It has been 5 months today since I received a frantic call from my mom, who was stopping by my house to drop off the Bissel to clean the carpet on my steps. (I called her that morning and asked her if I could borrow it because Gracie had gotten into some powered cocoa that was in the trash and grounded it into the rug. Oh, Gracie. lol)
My mom, trying not to cry, told me that I had to come home immediately, that she thinks Gracie might be dying, that something was terribly wrong. I hang up the phone, gather my things, and leave work. I’m calling people I know, asking anyone to take me home. I’m crying. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m scared.
I secure a ride and start walking down Market Street, on the phone with B who is in Idaho, crying hysterically. It is pouring rain and I have no umbrella and I don’t care.
My mom calls again.
When I pick up, I immediately ask how she’s doing.
“Oh Jen. She’s gone,” my mom tells me.
I wailed that she was wrong. I screamed at her to take her to the vet. At the top of my lungs, I yelled and cried and screamed. I told her she couldn’t be sure that she was dead, to stop talking to me and just take her. I begged her to please, please take her. I could hear her crying too, but I didn’t care. She was wrong and I didn’t believe her.
Finally, to get through to me, she yelled back that she wasn’t breathing anymore. She just wasn’t.
I found out later that Gracie had already died when my mom first called me at work. She had been barking a little at my mom when she was unlocking the door to my house – the windows were open so my mom was telling her, “It’s just me Gracie, we’ll be in in a second!” Gracie always got very super excited when people entered the house, usually slipping on the hardwood floors as she scrambled to greet you at the door. My mom could hear her doing that, and then a thud, almost as if she ran into something. When she got in Gracie was laying on the floor. My mom went over to her and she could tell something was wrong – she thought maybe she really hurt herself when she hit the furniture. Within the minute she started involuntarily excreting bodily fluids. My mom was petting her and talking to her.
She let out one last breath, and she died in my mom’s arms.
I pretend like I could adopt another dog, but 5 months later my heart still aches. How can I love another, I think? I only wanted her.
“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Ben Williams