And now, the story. (CW animal death)
Some of you who follow me on tumblr might know this already, but I lost my loved and cherished canine family member Roxy very recently. It was not completely unexpected but it was sudden, and I'm lucky I even got to say my goodbyes to her and tell her I loved her. She was young - only three years - and appeared healthy, for the most part. My decision to get her a surgery she seemingly didn't need (but one that might've saved her later in life) was what took her from me, and I spend most my energy trying not to torture myself with the guilt.
Watching a shy, anxious rescue puppy open up to me and grow to a kind, loving girl was an experience I'll never forget, and I'm currently just feeling so lost without her. My only comforts are my dog Tesla, my family who mourns with me, and the memories from the best three years of my life that I got to share with Roxy. Roxy was with me for most of my adult life, she helped me just as much as I helped her. When I felt so lonely it would almost crush me, Tesla and Roxy were there to keep me company, keep me in check, keep me functional and moving even though my depression would tell me to just give up and stop. Even through raising her wasn't always easy, Roxy was such an effortlessly loving and good dog who took comfort in me just as much as I took comfort in her. Losing her feels like losing a piece of myself. She wasn't just a dog for me, just like Tesla isn't - they have been my only immediate family in this foreign country for three years.
I know I will get through this, I know that with every day it gets just a little bit easier to breathe and look at pictures of her and remember the good times and the love that we shared, and not the pain of losing her. I have good moments and I have bad moments. I go through the motions in a haze, but I do go through them. Sometimes I want to talk about her and sometimes even the thought is too much. But what I do know is that I don't ever want to forget her and all that we shared, because she was here through my most crucial, shaping years, and I gave her a loving home and devoted so much of my life to making sure she had everything she needed.
She fell asleep in my lap for the last time. We were sitting on the floor of the clinic, she was curled up next to me and I kept petting her silky soft ears. She was a little scared, I could tell, and tried to resist the sedation. I had to cushion her chin with my palm so that she would let her head fall down, and she looked up at me with tired but trusting eyes. I told her she could go to sleep, that I'd be here when she woke up and that I'd take care of her. On a whim, I also told her that no matter what happened, I would always, always love her more than anything else in this world. I told her she was a Good Dog. I thanked her for everything she had done.
She did eventually fall asleep. If I had known that the next time I would see her she'd be wrapped up in white sheets and when I'd kiss her next the tip of her nose would be cold, I wouldn't have let her go to sleep.
I got the call and crumbled in the middle of town, tore my knees when I hit the ground. We went to say our goodbyes, it was the longest car ride I've ever experienced. The surgeon unwrapped her body, my hands were shaking too much. Tesla tried to climb onto her and lick her face, get her to wake up. When I hugged her, she was still warm, but her thin chest didn't rise and fall like it always did. My parents were crying, I was beyond crying. When I shook hands with the surgeon, I could see his eyes were glassy and red. He tried his best, but it was too difficult, he said. I don't blame him. I tried blaming myself, and I still do when I get too deep into my head. I know I did right by her - if I had done nothing, she could've had a painful and sudden death. But she could've also had many happy years with us.
It was unfair, what happened to her. But on the moments it doesn't feel like a crushing loss, I like to think that Roxy came to me when we both needed each other the most, and she left when we were both happy and content, because her job and mine were both done.
Losing her has left me empty and raw, but in time, after the wound scars over and I'm left with the happy memories instead of the raw loss, I know there will be other dogs - never to fill the place Roxy has left, because she will never truly leave
me - but who will thrive under the care of the person Roxy has made me into. Because that person is more whole, more loving, and better
than the person who first adopted Roxy ever was.
Thank you for reading this. I just wanted people, strangers and friends, to know that in my life there was a dog - a beautiful, kind and gentle dog - who made my life full and rich. And now she is gone. This was her favourite song
- every time I would put it on, she'd know it was time to play. She'd come to me making the funniest sounds, not quite barking, and wait for me to dance with her.