I knew something was wrong-- knew it in my own bones. For the past month Hazel had been very sore. She had not wanted to walk much, would not run. She would stand at the top of the stairs and I could see her mouth go dry at the thought of going down them all. I knew she was sore. I told myself stories. I said 'it is arthritis, she is 9 after all..' And even today she enjoyed her walk. she went almost all the way to the beach. She was ok on the flat, she even rolled in the grass today. So I tried not to think it. I didn't want to see. But it came on so fast and sudden and hard. I knew better.
I didn't want to know better. I swallowed my dread. I said, 'lets give her asprin. It will help with her aches.' I like to think I would not have been selfish for too long. Now I will not have to find out.
Tonight, shortly after4 my post about the bread, she bumped into our little granny cart in the kitchen hall, and it fell on her. It weighs nothing. It is made of wire. But she screamed. I thought maybe she had somehow dislocated her shoulder. It looked-- it looked wrong. But when I felt under there I could feel crepitus.
Mike is out of town, and he has the car. But Z carried her down the stairs. She screamed again when he lifted her. We managed to get a cab. Of course it was rush hour. Took ages. She was willing to lie in Z's lap.
They were kind at the VERG clinic. If you are ever in Brooklyn and have an animal crisis they are the place to go. They gave her morphine and took X-rays. It did not take them long at all to come back to us.
X-rays showed advanced bone cancer. She had somehow managed to break both front legs. They brought her in so we could talk to her one last time. They gave her the go-away drugs. There is a strange moment when they go-- you are there with them, and then suddenly they are not there any more. It is not the stilling of breath and heart, I am not sure what it is, but you can tell can't you, when they are not there any more. Dead is a house with nobody home.
I have done this so many times. So many animals come and gone. It hurts so much. It always leaves a bleeding hole where they used to be. I am grateful that she was not in pain any longer.