With a Heavy Heart…

It has taken me so long to even touch on this subject – and even so, I have to gloss over it as it just breaks my heart. My sweet little Jack Russell, Lucy, died a few months ago and I still am in such a state of anguish and grief.

She was diagnosed 2 years ago with cancer and given just a few months to live. I told the vet I was desperate for any treatment, so he said we could operate to remove the baseball-sized tumor and extend her life by a month or two.

Of course, I opted for the surgery, however, when he opened her up, he said it was inoperable, it was immersed in her organs and that she only had weeks to live. To make it worse, he said it was going to be a situation where we would have to put her to sleep because it would be so painful. I begged my vet to come to my house when it was time to put her to sleep so that she would be at home and most comfortable. He agreed.

With my parent’s dalmatian and my other Jack Russell, Callie, who died several years ago.

But the sheer anguish….I was devastated. I fear I scarred my children because I cried constantly – I would go to bed crying and wake up crying. I just loved this dog dearly. She was the flower girl in my wedding. She majestically walk down the isle alongside our ring bearer who carried the wood rings. I had her in my will. She meant the world to me.

I was determined, though, to make it the best few months any dog could ever have and fed her steak, chicken, hotdogs…whatever her little heart desired. My sweet Lucy was a little slower, her belly bloated, on pain killers, but still alpha dog among the big dogs!

Well, that was two years ago, and I counted each day as a blessing. It came very quickly, her slowing down and we had a scheduled a vacation to Hershey Park. I stayed behind to be with her because she seemed not well, but my husband took the girls. The night after they left, things went downhill fast and she was in excruciating pain. I doubled up her pain killers and called the vet, desperate to get him to our house, but the worst luck ever – he was on vacation. I was on my own.

With my dog in so much pain and tears streaming down my face in the middle of the night, I called the closest animal hospital to see if they can put her to sleep, but I never made it there. She started shaking, seizing and her breathing was slower. I actually wished she would die because she was in that much pain….she died in my arms at 3am.

With my husband gone, I couldn’t bear to bury her. He wasn’t coming home for several more days. I didn’t call anyone. I didn’t leave the house. I couldn’t dig a hole, I couldn’t put her in the ground. I wanted her to come back to me and that would mean she wouldn’t wake up. That’s all I can say about that.

She’s in the ground, by the house, but I still haven’t really gone there. It’s too raw. But I do have plans.

With the flower looking like a broken heart, bleeding heart plants are beautiful…and it dawned on me that it perfectly represented what I was feeling, so I want to plant a few around Lucy’s grave.

How perfect…I told my girls that each of them would have a bush that they could select and plant in memory of Lucy.

They grow in zones 3-9, partial to full shade and come in many variations.

I adore statuary and have pieces in our garden that were in my parents’ gardens. There is just something that I can’t put my finger on about it, almost like someone was turned into stone. I want to select a piece for Lucy’s grave, like these:

Please forgive any errors: it may be choppy and I’m not going back to reread or review it because it was difficult enough to write this through teary eyes 😦 But, I know many of you have little puppies that you love as much as I love mine, so I wanted to show you what I am going to do in hopes that it may help someone if they needed an option for burial….

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”       ~Anatole France~

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