Rescued Dogs: Short Time, Long Love
As it turned out, it was time for Cheyenne to go, too. On Saturday, she ate hardly at all, and on Sunday, she ate even less. Ann called Dr. Menard, made a tentative date for Monday, and went to bed at 7:00. That wasn’t unusual. Ann is a nurse who works the overnight Sunday-to-Monday shift, and on the nights she works, she catches a few hours’ sleep first. I wake her up at 10:00.When I woke her up that night, she said, “Why did you come in and wake me at 9:00?” I told her I’d done nothing of the sort; I’d been downstairs watching a basketball game. “That’s not true,” she said. “You came up and stood at the door and said, ‘It’s time.’ So I got up and started getting ready, and then I realized it was only 9:00, so I went back to bed. Why did you wake me up at 9:00?” I told her again that I hadn’t. “Well, somebody did, and if it wasn’t you, who was it?”
The only person I could think of was Todd, that his spirit had come by to tell Ann that it was time. It was time for Cheyenne.
We put Cheyenne down the next day at noon. Even Dr. Menard’s eyes were puffy, after all the years she’d known her.
I have nothing new to add to the death of a well-loved dog. If you’ve been through it, I don’t want to bring it back for you. If you haven’t, I can’t begin to help you understand. What it is, really, is putting an end to someone totally devoted to you, and who trusts you just as totally. You can only hope that you’re totally right. In Cheyenne’s case, I believed we were.
We have things we’ll try to do to take her place. There’s a monastery near here that’s famous for raising German shepherds. We’ll volunteer there, help with the puppies, and maybe one day take one home.
But there is such emptiness now. Even the cats don’t eat quite right. Even the birds on the feeders, beneath which Cheyenne used to sun herself, seem oddly silent. The house is quiet, the lake is quiet, the world is quiet.