This is a difficult blog to start. This is one that had to wait until my heart was ready. My heart still isn’t quite ready, but sometimes with grief, going through it is the only way.
On February 18th, my beloved dog Marlow, my loyal companion for 14 years died in my arms. We had to make the difficult decision, which wasn’t really difficult because she deteriorated so quickly, painful decision is more like it….of euthanasia. This wasn’t my first time through this unbearable life moment. I had two other dogs that I had to make the same decision with. Mookie was 14 years old with sudden internal hemorrhaging, she died in my arms. Garbo had cancer. 7 years old. Her pain was too much. She died in my arms. Marlow’s death wasn’t any easier. My heart felt like it was aching in actual physical pain when I handed her lifeless body to the vet to take her away to, like Mookie and Garbo, be cremated.
Unknowing at the time, but these are the last pictures of Marlow I took, taken February 9th. She started to get sick a few days after this. She died 9 days later. I did take a few pictures of her while we were in the vet hospital together. But I deleted those because she was wrapped up in her blanket. Very sick. Those pictures were too painful to keep.
Marlow loved laying in the sun, snuggling, sleeping, food and when she was younger, running free!
Before we moved to the Middle East, Marlow used to hang out at the sea kayaking base where I worked, while I took tours out on the water. Here she is with me before I took a group out for a morning tour!
What has been easier this time is the acceptance of death. The learning of letting go. Maybe it’s my age? Maybe because recently there has been so much death around me. Two students I support each lost a grandparent within a week of each other. My husband recently lost his mother. His father is dying of cancer. I remember my mother once saying something like being at an age when parents start dying. Death seems to be all around you. I’m in that time.
But with death there is also life. Life that brings me back from the focus of death. The pain of death. The pain of loss. Mourning what used to be. Life that brings me back into the now. With purpose and a chance to make a difference. A difference to one dog who needs a chance at life.
We’re now “fostering” a saluki (from royal blood lines) and golden lab mix. He’s 5 months old. Pees like a girl. Pees when nervous. Was never on a leash. Not house broken. Lived outside on a farm with a small herd of cats and another dog!
He’s all legs and love!
This story unfolded like this:
Thursday was a day off of work, so with a bag of apples in hand, I went out to the stables hoping to go for a hack ride.
I didn’t go for a hack, instead I came home with a puppy! This puppy needs a home. He’s an “accident” resulting in the breeding of one of the owner’s of the farm (a sheikh) saluki and the golden lab owned by Peggy, the expat manager of the stables. Two puppies were a result. One was adopted out. The girl. The boy was in need of a home. Peggy asked me on Thursday if I would foster him. You bet!!!!!!!!!! The timing was perfect.
Put into a crate that was given along with him, we made out way home. He peed and pooped in it. As well as drooled (from nerves) all over himself and it.
Here he is about 10 minutes after I pulled him out of the crate….still drooling and exhausted from stress.
His crate all cleaned out, drying in the sun:
About 15 minutes in, he calmed and stopped drooling….accepting a treat and water:
And here he is……we’ve named him Fizal. Pronounced Fi (strong I), zal ( like cal in calorie). Fizal!
Marlow, like Mookie and Garbo, is forever in my heart. At one time, all three were with me. Mookie was 13 years old. Garbo and Marlow puppies. My original three. They’re all gone now. At the Rainbow Bridge……waiting for me…………..
Here is a painting inspired by Marlow, by my dear friend Erin Laende:
With a deeply sad, yet hopeful heart…..