the printed thoughts of a woman on a journey towards awareness, truth, acceptance, clarity, and forgiveness...with some fun and fearlessness thrown in

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

stumbling towards the inevitable

It's been a hard week in many ways.  On Saturday, I drove home from a hair appointment through flooded roads, heavy rain, and booming thunder.  Minutes after I got home, a huge crack of lightning lit of the sky just outside my kitchen window.  I later figured out that many of our circuit breakers had been tripped, the air conditioning was off, and several appliances weren't working.  After visits by the cable company, the electric company, and the gas company (did I mention the strong smell of gas in the house?), it was determined that we most likely had a near lightning strike that had traveled into the house through either the phone lines or the plumbing.  Just about every piece of electronic equipment that was plugged in was fried.  The TV's, the cordless phones, an Xbox, phone chargers, the digital display on the refrigerator, the treadmill, every fluorescent light, and the circuit board that runs the air conditioner were all casualties.  I've suffered through the heat of August in south Louisiana, watched water pour out of a light fixture in the ceiling, and probably swallowed countless lovebugs in my sleep.  But, none of that compares to the pain I've felt since 6:00 this morning.

Brandi with her new red boots.
That's when I found Brandi lying crumpled in a heap on the kitchen floor.  Her neck was pulled hard to the left, and her legs were rigid.  She was clearly attempting to get to the backdoor to go to the bathroom, because she had also lost control of her bowels.  I picked her up, and the stiffness of her body was jarring.  I put her outside on the concrete, where she would normally take a minute to get her legs under her and walk off to the grass.  Instead, she collapsed onto the cement in the same posture in which I had found her.  I left her for a minute while I cleaned up the floor, and I went outside to find that she had urinated on herself, leaving a large puddle that was slowly spreading.  I washed her up and brought her back inside, laid her on her bed, and started crying.
Caught red-handed after digging a hole under the deck.
It's not like I haven't been thinking about this moment for a while now.  It's just that no amount of thinking about it can ever really prepare you for the reality of the situation.  Rational thought has no place in a decision of the heart, and at the very moment I felt my heart break.  Yes, I could point to all of the deficits that Brandi has experienced over the last year, I could recall all of the times she has struggled with bowel control, I could remember when she needed to sleep with diapers on, and I could list the measures that I had gone through to get her to eat.  But, none of those things could make me forget the years that I've known her to be a strong, muscular, vibrant dog.  She may not look the same on the outside, but on the inside, she is as strong-willed and stubborn as ever.

My sleeping beauty.
I won't go through the ups and downs of the emotional roller coaster ride that I've been on today.  Suffice to say, the universe has granted me a little more time with Brandi.  Though she is still weak and uncoordinated, she did manage to hold it all day and (with assistance to remain upright) went to the bathroom in the grass when I got home.  She has allowed me the rarest pleasure of holding her without a struggle.  She slept through a toenail trim and helped me finish my dinner.  She even walked on her own during her final trip outside for the night.  She's back on her bed and tucked in for the night.

I've come to terms with the decision, though--as much as you can ever come to terms with something like that.  I don't know exactly when it will happen, but I trust that it will happen when it's supposed to.  Apparently, I still have some lessons to learn from Brandi.

Brandi loves going to the park.

Update: Brandi made it clear to me the day after posting this entry that she could no longer fight against the ravages of time and the weakness of her body.  At around 4:00pm on Thursday, August 23, 2012, I was at her side when she left her physical vessel.  As a testament to the kind of dog she was and the effect that she had on people, the veterinarian was crying as she administered the injection and hugged me tightly afterward.  I will forever be grateful that Brandi came into my life and was with me for her final years.  I miss her strong personality and her sweet face.  I miss her gentle, sideways kisses and her less-than-subtle begging.  I miss Brandi and everything about her, and I will never forget her.

No comments:

Post a Comment