a pet is something so many of us do (sometimes over and over) and I know things will soon feel a lot better. The three dogs we've had have lived to be 12, 13-1/2 and 14. I remarked to Papa Pea yesterday that I was sure glad we didn't have to go through this any oftener than every 12-14 years!

Thanks again, Everyone. Each one of you is SUPER!

Patty said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Zoe. That's so hard...You're all in my thoughts and prayers.

Leigh said...

Oh gosh. This is such sad news. I am so, so sorry.

Mama Pea said...

Patty and Leigh - Thank you both for your kind words. Most of us have had to struggle through the experience of losing a pet that has been a true part of the family. Not an easy thing to do, but we have to remember all the joy and love they added to our lives. A bit of frustration, too, now and then but we always forgive them for that, don't we?

Claire said...

I just saw this post today and I am so sorry. I still think of Zoey as a puppy. Although having a good night at home and then just giving it up sounds like the best way it can happen. I know you will miss her.

Karen L. said...

Looks like I am a bit late sending my condolences but here they are going to you anyway. Sorry for you loss but glad it happened quickly. You are right, they are not our children but they sure leave a huge vacancy when they leave us. Our last two dogs left us within four months of each other. That. Was. Hard. Boy was it quiet in the house. I still did the "walk at night" for several weeks and cried both going and coming. I believe I got dehydrated from all the crying but it was good to get it out of the system. But now I think of them fondly. As you already know, you will too. We now have a new pup and although I hate the thoughts of maybe one day having to go through all of this again, she is a joy to watch. Hope you get some sun and warmth soon to cheer you up.

Mama Pea said...

Claire and Karen L. - Thanks for your kind words. We got home after 10 last night and when we stepped in the door, I stopped myself just in time to keep from calling out my silly greeting to Zoey that I always did when we returned home. I can't tell you how many times in the last few days I've "heard" her nails clicking on the floor, the tags on her collar jingling, her "woof" to come in from outside. Yesterday I glanced out and saw Chicken Mama's Maisy standing in the shade which made her red coat look brown and I really, truly thought it was Zoey for a second. Just takes time to get used to not having her around. Thanks again for your words.