We Almost Made It Through Sunday

October 11, 2009dec 08 015 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.

Love,
Beth

6 thoughts on “We Almost Made It Through Sunday

  1. I AM SO SORRY……..AS A HUGE ANIMAL LOVER MYSELF IN OUR HOUSE OUR PETS ARE OUR CHILDREN. MY HEART IS BREAKING FOR YOU AND I AM CRYING JUST KNOWINGS THE PAIN YOU FEEL. JON IT WAS THE RIGHT THING BUT OH MY HOW IT HURTS. WE HAVE OUR PETS LIVE BETWEEN 14 TO 19 YEARSOLD AND IT NEVER GETS ANY EASIER. I ALWAYS ASK WHAT IF BUT KNOWING THAT WITH ALL THE LOVE I GAVE THEM ( AND THEY GAVE US ) THEY HAD A GREAT LIFE JUST LIKE YOUR MILLIE. BUT I KNOW THE SUDDENESS OF IT IS A SHOCK. MOST OF ALL THE TIME COULD HAVE NOT BEEN A WORSE ONE. I NEVER CAN FIGURE OUT WHICH IS THE WORSE SLOW AND KNOWING OR QUICK AND NOT KNOWING. I ONLY KNOW IT SUCKS………..LOVE YOU ALL. HANG IN THERE.

  2. Keith and I were just talking about Millie and Tanner the other day. We were laughing about Millie opening the frig door. I was telling mom about Tanner instructing how to leave her door open at night (the door had to be cracked just the right amount) so Millie wouldn’t leave her room (the funny part was i had cracked her bedroom door hundreds of times before). Millie was such a sweet and gentle dog! Millie was so good with Jake and Tanner! Keith and I already miss Millie. It just won’t be the same!

  3. I’m so, so sorry for your lost.
    Try not to think about what if you did this not that. Millie was suffering, John made a decision with his heart, so it was the right one.
    It happens to my dog Doris. She had a breast tumor when she as 13 years old, the vet didn’t want to take it off cos she knew it would come back, but it grows and grows and she have to remove it or could tear the skin. Doris wasn’t suffering at all at this point and the surgery was quite simple. After few month lots and lots of tumors grew all over her little old dashround body. It was so sad. I’m crying right now.
    I wouldn’t be any easy to the kids (and the adults) to see Millie so sick til she die.
    Milie is thankfull for all you’ve done for her and one day you will be together again.

  4. Beth,
    Your mom and dad are friends of mine and I’ve been reading
    your blog since the beginning. You and your family are such
    an inspiration to me…you’ve handled everything thrown at you
    with grace, humor and wisdom. It’s amazing how strong we get
    when we need to, isn’t it?

    When I read about Millie’s death my heart just broke for
    you all…all of us with pets know the time will come, but it
    still takes you by surprise, even when you do have time to
    prepare. Their loss leaves a huge hole in your heart that
    just won’t seem to go away…and that’s because our pets
    are family. But you did the absolute right thing for Millie…
    she’s out of pain and enjoying doggie heaven right now
    with my Bear, Maggie and Nudge. I know you all are
    heartbroken right now, but time will ease the pain of
    losing Millie.

    Keep focusing on Tanner and Jake and getting through
    this whole nightmare year…you have SO much love and
    support behind you…use it as much as you can!

    Thank you for allowing me to take your journey with you…
    I hope sharing your trek with all of us helps to ease your
    burden a little…

    Ginny Robinson

  5. Seriously? You’ve got to be kidding. Seriously?
    I know you wish you were kidding. I hate that y’all have had another terrible loss. My childhood dog was named Millie as well, and when she died I was in college and not fighting leukemia, and it sucked. I am so sorry. So, so sorry. And it is natural to question such a major decision that had to be made in a hurry. I hope that John eventually finds some peace about that. You could all use a little extra peace in your lives these days. Phew. I’ll be praying extra for all of you today.

  6. OH Pages, I’m so sorry. What a great dog she was – the only creature (other than man) that I’ve ever seen get a beer from the fridge.

    I know you think that God is overestimating your strength. Hang in there and know that you will get through all of this. We’re keeping you in our prayers.

    Much love – Ro

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