This morning we had to let Porter go.
I know it was the right thing to do--if anything, we might have waited too long. This past week we've had to beg her to eat, and even with meds she wasn't comfortable anymore.
One of the hazards of being my friend (or husband) in real life is that I can talk a thing to death when it's worrying me. As I was doing just that this week, one of my friends said that if her beloved dog ever got terminally sick she planned to do her best to give him one last perfect day--1000 tennis balls, his favorite food for dinner...you get the idea.
I started thinking about how we could do that for Porter, but we had gotten to the point where there wasn't anything she was taking joy in anymore. She used to have this look that just made you think, "What a happy dog!" But lately, even just laying on her bed getting her ears scratched she was in pain.
I was actually hoping I would feel a little relieved when it was done. It hasn't been easy watching her, and--further back than that even--it hasn't always been easy having a two dog household. Sweet Husband still has a scar from a fight he had to break up between her and Moe last year. And one of the first things we did--in my frantic need to "do something"--this afternoon was go buy Moe some new toys for in the house. (We haven't had them in several years because of the fights they caused.)
We also took Moe for a long walk this afternoon, another thing we hadn't done in forever. With the baby and Porter and...just life, I hadn't realized how much Moe was getting left at home just to keep Porter more comfortable. (Oh, how she could howl when she was left alone!)
But it's crazy how empty the house feels tonight. Porter was the most quiet, peaceful being here, but her absence is so loud. I miss putting my nose on top of hers and scratching her furry ears, and I miss the way she always found a way to go to sleep right in the most inconvenient place. I miss the way she always had to know where all her family members were. And how, even towards the end, she would somehow pull herself up and wag her tail when I came home.
She's been my friend for over ten years. Through more houses and roommates and towns than I can even add up in my current state, she's always been there. Quietly, unassumingly doing everything in her canine power to love me.
I know some time will help my perspective. I hope that someday I'll feel like her sweet soul is free. But right now it just feels like she's gone.