It's been almost 2 months, and I still catch myself looking at the spot between the refrigerator and the kitchen table to see if she has food or water. Or, I will move the computer chair in front of the garbage can so she won't be tempted to get into it and make a mess. Old habits are hard to break when your heart is already broken. I sometimes don't even realize I do these things, but when a dog as special as she was is in your life for 12 years, well, it's just hard.
I have had a hard time coming to grips with what happened in the days leading up to August 31, 2006. It started with my BF telling me that Eesha was thin, and that her ribs were showing. She was already showing signs of aging in her hips. She had problems getting up off the linoleum floor and we had rugs all over so she wouldn't slip, fall and hurt herself. But thin? Eesha was lab/husky/German Shepard mix. Large black dog, white spot on her chest and thick husky fur that if you caught her in the right light you could see the "saddle bag" so distinct in shepards, just an outline of it. She had been overweight (much like her family), and I had changed her food and tried to make sure she didn't overeat. Each visit to the vet brought news of "more exercise, only feed her once a day..." I realized that I had to bring her in, it could be worms, because she was eating and drinking regularly. I didn't think there was a problem, or if there was, it was fixable.
In to the vet we went on a Monday. They did an exam, drew some blood, gave her treats and we both waited in the exam room while they did the tests. I remember there was a cat growling somewhere in that office and he/she didn't sound happy! We waited, I petted her to keep her calm. Then the vet came in with a look on her face and I just knew before she spoke. "The results show she is anemic, and the blood cells are attacking each other. It's probably leukemia..." I think all the blood ran out of my face and I felt sick. "Are you ok?" she asked concerned.
"What...What can you do?" I tried to say, but it came out shaky and in a whisper.
"We can do more tests to be sure, but she may only last two weeks...a month at most. She will be in a lot of pain.." and her voice faded off. I knew this was the day I had been dreading since Dad and I picked her out at the Humane Society.
I had other dogs in my life, but they either were hit by cars, ran off or died of natural causes. I loved her and I didn't want to let her go, but I knew that I couldn't put her through all of that suffering. She would have hung on forever for me, if she could have, I know she loved me that much. But I loved her enough to stop the pain. So, I brought her home, and I let everyone say goodbye. She ate all the things she wanted to eat and then my sister Kelley and I went to the vet that morning of August 31, 2006. I can honestly say, it was quick. I felt her spirit leave and when I looked into her eyes I saw a look of thanks, not betrayal or confusion or fear. In a small way that was comforting. She is now buried under the willow tree, where she played as a puppy.
I have had people say that I should get another dog, that it will help me "get over" her death. I'm just not ready, and I'm not sure I ever will be ready. All I know is there will never be another dog like her and I miss her terribly.