We put our “garden dog” punk down March 9th at 4:30pm. I started a post to talk about it yesterday, but was unable to pull myself together to write about my best friend. I posted about my nightshades being on heat…..(long sigh). I am so overcome with sadness that unless you have loved a pet, you truly can’t understand this grief. It is difficult to express in words, and I have found that people who do not have a pet they love, do not understand. They look at you as if you should just get over this and move on….their thoughts are, well it is just a dog…They are not just an animal they become family….she became my partner in our urban potager.
We moved in 1999 fall and brought our first two rescue dogs Buddy ( german shepherd-husky mix) + Sasha ( a beautiful retriever mix) with us to our new home. They were adopted when my children were small + punk was added a few months later after we moved. The older two have passed on over the years, but the last dog from that first dog crew was Punk.
My husband called her “our healer” for she would be by your side if you were sad + comfort you. She would have made a great therapy dog for she had a sense when someone was sad. You could not cry around her for she would come near you and try to comfort you. I can remember her when she was much younger climbing in a lap of anyone that was crying….a healer dog is a rare gift…
At one time, our home was filled with three kids ( + their friends), five dogs, three cats and many little critters that were kept in cages over the years. The other dogs loved the garden to romp and play, but she took the garden seriously. It was her domain.If I were outside the other dogs would go inside after they played, but not punk. She remained by my side each day, I spent in the garden.
The decision was made yesterday after she could no longer walk the garden that she loved so much. Palm Rae Potager was created with her by my side from 2000 the year she was born. I loved my other dogs just as much Punk, but none of them were in the garden with me from dawn to dusk. She did not care what the temperature was she would walk out and would stand at the door and wait for me to come outside. She would not go inside until, I was ready. The other dogs would find it too hot or were tired of being outside. Never punk! When I worked, in the garden, she was always within a few feet of me basking in the sun. If she did leave my side it was to chase a rabbit across our urban potager.
I made the hardest decision yesterday…I called the vet to have her put to sleep. She was in so much pain and trying to drag herself around behind me she had gashes in her back left leg. It was time + I had to make the call. My husband left it up to me + it was the hardest for me to make. My husband loved her dearly, and he spent Sunday night helping her get up and down from her constant indecision. Her mind was going….He loved her….
Sunday was the first day; I saw a blank look on her face. She stared off into the distance as if she was looking past me + did not see me…The past few weeks she no longer got up to greet me when I came home. She was unable to climb up on the couch to sit next to me…it was always a struggle. I felt it was time to let her go, when I noticed she could no longer walk her garden. She was losing control of her body, and we had to help her go outside quickly before she had an accident. We knew it was time when all she could do was stand on the deck and stare at her garden. She would turn around and go back inside…that was not our garden dog…she was leaving us and needed our help….
Yesterday, I held her in my lap as we sat in the garden on the cold ground. I had all day Monday to spend with her + I was thankful it was a lovely sunny day. There was not a cloud in the sky…..She passed on the most beautiful day of this year, so far. I will miss my punky…..but, I know she is pain-free + I know she is walking in a garden right over the rainbow bridge……..and I have no doubt some day, I will see her again.
We have “Chance” a pit-bull that is the last of the five dogs. My middle daughter rescued him and he became part of our family in 2005…he loves to jump for hours catching his rope…he is special, too. They are all special. I hate having to lose a pet, and some people won’t adopt again because it hurts too much when they pass on….. I feel differently…this grief “will” pass + the memories will fill my “grief-stricken heart” with joy. They do not live as long as us, and we have to learn to say goodbye. We need to help them pass on. It hurts at first, but the “joy” they bring to your life is so much more than the “grief” you feel as you let them go……..please never let your grief stop you from saving a dog that needs a home…our grief will pass + our gardens will be filled with the four-legged friends we love so dearly.