October 11, 2009 Just when we thought we had gotten through this rotten, unending week, our beloved border collie, Millie, died today. She was 12 and over the past few months, had seemed to be getting old quickly. Today, she suddenly was unable to move and John quietly took her to the emergency vet so as not to upset the kids. The vet said she had several cancerous tumors and one had ruptured causing internal bleeding. John called to say she would only live an hour at best and I piled the kids in car and left a check taped to the door for the pizza guy who was on his way. In the car, I explained to Tanner that Millie was an old dog and had a cyst that was bleeding in her tummy and that the kind thing to do was to keep her from suffering any more.
Together, the four of us said goodbye to our sweet, gentle, Frisbee-loving dog and watching her pass peacefully. Tanner sobbed while Jake patted her and said, “Bye, bye Millie.” This sweet dog slept at the end of Tanner’s bed every night to keep away the monsters and keep a child with an active imagination “safe” at night. She was intelligent, loyal and the model of good doggy behavior. She is already missed.
Sadly, Millie’s passing is just one more loss for Tanner. Millie was her security blanket at night and she has been up 4 times already in the first 2 hours after bedtime. John will go sleep in her room tonight; if I go, I will wake her with my coughing. It was the worst possible time for this to happen (not that there’s a good time for your dog to die) when she most needs comfort and security in what is often a very scary world for her. I’m not sure what we will do.
John is devastated and keeps questioning whether he did the right thing by not opting for a surgery option which the vet said would only give Millie a few months. It would definitely have been nice to have some time to prepare Tanner for her passing. It was just so sudden (it all happened in a matter of an hour) and I think it’s hard not to second guess a decision you feel you made in haste, even if it was the right one.
We’re all tired from the week behind us, with nothing to really look forward to this week.
As John said when I came down from putting Jake to bed, “I want a do-over.” I think he was talking about the dog, but I was thinking about 2009.