It is with the heaviest and saddest heart that I write that my adventures in Abbyism have now come to an end. At approximately 3:45pm, Saturday, June 21st my little one experienced a stroke that left her neck twisted and her right side paralyzed — leaving her unable to walk or even stand on her own.
I always promised her that when her illness made it impossible for her to go on with a quality life, that we would seek a quiet and peaceful end. And even though she did not know what had happened to her and why her body would not respond how it always had, she still fought to be with us, it ultimately proved to be too much for her to overcome. With the aid of our kindly emergency vet, Abby crossed the rainbow bridge around 5:30pm.
She weathered the many storms of my life, and still greeted each day with a stretch and a wag of her tail. She was my rock, without my dear, dear Abby, I would not have made it through moving so far from home — just the two of us, the loss of my father, the breakup of my marriage, finally graduating from college and owning our first home – complete with her own fenced backyard and doggy door. There are a million other little events that she happily shared; picnics and parties, walks, runs, trips across country in planes, cars and trucks. She’s been in every state on the eastern seaboard, from New York south to Florida, she’s attended the Orlando International Fringe Festival, was in a short movie and had her own blog category since 2003.
I will miss her not so quiet snoring and sleeping squeaks, her voracious appetite for McDonalds cheese burgers, milk bones, and pretty much all food prior to January. I miss her trying to wake me up an hour earlier just so she could eat her breakfast on her schedule and not mine. I will miss her willfulness, her diva-ness and her out and out love of life, and of us. I will miss the way she turned her head when you said “Milkbones” as if to say ” did you just say my favorite word… didja? didja? didja? You DID say my favorite word – gimme! GImme! GIMMEEEEEEE! ” I will miss her fancy Beagle attitude, and even the cold shoulder she gave me when picking her up from the kennel after a week’s vacation that she could not go on. I had to work to get back in her good graces with Milkbones, and lots of them.
But most of all, I will miss the crazy, energetic “I’m so happy you’re home” race track/zippidity dance through the house she performed when I came home – whether I was gone all day or just a half hour. She let me know in no uncertain terms that I was special to her. How could one have a bad day with a greeting like that? No matter how bad my day had been, it brightened when I came home and she greeted me. She let me know that I was special to her.
Yesterday morning, when I awoke I went looking for her. I was halfway down the stairs when I realized I would not find her. I imagine we will both continue to do this until it sinks in that she is gone. Her beds are still in their places – in the den, in the basement and in our bedroom, next to my side of the bed. These will have to move, put away. But not just yet, I’m not ready for that final acknowledgment. Perhaps, in a few weeks, when we get her ashes back, it will be time to put her things away for good. Right now, I’m just missing her.