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Shachar and Maddie snuggled together on the many miles from Tucson to Louisa.

Shachar and Maddie snuggled together on the many miles from Tucson to Louisa this December.

On Friday morning, I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life; I had to euthanize our beloved mutt for unpredictable aggression. After too many episodes with the final episode being the worst, I was forced to make a decision that is devastating to our family.  My heart is healing from saying good-bye to my precious Shachar and my body is healing from the pain I endured when trying to keep my beloved four-legged creatures from hurting each other (it didn’t work).

Just over a year ago, we found Shachar outside the local mall.  At the time she was nearly 20 lbs. underweight and terrified.  We adored her from the first moment we brought her home.  We weren’t sure if we would be able to keep her; Shachar cowered when we tried to pet her and she had no idea how to walk with a lead.  But it took only 24 hours for me to find her curled up on Aryeh, her head resting on his chest.  We were in love.  Even Maddie loved her!  But nearly 8 months after bringing her home, she turned on Maddie. For 5 months we kept them apart and trained each individual dog; we also hired an amazing trainer to bring the girls together and to work with us on doing this in the best way possible.  We were thrilled to have our family back in tact. Sadly, it didn’t last. . . . And the war wounds were too great.

While four days have passed, the emotional and physical pain has knocked me off my feet.  If it weren’t for the fact that Aryeh, my older son, is suffering even more deeply than I, I would have folded into a pile of mush.  Nearly each and every moment, I find myself willing her back into our physical world. I miss Shachar’s sweet presence; I want to feel her snuggles, her warmth, her heartbeat, her obtrusive nature. . .

Except for Aryeh’s profound sadness and Maddie’s (our other dog) sad and healing body.  Life’s realities have barely mattered; I have been almost numb to the realities of money or my own physical pain.  $400 poorer due to unexpected veterinarian fees and hoping that none of the injuries that I sustained need a physician.  (So far, so good on that front.)

What has helped has been my friends and my sons.  Within hours of our loss, our friends David and Jennifer showed up on our doorstep.  And my sons have been making me as many mint or chamomile-citrus lattés as I need to warm my heart and soothe my battered soul.  At times, Aryeh has had to hand me the cups gingerly and grab it as quickly as I finished drinking.  On Saturday, I struggled to hold my mug; I am still struggling with the pain and achiness that I sustained when I tried to save my dogs from one another.  Healing.  And while there was almost nothing that anyone could say, it has helped that nearly 125 friends have actively reached out and offered their love. (Facebook ability to document how many comments are generated does help for some things.)  There wasn’t much that anyone could say, but a few friend’s nailed it perfectly when they said:

You gave her love and she knew it. She did the best she could and so did you. 
Lynn M.

You loved her and gave her a home, she will always know that.
Sharon G.

“so sorry to hear this. Sending you love and condolences.”
Rain Z. and so many others.

Today was the first day that Maddie, Shachar’s furry sister, started moving with more ease.  While I was awake and reading at 5 AM, it took her until nearly 8 AM to start moving, The good news is that when Maddie did get up this morning, she seemed to be able to move, to play, and to bug us whenever someone was prepping in the kitchen. Yay for this huge gift! We are all getting used to a quieter house with no puppy energy; it is too quiet.

We will always miss the way that Shachar loved to wrap herself up to us – the closer the better.  If possible, she tried to rest her head against our heart.  Both Aryeh and I loved feeling her body against us.  Healing will happen, but in the meantime, tears will be falling for a long, long while.

Shachar doing what she loved to do most.  She really had no clue that she wasn't a lap dog.

Shachar doing what she loved to do most. She really had no clue that she wasn’t a lap dog.

Shachar really did need to be as close to us as possible.

Shachar really did need to be as close to us as possible.

 

  We love you Shachar – now and always.

 

 

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