It Just Happened So Fast

It was close to 7:30 am when she walked into his room, sitting down in front of him. She looked into his eyes with a combination of love and resolution, as if to say, “Don’t you know, too?” He looked at his adorable black lab and shook his head, thinking, this is a little odd. But the obligation of school called, so he patted her soft head, saying, “Love you, Girl, see you later!” And he finished tying his shoes before walking out the door, heading for the high school.

The rest of us also left for the day’s routine: work and school. Just the ordinary; it was to be an ordinary kind of day. She was curled up and content on her soft bed in the backyard where she liked to keep an eye on any trespassing critters.

But shortly after we all left, she cried out. Our good neighbor next door heard her high-pitched cries, so he called us on our cell phones, then he stayed with her. One significant glitch was that all our cell phones were turned off, which had never happened before, and which proved to be the conundrum on this tearful day. So, over an hour passed before I even listened to the urgent message; during this time, our neighbor waited patiently with Lucky Girl breathing her last breaths. The guilt from this unintentional blunder stayed with us for a very long time; we felt sick inside imagining that she was lying there waiting for one of us to come home to tell her that everything was going to be okay.

He got down to her level, parking himself on the cool November concrete, her head resting on his leg. He was not a dog person, but he was a dog person on this day, petting her with compassion. It was ironic that she had had an aversion to him for some unknown reason. But that morning, any dislike she had for this man faded into the uncertainty of what was happening.

I pulled into the driveway, eyes wet and puffy from the phone message, and this was only the beginning. Walking through the side gate, I spotted our neighbor sitting on the walkway, his back up against the house, legs stretched out with Lucky Girl lying beside him. She was barely there, though – her eyes revealing acceptance and sadness. I think she knew more than we did at that moment.

He helped me lift her, gently laying her in the back of the car so she could lie on her side with plenty of room. As much as I wanted her in the front seat where I could see her, I knew she wouldn’t be comfortable. It wasn’t until I pulled out of the driveway that I realized the inevitable was drawing closer. She was eleven years old, but until today, she still seemed so full of life.

With tearful eyes, I drove, feeling grateful the freeway wasn’t a necessary route. Half-way to the vet, I knew. My heart felt the crossing. I pulled over to the side, got out of the car, and walked to the back, lifting the car door. I saw that my Lucky Girl had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I sobbed again, knowing more tears would follow.

I kissed her on her nose then managed to get back into the driver’s seat, continuing for another ten minutes to the vet. When I arrived, frantically entering the building, I shared my devastating news with the girl at the counter who acted amazingly aloof for my untamed emotions. But two vet techs wearing light blue medical jackets carried Lucky Girl from the car into a private room. I asked for a few moments alone with my girl. There she was lying on the silver table, where I’m sure many furry family members have done the same. I bent over, laying my head on her soft black fur, gently petting her, and whispering on behalf of her family, “We love you, Lucky Girl.” More tears slid down my face as I was unable to comprehend that this was it…

No more walks together, no more cuddles on the bed, no more tossing of the ball, watching her chase that silly round toy with the excitement of a toddler. No more playing tug-o-war with her favorite rope toy, entertained by her incredible strength and admirable effort. No more watching TV with her lying at our feet as though she’s enjoying the show as much as we are.  

When we were all home later that day – the news weighing heavy on our hearts and minds – we huddled in a strong embrace, emotions running wild. This unforgettable chapter was part of life, part of owning a pet, allowing their unconditional love to wrap around our hearts. But this chapter was also about learning how to say good-bye.

The strange thing was Lucky Girl had never indicated that something was off kilter…except, perhaps, when she walked into his room that morning. She looked at him with knowledge we couldn’t possibly have been privy to. Even though her behavior was unusual, she was quiet, not crying or whining, so it didn’t propel us into worrying.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty. If we only would have known.
It just happened so fast.

Remembering Lucky Girl who received her angel wings on November 11, 2011. ❤️

54 thoughts on “It Just Happened So Fast

    1. Thanks, Joanna. It was a tough day to say the least. Because of the craziness of that day, I felt a need to write about it even though it was a long time ago. And now we remember her with lots of love. I’m sorry about Gaby too. It’s so hard when we lose one of our furry family members. ❤️

    1. A sad day for our family, Jane, and because of the cell phone blunder and guilt, I felt the need to write it down even though nine years have passed. I know she knows we will always love her. Love to you. ❤️

    1. I don’t think we do, but we find a way to move on, and sometimes, we bring another furry friend into our homes like we did with Copper. But we will always love them. Thank you for your beautiful words, Marina. Hugs 💞💞💞

    1. Hi John, it felt good to write about that sad and crazy day with the phone blunder. The guilt was extreme for all of us. A strange thing to have happen. It’s been a long time, and since then, you know that Copper has joined our family. But I still felt the need to write about it, and I know she knows how much we love her. Thanks so much! We love our furry family members.

      1. Yes we do.I remember getting up with our boxer Bailey every two hours all night so that she could go potty. I did that for eight weeks and still felt guilty that I couldn’t do more to save her.

      2. I understand and feel for you, too. Maybe if they could speak our language, we’d feel a little better because they would know how we truly felt – how much we loved them. It’ll never happen, but I’m sure it would make a difference. We just have to show them in the best way we can and feel confident that they know. ❤️

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Nico. Sometimes we just need to write about an event, and it doesn’t matter how much time has passed. I always appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Take care.

  1. A lovely tribute to Lucky girl Lauren. Our dogs are just another family member and we miss them so much when they are gone. Im sure you all felt awful at the time but these situations happen to us all in one way or another. You gav3 her a good life xxx

    1. Thanks so much, Alison! I appreciate your encouraging words. They truly do help. It’s very hard to lose one of our pets because they simply don’t speak our language, and we wish they could. Then we’d be sure they knew just how we felt. Thanks again. 💗

    1. Yes, it was a very sad day, but we cherish the wonderful ten years we had with her. And it helped me to write about it. No, they never live long enough. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Binky.

    1. Le sniff, is right, Resa. I get teary-eyed even after reading it again and again. But it’s part of life and she knows how much we will always love her. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment! 💞

  2. Writing has helped me heal the pain of losing beloved pets. When I couldn’t find the words verbally I could write them. 💕 Some of our pet passings were planned while a few were unexpected. You captured the unexpected loss beautifully. It brought tears to my ears, as I recalled similar feelings. Thanks for sharing your experience, Lauren.

    1. Thanks for your lovely words, Lisa. It’s been ten years, but this day remains so vivid that I had to write about it. It’s almost as though I can finally let go of that guilt. I know it sounds silly after all this time. But such is life. 🙂 I empathize with you for the losses you have endured. We enjoy our furry family members, but it’s so hard to say good-bye. Thank you for reading, my friend. 💞

      1. My pleasure, Lauren. Pet owners can carry guilt for a very long time after the loss of a beloved pet. That is common, not silly at all. Writing is a wonderful tool to hold the space for us to release and heal. Thank you. It seems pet lovers understand one another quite well. xoxo

  3. Oh my goodness I am all tears and sadness. I am accompanied by Lilly the armpit dog, the rescue that rescued us. What will I ever do when this is me? Why isn’t it as easy as signing her adoption papers three years ago on Jan 2nd. I weep for lucky and for you and know we both are lucky to have them. #doglove

    1. I know, I still get teary-eyed when I read this! We get through these tough times, but it’s not easy. And with the cell phone blunder, that guilt was palpable. But writing this helped me to finally let go. She knows we will always love her, and now we have the love from Copper. Thanks for reading, Ellen, and for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate them. And enjoy the love from armpit Lilly. She’s adorable. 💕

  4. What a sad and heart-touching story Lauren. It must have been tough for you to see her go this way and for all your family.
    Things happen sometimes and we don’t get why they do, how we could have done different.
    I am sure Lucky Girl knew the depth of your love for her.

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful words, Marie. I appreciate you taking the time to read this story. I felt the need to write even though a decade has passed. And I agree with you…I’m sure Lucky Girl knew how much we loved her and that we will always love her. 💞

    1. Thanks for reading, Debby. This is something I had to write even though it’s been ten years and Copper is part of our family now. It was just an awful day. But we are sure that she waited for one of us to get home before she would be ready to cross over. Sigh. Anyway, we will always love her and she knows that too. ❤️

    1. Thanks for your lovely words, Julia. Writing this even after ten years was helpful. And we do know that she had a great life with us and that we will always love her. I’m sorry for your loss, too. Our pets become such a big part of our families that it’s so hard when they leave us. 💕

    1. Thanks so much, Betty. For some reason, I felt the need to write about that crazy and emotional day. We still miss Lucky and will always miss and love her. I’ll take the hugs. 🙂 Love and hugs to you, too! 💞💗

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