Totally OT for the thread, but I want to post this somewhere, and a new thread for it seems silly, since I have already used various threads of mine for way-OT life-stuff before.
I couldn't even really write anything about this yesterday, much less talk about it, without busting into tears and crying like a baby for hours. So this is kind of a (hopefully) catharsis and such, since yesterday all I could manage was the pictures I put up over in the Pets thread:viewtopic.php?p=459658#p459658
Bonnie died in the middle of the night sometime well after midnight, I dunno exactly when. I'd been dozing momentarily like usual the last several days, waking after a minute or less and seeing if she'd drink more water or syrup/etc mixture, or nibble more food, which she usually would. This time when I woke and picked up her muzzle, her tongue was lolling out but her eyes were open, but unseeing, and her head was so incredibly relaxed I knew she was gone.
I just held her for a while, hardly feeling anything, unable to decide what to do. I got a flashlight and checked her eyes, with zero pupil reaction, which just made it that much more certain. When I picked her up I found her sphincters had let go, too, another telltale. It was HORRIBLE to feel her totally relaxed body, with no struggle against me picking her up, because she always detested that and wanted to do it on her own no matter what, and her head just flopping backwards was nightmarish. I almost threw up right then and there, and I did a few minutes later.
I could't think, really, coudln't decide anything, but knew i couldn't just leave her laying somewhere the other dogs might get to, because i didn't know what they might do--probalby nothing, but I didn't want to fidn out. So I put her in the biggest black plastic bag I had, and wrapped it over her, and put her in my kennel trailer so I could latch it shut to keep them out, as I had to start getting ready to go to work in a couple of hours or so; it wasn't even close to getting light outside yet I think. Not totally sure. I was so very tired I laid back down but could not sleep; I kept wondering what I could ahve done differently, and I kept having the impulse to go check her to see if maybe really she was just asleep, and I was wrong, and she was going to suffocate in that bag. Knowing it's stupid didn't make me feel any different, and I coudln't stop thinking that. I actually had to go check several times, whcih just added to the nightmarish experience and horror of it.
Eventually, after not actually sleeping anymore than minutes-long dozes (at most), each woken with a nightmare, my alarm went off and I managed to get ready for work, but the dogs wouldn't go outside for potty break, they were all standing aroudn the kennel (and i guess had been most of teh times I had gone to check on her after wrapping her up in there). I had to just hope they could hold it all in till i was scheduled to get back around 2pm or so.
As it turned out, I left work after less than two hours, because a few minutes after I got there I was taking care of the small animals, and one of the hamsters in our little hospital room had died overnight of whatever was wrong with it, little feet in the air, tongue sticking out, and that was almost stunning--it made me feel cold in a way I didn't understand, but I took out one of the little black bags we have to put deceased animals/etc. in, and put the hamster in it, and as soon as i did, EVERYTHING just hit me all at once, and I almost fell down with the power of the reaction, and the pain, and although I don't remember doing it, I guess my cry was loud enough to get the manager's attention in the office a couple of rooms away, though he didn't come see what it was becuase he was doing store-opening stuff that has to get done quickly. Later when i got keys from him for some habitats he asked what was wrong and I told him and he was very sympathetic but i couldnt' talk because I was crying so much, so i just went to keep going at the animal care.
I kept going and trying to do what needed doing, caring for the animals and stuff, but by the time I was done I couldn't hardly stand anymore, and there was zero chance I could help customers or run a register, so I gave him the keys back, told him all the animals were done, and that i couldn't do any more, punched out and kinda collapsed in a chair in the back room of the store, and kept crying for what must've been at least an hour. At some point I actually fell asleep for a few minutes, because I was still so exhausted from virtually zero sleep the last week of taking care of Bonnie. When I woke up, I was still on the edge of tears at every moment, and I rode home, with a few stops for emotionally overpowering moments along the way.
When I finally got home, the dogs were all happy to see me, and that helped, but I was still so exhausted and distraught that all I could really do was sit down, and I fell asleep again for a few moments over and over again, unable to even get up out of the chair for a while. Evnetually I got up and let them all out, and went with them to just be outside, where it was mostly cloudy and very breezy, and there was thunder now and then, but no rain yet.
I'd guess it was midday by then, from the sun, but I hadn't looked at a clock since punching out from work and didn't end up looking at one again until several hours later, at least. I knew I needed to do something with Bonnie, and I did not want to have her "disposed of", and I think cremation and keeping them around is pretty creepy, so I decided to return her to the earth, as I'd done with many dogs over the years especially when I lived in farm coutnry in Texas as a kid.
I picked one of her favorite spots to lay in the shade while waiting for Mom to come home, where she could see the end of the carport and most of the road, over by the northeast corner of the house. It already had a depression there from where she and other dogs had dug cool-pits to lay in, over the years. I deepened that a lot, and laid her in there facing the way she'd do when she was waiting. It just felt right. I also couldn't bring myself to clean and put away the last bowl she was using, so I put that in there with her still full. I know it's stupid, and wont' do anything but get bugs in there faster, but it felt right to do it, and wrong not to.
Since she was also Mom's dog, I wanted to put something Mom loved with her, that would last, and be visible, a reminder, a memorial without words, that even if no one else could understand, I would. So I picked the smallest Lantana bush, of which she'd planted many around the yards front and back, and dug out as much of it's root system as I could. If it had been a normal day I would've passed out from the heat doing this becuase I was not paying attention to anything including time, and hadn't even drank anything since getting up that morning. Actually probalby not since well before midnight the previous night; i can't remmeber for sure. But since it was cloudy and windy it was only about 90F, maybe less, lots less with the windchill factor. Felt like 70F.
I planted the lantana on top of her, and covered it all over, putting all the clumps of dirt with grass in them on the top layer so it'd grow back quicker. then watered it thoroughly, thinking all the while that if I was wrong she'd be drowning right now, whcih was really stupid (and I knew it then) because if she wasn't dead before she would've been after being in that bag for hours, and she was definitely gone when I put her in there. But I still could not help feeling it was all a horrible mistake. I *still* feel like that.
I still can't help wondering if I had stayed home from work and continously nursed her if she might've made it, or if I had been able to borrow money (that I would never be able to repay, most likely) for a vet, or this, or that, or this, or that, and it just keeps going thru my head. It's stupid, and I know it, and I still cant' help it.
This is a lot harder than all of the others I've lost except for Lady. I find myself having nightmares in which I've buried her but she turned out to only be sleeping, but when I figure that out, it's too late and I can't get her out. Or others where the rest of the dogs are suddenly just laying there with their tongues lolling out, eyes still open, just like Bonnie. Sometimes they are still alive, but can't move, and don't respond to me calling them.
And practically everything at work is reminding me of her...so I tear-up at all sorts of things, trying not to start crying again because I can't help anyone that way, and if I can't help I can't work, and I can't afford to not work. Missing any hours at all is simply impossible, and I wont' ahve any PTO available till later this month. The managers understand perfectly how I feel; pets are children to most of them, too--but it's still a business and someone that's unable to do a job can't just stand around and get paid anyway, of course.
And I typically use my dogs as examples in discussing things to help customers figure out what they need, and Bonnie has been a frequent example in a number of areas, because many people know border collies well enough to relate. I keep starting to use her as an example and then I realize I'm using the wrong tense, and I can barely continue; I'm sure it's obvious something's wrong becuase some customers get wierd looks on their face that I don't know what they mean, but none have said anything so far.
I want to curl up in a ball and forget the universe, but life doesn't work taht way. If I did not have th other dogs, I might take that option, but no one else will care for them if I don't, so, it's not an option.