In memory of Sweeper 2005-2018

She was lost, I remind myself. I watched her decline over the year and every time I thought this might be it, after a bad week, she bounced back and appeared to be herself.

Kind of.

She still walked into walls, got stuck in odd places, didn’t know if I was home or not, twitched, paced, walked in circles but she didn’t appear to be suffering or hurting. I remember one time, there were so few lately, I walked onto the porch and she looked up at me, right at me. There you are! I beamed. She beamed!

Those moments were rare and worth it. I was told it’s her brain. I often wondered…her quality of life…sleeping all day, incontinence, but she ate, kind of. Sure, I felt I had to bring the bowl to her mouth at times or help her locate her water…but she didn’t appear to be suffering. At times I tried to walk her, even though it was about two houses down before we returned. I brought her up to me and snuggled (as she always loved before) and tried to guide her but mostly she wanted down, to wander, stare, walk in circles, pace, until she made it to her bed.

I pushed all feelings aside for a year, found myself snapping at others, irritable, and it weighed on me. Is she in her private hell? I tried to read what she wanted or needed in each moment but she appeared lost.

I took a day off and the night before, she started to cry. She stood there in her bed, not wanting to lie down, look at how skinny she is. You’re not happy. I picked her up and rocked and snuggled with her until she fell asleep.

As usual, in the middle of the night, I woke up to her crying. I helped get her settled and the next day, my day off, she just started crying while standing in her bed. I tried to rock her, no good, she kept crying, whining.

I made the call.

I wrapped her up and rocked her until she fell asleep. She stopped crying.

Dearest Sweeper, I have missed you for a year. My jogging partner, my therapy dog, my ‘go everywhere we go’ girl, my protector, my friend, my excited and happy and friendly and jumping up and down, sweet and accepting mate. I have so missed you. It hits me, the painful year, where I pushed all my feelings aside a lot, hits me hard and I can’t stop crying. I miss you so much.

The guilt that comes with saying goodbye looks at me squarely in the face, and so I write. Sweeper, have you been found? #pet #animalcompanion

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