On Easter Sunday, I sat with Daphne, my 15-year-old senior beagle, as she took her last breath.
A month ago, I found out my girl had a spleen tumor. After an inconclusive cancer blood test — and the fact that she was 14 going on 15 — I decided that hospice care was her best option.
Thankfully, a small course of steroids, pain killers, and canine CBD helped her through a move to Kansas City, Mo. and her birthday. On April 16th, Daphne, Cash, and I went to the local dog park. She sniffed all the big dog butts — her favorite pastime — and made certain her brother (Cash) felt safe and protected; even though Cash was bigger than her.
On April 19, my sweet, first-time-real-deal-my-own dog started failing. From April 19 until the 20, I went through a lot to turmoil. My plans for emergency euthanasia fell through, and I spent that Saturday afternoon calling around to find a vet who could help her and I out. Although I didn’t find someone who could attend to her care at my home, I was able to find a veterinarian who made time for us on Easter Sunday. Thankfully, a dose of her “brother’s” anti-anxiety medication helped her sleep through the night.
At noon on Easter, I took my dear girl in for euthanasia after watching the sunrise with her. Her passing was peaceful — and needed. I have no doubt that this action was required for her well-being and peace, but it still doesn’t make the decision any easier; even now.
I took my girl’s body home. I allowed my two cats and dog to sniff her and say their goodbyes. I sat her in the position I wanted and cleaned her in my bathtub. I then lined her bed with blankets, adorned her with oil and flowers, and sat her in a sunbeam. I grieved over her body for hours. When it was time for bed, I placed her in my bathtub, with ice.
The next day, I took her to Wayside Waifs for cremation; I got her body back in a few days. Her ashes along with her collar now sit by my bed. I also have a small urn with her ashes around my neck.
In life, Daphne was my companion. In death, she’s my guide. I love her and cannot wait to see her again.
I love you, baby beagle bop.