Monday, December 08, 2014

Saying goodbye to Tess

I am left wondering how on earth I am going to stop looking for her waiting for me outside the chicken coops, waiting for me outside the shed while I do chores, waiting for me outside the bathroom, sleeping on my side of the bed so close that I can't even step on the floor because of her 95 pounds of German Shepherd being THERE!  How do I not have her greet me at the door each time I come back home?  How long will it take for this huge hole in my heart to heal?  I know there aren't any answers to these questions, each of these things will fade as they do after losing a loved one, but I am hoping that the sharp pain dulls soon.

Tess smiling.............
Tess taking Jasmine the lamb back to the house (2012)

I had 13 years with this wonderful dog, family member and friend and she's been my "one in a million" dog.  She was smart, well behaved, kind and gentle despite her size.  Even as she dealt with the pain of arthritis and as I later found out, cancer.........she never nipped or did anymore than quietly tolerate her burden.  I found out on Tuesday that what I thought was just a heart failure related cough was the least of our worries, she had cancer and it was advanced, so her decline was quick and hard to accept.  I had exactly one week from the day we found out before I saw in her eyes that she was done, she had fought enough.   I saw it coming and decided to spend every minute with her that I could before I didn't have those moments.  
In one of our last nights together Tess and I were laying on her bed with me sobbing like a baby, and her licking tears from my face as if she needed to console me.  How do you repay that kind of love?
By ending her suffering and not being selfish by keeping her because it hurt to let her go, it was time.
Thankfully our vet makes house calls and with her head in my lap and in the safety of her home, we were able to quietly say goodbye. 
Tess and I on Tuesday night (12/2/14) 2 days before she left us
Tess as I will always remember in a million
I weep when I need to, often and without shame because Tess and her love for me and life is worth it.  She loved everyone, she was loving to everything around her and my tears are a tribute to her love.

Mike and I

Mike and I
Mike and I at Nick and Emily's wedding

Raised beds & chickens coops

Raised beds & chickens coops
Can't wait for this stuff to actually be food....