Spring has finally sprung in the Northeast this weekend. Today it's in the 80s, everything is in bloom, the birds are chirping, the windows are open, the whir of motorcycles is in the air, and lawn mowers are running. While everything outside comes alive, inside we're watching our beloved Consuela slip away. Since my last post, we've learned she probably has cancer. She's stopped eating and has become very listless. The sadness is overwhelming. At more than 17 years of age, we know there's no treatment or cure for what ails her, so we're doing everything we can to make her comfortable.
Friday night, we brought her into bed with us--the original three, the family we were before the second dog, before the daughter, before the son. We lay there for a long time, the two of us in tears, as she gave us little kisses and took turns staring deeply into our eyes. We honestly believed she was saying goodbye. Waking up that next morning, my heart was in my throat waiting to see if she had left us in the night. Upon hearing my approach, her head popped up, and I swear she smiled at me. Not yet, Mom. Sprawled across the doorway to our room--one of her favorite warm-weather posts--she was making sure, as she always did, that nothing happened without her knowing about it.
Yesterday she stayed out front on the porch for most of the day, soaking up the sunshine and listening to the birds chirp. Today we took a picnic to the beach, one last trip to her favorite place in the world. Back in the day, she would chase birds and sticks and anything else that caught her eye. This time she was content to sit on the blanket and watch the world go by. She did take a stroll down to the water's edge to dip her feet in. Dan held out a stick to her. We could see the desire in her eyes, but she just didn't have the strength. The heart is still there even if the will is gone. She enjoyed having her nose out the window on the drive, which is another of her favorite things.
Here we are together, my baby girl and me, a sixteen-and-a-half year love affair:
Emily took this photo of the original threesome, which says it all... When I saw it after we got home, I was struck by the sag of our shoulders as we took a last walk together on the beach.
And here's one I adore. You can't even tell that anything is wrong with her.
We'll no doubt have a tough decision to make in the next week or so. As we slowly lose her, I can't stop thinking about the day we found each other: December 8, 1992. She was on day six of a seven-day stay in a security kennel that wasn't going to end well for her. We were in our second month of marriage. People have often commented that we did a wonderful thing by rescuing her. I know the truth. She was the one who rescued me when I was far away from home and overwhelmed with homesickness. Once she came to live with us, everything was better. For anything we did for her, she's paid us back in spades by loving us unconditionally for more than sixteen years. I simply can't imagine life without her.