Monday, April 12, 2010

My Girl Orly

I dropped in to see my friend Annie- and her pooch Orly. Orly is a Briard who is 11 years old. She was one of my Golden Retriever's dearest walking buddies- as we would meet up most mornings for a brisk 1 mile walk. For a treat we might drive to an outer borough for a longer jaunt. As youngsters my Golden & Orly would race around biting each other and rolling on the ground. As they reached middle age this segued into companionable walking. They were just happy to be in each other's company - no interaction necessary.

Lady died at the young 7 years of age. Annie listened to me cry and Orly put her paw on my lap. She missed Lady too, but she was always happy to see me and soon welcomed my new pooch, Henry.

She was happy to see me this time too. She got her weak back legs underneath her and came as she heard my voice in the front yard. We spent an hour looking at the new sod, peas coming up and lolling on the grass with the dogs. I noticed that Orly's breathing was a bit raggedy and Annie squeaked out that she"just wasn't ready for this."

I remember saying the exact same thing as I negotiated the week that started at the vets and ended at a surgeons. Contemplating the death of a companion is difficult, doubly so when you have to make that final decision- when your companion can't speak for themselves. Watching Annie negotiate these same decisions brings tears to my eyes now. In some ways it was easier for me because Lady was clearly in the end zone and my decision was to pick which hour instead of which week. I can see that no one is ever ready for this decision whether a life is cut tragically short or it has been lived to a full and natural conclusion. That pain of loss is just as full.

My thoughts are with Annie, Orly and anyone else struggling with these decisions.

1 comment:

SMC said...

God Speed Orly 4/17/2010