Yesterday was one of the hardest days I've gone through. Our 12 year old dog Athena had to be put down. We'd known since Thanksgiving that this day was coming, and two weeks ago we made the appointment. It is so hard watching something you love so much slowly deteriorate. She lost half of her weight, developed cataracts, bumped into everything, couldn't walk up the stairs, and was rarely able to make it outside to use the bathroom. She spent her days eating and sleeping.
We spent yesterday digging her grave while the girls stayed at my parents. I sat on the front porch in the rocking chair and just held her and cried. Our other dog Apollo is a little lost now. Luke's mother stopped by with a small memorial stone. That woman is always so thoughtful.
The girls cried initially when we buried her. I think it was more they had never seen daddy cry before, and it actually scared them a little. It's hard for them to understand that Athena was our first baby. She was here before any of the girls were.
Today it was 60 degrees out. Freak weather for January in Ohio. We moved a bench to the front yard where she is buried and I spent a lot of time out there crying. I realized I never made anything for lunch, and when I made dinner, I cried the entire time I ate it. She wasn't here for the leftovers. I took out a cornbread muffin for her, and when Luke came to check on me Apollo took it. Even in death they are fighting over food.
I have plans to turn the area around her into a garden for butterflies and fairies. I also love the idea of putting up a little free library, although on our rural road I'm not sure how much action it would see.
It will be a long, slow healing process, but I'm hoping someplace where I can spend sunny days close to her will help.