RIP Thora

Last year Thora was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, a
progressive and incurable disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. She was only six but sadly that is old, for a mastiff. She lived to be almost eight, with mobility issues that increased steadily but did not prevent her from having a good quality of life.

When the end came it was pretty abrupt. Two days ago she picked a spot in the yard and stopped moving altogether. We brought her water and treats. I made her chicken broth and held it to her mouth so she could drink it. Then she stopped being interested in food or water, and sometime early this morning, she died.

We had already had an appointment scheduled with Bridge Veterinary Services; they were very helpful, even though hospice and euthanasia had both become redundant options. But the vet was warm and immensely kind. She made a plaster cast of Thora’s paw for us, then we loaded Thora onto a stretcher and the vet took her away for cremation.

I never imagined having strong feelings about pet burial but in this case I find that I do. I want Thora’s ashes to be scattered here, because this is her home, and it is not complete without her. She is woven into the fabric of our lives and she belongs here, with us, where I still feel her warm and loving and protective presence. The spot she chose in the yard was just under my window. I think she was still guarding us.

The last thing I said to the vet was “She was so good. She was so good.” It felt important that she know that. It feels important that you all know that. She was so good, and I will miss her so much, my big girl forever.


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