Today we said goodbye to our family dog, Panzer. She was 6 1/2 years old, loved to chew on stuffed animals and wanted to be every one's friend. Our pet rabbit would hop around her and she would just wag her tail, delighted to have someone to play with. We bought her while we were stationed in Germany and she came all the way to Oklahoma with us. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma earlier this summer and we decided to keep her comfortable with pain meds as long as possible rather than putting her through surgeries and chemo. We knew her time with us was drawing to a close as she started to play less and less and developed nose bleeds over the last 2 days.
I told my 4 children last night that we would be telling her goodbye today and gave them the option of coming with or staying home. All 4 children chose to come to the vet with us so we all piled into the van. Panzer was very excited, her tail was wagging and she was sniffing everything - she loved car rides. She was more animated than she had been for the last 3 days, almost as if she knew the pain would soon be gone.
My 3 boys chose to stay in the room with me and Panzer while my daughter stayed in the waiting room. It was over very quickly, and I know Panzer was relieved, but now our pain starts. There is never a good time for things like this to happen, but I can't help but think that it is harder now when we have just a day left before school starts - the last thing I feel like doing is concentrating on school stuff. My middle child insisted on taking Panzer's collar and is now wearing it around his neck. Every time it jingles my heart squeezes a little more as I realize it's just him and not Panzer coming to rub her head against my leg. But I don't have the heart to tell him he can't wear it. All 4 of the kids are so sad, and it's hard for me to see them hurting like that but nothing I can do will fix this.
I read them all the story of the Rainbow Bridge and they believe Panzer is waiting for us, I can't think of anything other than time that will make this better. If anyone knows a good book that deals with pet loss I would appreciate it. I am sharing a few pictures of Panzer and a poem in memory of a gentle, loving dog who enriched our lives for so many years. I will get back to posting about school stuff tomorrow I promise, but for today I just don't have it in me.
Lend Me A Puppy
“I will lend to you for awhile a puppy,” God said,
“For you to love when she lives and to mourn when she’s dead.
Maybe for twelve or thirteen years, maybe for two or three,
However, will you, till I call her back, take care of her for me?
She’ll bring her charms to gladden you and should her stay be brief,
You’ll always have her memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay, since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught below I want this pup to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over in search for teachers true
And from the folk that crowd life’s land, I have chosen you.
Now will you give her all your love, nor think the labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take my dog back home again?
He fancied that he heard us say “Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joys this dog will bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter her with tenderness; we’ll love her while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known, forever-grateful stay.
But should You call her back to You much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.
If by our love we’ve managed Your wishes to achieve
In memory of her we loved, please help us while we grieve.
When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
We’ll get yet another dog and love her all her life.”