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Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

November 28, 2016 | 02:04 PM

I've read that humor is one of the healthiest and most powerful methods to help provide perspective on life's difficult experiences, and I believe this to be true, but I can't find the humor right now.

As you may have guessed, this column is going to be quite different from my usual crazy chronicles of what's happening in my home front. Why? I haven't been able to find the lighter side of a recent loss; a loss that has hit me very, very hard.

Now if you're like most of the people in the Mouser family (my family, filled with generations of people who would shoot a dog for sucking eggs – how do dogs suck eggs, anyway? They can't purse their lips to suck – this is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night) who grew up "farm strong" (fans of Modern Family will understand this reference), my next words will probably have you saying, "Is she kidding with this?", but my dog died. My best friend. The one being on the face of the planet that would be so excited when I came in the door he would howl and shake with delight. My Max. He's gone and I can't tell you how deep my grief is.

I loved that dog. Even when I was cleaning up his "accidents" (which were actually "on purposes" because he didn't want to go outside in the cold to do his business). Even when he climbed on the counter and ate my daughter's birthday cake while the kids were batting at the piñata outside. Even when I started to crawl in bed only to find him settled snuggly in my side of the bed with his not-so-clean-parts touching my pillow.

My steady stream of tears, which, at times, turns into torrents of water that could solve our state's water problems, has been wracking my body since I got the devastating news from Dr. Lohr (the best veterinarian EVER) that it was time for me to let go of my Maxie. I knew Dr. Lohr was right; Max was blind, couldn't hear, and had recently begun having a hard time breathing.

I held him close, whispering (well, shouting, actually, because he was deaf) words of gratitude for bringing so much joy and laughter into my life and telling him how terribly he would be missed. And then he was gone. It was so peaceful, or it would have been if I hadn't been filling the room with sobs.

Even with the heartache I feel now, I know having Max in my life added such a wonderful dimension. And sooooooo many humorous moments. I'll be able to think back on those times when he would sneak a candy bar out of one of the kids' Halloween bags and bring it straight to me. Or when he'd run around like a demon possessed-creature if you took a deep breath anywhere near his ear.

Now in the midst of the aftermath I'm trying to remember that keeping Max alive would have been for my sake, not for his. Could he still do the things that made him/her happy and confident? What would have been gained by keeping my elderly, infirmed bestie alive?

I'll be in mourning for a while, but I'm so thankful for the bond between human and animal.

Threads: Parenting

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