I got some bad news this week.
We took our little dog pal, Belle – my loyal running partner of five years – to the vet for some needed dental work. As most vets do before putting an animal under anesthesia, our vet ran some tests to determine whether Belle was healthy enough to sustain the treatment.
And then they ran more tests. And they want to run more.
Basically, these tests have identified some liver and white blood cell issues. We’re not sure what it all means because we haven’t yet done the ultrasound or the bone marrow aspiration that’s required.
Even though it’s inconclusive at this point and we really know nothing apart from something’s not quite right, it’s got me desperately worried for my gal pal.
We’ve had a number of animal companions over the years, and saying goodbye to each of them ranks in the top most difficult things I’ve ever done. The feeling of hopelessness and inconsolable sadness is nothing I would wish on anyone. And I’m not anxious to revisit those feelings so soon after putting down our arthritic 15-year-old girl only a few months ago.
If you’re not an animal lover and you find me silly, please consider that losing an animal is among the most traumatic experiences one can have. One American study ranked it next only to losing a beloved friend or family member. (I don’t know why animals don’t fall into the category of friend – mine certainly does.)
Grief over the loss of a pet/friend is real and you’re not weird or crazy if you’ve experienced it. If you think it’s weird or crazy, it’s most likely going to take you longer to process your grief. Let it out, let it go, let it become part of who you are, but don’t deny it.
For Belle, our next step is to go through these tests. Her ultrasound is tomorrow morning. I’m hoping beyond hope that whatever is causing the problems in her body can be easily addressed. It has to be – Belle has lots of running yet to do.