Monday, April 19, 2010

EBONY: THE DAY I CRIED

EBONY: THE DAY I CRIED

On the last day of my life I watched my mommy get out of bed. She came over to my little bed, smiled and said, “Good morning, Ebbie. How’s my baby?”

I said in my own way, “Not good, but I won’t let you know it. I’m tired and I hurt, but I don’t want you to worry.”

As we went out for our morning walk I stopped and peed a tiny bit on the welcome mat outside our door. Mommy looked at me, but didn’t say anything. She knew my kidneys were very weak now and nothing I did these days seemed to bother her. Rather, I know it bothered her, but she hid it well.

Outside I tried to walk normally, but my hip hurt. I hurt all over. I tried to have a bowel movement, but nothing came out. I strained and strained.

Mommy said, “Maybe later today you’ll have one.”

I hung my head. She tried to be so optimistic, but I knew my end was near. Back at home she called my doctor and told him I must be constipated because I had not had a movement for three days. I lay in my bed and watched and listened. She was looking at me, and suddenly her eyes filled with tears. Then the tears poured down her face and she turned away from me. I could hear plain as day the vet’s voice:
“It’s time to let Ebony go. You’ve done all you can do, and more than most. Let her have peace.”

Mommy spoke a few more words and hung up. We gazed at each other and we both thought of our twelve years together. She sat on the bed crying. I always went to her when she cried, but today I was not able to.

After a few minutes Mommy called Mary, a friend who lived nearby, and asked her to take us to the vet. She wrapped me in my baby blanket given to me by Granny Bertha when she presented me to Mommy on her birthday twelve years ago. Mommy carried me out of our little apartment for the last time. She held me tightly and talked to me as Mary drove. She told me how much she loved me. She thanked me for being her daughter. I wanted to thank her for being a wonderful mommy. I hoped she felt my tiny heart thanking her. She also said I would be happy and healthy and I was going to heaven to play with Granny Bertha, who would be so happy to see me.

She said, “Ebony, thank you for being a beautiful, loving and protective little daughter. I will never forget you.”

I could feel Mary’s nervousness as she drove through the busy streets to my vet. When we arrived and Mommy opened the car door to get out, Mary must have said something because Mommy replied, “She can’t hear you.”

Mary then touched me gently and I turned to look at her.

She said, “Goodbye, Ebony.”

I tried to give her a smile.

Outside the car Mommy put me on the grass as she always did so that I could pee. I squatted and I could not get up. Mommy waited and then she seemed to realize that I could not straighten up. She wrapped me in my blanket and we went inside. A woman was standing at the desk apparently waiting for the technicians to bring out her dog. She began smiling when she saw me, but then she saw the tears streaming down Mommy’s face and her smile disappeared. Lynette and Valerie were at the desk. They were somber today, not jovial as they usually were. Nobody said anything.

Lynette looked down at the desk. Valerie came toward us and opened a door into an examining room and Mommy carried me inside. Mommy laid me on the table and Valerie asked some questions. Mommy just nodded; she couldn’t stop crying. I knew this visit was different. I knew this was the end. Mommy signed some papers and came back to me. She leaned down, kissed me and told me she loved me.

Valerie gently gathered me in her arms and said Dr. Hurd was waiting for me. She hugged Mommy. Mommy turned to leave. I don’t think she could see because of the tears. She found the door knob and left the room. Valerie stood for a moment and I heard the woman who had smiled at me ask Mommy if she could give her a hug. I didn’t hear Mommy’s reply, but I’m sure that she nodded. In my mind’s eye I saw the woman envelop Mommy in a huge hug. I then heard Mary come into the office asking Mommy if she was OK.

Mommy didn’t speak, probably because she couldn’t speak. Her mind and her heart were still with me, the little daughter she would no longer be taking home.

Valerie took me to Dr. Hurd, who was waiting for me. I heard his soothing voice say, “Ebony, you won’t hurt anymore.” He gave me an injection.

I closed my eyes and my last thoughts were of my loving Mommy and what she would do without me. We loved each other so much. I didn’t want to leave her, but I couldn’t help it.

And for the first time in my doggie life, I cried.

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