On Wednesday September 11th, around 3am, we lost someone dear to us. Our family dog, Lacey.
Saying that, makes the frog in my throat grow two sizes.
I knew Lacey was not feeling well Tuesday (the day before she past away). She is an old dog (12), and was having some problems. I found her sleeping in the fort that William and I made that day, several times. I also saw her panting at night.....and I had never seen her do that. I knew she was obviously in some pain, so I told Nick that we needed to bring her to the vet in the morning.
Before bed Nick let her out to go pee, but she wouldn't go down our back porch steps.....so Nick carried her down to the grass for her. I guess he knew something was up, because when he brought her back in, I found him sitting with her in his lap, just giving lots of love. I sat across from them, and was a little surprised that she didn't immediately walk over to sit on me. She has been my dog for so long now, that she has become pretty attached to me. If I leave the house for a minute, or for several hours, she will sit by the door waiting for me to come home. She was extremely loyal to me. So when she didn't come to me even after I said "come her baby", I knew she must really be feeling sick or something. Every night before bed, Lacey gets a drink of water. It's something she has done every night for countless years. I noticed she wasn't walking so I carried her to her bowl and she turned away from it. Ugh.....yep....she didn't feel good.
I let her sleep with me that night. I wanted to cuddle her, and make her feel less pain. In the middle of the night she walked up from my feet, and sat on my arm. I know this sounds like something all dogs would do if they are in your bed, but Lacey has slept in my bed MANY times, and has never ever woken me up or sat on me like that.
I woke up and said "Oh Lacey"....I was still half asleep, so I kissed her, pet her and figured she must want off the bed, so I put her on the floor, and went to bed.
At 4:30am, my alarm went off so I could get up for the gym. I was in the bathroom getting ready when I hear Nick say "Hunny, I don't think Lacey is breathing"
Immediately I knew he was right......but I wouldn't believe it for a second. I rushed to her side, and tried to wake her up. I said her name countless times, pet her.....but she wasn't waking up.
I sat crying, in disbelief. Nick held me and I stayed there crying until 7am when I had to get my kids ready for school. Nicholas was about to leave for the bus, and since I knew we would be taking her to be cremated, I wanted to give him the chance to say goodbye to her. It was so hard to tell him that Lacey had just died. He sat next to me....both of us in tears, with his arm around me. It was so hard to see him so upset. I am glad I gave him a chance to say goodbye though.
I got my kids to school, and Nick made arrangements for Lacey to be cremated. I called my mom and sat in the school parking lot crying for a while. I felt like I had just lost a family member.
We took Lacey to be cremated at a beautiful place nearby. I had a seriously hard time carrying her into that place, but I wanted to be the one to let her go. I had to. I owed it to her, to be the last one to hold her.
Saying goodbye was hard for me. Lacey has been through EVERYTHING with me. My mom got her when I was just 17 years old, and I got to take her to my house when I was 20. She has been here through all of my pregnancies, watched all of our babies come into this world, she has watched me walk around this house frustrated and ranting about anything and everything, and stuck by my side for every minute of it. She has cuddled with all of us when we needed it most, followed us down the street while we played as a family, because she certainly didn't see herself as a dog, but as a part of our family. She has seen me at my most happy and my most sad moments, and has been here every time I needed someone to talk to. She has barked her heart out, to anyone that enters our house, just to have them greet her as well. She has formed the most beautiful and trustworthy bonds with each of my kids. She has, even on the days where her legs hurt so bad to walk, followed my every move, just to be with me and let me know I had her there for me....always.
She wasn't just a dog to me. She was my family. She was a part of my heart, and I am having a hard time letting her go.
Telling my kids that she had died, was some of the hardest words I had ever spoken to them. Lacey has been here with us since before they were born, so they don't know a life without her. They have all created a seriously deep bond with her, so losing her was one of the worst things that has ever happened to them.
Nicholas and Laura are doing well now. They had a hard time that first day, but now are dealing with it a bit better. William just doesn't understand.....he thinks the dog doctors are just fixing her and hasn't realized that she wont come back. Katie on the other hand is having the hardest time. She is sad, and angry. She has been acting out the past couple days, just having some attitude, but I'm trying to not take it personal. I feel the same way she does. I can't imagine being almost 5 and losing the dog that you have been with every day of your life. Katie was the closest to Lacey, out of all the kids. She would set aside part of EVERY day, to spend time with Lacey. She talked to her, like they were having a conversation. Lacey sat intently listening to Katie, and Katie would just pet her and lay with her. Lacey made Katie feel like she had a special friend. Katie had someone that she could say anything to, and nobody else would ever know what she said. Katie made sure Lacey was always in a comfortable spot to sleep in, she made sure she was fed, and I am almost....ok no I'm absolutely positive that Katie is the culprit of Lacey's weight gain. ;)
We are giving lots of love to each other, and to our other pets. This was hard on each one of us. We weren't expecting this to happen so soon, but really....when is anyone ever expecting a death?
Lacey will be greatly missed in our family. We will miss her little kisses, and kind eyes, that showed us how much she loved us.
We will move forward, as hard as each day is, and remember to show love and kindness to everyone in our lives. Our pets mean so much to us, and losing one has completely shocked us. We will pick up the pieces, as slowly as we need to and hold each other tight, as often as possible.
Lacey Loo, thank you for being my friend. For always sticking by my side, and showing me how strong love between people and animals can be. Thank you for being here for me when I needed a friend, and for always looking out for the kids. Thank you for waking me up in the middle of the night to say goodbye to me. I won't ever forget that. I love you.
I will miss you every day.