Today I’m thinking about my sweet girl, Maggie, who we had to euthanize in April after an 8 month battle with lymphoma. She had just turned 8 years old in February, and we treated her with chemotherapy for as long as we could afford it. Oh, how I miss her.
I can’t help but reflect back to my days with her, when I wasn’t sober. I was such a terrible person. I would be impatient if she played too rough around my son (even though it was really my son I should have been concerned with – Maggie was such a gentle dog – she let him do whatever he wanted to her). I would yell at her, swat at her if she jumped (her one bad habit), and basically had no patience when we had company over and she would simply be greeting them – but as a 75 pound American Bulldog, she usually would knock people over completely on accident. Bull in a china shop.
I know it sounds crazy, but those months of chemotherapy were a true gift. Not only did I get more time with her, but knowing our time together was so short, I was able to truly give her the gift of my love and patience. I cannot say how many times I cried with her as I drove her over two hours just to get to her chemotherapy appointments. Because of the chemo, we were able to have her with us for Halloween, for Thanksgiving, for Christmas, and even for Easter. We celebrated her 8th birthday with a huge family party (I have a big family of dog lovers) – and of course, each occasion was an opportunity to get drunk.
Even the night that we took her in to be euthanized (which was a decision that was made that very day – I just knew she was ready, even if she probably would have continued to take food for another week or so) my husband and I came home, tear stained faces, and drank an entire bottle of wine as we mourned the loss of our sweet baby girl.
I really regret not only poisoning the good times with alcohol, but I also regret not truly feeling the painful times. I regret that I am only now starting to become the person that I want to be – that I wasted so many years of my life being a hateful and impatient person.
I am so glad that today is day 42. I don’t really know why I’m blogging about my dog, but I guess I’m just feeling really bummed out and I’m missing her tonight. This beats drinking wine.