Losing Miss Daisy Mae :(
This is me with Daisy in 1993.
And this is me with Daisy in December.
At 8:00 o’clock, the three of us walked in for the Friday night appointment. Our faces, striped with tears, were stricken by grief. Across the counter, the vet’s assistant spoke solemnly.
“It’s going to be $50.”
Her words echoed in that empty waiting room, while Dad and I watched in disbelief as my mother’s trembling hand wrote the check to the clinic.
That’s all it would cost to take the life of one of the most precious members of our family. That number circled through my head like a broken record. Amidst he concept of paying was far from my mind.
How can you put a price tag on this devastation?
I knelt down to be with her in an attempt to to treasure these tragic last moments we had together. I wondered if she knew what was happening, why I was crying.
Daisy had always known when I was upset about something. I could always count on her to curl up with, to stay and snuggle until I fell asleep. A dog might be man’s best friend, but Daisy was my best friend. This night would be the first of many to come without her.
The assistant led us back into one of the rooms. Dad handed Daisy in her cage to mom.
“Here…I’ll stay out here.”
He couldn’t watch her die. And I couldn’t blame him. I wasn’t sure if I could either. But I couldn’t leave her side. Not now. Time was ticking, every second precious.
Mom placed her carrier onto the exam table and opened the door, but she wouldn’t come out.
Stay in there Daisy. Please don’t come out.
But the top unhitched and she was forced out against her will.
She lay still on that cold counter. Moments later, the veterinarian walked in, syringe in hand. While she attempted console our breaking hearts, I couldn’t comprehend anything said. My eyes were fixed on the bubblegum pink poison. Its color was reminded me of the fluoride I used to get at the dentist. Its color was innocent. But this substance would prove fatal after entering her circulation.
Daisy was positioned onto her side so they could shave a spot and find a vein on her leg. She barely flinched.
The needle pricked her skin. Fuck.
I watched as the vet wiggled the needle around. She was trying to find the vein.
“Wow, she’s really dehydrated. Her veins are so tiny.”
An X-Ray had found a tumor on Daisy’s kidney just two weeks prior. In addition to the tumor robbing her of the nutrients from anything she managed to eat, her malfunctioning kidneys were making it impossible for her body to stay hydrated.
I stood watching, hoping she wouldn’t be able give the IV, and we could all just go home. But then I saw it.
Her blood surged into the syringe, swirling with the pentobarbital.
The end was here.
My eye’s met Daisy’s as the vet’s thumb began pushing.
My tears escalated into weeps.
I wanted to scream at them to stop, but my voice had been silenced.
I watched as her pupils began to quickly dilate. I was kissing her, telling her I loved her. I can only hope that she heard me, because I knew at that moment she was gone. And then it became official. The vet put her stethoscope to Daisy’s chest.
“Her heart has stopped.”
I couldn’t stop petting her, comforting her. I tried closing her eyelids, as if she was simply sleeping. But they wouldn’t stay closed. They picked up her now lifeless body and placed her back in the carrier we brought her in.
I didn’t speak a word on the ride home. No words could describe how I felt, nor explain the racing thoughts passing through my head. I went straight to my room in an attempt to sleep before having to work at 11. I contemplated calling my supervisor and asking if I could have the night off, but I wondered how they would interpret the circumstances.
Disheveled and distraught, I arrived for duty on time, and proceeded to have the worst shift on record. I started off with 9 geri-psych patients and a fresh admission to make 10. It was the heaviest patient load I’d handled yet. I tried putting up a front to stay on task, but who was I kidding? I’m heartbroken.
Home without Daisy just won’t be the same…