I’m really sad to share with you guys that on Wednesday, I had to say goodbye to my little furry companion Lily.
Sitting here typing this still doesn’t feel real to me. I don’t think anything can prepare you for the loss of a pet.
A few weeks ago, we noticed that Lily stopped acting as much like herself. She seemed confused when she was inside, started walking around in circles outside and was having a harder time on her normal leash walks. There was an obvious difference in how much she had been playing with her toys and she become disinterested in being around us. Lily has ALWAYS been by my side to the point where she even followed me to the bathroom, so this was a night and day difference compared to her normal, cuddly self.
Over the Labor Day weekend, things seemed to get a little worse. My heart sank last week when I went upstairs to do laundry and came back downstairs, only to find her laying in the same exact spot in our family room where I had left her. She didn’t even lift her head up when I came back downstairs :( She normally would have been waiting for me at the bottom of the steps.
I actually got really upset that night and told B that I was starting to get concerned about her quality of life.
Then I woke up on Tuesday morning to the sounds of Lily being restless on her bed- laying down, getting back up, and laying down again. This wasn’t normal for her at all… she usually stayed sound asleep, even snoring, until we got up. I tried to take her outside but she was having difficulty using her two front legs and just kept stumbling and falling over. I brought her inside and she seemed hungry, but she couldn’t even sit up at her food bowl to eat. She usually loves it when I hold her, but she seemed restless and disliked being picked up. B tried to comfort her but it was like there was nothing we could do to console her.
I got dressed and rushed her to the vet, and I actually ended up having to leave her there for the day to get checked out. She got a thorough physical physical exam and blood work done, and everything came back normal. This was the first time in her whole life when she was acting “off” that no test came back positive for some sort of illness, orthopedic issue or an infection. The vet thought maybe she had suffered a mini stroke.
B ended up coming home from work, and we talked to the vet together. We had no real treatment options and we discussed her quality of life, and whether we could keep her comfortable. A sadness sank in that maybe she had been suffering on the inside and we just hadn’t realized it.
She seemed a little better and comfortable by the end of the day, so we decided to bring her home for the night to be able to spend time with her and give her a lot of love. She got lots of cuddles and belly rubs, and I soaked up every moment I had with my girl.
Wednesday morning felt so difficult and heavy. I was sick to my stomach hoping that something would change and she would be better. But she continued to have difficulty walking and getting up, and at one point, B could tell she was thirsty and had to carry her to her water bowl. Our vet had told us in the past that if we were unsure of whether it was the right time, then Lily would be the one to let us know. It was incredibly hard to come to terms with the realization that Lily was letting us know that it was time.
Lily let me lay with her on Wednesday morning, and I was able to tell her how much I loved her, what an amazing companion she has been and how much she has meant to me over the past 12 years. She let me hold her for the longest time, and I felt like it was her way of saying goodbye to me. She loved so much to sit outside, and one of the last things we did together was sit out on the patio in the sunshine.
Taking her to the vet was so awful. I just wanted to grasp on to each second that I had with her. I took my bible, and we said a prayer asking God to watch over her. She fell asleep with her head on one of her favorite toys as B and I cuddled her. I can’t thank Dr. Houghton and Hambright Animal Hospital enough for making things as calm and peaceful as possible.
Saying goodbye to Lily has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I can’t put into words how much I loved her and will continue to love her. I got her when I was 19, and she has been my companion for my entire adult life. I look back on all of the good and bad times I have had, and she has been by my side for all of them. She gave me unconditional love and companionship, especially in times when I needed it most, and I will carry our memories together in my heart forever. I hope she is somewhere watching over me, where she can see again and can run and enjoy life in all of the ways she used to.
In college, 2006
I don’t even know where to begin with processing the grief of losing a pet. I felt completely numb when we got home on Wednesday, and I woke up with the most horrible feeling of grief and loss in the middle of the night. There have been so many moments over the past few days where I have looked up to see what she was doing, or thought about how I would need to run home to let her out, only to realize that she is no longer here. I know these feelings will ease with time, but they are certainly tough right now.
I also just wanted to mention how much B has helped me make make it through the past week. He also deeply loved Lily, and I’m thankful for his love and support right now.
Thank you for letting me share my feelings here on the blog. I debated how many details I wanted to share in this post, but writing everything out has been therapeutic for me. My heart hurts to much right now but all of the kind messages I have received on social media have given me a little bit of comfort.
Rest in Peace, Lily Button <3