This last week was long and difficult. And one I’d rather not repeat.
A month ago we learned our six year old lab, Sidney, had contracted Lyme Disease and was suffering kidney failure as a result. A diagnosis I was familiar with, having lost a lab to the same condition about eight years ago.
I was hopeful. She still acted like the same crazy Sid we’ve loved since she was an adventurous pup intent on destroying everything.
The same dog that was patient and kind with my boys. The one that would play fetch with them endlessly (even though my youngest had to sit on her to get her to drop the dummy – I think she did this on purpose for the extra attention).
She remained the same ball of energy I swear could jump ten feet. Bound over my flower beds in a single leap. The one that never seemed to tire.
That was four weeks ago. Four weeks spent treating the disease while holding on to hope she would recover. Days of pills morning and night. A diet that would reduce stress on her kidneys and hopefully give them a chance to recover.
At first I thought we were winning. That everything we were doing would pay off. That Sid would conquer the illness.
But as time went on, moments of difficulty crept in and my surety she would win wavered. Doubts started to overshadow our days together. Tears silently appeared.
I started to prepare the boys for the possibility of having to say goodbye to a friend.
Then a week ago a light went out in her. She’d lost her spark. I knew she was running out of strength to fight. The days to follow were the hardest. With each one, more of Sid the Kid slipped away and I knew the inevitable was close.
As hard as it was for her, I saw her struggling to hang on. Like she didn’t want to leave us. Seeing her beginning to suffer, I asked for her to let go. That we would okay without her. That our dogs of past (Lady, Thor, Xena) would be there to greet her and she would finally feel well again.
On Tuesday, as she basked in the sun lying among the Black-eyed Susan’s in my flower bed, Sidney slipped away from us.
To get through it, I told myself and the boys, she is better now. She is no longer in any pain. Wanting her to stay would have been selfish. That she wouldn’t want us to be sad. Not that it kept the tears at bay. They still fell. But life must go on and with it we will keep Sidney in our hearts and remember the good times. Remember the energetic dog that was a member of the family.
So with renewed tears, I say, “Goodbye, Sid. We love you. And you will be missed.”