I know this post is much different than I usually post, and you might need a Kleenex or two…but it is good therapy for me.
I am sitting here in the middle of the night watching Rachel Manatee sleep. She is sleeping restlessly, with her right eye moving almost constantly. I just gave her some doggie pain medicine…hopefully she will get some good sleep.
A few evenings ago we took her on a car ride out in the country, which she loves…she stuck her long nose out the window and barked at everything we passed. She loves cows and we drove until we found some for her to talk to. She would only look out the right side of the car, must have hurt to have her right eye to look the other way with the wind. When we got home, she had a dose of her pain medicine and ice cream for dinner and we all tried to go about our routines. She seemed really sad like she knows her life on this earth may be close to done, maybe it is pain, maybe she does know that her favorite vet, Dr. Frank, has been out to see her too many times in the last two weeks.
Rachel is my son’s first love, other than me of course. She was named by a 7 year old Veggie Tales fan…thus her name Rachel Manatee (like Barbara Manatee). These two were inseparable from the beginning. From the time she was a fuzzy little fur ball and he spent every waking moment with her, until now when he is grown up and sometimes doesn’t give her the time of day, he has been her boy.
Rachel always knew at 3:35 pm she need to go to the top of the driveway and wait for the bus, she would run and jump in excitement waiting for Sam to come home and then she would hop around (all 75 pounds of her!) and tackle him when he stepped off the bus. She would lick his face and he would push her away and laugh. She followed him into the house that way, bumping into him and licking, tail wagging all the way. Her boy was home again! Later she waited for his car to come down the driveway, always meeting him in the yard. She met me at the car every night too, but not tonight.
Sam and I looked at pictures last night, as a sweet fuzzy black puppy with a red bandana tied around her neck, as a sweet puppy chasing Mr. Sweets, the cantankerous cat, as a happy pooch napping with her boy on the couch. We talked about every picture, funny things that Rachel had done through the years.
When she was about a year old she chewed the molding completely off the bottom of the staircase. She got sprayed by a skunk and the groomer used peroxide on her to get rid of the smell, we laughed about her dyed hair. We talked about Rachel walking off the deck into a giant snowdrift and falling deep into the drift. We laughed about the way Rachel talks; sometimes she sounds like Scooby Doo. About how she loves blackberries, but won’t eat them off the bush, she tried that and got her nose poked, so we would have to pick them for her.
We buried Rachel on Sunday surrounded by the blackberry bushes she loved so much. She died quietly with my hands on her and my voice in the air and with her boy by her side, she didn’t even move when the vet’s needle stuck her. She had cancer growing behind one eye and we chose to not have it investigated or treated. We kept her comfy and happy and she loved us to the end.
I know I will miss you so much…rest in peace Rachel Manatee, you have been the best dog ever!