The dreaded day came on April 7th when I had to say my final “bye baby” to my gentle giant, Kyla, who went downhill rapidly, during the 3 days prior, with heart failure. She seemed fine up to then or maybe she was just being brave.
This was one of the worst weeks of my life.
I looked for help from all quarters but to no avail. She was critically ill on day 1 when she was put on oxygen and a drip of heavy meds. I was told I could take her home in the evening of day 1 with 29 tablets to be taken over the following 24 hours. I watched her tired body heave up and down, her anxious eyes just staring into space and there was no rest for this kind and gentle dog. I promised her that she’d never have to leave her home again and she didn’t.
The procedure was carried out at home by our favourite vet. I sat with Kyla on her bed, her head in my hands, I kissed her over and over and told her that she was such a good girl and then I said “bye baby” for the last time.
She was so calm and I know she felt so safe with me, in her own home and she went with dignity.
Then I began questioning myself, all the doubts about having done the right thing, if I had let her linger on for another few days, would she have improved, what if the vet was wrong when he told me, that same day, that she was already shutting down, that she was ready to leave me. But I am not God.
I knew we were losing her on day 1 and I asked myself why do I do this to myself. There’s no law demanding me to get a puppy because the moment we brought Kyla home, the countdown had already started to this fateful day.
Why put ourselves through this terrible decision and this final farewell? Because we absolutely need to love, that is why . Us, humans have had our hearts hardened so much by what we read and watch in the news these days but dogs, like Kyla, lighten up our lives in the now and make life more fun.
Kyla really lightened up our lives, that was her job, and we embraced that with open hearts and the rewards were big. Just so hard to say bye baby to such a big love.
Kyla was meant to break hearts, that’s the irony of it. She was loved by everyone who were lucky enough to meet her and hearts can only be broken by love.
She was always so full of the joy of life, excited by everything intensely here with me, brimming with that love. What an appreciation of life she gave me and everyone who knew her.
I know friends will miss her royal welcome whenever they visit, meeting them at the door and almost bowling them over as she looked for their attention.
I’ve shed so many tears since she fell ill and I will shed many more for Kyla.
Grief is the price we pay for loving our dogs.
Life, without Kyla, will be a life less ordinary.
The house is too big without her, too quiet without her and too many big beds stay empty.
Thank you, Kyla, for being with me for nearly 10 years, for loving me, for giving me your best. I hope I didn’t let you down. I’m privileged to have had you in my life and you will always stay locked in my heart forever.
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