Dear Dakota,

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It’s very late and I should be asleep. Instead, I lay in bed thinking of you and how you left us so very quickly.

I was not ready.

I’m not sure you were, either, regardless of what others may think. I believe you were very tired and weak and grateful that your doctor owns a gurney. I am sure you were relieved that only women were working at the vet’s office Saturday morning.

I was not ready, though.

Was it hard when Dr. B was out of town and you had to see Dr. S, whom you did not know? I thought she was wonderful. She was so tender with you and she seemed to fall in love with you at first sight.

But I still wasn’t ready.

When you were trying so hard to leave me and I was squatting down looking right into your eyes, you were very calm. Oh Dakota, you gave me such a gift with your peace. As hard as this is, it would be unbearable if you’d been afraid. I was so proud of you and how you demonstrated perfect grace to me. Don’t you think it’s ironic how our roles were reversed in your last half hour? You, who’d always been terrified of getting into the car and going through the vet’s door, ended up being the one who was at ease and without fear. I was not as graceful as you, but at least I let you do what you needed to do. I cried, but I did not blubber. I hope you were proud of me. I put my face next to yours and let you breathe me in even as you breathed yourself out. It was the only familiar offering I had to give you. I wish I could have given you more.

And I was not ready.

I did not expect to say goodbye to you on a gurney, early on a Saturday morning, after a wild ride to the vet’s office. I did not expect to say goodbye to you this year. I did not expect you to go so fast. I did not expect you to go.

I was not ready.


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Author: Dakota Dawg

Dakota lived high in Colorado and was a member of the February Furballs. He lost a front leg to soft tissue sarcoma on 2-11-11. Dakota impulsively decided to see what the whole "rainbow bridge" business was about on 12-15-12 and before we could stop him, he was gone. But never forgotten. Never.

9 thoughts on “Dear Dakota,”

  1. I am so sorry. I know your heart ache.
    After our vet had given Porthos the shot of morphine she asked us if we would like a few more minuets to say goodbye to Porthos before the final injection, my husband said “always”.
    We also were not ready.

    I am thinking of you. Run free Dakota, you were so loved by your pawrents.
    Amanda & Angel Porthos x

  2. Tears fall as I read this Shari, my heart hurts for you and the pack.

    It seems like no matter how much time we have, no matter how much our brains rationalize the inevitable, we are never ready.

    I’m so sorry.

  3. Oh, Shari, I’m not sure any of us humans will ever be ready. I am in tears, this is such a beautiful post. It is amazing how they can still be there for us, right up until the end. They give us everything…and we must make the hardest decisions for them. Hugs to you. Run run run free Dakota

  4. Shari,

    I too just wrote Bruno a letter also. I miss him soooo much, just as I’m sure you miss D. He was lucky to have you. Thanks so much for your friendship and words of insight. They have comforted me when I needed them. You have much to offer this community. Hopefully time will dull the pain we feel from the loss of our beloved companions. I’m sure D and Bruno are living it up with all those who preceded them and that one day we’ll be reunited.

  5. Shari, I’ve just read this blog, I must have missed it before. Like others the tears were streaming as I read it. You have captured those last minutes too well. ”
    “I was not ready”. I’m still not ready to let go and it’s been 9 months today since we said goodbye to Magnum. Unlike you with Dakota I knew that Magnum’s time was drawing to an end but the last day still caught me by surprise. I woke up that Sat morning not knowing she would be gone before sunset. I was not ready.
    I cannot imagine how hard it was for you without any warning. Time helps but there is still an ache in your heart that I don’t think ever disappears completely.

    Many hugs to you


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