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6,667,200 minutes.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
6,667,200 minutes....

...6,667,200 moments so dear....

The reference is from Rent, which we only, finally, saw earlier this year:

That number is how you measure a year. We had way more than that- closer to 14 than 13 with this sweet, fragile, dedicated and determined canine member of our family who passed yesterday after coming into our lives on January 31, 2001 and going over Rainbow Bridge at about noon yesterday. Do the math and, within a day or twelve, that's how many minutes she was with us- and we loved her for absolutely every one of them.

Monday, the last possible Change Our Mind Day, was cold, raw and rainy- exactly the kind of weather this dog always hated. Probably because she escaped from her original, abusive owner and spent days if not weeks on the run before a local pound rescued her.  Toward the end, she was deaf enough to not be bothered by thunderstorms, but going out in rain bothered her to the very end.  The day befitted how we all felt, and we ended it with more than a little aggravation.

Then came the appointed day. The sun came out, my only pre-appointment commitment went quickly, and the kids got here shortly after 10 a.m.  We spent over an hour enjoying each other's company, and memories, and holding this friend and family member as close as we could.  She spent most of that hour outside in the back yard and gardens- still panting, and largely distracted and disoriented, but we knew she could feel the love we were expressing:

That's where she chose to be- below the patio table, where she spent so many happy evenings in our company as we ate, and shared near-cleaned plates for her (and Ebony) to get really clean.  She had no idea I was even talking to, or looking at, her at this point, so I needed to touch her to get this final reaction shot:

She was shedding so much of that amazing, soft, brown and white triple coat while outside, and in the house, and, especially, at the final appointment- yet she retained so much of her beauty until the final moment.

It was hard getting her into the car- not fear, just lack of mobility. Even more so, getting her out at the vet's. It reaffirmed that this beautiful, proud life would not have made it through another winter in the state she was in.

Unlike my memories of our three previous feline visits to the Wisteria Room, they told us that larger dogs generally need to be sedated first in order to put in the catheter, so she left us briefly while they did that. The memories, stories and tears were freely flowing, and then they brought Tasha back to us- quiet but still conscious- her gorgeous, soft tongue stuck out and her fur still warm if shedding like a trouper.  We said the words, Eleanor gave the signature- she was, first and always, her special one- and the final seconds took only seconds.

She was at peace- chasing squirrels and meeting up with friends of all kinds, met and un-met before the moment.


We tried to return to normalcy. Eleanor cooked, Cameron visited a friend, Em joined Mom and Dad for a video before I tried to head out for cardio. In the end, the house was too quiet, the night too soon. For the first time in many months, I "slept in" until close to 6 this morning; Ebony jumped up on the bed with me, which she hasn't done in months. We're paying close attention to her now, to be sure we recognize and respond to the grief.

Today, Eleanor, Cameron and I all went back to work; Em had taken the extra day off just in case. I saw the two of them in Rochester in the mid-afternoon and thanked them again for being there with us, and for us.  Emily sent me home with an incredibly silly Stitch cookie jar, which she found in a thrift store for all of three bucks-

He'll never replace the sweet, needy life that left us yesterday, but he'll make us smile. He's been in the house for about 150 minutes since Eleanor came home; just 6,667,000 and change to go....

This entry was originally posted at http://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/162710.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
11 comments or Leave a comment
sturgeonslawyer From: sturgeonslawyer Date: October 10th, 2013 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
As I said on that other blog, my sincerest sympathies. I've been there too many times with dogs and cats and it's always hard.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: October 10th, 2013 09:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.

I'm just realizing now how hard it's been (or must have been) on the other animals. They seem much less stressed in the mornings now.
thediva_laments From: thediva_laments Date: October 10th, 2013 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
This is a great memorial post, well done.

Also, as soon as I scrolled down and saw the title I knew the reference. RENT is one of my favorite musicals of all time. If you've never seen it on stage then you haven't truly seen it. The movie is OK, the stage version is outstanding.

You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there, you did the right thing.

captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: October 10th, 2013 09:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, and we're sure we did.

The film version we watched was of the final Broadway performance, although I do hope to see it live now.
stress_kitten From: stress_kitten Date: October 10th, 2013 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think I've left any comments (this past week is a hazy blur of "too much to do, can't think straight!"), but I was very sorry to hear about the puppy. I'm glad you were able to spend her last few hours together as a family. Give your wife a hug for me.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: October 10th, 2013 09:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I shall.

And ::these back:: for you from us:)
symian From: symian Date: October 10th, 2013 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
That both nice and sad, and I feel for you.


Dogs and cats should live longer and be healthier longer if taken care of. Cats live longer by far, but dogs should live as long as cats at least. I guess it is an activity thing. Dogs are so much more loving and loyal than cats, though. They deserve better.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: October 10th, 2013 09:51 am (UTC) (Link)
"Dogs have owners. Cats have staff."

I've sensed they've given us a few days off, for which the help is grateful;)
thanatos_kalos From: thanatos_kalos Date: October 10th, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
::hugs:: I'm so sorry. :( Can I help at all?
greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: October 11th, 2013 02:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Such sweet words. (((HUGS)))
oxymoron67 From: oxymoron67 Date: October 11th, 2013 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I am so sorry. You and yours are in my thoughts.

11 comments or Leave a comment