I had a dream, last night. I was with Sheba, outside in the sun and warm air, playing and frolicking with her as we did when she was a puppy and young healthy dog. I laughed and laughed as she ran in circles or sprinted toward a squirrel. She always stopped everything when a rabbit or squirrel showed up! This morning I awoke with love in my heart and a sense of joy and peace. But, I am now awake, and the silence is deafening and the absence is heart wrenching and the joy is gone.
I am crying and I am mourning the loss. I know, in time, I will grieve less, mourn less, and speak about Sheba in the same loving way I speak about my mom who will be gone 3 years next month, and my dad who died in 1995.
I volunteer at an animal shelter and I volunteer as a senior companion for a legally blind 93 year old woman who lives alone. Sheba and my mother live on in my heart through these mitzvahs. They are proud of what I am doing and I can feel their nachus.
Sheba suffered ... and I wouldn't let her go. Yesterday morning she told me, "I want to go." I laid by her side and she nuzzled my hand. Her breathing was labored and her eyes were so sad. I told her, "I know I am being selfish. I know you need to go. But I don't want you to go!"
I called the Visiting Vet Practice, they came that afternoon.
Sheba died at 4:36 in the afternoon. She is at peace. I decided to have her put to sleep at home and I am glad to have done so. The Vet and her Technician were compassionate and caring. They handled the procedure in such a way one would not have known what was happening if not already aware. Sheba went to sleep in my arms and appeared at rest and at peace. There was nothing scary or alarming about it. She looked as she looks anytime she is in my arms - loving and trusting.
And, yes, there was that sign...early this morning. Unmistakable sign. She told me she wanted to go. And so I let her.
God is merciful; it's just that sometimes we think he is not and that thought gets us into trouble. Trust is a powerful word and an even more powerful emotion. Right now I am trusting that God will get me through this, as he has in the past; and for that, I am grateful.