The evening of Thursday, May 28th ended for me like most other nights always do. Lying on the couch with The Golden Girls on the TV in the background.
Little did I know that Friday morning would bring out the ugly cry in me.
My cell phone alarm played it’s lame chime as I reached my hand over to the coffee table in hopes of shutting it off without having to open my eyes.
I reluctantly couldn’t get the alarm to stop, so I forced my eyes open to hit the button to silence the phone.
But I noticed something on the screen notifying me that I had a text message…from my Mom. And we all know a text “early” in the morning from your Mom (well at least in my mind) means that there is bad news.
I opened the text and immediately dropped my phone on the floor.
“We are going to call vet as soon as they open to put Foxy down.”
These were certainly not the words that I was expecting to read on my Friday morning.
I ran upstairs, put some clothes on, and attempted to brush my teeth while my nose ran and tears streamed down my face.
I got in my car and started the drive to my parents.
I drove in silence with only the sound of my sniffles. I tried to hold back the tears, but it was no use. My eyes were getting blurry and my I kept forcing my right hand to brush off my face.
The drive seemed like it took forever. Once I arrived in my parents’ driveway, I turned the car off and sat in silence for a moment.
I took a deep breath, opened the door, and tried to mentally prepare myself for the moment I was about to experience…seeing Foxy Lady for the last time.
I walked to the back porch where I was greeted by my Dad, Ginger, and my Mom petting Foxy who had placed herself under the futon in a position that looked both comfortable and relaxed. Her back legs were sprawled out while her front paws were bent in what seemed like a tense position. Her mouth was drooling intensely which my mom was wiping up with a towel as she pet Foxy gently and whispering “it’s okay, Foxy.”
Foxy lifted her head ever so slightly to look at me with what seemed like the saddest puppy eyes. The slightest twinkle was still in them though. It was almost as if she was telling me that she was ready.
My heart broke.
I held back some tears in my eyes, sat down beside her, stayed in silence, and pet her fur with my hands.
I sat there…in a trance for what seemed like hours not wanting to grasp the reality that this was the end.
After an hour of struggling with the question of why pets can’t be with us forever, I finally went in for the final embrace.
I leaned in for one last hug with my Foxy Lady. I kissed her on the top of her forehead and whispered “thank you for the memories.” I held on tight not wanting to let go of her love that had been a faithful companion for the past 15 years.
I walked to my car in the driveway, closed the door, and began to cry uncontrollably.
I had not experienced saying goodbye to a pet since Allie, our beagle had to be put down, which we did my senior year of high school.
You would think as an older adult that saying goodbye would be an easier thing to do, but that was certainly not the case. Well, certainly not the case for me at least.
I’ve cried myself to sleep for the past three nights. It’s been over a decade since I’ve gone through the loss of a pet and having it happen at a time when the world is so upside down in all respects makes it even more difficult.
How do I even begin to sum up the past 15 years with a furry friend that remained faithful every single moment?
While it might seem like an impossible task, I’m certainly going to give it my best shot in a final letter to Foxy Lady.
My Foxy Lady,
It’s hard to believe that we’ve spent the last 15 years together. You became part of the family when I was a senior in high school! You’ve been around for more than half of my life! Isn’t that crazy?!
And having you by my side for all that time made it even more difficult to let go and say goodbye.
Would you believe me if I told you that I left the house on Friday morning with NO makeup on when Mom told me that it was time to say goodbye? Not many things in life can make me do that, so I hope that makes you feel even more special. Ha!
I remember how afraid of me you were (and men in general) when Mom and Dad first brought you home. One of the first memories I have of you was that you didn’t want to go to the bathroom outside for Mom and Dad. I was determined to stay outside and walk around with you on the leash until you went. And oh by gosh by golly, after what felt like an eternity, you did it! I was so proud and excited. Patience is a virtue and it paid off!
I can’t thank you enough for being my loyal compaion for the past 15 years. Even though you couldn’t jump on my bed as you got older, I will never forget the moments of you sleeping by my feet to keep me extra warm. I always felt so protected. You always were willing to be my cuddle buddy without question and were always the best partner in crime when I got to house sit for Mom and Dad when they would go away. I always enjoyed when you would pull up your bed beside the couch signaling to me that it was time to wind down and hit the hay. I always took that as your way of being subtle to tell me it was time for “lights out.”
Having the chance to spend some of your final moments with you was very special to me. I’m so incredibly thankful that I got to give you a final hug and kiss goodbye before you crossed over the rainbow bridge. You would think as a 32 year-old adult that saying goodbye would be easy peasy, but it was quite the opposite for me, especially because we’ve been through so much.
Would you believe that I’ve cried myself to sleep the past 3 nights on the couch? There’s not even a boy in my life that has gotten me to do that! I expect the nights of tears to continue for a bit of time until it sinks in that you are officially gone and that I won’t see you the next time I drop by Mom and Dad’s house.
You were truly the best companion and I’m glad we got to spend so many years together. You got to witness me in all my prime moments—the high school, college, and young adulting years. It’s like you watched me grow up!
Our moments together will always be so special to me, especially our last moments. They will live in a very special place of my heart forever and always.
I hope you get the opportunity to meet some new friends on the other side of the rainbow bridge, but please don’t ever forget me.
From now on, each time I lie down on the couch, I’ll think of you bringing your bed beside me and looking at me with that gleam in your eye—subtly telling me it’s time for lights out.
Thank you for the love, cuddles, and companionship over the years.
Thank you for making it so hard to say goodbye.
You’ll always be my Foxy Lady.
Sprinkle sunshine always,