Welp, today's our nine -year anniversary. Apparently, the traditional gift for nine years is pottery. But you know us, are we ever traditional? Of course we aren't.
So, in lieu of pottery, we opted for a bonding experience, and we buried our greyhound behind a big shady tree in the back yard. Thankfully Jared didn't have any early morning patients, so he dug a ginormous hole for Gracie's 65 pound body, wrapped her in a sheet, and covered her over all before he drove in for the morning.
The one on the left says:
A GOOD GIRL
11 Years Old. Almost 12.
Six year old James was the creative genius behind that catchy little inscription. The one on the right says:
GRACE CARLA LAWSON
11/15/99 - 8/2/11
Carla was her kennel name when we adopted her, and Sheeza Corsair was her racing name. Awesomely enough, you can see her pedigree by clicking here, and her race results by clicking here. It's pretty cool if you're farting around on the internet trying to waste some time. Who knows, maybe someday my grand kids will look up my race results online and say something like, "Whoa. Gram sure was average."
It's funny, Jared and I have been married for nine years, and that feels like a pretty short time--but if you think about it, the first dog we got together (she was four when we took her home), is already gone. I guess that means we've been married for a while--we're legit.
It was arguably the most beautiful day of the year here in Maine, and honestly, I spent most of the day moping around inside. I cried a little, I walked out to Gracie's grave a few times, and I kid you not, I let James watch the second Star Wars movie three times in a row--he's on his fourth go 'round as I type this sentence. I ordered a few prints of Gracie from the Walgreen's website, and talked to Jared a lot--he kept calling. He's pretty upset.
Basically we're both convinced that we accidentally killed her doing totally innocent things--like coming home from work to take her out at three o'clock instead of one, and moving her around on her pillow when her breathing started to get labored. We're just being stupid.
Jared got home from work with a Target bag in his hand. He bought me a new pair of sweatpants (best anniversary gift on the planet as far as I'm concerned), and this card:
He accidentally bought me a card for a husband, crossed it out and wrote wife.
No ladies, you can't have him. He's taken.
Just so you guys know, Gracie's death was totally unexpected and weird. She was getting old, but she wasn't elderly or sick by any stretch of the imagination. She was her normal old self when she woke up in the morning, and she was great when I came home from work. Went out to pee and I didn't notice anything strange--she even had some pep in her step.
She didn't want her dinner at 5:30, which I thought was kind of strange, but nothing that made me think, "Huh, this dog's probably about to die." I headed to my neighbor's house around 7:15 to do P90x, and a few minutes later, Jared showed up at the door and said, "You need to come home. I think Gracie just died."
He was right.
He took her out for a quick walk, but she couldn't make it past the end of the driveway. He carried her back inside and put her on her pillow in the dining room. He tried to give her a little bit of food, but she wasn't interested, so he gave her some water from a sports bottle, and she liked that. Her breathing started to get pretty labored. He moved her around to try to help her get comfortable, but she just gasped a few times and that was it. Her heart was still beating when he came to get me, but by the time I got there, it was stopped.
In the grand scheme of things, it's a wonderful, graceful exit for a dog. She never had to have a bad day due to old age and we never had to make the final call. But I'll tell you, there's absolutely nothing to be relieved about, no at least she's not suffering any more. Just a good old fashioned head scratcher, I guess.
Today, the thought bubble above my head reads: WTF?
Tomorrow's thought bubble will probably be more like: Seriously. WTF?
I'm fine. We're all fine. It's just weird to have a house without my greyhound. I keep slipping though the screen door so Gracie won't run out, and I've called her name to take her for a walk twice today. I might get another one someday, but for now, I'm more than happy as a one-dog family.
So yeah. That was our shitastic ending to a ridiculously stressful year. Um, Happy Anniversary? I'm holding out hope for year ten.
And by the way...thanks for all the nice comments. I'm glad you guys like Gracie so much!