I wasn’t sure if I could write this today but I know it will make me feel better. Just a few days after Fo died we also lost our sweet, dear Happy girl.
When we first adopted Happy (you can read her story here) at night we put her in the laundry room behind a doggie gate. She cried and cried. She would fall asleep after a while but then she would cry again a few hours later. After a few days of this I finally just told Brett she was going to have to sleep in our room or we’d never get any sleep. I made her a little bed beside my nightstand…and she never cried again. She just wanted to know she was a part of our family and then she just settled in like she’d always been with us.
After that night she adjusted to our schedule right away. She got up with us and went to sleep with us. She actually got up twice. She’d get up with Brett at 5:40am and then with me at 7am. If I ever got up in the middle of the night and took too long in the kitchen she would get up then too. She wanted to be a part of everything. If she had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night we would hear her little feet pitter-patter to the hall rug where she would pause for a minute, and then pitter-patter on to the kitchen where we left a pee-pad for her. We could hear her get a sip of water and then she’d make her way quietly back in the same manner. She always found her way back to her bed in the middle of the night (except for the one time when she got turned around and lost behind the dining room table). When we got home after being out for a while she would start to squeal in delight and also because she couldn’t make her way towards the door as fast as Max could. I would run back and get her and scoop her into my arms and she would be so happy.
She was the most beautiful animal I’ve ever seen. She was like a little snuffleupagus mixed with Yoda and a marsupial. Little kids always called her a kitty cat which made me laugh. I couldn’t ever steal my eyes away from her. I feel such a physical loss of Happy. I must have snuggled her at least 20 times a day and I spoke to her every time I passed by her bed. I carried her out to the bathroom to make it easy on her and carried her back to her bed when I knew she was tired.
Happy died at 11:24pm on August 16. I was right there with her and I tried not to cry so that I wouldn’t distress her. Early the morning before she passed away she looked into my eyes for the longest time….almost like she just wanted me to know that it was okay to let her go.
This is the last video of took of my sweet girl. She wouldn’t eat or leave her bed but she would take small pieces of treats from my fingers. She loved treats more than anything and would even pretend to go out to the bathroom just to get more:
The day before Happy died we had a delivery of rare maples. I’d ordered one for Foshizzle’s grave and then decided to order another on a whim. Sienna asked if I’d ordered two maples because I knew Happy was going to die. Of course I didn’t know, but maybe the universe knew. We didn’t bury her right away. I couldn’t. I laid her on our kitchen counter for most of the day and hugged her more times than I can count. Finally early evening as a family we were able to bury our sweet Happy under an Oregon Sunset Maple. We had her for her sunset year so it ends up being the perfect choice. This maple will be a beautiful yellow and red in the Fall.
I miss her footsteps. I started crying on the steps as I brought groceries in this morning because I knew she wouldn’t be on the other side of the door. My heart physically hurts. I told Brett that I didn’t think I could rescue again anytime soon because this loss was just too painful and he said, “You will, because you won’t have a choice in the matter. Happy found us. Someone else will find us too.” He’s right. We weren’t looking for Happy, but she was looking for us. There are so many things she has changed for us that I can’t even put into words yet, relationships changed, priorities rearranged.
She taught us so much in just a short time…especially how important love is. She just wanted to be near us. We became her family and my days began to revolve around Happy. We had Happy for 251 days. I’ll look for that number now…as a sign from Happy. She always chose joy even up to the very end when she rolled over on the vet’s table for me to rub her upper stomach. What a joy it was to be her family.
It’s strange…we always remarked that Happy never had a smell. She never smelled like a dog or an animal. Sometimes I think she had the faint smell of waffles…but I’d smell her neck deeply and there was nothing. What does that mean? Was she an angel? I don’t think angels would have a smell either…they are so pure and divine.
I left rosemary and lavender on Happy’s grave this morning. And a rainbow rock and a feather from her friend Fo. I search to find meaning in everything and these flowers symbolize remembrance and healing. Max sat for a long time at Happy’s side this morning and wouldn’t come inside. Maybe she was there. I think the dead can visit us and hear us speak to them. The last dream I had about my dad was so real. I was chasing stray dogs and they led me into a house where I found my dad. Then I realized they weren’t stray dogs I’d been chasing but all of our long-since-passed pets. We were in a place that resembled our old house but it was just part of it…like a meeting place that I could make sense of. I asked my dad where he had been and he told me that it was too complicated to understand but not to worry. There was one dog that I didn’t recognize and I told my mom about it later. She asked if it was a sheepdog and I said yes. She told me that she and my dad had owned a large sheepdog when they were first married. I feel certain now that all my beloved pets are in heaven and I will one day see them again.
Thank you to everyone who loved Happy so much. Thank you to everyone who adopts and rescues. We had 251 days with her. That’s longer than we ever thought we had. I think Happy’s last wish would be that we spent more time taking care of the elderly, both animal and human, those who have a lot left to give and we might miss it if we are too busy in this thing we call life.
Also, there is a cause very near and dear to our heart that we have been raising money for this last year. We have been trying to get donations from every state for our small, rural animal shelter that desperately needs help saving the animals of our county. If anyone would like to donate in Happy’s name here is a link. We would be forever grateful. Thank you.
And if you see the number 251 think of Happy. #251daysofhappy