This past week as been incredibly hard for me and as a result I completely got derailed from my goals. It’s because this past week I had to put my 12 year old loving little beagle, Cookie, to sleep.
Long story short, Cookie was paralyzed 2 years ago due to her falling off the back steps of my house landing on her back. I paid for 3 acupuncture sessions since it was a cheaper route than an expensive surgery/rehab process. It was HARD trying to help Cookie back on her feet. I had to squeeze her bladder to help her pee in the beginning 3 times a day. I also was constantly cleaning my house when they switched her meds that made it impossible for her to hold it. My house smelled horrible all the time. But I stuck through it and eventually Cookie could walk again. Problem is that parts of her bottom and tail was still paralyzed as they told me that the sessions just wouldn’t be able to fix that. She couldn’t always hold her bladder or bowel movements so she would always have accidents without even being aware of it. There was many times I would let her outside in the back yard, bring her back in and she would start to poop as she walked in. It was frustrating but I loved my dog so I just dealt with it.
But after a bad flea infestation at my house, her tail became half bald and she actually punctured it pretty bad to where I had to take her to the vet to bandage it up. I had been giving her meds from the vet already to help her tail heal but nothing was working. That’s when the vet told me that she suspected that she may have to amputate her tail because her tail wouldn’t respond to the meds. We gave it one last try with meds and bandaging her tail but last Thursday the vet gave me the sad news that she was showing early signs of gangrene (a very painful condition where tissue dies from lost of blood) and her tail was black. She would need amputation before the infection got worse to spread deep into her body. But the vet told me that with her not being able to control her bladder/bowel movements, the presence of cataracts slowly taking over her eyes, and some internal bleeding that neither one of us was sure of where it was coming from, and the fact that she was getting pretty old, she recommended that I put Cookie down.
That was probably the most difficult decision for me to make…to let go. I knew that Cookie wasn’t going to last forever. I knew that it was getting harder to take care of her. And I knew that my credit cards couldn’t take anymore as my student loans from undergrad and grad school are coming for me next month.
So I said good-bye to my baby Cookie. I held her in her last breath. I felt her body go limp as the injection flowed through her body. And I heaved and cried with all my lungs and tears that my body could form. I was a mess that day but I knew I had to make the right decision for her. My grandma told me that dogs can hide pain pretty well and that I was doing a good thing for Cookie. That Cookie may had been ready to go and I didn’t even realize it. I received a lot of comfort and prayers from family, co-workers, and friends which is where I owe the strength that I have now. It’s still weird for my home to be so quiet. To no longer have caring for Cookie be a part of my morning routine. And to not have her as my personal vacuum whenever I cook. To not have her to alert me when a squirrel was outside in the yard. To not stare at me with those big eyes and floppy ears whenever I ate something. It’s an adjustment.
Anyway, that’s why I have completely been off my goals this past week. I’m trying not to be impatient with myself with letting go of Cookie, but I know that this too shall pass. Today has been a good day so far. Not as many valleys. And when I do feel them, I allow myself to fully feel it instead of stifling it. I think that’s what keeps people from moving on because they stifle it or repress it. Doing that only makes it worse in the long run. I’m giving myself permission to mourn as that’s the only way to move forward.
I plan to be focused again this week meaning I’ll have a better update next week. I’ll also share the new goals I have that are better fleshed out as my priority level is shifting a bit. Thank you guys for reading, and my advice is that if you’re going through anything, don’t hunt for a shortcut to get through it. Feel it. Embrace it. Accept the emotions that you’re feeling. The best way to get over something is through it. So I’m going to apply that and my other getting past it advice as well as continuing to speak positive things over myself. I’m going to be ok, and I’m going to get back focused. Rest in peace, Cookie.