He had been in our family for 12 years and we knew his time was limited due to a heart condition he had. We gave him meds every day to keep his old ticker pumping and the vet told us it was simply a matter of time. Thankfully he was healthy until the very end, but died a quick, graphic early morning death as the kids watched on in the vet's office. They saw him collapse, bleed, twitch and die.
In the immediate aftermath my sadness centered not around the fact that he was gone, but HOW he had gone and how the kids had watched it all, and Jeremy was traveling and missed it all. I let them stay home from school that day and we cried, talked, prayed, ate junk food, smothered our other dog Rosie with love, talked and cried some more.
It was one of the most exhausting days I remember. So many questions, so many tears. So many opportunities where I knew....what I say right now matters. They will remember it.
In the end I felt like it was a good day. We spent a lot of time talking about what a good dog he was and what a nice long life he had. That he was a gift from God. That death is not scary. I tried the best I could to turn it back around to positive. I dug my heels in to insist...we don't need to be angry, we don't need to be scared.
Even though it's only been two weeks, I think that time has already been the greatest medicine. Kids are resilient, and their negative memories of those moments of death are fading.
I wasn't sure if we would be in a hurry to get another dog right away, but the kids, Jeremy and Rosie decided differently. So in two weeks from now we are welcoming Waffle into our family.
That's Waffle on the left and Max on the right. Max will be Mom and Dad's new pup as they also suffered dog losses this year.
Waffle gives us something to look forward to and honestly I'm glad there will be a month gap in between him and Hayden's death. Getting a new pup too quickly would have felt weird. That being said, Rosie is desperate for a companion. She doesn't do being an 'only dog' very well.
So by the time Waffle gets here we will all be more than ready, although Hayden will always been in our hearts. Life will go on.