A couple of days ago I had my dogs over at our gym. I had a crate set up for Ocean in case she just wanted to hang out while I worked the Boyz. I’m not sure why I thought that though, she has never said no to work. Ever.
As soon as Ocean saw the games we were playing, she went into the office, grabbed her udder tug, dropped it at my feet as if to say, “I shall not be denied”.
We were weaving, spinning, twirling, and fetching, and she had more grit and determination than the two younger dogs, by a long shot. She was her normal sassy self, keen, full of it, and “if you want a piece of this action ya better keep up” attitude.
But I had this overwhelming feeling that was saying, “enjoy every moment of this as it is to be the last dance”.
And as always, My Ocean and I floated, and played, and danced like we always have, seamlessly and tangibly. My Team mate, my partner, my muse, my love, My beautiful Ocean.
Ocean entered her senior years a couple of years back, and did so very gracefully, while keeping every ounce of tenacious determination to continue working.
And just in the last couple of weeks entered the hospice stage of her life. Some days were vibrant, some days weren’t. Some days she was bouncy like a puppy, some days she slept a great deal. But as is the hospice philosophy, we were here to support her as she was entering the final stage of her amazing life, emotionally and spiritually, in the safety and loving comfort of our home, her home.
As I just wrote those words, and they seemingly sound normal, please note that it was like a punch to the heart when she entered this stage, and I had to will myself to hold it together, each and every day.
With the guidance from my friend, who has been Oceans veterinarian for over a decade, she noticed that Ocean was creating her own terms for her own imminent death. She knew how sensitive Ocean was, but also how equally strong willed, and helped to make her more comfortable, while we supported her needs and comforts. Acupuncture, touch, massage, and some anti nausea pain medication.
Ocean was the perfect conundrum, she was timid, spooky, and cautious with life as we know it, but in work she was confident, unwavering in her choices, and strong willed. She was perfect.
Yesterday afternoon she entered the ‘actively dying stage’. And at 2am this morning she finally was okay with letting go.
We surrounded her in lavender in her purple blanket, lots and lots of lavender as that was her favorite place in our garden. And we set her under the bright moon early this morning.
I am glad her final breath was under her own terms the way she chose. I am glad it was with us. I am glad she did not suffer. And I miss her being here right now more than words can express.
Over thirteen years ago I dreamed of Ocean. And then there she was.