Letting Go of a Loved One

As a writer who hasn’t been writing as she used to, I’ve found difficulty in coming back to the page–even to write a blog post. Life has come at me lately. Our fish tank leaked 25 gallons of water and buckled our wood floor. So, new flooring was in order. Let me just say this: installing new floor in an empty house is one thing; installing new floor in a house in which you’ve lived for the last fifteen years is quite another. Nevertheless, the project is complete, thank goodness. And, yes, our fish are fine and are about to enjoy a new tank that (hopefully) will not leak on us.

To crown the whole, my dog passed away on January 26th. Pica (pronounced Peeka) had an enlarged heart, which had began to press uncomfortably against her trachea. Prescription medications–four total–worked for a while. However, our veterinarian warned us they wouldn’t be a long-term solution. Congestive heart failure is a fatal illness. That Sunday evening, as she lay beside me on our big chair, she struggled to breathe, and I feared for her discomfort. So, on to the emergency vet we went.

There was no hope for her. They could put her on oxygen for the night, but, after she was removed, there was no knowing. The heart, as I had been warned, would not get any better.

I held her as the vet administered the shots, and she took her last breath in my arms.

Nursing a broken heart sucks, y’all. I keep thinking about the song that goes something like “It comes and goes in waves” and it really does, when your heart hurts. I see her everywhere, because she was always close on my heels. When we would visit my hometown, my mother would comment, “She won’t let you out of her sight, will she?” No. Never. Even when I got out of the shower every morning and opened the door, she’d be there in the hall, waiting for me.

Pica was cremated two days after she passed and is now tucked inside a beautiful little box. Soon, I’ll schedule a trip home, and I’ll bury her with all our family animals who have gone before.

If you do read my blog, know that I am brainstorming for upcoming projects and working out plot points and characters. I hope all of you are doing well. And, if you have lost a pet in the past, or anyone you love, for that matter, my heart goes out to you.

Special thanks to Animal Emergency Clinic in Shreveport for your kindness and compassion, and for sending me a note with Pica’s paw prints. That is going into my journal. Also to Heavenly Acres for Pets for taking care of her in the respectful manner she deserved. And to Jimmie Davis Animal Hospital for all the years you ensured I was able to keep her just a little bit longer.


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