Monday, September 12, 2016

Transition


"It's better," said an animal lover to me, "To be a week early than a day late."

I knew what she meant, but dear gawd, how terribly tough it is to take a life, a breathing, beautiful life, having made The Decision.

And the day of it? It was good. It was peaceful, she didn't suffer, I held her to the other side. And after too. And by gum, didn't she eat two cookies before the sedative, the pre-fatal shot that's given, and I laughed through my tears, because, you know, our family is known as "good grubbers" and darling Ansa was one of us right to the end. Faced with the vet's (gawd she always hated the vet) and the peculiar, weepy behaviour of her human companions, she eats cookies of a kind she would normally turn her nose up at.

What's overwhelming me completely is the incredible love and support I've been given through Facebook and messages and telephone calls and hugs and emails and even casseroles dropped off.

Ansa was adored by many. She had a magical way with her, a sense of humour, a dog who loved to be cuddled even though she was a large dog, a border collie mix. In a gathering she would place her bum firmly on my foot and then engage with the crowd, grinning at each individual in turn. When I left the car to run an errand she would immediately transfer herself to the driver's seat and sit there looking straight ahead until I returned. On the job, I called it. I don't know how many times I returned to the car to find strangers photographing her for she would never turn her head and appeared, to all intents and purposes, as if she were the driver.

When we drove long distances, and we shared many long haul trips, she would jump into the passenger seat for a time and hold out her left paw and we would hold hands for an hour or two along a lonely, endless stretch of highway.

For fun, she would herd me up to the Tigeen, nudging me in the behind, dancing around me, I swore I could hear her laugh on these occasions, her joy was so palpable as I played along, dodging off the path only to be herded back on to it again.

I can't begin to tell you about this dreadful sense of loss that overwhelms me when I am alone in this quiet house. I've been kept occupied by friends and family but tonight I'm home alone and I'm lost without the sound of her feet, the breath of her, the head beside my thigh, the time for a cookie or a rub, or conversation. I stop when I realize I'm talking to myself now. I remember. And I cry.

There's not a trace of her here, not a blanket nor leash, not a dish, not her beds or her cookies or special water fountain.

Now it's the complete absence of her glorious spirit that does my head in.

I didn't expect that.

I thought there would at least be her ghost.

29 comments:

  1. Ramona likes to hold my hand at night. I still wait for the ghost of Fergus to come to me and it's been 11 years.
    big hug

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    1. Thanks for understanding Sharon. So perfectly.
      XO
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  2. They adore you and you adore them right back. Complete acceptance and love. Soul animals. Rare. My Poe, 22 year old seal point Himalayan was that for me. I swear he hung around that long because he had finally found a human that "got" him. Still feel the loss. Could never be another like him. How fortunate we are to have had that. Ansa one as well. Hoping your heart heals softly. Peace.

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    1. I'm so very glad you had that experience too and know in your heart the incredibly deep bond. I often thought Ansa taught me more than I ever taught her.
      XO
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  3. I wish you peace in your memories and many more hugs. You deserve every one.

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    1. I'm astonished at how so many loved her and acknowledged how close we were.Thank you.
      XO
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  4. A lovely tribute to your darling companion. She will come in time - when you least expect it.

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    1. I do hope so Cathy. My heart aches so much h in this void.
      XO
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  5. So sorry. Reading this makes my heart ache. Thank God for good sedatives. We don't want them ever to suffer.

    I found, time makes the pain a bit less, and yes, she will eventually begin to visit you, you'll see, and you two will exchange a smile again.

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    1. Thanks Anon. Time does give acceptance. It's getting there that hurts so much.
      XO
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  6. Reading this through the tears because though I never met Ansa I can tell how special she was. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  7. Thanks Sharon. She was one in a million and knew all my secrets and never judged me.
    XO
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  8. So sorry to hear that. Such a terrible loss.

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  9. What a wonderful dog she was. What a sweet tribute to her.

    Hugs to you, dear lady.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer. I'm using all the hugs I can get.
      XO
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  10. Driving down the road holding hands ... what a memorable image you've given! And herding you ... yes, "our" dog at the inlaws' home has border collie in her and loves to do that. They are such sweet souls, these animal companions, each with their own quirky personalities. Our little Ducky Doodle chased a young coyote out of the yard the other day. It was at least four times his size but he was crazy-fearless anyway. Now I have to go out with him every time he makes a trip to do his business, as heaven knows what is lurking out there now that we have no outside farm dog and Ducky is bite-size for a coyote. He entertains us, makes us feel important, and keeps our hearts soft ... the job of a dog, I'm betting. Naturally you will miss Ansa terribly, though I believe her unseen presence is still with you, and I hope it's true.

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    1. "Keeps our hearts soft". OMG how I live that. I can tell pet owners from non immediately. Of course it's their softer hearts but I hadn't realized that before.
      Oh yes Duckie Doodle needs watching. I was terrifed when Ansa took on a bull moose one evening and the moose charged her.
      XO
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  11. My heart aches for you and that overwhelming sense of loss of a furry soulmate I know too well. Amazing, isn't it?, to love another creature so completely, so unconditionally. I am truly sorry for your loss. What a beautiful girl and a beautiful spirit.

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    1. Thank you Heather. She lightened my days and comforted my nights and made me laugh so much. I try to be the person she thought I was.
      XO
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  12. I do believe she's there. Our loves never leave us; they just change form. I'm so sorry for your loss; Ansa sounds like she was the loveliest of companions.

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    1. she truly was Elle, I often said she would take care of herself: bound around the meadow, go to bed as a hint to me, sit in front of the cupboard where her cookies were, rattle her dish when it was empty, etc. A total sweeties.
      XO
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  13. I'm so sorry...there's really nothing more to say.I feel your pain and shed a tear with you.

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  14. Thanks RJA, you've been there too. It is a complete wrench.
    XO
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  15. I've been holding back, not wanting to read what was to come, but just now have read your beautiful accounting of her life and the precious memories you have of Ansa. To those of us who love animals and have endured these moments of terrible loss of longtime furry friends, you have communicated it all so well. She had a wonderful life with you.

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  16. I am just catching up again, learning that your beautiful Ansa has left you. She communicated that she was ready, and you heard her. I don't know what I believe about ghosts or life after death. I do know that we've had times when we clearly heard the clicking of a dog's nails on the tile floors, only to turn and see our remaining dog lying in his usual spot. Our last golden used to lie behind my office chair, tangling himself up in the legs so that I had to perform acrobatics to stand and go to the kitchen without pulling out yanks of his luxurious hair with the rolling chair wheels. I feel the weight of him, the breathing of him, behind me sometimes, but that didn't happen right away as it did for our first golden. Whether it's my mind producing its own comfort or some true phenomenon, I don't know and I don't care. At 66, after brain surgery, I don't have the same need to pin everything down to its provable exact thing as I once did. I hope Ansa comes, if she wants, or else your mind produces its own comfort, too!

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  17. I've just come back online, and am reading this with tears rolling down my cheeks. I am so sorry for your loss, and am sending you a huge hug from across the seas.

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  18. I've just come back online, and am reading this with tears rolling down my cheeks. I am so sorry for your loss, and am sending you a huge hug from across the seas.

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