Friday, April 01, 2016

Best Dog Ever

I remember that this video was taken at 10am. I remember because I looked at my phone and thought: 4 hours. I have 4 hours left with this dog. It was the last video of him I ever took. It will be the last video of him I ever take.

I did take a lot of pictures today. At first I didn't want to, but I am glad I did. While it was by far one of the hardest days of my life, it was one of the most beautiful.

Our friends John and Becky and their two adorable boys happened to be in town visiting us this weekend. They ended up being the PERFECT people to be here with us. Becky is a fellow infertility sister, and she just lost her Annie about a year ago. Annie was also an "infertility" dog for Becky so their presence was wonderful. Not only did they just get it, but they were a great distraction when it was just getting too heavy. Around 10am, we all went down to feed the chickens and check for eggs.

Isaac, Jonah, Joshua, and Sidge

The boys with Scrubs

An absolutely precious moment with Isaac and Scrubs

Becky had an idea to paint some rocks for Scrubs. This turned out to be a wonderful activity. We were waiting for the vet and not sure what to do with ourselves.

Isaac wanted his to be black and white like his dog.

I love this picture of Abigail and Scrubs.

After that, we moved over to the garage where we told the kids that Scrubs was going to die soon. We did not tell them that the Vet was putting him down. We simply said we knew his time was coming. We took some time to let each of the kids say good bye. Hannah was too young. Abigail wasn't quite able to understand. But the boys definitely knew what was happening. Both Isaac and Sidge grieve differently, and it was equally painful to watch both of them process this.

JB and his dog.

I love this picture.

Around 2:30pm, Dr. Bailey showed up. We have only known her for two months, but we know we have found our life-long vet. I love her. She is so compassionate and sweet and just wonderful. The kids went inside to watch a movie with John and Becky and their kids while JB and I stayed with Scrubs. We told him what a good boy he was. We cried over him. We held him while she gave him a shot to put him to sleep and then while she started an IV to let him go.

I had a lot of worries and questions about whether we were doing the right thing. But God made it perfectly clear to us during the final 24 hours that we were doing the right thing. Scrubs has continued to do pretty well during the two months since his terminal diagnosis. But on Thursday, we really noticed a decline. JB said we needed to do it soon. We didn't want him to have a painful last few days. We wanted him to go out on top. I had to remind myself that I was his advocate. I was the person able to stop his pain. And I was determined not to be selfish in my decision. 

Scrubs passed away peacefully around 3pm on a Friday afternoon here on the farm. 

I cannot tell you how wonderful it felt to know we would get to bury him here on the farm -- where we will be forever. It mean so much to me to do that. The two Johns had already dug a place for him. We got him buried and then brought the kids up to say good bye.

We brought a bunch of rocks up to lay around the grave. We buried him along the road that leads between our house and the grandparents house -- the two families he loved most of all.

Grandpa and Grandma were out of town. This was honestly probably for the best as I don't think I could have dealt with Grandpa saying good bye to Scrubs. The two of them had an inseparable bond. Grandpa surprised us by having a sign already made for Scrubs. He said he has a more permanent one in mind, but it was so wonderful to have this to put up at his grave. It was just perfect for him.

The Connors family joined us for our little "funeral." It felt just right to have them there with us.

It was Sidge that has taken to calling Scrubs "Best dog ever." In fact, when we told him we have plans to get two new puppies in a few weeks, he grew concerned and we all agreed that no other dog would ever take that title. He and I both made similar rocks expressing our love for this dog.

Just perfect

While Sidge will cry and grieve very openly, our Isaac is always fairly private. It was no surprise when he took off from the funeral site to go run with the chickens. He truly finds peace with the chickens, and we knew this was what he needed.

After Dr. Bailey left, we finished our evening with a dinner and trip to Dairy Queen for a "we love Scrubs" ice cream fest. 

Now it is the evening and the tears that have been at rest for a few hours are coming back in full force. I hesitated sharing about Scrubs on Facebook and on my Blog because I wasn't sure if I could do it today or if it was appropriate, but as always, writing is how I process. It is how I grieve. And this Blog is my place. Years from now I will remember these memories through this Blog and that is so important to me. 

I know he was "just a dog" and that some people, like me before I ever had a pet, will not understand the depth of the pain. But that's okay. This pain is deep for me. It is running through my whole body. It doubled me over during my run this morning in a fit of sobs. It left me lying next to Scrubs during his last moments telling him what a good boy he is. 

I truly believe Scrubs is in heaven. He is waiting for me there. He is playing with the Connors dog Annie and eating peanut butter and socks to his heart's content. 

There will probably be more about Scrubs on this blog in the coming weeks and months then most people want to read, but I really don't care. I need to remember him. I need to memorialize him for myself. This dog was my companion. My comforter. My protector. My first child. 

I love you Scrubs SO MUCH. I will never be the same because you were in my life. Thank you for being my dog. 





TAV said...

Crying for you, Wendi. Prayers that your heart heals, as I know it will.

Kitty Earl said...

I just balled like a baby reading this post, but it's ok. We understand your pain. We had to put our beloved Sammy down at 12 yrs old due to cancer. We now have a four legged son that is 6 yrs old and the thought of how it will be when his time comes. We grieve with you all, but it is great that we have experienced the love from these creatures. You all are in our thoughts!

Unknown said...

If people don't want to hear about the best dog ever, then they will have to take a break from your blog. I for one look forward to hearing more.
From Deirdre who is crying.

Nancy Gritter said...

Wow, such an emotional post, I can barely type through my tears! �� it's very emotional when thinking about little ones processing the death of their best friend......such a difficult thing but a necessary part of life and growing up. The gravesite is beautiful, the sign so perfect...we will be thinking of you all in the weeks to come and praying for wonderful memories to help you overcome the pain. Looks like there are many awesome memories for a very special dog...

Anonymous said...

You and your family have been on my mind all day knowing what you were difficult. So sorry you had to lose your precious dog, they truly are like our children and fill a special place in our hearts. Crying for your loss, knowing what it feels like. -Susan D.Y.

Debbie said...

When I lost Patches a few years back, I actually went through my first bout with depression. The pain is real, and I'm so sorry you're having to go through it. I also look forward to reading more, whenever and however much you want to write, I want to read. Much love and hugs and empathy!

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing. Still praying for all of you. Glad you have extra people to help you through right now.

Lara Stafford said...

I prayed and wept yesterday for you - my heart is heavy still. Dogs fill a space in our hearts and lives like nothing else - Mitzi is my rock when I am in a major depression exacerbation. Thank God for dogs - and for Scrubs, who was there for you in so many ways.

Momma, PhD said...

I'm choked up reading this. So sorry for your loss, but so grateful it was peaceful and painless for Scurbs. Will be keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Pam Lapish said...

Wendi, I am so very sorry. My heart is sad for you. I understand how important a dog is. They are family. Will be praying for you all.

Anonymous said...

My calander at work is puppies. This month the picture is two dalmation puppies. When I look at the calendar it is a reminder to pray for your family. I too recently had to say good bye to my first pup after almost 15 years together. It is hard. It is hard to watch the kids grieve the loss but I do think it is an opportunity to teach about something that is a part of life. Many prayers for your whole family as you procees through this big loss.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, Wendi. I hurt for you... *hugs*

Good dog, Scrubs!


Anonymous said...

We lost our best dog ever the same way at 4 o'clock on the same day. She loved to play Frisbee in the water too. I hope that she has met Scrubs and they are playing Frisbee together. When people ask me how I am feeling I point to your posts since you write such beautiful words.

Jennifer said...

Oh Wendi, I am so sorry! Just from reading your blog I can tell what a wonderful family member he was for you all

Susan said...

Wendi - I have purposely stayed away from your blog after having read about Scrubs being sick. I steeled myself to check in today and saw where your sweet boy is gone. My heart is breaking for you as tears run down my face. While I love hearing about your kids and the farm, my favorite stories have been your Scrubby stories. He wasn't 'just a dog', he was part of your family. He helped you through some terribly tough times. I'll be thinking about you in the days ahead. In time, the tears will stop and those two new puppies will fill your heart. There will never be another Scrubs - the best do ever.

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

Susan, thank you so much. It has been tough but the memories are so good.