December 11th, 2007
I was standing in the bathroom, watching Abbey. I watched her a lot in those days as her health was day by day – I was waiting for her to tell me. Everyone said I'd know.
“How?!” I'd cry, “How!!”
She squatted to have a pee and as she slowly stood, she turned and our eyes met. We stayed locked there for what seemed like many minutes, though it was probably seconds.
“Today Mama” She told me, “It needs to be today, I'm ready
I knew, I heard her. Of course I did, she was my heart and we had been together for 13 and a half years. Since that summer day all those years ago when she kissed me on the cheek and the deal was sealed. I didn't even go there looking for a dog that day. That's not how it works sometimes though, they find us.
(Baby Abbey, approximately 8 weeks, cheap woodpile labour)
Abbey was (is) a love of my life. They don't always come as people, actually, life has taught me they rarely come as people. We don't unconditionally love each other, as much as we crave it, we just aren't capable. They are.
Oh my, the adventures we had, my Abbey girl and I.
It went so fast and it went so slow but the day had come.
You say you don't know how you'll get through it, but you do. You do because it is the very least we can do for their loyalty and love. We owe them this.
It was so bitterly cold 7 years ago. And there was a lot of snow on the ground and it snowed off and on throughout the day. I called people who loved her to come say goodbye and then I made the call to Doctor Evans who was there for all of her 13.5 years and said, “it's time.” That was one of the hardest phone calls I ever made. I helped her into the car and away we went.
It was lightly snowing and it was just Abbey, Bruce and Dr. Evans and I at the Clinic. She only got as far as the mat by the door before she laid down.
To our right, a Christmas tree, its lights blinking on...off...on...off.
One fluorescent light was on in the back room. It was so beautiful, very peaceful.
I was with her every day. We were never apart overnight from one another. So I knelt down in front of her, smelled the top of her head one last time (smelled like scrambled eggs, I can smell it now) and said, “I love you Abbey, Happy Birthday” and then I stood back so the last person she saw was Bruce.
It was my gift to them, for all the time they spent apart. She heard his words of love and gratitude as she sprung her mortal coil and went looking for her best doggie friend, Harley, at the Bridge.
(Harley and Abbey - old friends on a bridge looking for a cookie)
I sat behind her, hands gently resting on her back and filling us all with as much love as possible. Then we brought her home.
Bruce went and got one of his professional lights and set it up in the back yard. Thousands of watts of light shot up into the night as the snow gently fell. It was the most perfect winter scene. And just like in the Vet Clinic, the quiet beauty was a tribute to the soul of my Abbey.
It was so beautiful in fact, that I did not feel crushed by it, quite the opposite, it was lifting me up.
Her burial was special. Her grave and her body adorned in crystals, herbs, mementos and candles. We are Pagan so it wasn't a solemn, sombre ceremony. It was filed with love and light and magick. It was a celebration.
(Abbey and her shadow on the beach)
When Abbey came into my life I was 24 years old and had 2 kitties, Stevie and Crosby.
Stevie was the first to leave me, then Crosby. Abbey's best friend for all of her life was Harley, the dog of one of my best friends. And he left before her too. She was the last one standing. We lost them all in the period of a year and a half.
Just before Abbey passed, my friend got a new puppy, a rescue who came pre-named – FARLEY of all things. They got to meet 2 times and went on 2 small walks. A bit of Abbey passed through him.
Then I got Alice and a year later, Chloe. Now between us we have 3 dogs, 2 cats, 3 Chinchillas and a hamster. The cycle continues. My heart so pained by the loss of love only made full again by love, will be deeply pained again and again.
That's all because of Abbey. I have the capacity and the understanding of the depths and the importance of that kind of love so I can do it again because she taught me how.
It rained 140 millimetres (about 5 inches!!) in the last 24 hours.
I cried about that many tears too. Some of those were for my Abbey. For the losses I've experienced since. Today is the 3 year anniversary of my 1st ever epileptic seizure. I'm having a lot of memories flood me, both mind and body. I'm not in a good place at all. I'm severely depressed.
I'm not in this place alone though. Abbey is here with me. She's always with me and today on the anniversary of when I helped her move into a dimension where I can't physically smell the top of her head any more, she's with me as strong as ever.
My Abbey girl, I love you. Heart of a wolf. One day we will sit under apple trees together again while looking out to the sea. Blessed Be.
(Hi Mama! Be careful Abbey!!)