saying goodbye

today is a sad day in our home. we had to make the incredibly difficult decision to put Flanagan to sleep today. my heart is heavy and my mind swimming with memories of our crazy, energetic, “spirited” pup (we still laugh that the humane society tagged her as “passive” — ha).

she was part of our family for almost 8 years. she was our first kid in a sense (hence the title of this blog) and by my side through so much. during pk’s long residency hours she kept me safe and warm (i.e. hogged the bed and barked like a maniac at every sound in our loud neighborhood). she cuddled with me each and every time we had an unsuccessful fertility treatment — it was like she really understood and it was some of her calmest times. she put my patience to the test many, many times — as well as my ability to run really fast in stilettos and a pencil skirt to chase her all over neighbors yards. she ate more chocolate than i care to admit (and had many a visit to the vet to deal with that as well as her fair share of peroxide). she broke my hand (yep, it required surgery). she ate/shredded a huge portion of carpet out of our condo entry way (secretly i was happy about that one…wood floors!). she was known for pulling me down bardstown road on our daily runs, then deciding to stop and play dead a mile from home (that was always fun). she literally was our very own Marley.

but in the past six months we’ve seen a different flanagan. she was diagnosed with addison’s disease which is a very rare issue with dogs. after finally diagnosing her (that was cheap), she was placed on steroids to help. they did help some, but not enough. and, the side effects were not bearable as she became even more aggressive (she was ALWAYS food aggresive, but it was amplified by the meds) and started snapping at eli. sadly, we couldn’t have that and had to discontinue the medication. she did fine for several months sans the meds, but about a month ago had a really sick stint. she pulled through and we thought we were back in the clear. turns out, that was seemingly her last hoo-rah. she gave it all she had and went out on a happy note.

last night we decided it was time. this week has been tough for her; we noticed her getting slower and slower, not eating or drinking and basically not moving at all. last night her breaths were short and forced. she was not in pain, but definitely not comfortable and at peace. you could see it in her eyes. it was only right for us to let her go to a better place. to say the decision and this day have been difficult is an understatement. yes, flanagan caused many a thorn in my side, but as a friend said today, “the thorns protect the rose.”. she was our crazy, hyper, shedding pup and we loved her role in our family.

we went together as a family to hold her paws as she went to a better place. eli kissed her and petted her ears. flanagan laid her head on my lap and gently closed her eyes. we talked about her times as a puppy, the crazy and fun things she brought to our life, we simply enjoyed our last few precious moments of her life. and then, she went to sleep.

today has been tough. tears have come many times. i saw her bowl on the floor, and i cried. i saw the rug in our bedroom where she had taken residence the past few weeks, and i cried. i saw the blanket in the garage that she loved to cuddle on, and i cried. eli dropped some of his dinner and it remained there for more than a split second (griff is a little slower!), and i cried. i know in my heart of hearts that we did the right thing. for her and for us. but it doesn’t make the grieving process any easier to stomach.

flanagan, you will forever be our first “kid”. we love you dearly and your stories and memories will forever be part of our family and life. much love my dear pup.

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