*Warning! You might want to grab some tissues as this is a very, VERY difficult blog to read this time around... Hell it's taken me close to three weeks to find the words...*

Grief is a funny thing. It makes you cry. It makes you hurt. It makes you laugh while crying. It makes you talk to someone or something that isn't there just so you don't feel nearly as alone as you actually are. It grabs your throat and squeezes the air out until you can't breath. Or smacks you hard across the face out of the clear blue sky and you're completely leveled when you were fine five minutes ago.

On August 20th Hubby and I took Sienna for her last car ride. Since about the second week of July, her hips started to fail her. She had good days and she had bad. After a couple chiropractic appointments the arthritis in her hips worsened greatly. We put her on all sorts of herbals and twice daily aspirin treatments and she had seemed to get better. July turned to August and she got bad again. More bad days then good. On the 19th we decided that watching her live a life of more pain then not was only so we still had her with us, not really for her. My mother made the appointment with the vet for the 20th. That evening we had close friends over, we all cried and cuddled her on the kitchen floor. We ordered her the pizza she loved most and let her eat half for dinner and half for breakfast the next morning- granting us one last night of doggy farts that woke us up from the stench. Daylight came and our hearts heavy- we fed her the rest of her pizza, took her out for a walk around the yard, picked out a spot to bury her next to her piggies, and waited for my mom to come pick us up.

I sat in the backseat of mom's PT Cruiser, holding Sienna in my arms and bawling, watching the happiness on her face during the car ride- windows open with the wind in her fur. We had ten minutes to cuddle and love her in the back of the car waiting for the vet to come out. We promised ourselves this was the best thing to do, to ease her suffering. She couldn't got for walks anymore. We had to help her up and down stairs, we had to hold her up for potty time outside. She couldn't climb up her stairs to get into bed for cuddle time with us. She couldn't come to the basement and lay outside of the shower in the morning. She was in a lot of pain. In spite of her bright eyes and happy smile face we knew things weren't going to get better. The vet came out and all three of us held her- my mom, Hubby, and I. We all sobbed, we all buried our faces in her fur and she went quickly and quietly into the clouds.

I sobbed the entire way home, head between my knees, face buried in a towel- sobbed. I hated myself. I hated that I had just done that to my daughter. I was screaming in my head that I was a horrible person a horrible parent and my body heaved with the weight of going home to bury her. My dad met us at our house, having already dug the hole with the family tractor. I couldn't watch. I couldn't watch my mom and Hubby lower her into the hole wearing her thundershirt so she's never be afraid of the thunderstorms and fireworks, wrapped up in her favorite blanket with her favorite "baby" squeaky toy nestled against her chest. Instead I went to the house and packed her a meal to go. The last piece of pizza from the night before. As I walked out the kitchen I saw something- she'd managed to eat the cat's wet food before we left for the vet that morning. I'm not even sure how I managed to walk back behind the barn I was crying so hard. The heavy gray clouds building had broken open and we finished the task in a blinding downpour. Soaked to the skin we all went into the house. Hubby, Mom, and Dad all had coffee. I drank two beers. I wanted numb. And on little food in twenty four hours- that's what I got.


Mom and Dad left and it only took Hubby and I ten minutes alone in the house to realize we couldn't be there anymore. It was too quiet. In a haze we bought cleaning supplies and totes for her things. We went grocery shopping like sad unattended children and came home to clean. I clean when I'm upset or stressed or feel like things were out of my control. And that's what I did. I tore apart the bedroom, washing the blankets used as her beds covering the floors so she didn't slip and fall trying to get up in the night. I swept up dustpan after dust pan of her fur- quietly kissing each one and telling her that I loved her before tossing them into the trash bag. I threw out her rawhide chews, boxed up her toys, tucked away her other thundershirt (I have gone down to the basement, pulling it from the tote to sniff it just to have her smell again). After washing all her bedding I tried to put it away in one of the totes. Skijit was buried deep in the blankets already in there. When I tried to move her out- she bit me. That's when I knew that both she and Morganna knew what happened. Then I was in a puddle of tears on the basement floor against the chest freezer.

It took a week but I finally got the house cleaned within an inch of it's foundations. Hubby had to work the very next day and I was under no condition to be alone so I spent the day at my parents house, cuddling their three dogs every chance I got and just simply hiding from my four walls that held so very much of her within them. I was grateful for work. It kept me distracted and provided logical breaks in my drinking. All I wanted was to be numb. If I was numb, then I couldn't be sad. If I was numb I couldn't miss listening to her snore underneath the kitchen table as I drew, curling my toes up in her fur.

After a week had passed I finally went through all the medications and such I knew would spoil that we got for her and brought them ot my parents. We finally took all her bowls, leashes and cleaned her doggy nose art from our vehicle windows. I still talk to her. When I go outside in the morning, since it was habit for four years- Morganna our fat little black cat goes out with me and prances around on the sidewalk and in the grass, She's trying so hard to be our new "dog". I still can't get over not calling Sienna back to the door to go inside. She's supposed to be sitting in the grass by the Maple tree, or rolling around on her back doing "puppy combat rolls" until she slid down the hill on her back with that dorky smile on her face.

I miss my daughter. I hate how quiet the house is without her here. I usually have at least one t.v. on if not that it's the radio or both when Hubby isn't home. The silence hurts. And I would be lying if I didn't say she hasn't come to visit us. She has. We've heard her snoring in the bedroom when putting laundry away. Chuck's seen her napping at the end of the couch while we watched t.v. in the evening. And I saw her the other night waiting for a banana chip like we always gave her at Guinea pig dinner time. Even as I write this, I've heard her toenails scratching at the bare wooden foor of my office like she always did when she came in to check on me while I photo edited or let me know she needed to go outside. She's simply there and then she isn't. It's hard to explain it to someone if they've never "seen" a ghost. I do go out and check on her grave behind the pole barn. I sometimes sit and look out over the alfalfa fields with her and talk to her, tell her what she's missed, tell her how much I still miss her.

We plan on adopting again, probably in November. Life has grown crazy with both our schedules and we want the proper time to grieve. Adopting right away would be bad and we would reflect any of the slightest wrongs we felt were dealt to Sienna onto our new adoption. So we are giving ourselves time to process everything. Our lives are better for having adopted her. She came into our lives four months after Shadow left us. And yes, I know I have written this huge sad blog about losing a dog. But she was my child. We don't have children by choice and by mother nature's cruelness. So we adopt animals that come into our lives at the right time. We love them like children because they show us so much love and kindness in the time we have them.

We sat down together and wrote down on a sheet of paper everything we could remember of her the day after- nicknames, habits, foods she loved, things she did, things she loved, places we took her. Before everyone started coming over the night before her appointment I laid on the kitchen floor and painted her paw, making two paw print cards- one for us and one for my parents as they always called her their "grandpuppy". She's still here- I still finds clumps of her fur under furniture. And today I unpacked all my winter clothes and found all of them had traces of her fur. Four years is a long time to love something as much as we loved her and we know this will hurt for a long time. But we will always have the memories and the pictures of her. And we all know you never quite get dog fur out of the carpets. Rest in peace Sienna.


Popular Posts