Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Farewell to Ms. Fanny

~ Farwell, my sweet Ms. Fanny ~
It's been shortly over a week since Aaron and I sent Fanny to the rainbow bridge. Though it was a tough decision on all levels, it was clear that she was suffering over the weekend. Although the current winter has been quite mild, a godsend for Fanny's ailing body, a recent cold snap, coupled with freezing rain ended up being too much for her to cope with. In the final 48 hours of her physical existence with us, she struggled to stand up outside...falling to her belly on a several occasions.  It broke my heart to watch her in such a state because I knew she was trying so hard to fight her failing body.

~ Fanny on one of our camping trips in Door County ~
 When I arrived home from work last Monday evening, there she was, laying on her bed - exactly where Aaron had left her 5 hours earlier when he left for work. She could barely lift her head as she opened her eyes to greet me. Her breathing was rapid and shallow, she struggled to keep her eyes open and as I quickly came to her side she gave out a great sigh of relief. I knew it was time. She was ready to go onto the next part of her life.

As tears began to pool in my eyes, I made the call to the vet...telling them that it was time for us to let our sweet Fanny's body go and that we needed to honor her request tonight; it could not wait until the next morning. I called Aaron and told him that when he got home from work we needed to do this act of love. Shortly thereafter, Aaron arrived home and we both consoled Fanny and promised her that soon she would be happy and running pain-free. Her lungs would be free and clear and her back legs would have the strength and abundance of a puppy. With a great sigh, and one last request for an eye rub, she agreed and asked, "Well, let's get goin' then!"
~ Fanny's favorite activity (besides eating!)
was going for car rides ~

Having never experienced the loss of a close pet before, I knew the evening's events would be difficult. Aaron and I packed a full Kleenex box, Fanny's blanket and got Oscar situated. We had been preparing for this inevitable day for a few months, still there was a huge flash of reality when we were going through the motions of getting her ready for her last breathing car ride. Upon arrival to the vet's office, they welcomed us into our private room, where they had already set out a thick warm blanket for Fanny to rest on. We laid her down, never once ceasing to be with her...Aaron rubbed her ears and eyes and I quietly beamed healing energy to her as I steadily placed my hands on her rear end.  Soon, our sweet girl would be at rest. The tech administered a sedative to help Fanny relax before the procedure and gave us a few minutes alone before the doctor came in. They prepped the injection site and together, we all told Fanny how wonderful she was and how her life was only going to get better...a new body will be born and she will run wild and free until we see her again. Without hesitation, she went quietly and peacefully to her final rest.

~ "Is he really staying?"~
We had made prearrangement's to bring her home the evening of the procedure to help Oscar - and us, quite frankly - cope with the event. Just like he always has, Oscar went over and sniffed her body... concentrating on her sweet front paws and her ears. We quietly spoke to the two of them as they said their good-byes and Oscar finally got his wish...for Fanny to allow him to lay by her. It was a sweet moment between the two. The following morning, we returned Fanny to have her body cremated.

So as we wait for Fanny to return home to us, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on how much she brought to my life over the past 10 years.
To my dear, sweet Fanny,  
You were my first dog. The memories I have of the first day we met are some of the happiest moments in my life. After 22 years of begging my parents for a dog - I finally went out and got one myself! Fanny, you were simply stunning...a beautiful White Shepherd girl...all alone in your adoption room. I knew you would bring great joy to my life as I signed the application papers. I didn't care about the 'negatives' on your intake form - they didn't scare me - although you certainly fulfilled them as some of my friends would soon find out. 
You taught me that kangaroo tails aren't reserved for kangaroos - you had a fabulous tail and carried it well...on multiple occasions hitting it on something that made it go limp. You taught me that you would gladly eat any and all food that was offered to you - even those that were for my anniversary dinner with Aaron. You taught me that you are smarter (and stronger) than most humans - I will never forget the time when you moved Chris' entertainment center away from the wall to puke back there. You taught me that you could, in fact, be trusted around anyone - it just took some time, love and lots of hot dogs for some of those scary men to be OK. You taught me that I couldn't live a day without finding white dog hair everywhere - admittedly  I would miss it if it weren't around.  You taught me that finding a man who really loves dog is a hard thing - but I found him and will never let him go. You taught me that I had to be careful when I was preparing your food b/c you have secret ninja skills and could sneak up on me nearly tripping me on multiple occasions. You taught me to never give up on anything, and make adjustments along the way - I regret those days when I didn't know any better and used a prong collar on you, but it afforded me the opportunity for ultimate growth into the positive training world and I have never looked back since. You taught me that you were always there with me - your timely "drive by" nose bumps at night are sincerely missed. You taught me about unconditional love - I never once regret staying home on a Friday night to be with you because I know appreciated it, even though I got shit from a lot of my "friends" for it. Fanny, you were a wonderful companion. You put up with your little brother and set a wonderful example for your breed. Your presence will be missed by all that knew you...but the memories you have given will always be there.
Until we meet again, my dear, run wild and free - and jump on a counter or two, especially if there's a steak up there in the sink. ~ Your proud Momma, Laura ~
~ The ultimate lounger in her golden years ~

1 comment:

  1. Oh Laura, I could barely read the end for all these tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your love for your sweet girl. She's very special indeed. And I'm so happy to picture her running and jumping and guarding anything she pleases now. As I'm typing this now, Miss Laika just walked into the room to check on me and laid her head on my knee. It feels like a warm goodbye to her friend Fanny. Much love to you, Aaron, and Oscar. You'll be in my heart, just like Ms. Fanny.