One Last Kiss… One Last Caress

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We went to see our Betty Girl today, it’s been about 24 hours since she left us and it was honestly one of the hardest things I ever did. I went to bed thinking, “I’m coming Bubby Girl… Mom’s coming…” and then after a night of basically no sleep, in that tenuous moment between sleep and wake, that magical moment I thought I could hear her beside me and I automatically reached my hand out to caress her so she’d know everything was okay, but she wasn’t there… that was my new and unfamiliar reality when I was suddenly awake.

I kept watching the clock and thinking why is the time ticking by so slowly! And then it was a rush suddenly and it was finally time to leave… to go see my Betty and give her one last kiss and one last caress… My husband didn’t want to see her at first, and I said it was okay, he’s shattered and broken just like me. Our eyes hurt from the salty tears we’ve shed. But when we arrived at Pet Angels, the man whom I spoke to yesterday was there. His name is Bill, and he had gone right away and gotten Betty from the doctor’s office for me yesterday. He is very kind, and he knew that I wanted her in his caring hands right away. What I hadn’t realized at first or until I got home was they had also taken care of my Mowzer for me. That was some comfort… and my husband, my puzzle piece… gripped my hand and then we waited together to go see our baby girl Betty.

I had brought along some things for her… I handed over a grey and white blanket and Bill hurried away to wrap her up in it before we saw her. She looked perfect, like she always did and it’s how she will forever be in my heart and mind. It’s how she will forever be in my husband’s mind; our loss is so great, as if it was a child that was taken away. They are my babies… our family. I have no children, she was my precious baby girl. My heart has been violated and I am trying not to slip beneath the waves, I just need to breathe. It was and is still so surreal… it’s a nightmare, a very very bad dream. That is the panic that overcomes me and that I can not shake away. My eldest Niece, Mia is writing a paper for school and the topic is about why people are so connected to their pets. She told me only just a week ago that the exact same hormone that is released when a mother first sees her baby, that bonding hormone… is the exact same hormone that is released when we look at our beloved pets and when they look back at us. Everything made such sense… because you see, my Betty was bonded to me as I am forever bonded to her, she was and always will be my baby girl… and I am floating Bubby Girl… your Mom’s trying so hard to float on this endless riotous sea.

She always had this look about her when she’d be laying beside my husband or laying cuddled against me. Her face pressed tight to you making her little floppy cheeks squish a bit, her paw beneath her chin, sometimes her little tongue sticking out from the twin lines of black we called her lipstick… one eye closed and the other ever so slightly open, watching… always watching and making sure she knew what was going on and where we all were. That is how we found her today… in that small, quiet room… her little soulful eye open just enough to see us come back to her. That is our Betty. I found this photo of her when I brought to my office with me right after we got her and saw she was laying the exact same way and giving that same exact look… this was my Bubby Girl watching me, watching her and bursting with the joy that she was ours.


What a truly beautiful girl she was… I reached out to caress her head and she was cold, I knew somewhere in my mind she would be… but we brought her baby blanket that I warmed in the sun on the drive to her and she was swaddled in it and the smell of her home and us. She loved the sun, sitting in the doorway or flumping in the grass, looking up and closing her eyes to feel the warmth on her little belly as she snuffled the grass. She never got to enjoy a summer with us… how she would have loved the sun and the pool and playing with us and her Fred. The blanket had once been Fred’s, which she happily inherited and slept with, we brought her first toy – a little pink fluffy piggy, the letter that I wrote about her and a bunch of photos of us holding Betty and Betty with her Bully, Fred… Handwritten notes from my husband and I which I tried desperately to read to her and then tucked into the blanket tear-stained all to be sent along with her to mix with her ashes so they will forever be with her. I told her again how much she was loved, how she changed our lives and her leaving us has left a darkness, a bitter cold, an endless hole in what was the most perfect puzzle ever to be completed – Our family. I pressed a kiss to her prickly cheek and left the red outline of my lips on her face so she’d take it with her. A forever kiss to be with her from me. I caressed her ears the way I always had and tried to force my mind to memorize that feeling and they warmed with my touch, with the life and love that is within me. They warmed so that when I kissed them, for a moment it was as if she was still there with us. I looked to my husband and his face was crumbling… our hearts are shattered in a million pieces which are now lost on the wind. I’m so thankful he knows and understands everything I say about Our Betty. He’s my puzzle piece…

She was with us four months… I thought about that today, and I can do the math in my head down to the exact number of days. It’s so strange to count her life in mere days and not years… or an eternity. It feels as if she’s always been a part of us and our little family. I told my husband that she was like a Super Nova, blazing into our lives and igniting a love that burned so hot and bright and pure that her leaving us has been like an obliteration of every bit of warmth and light that once filled this house from the foundation to the roof.

How strange it is, that something so small could be so full of life and love that she lit up everywhere and everyone who crossed her path. Friends and family who have met her have also said it’s odd how they felt when they heard of her passing. They felt as if the loss was theirs, a soul they too loved or were simply touched by had gone without a whisper goodbye to them, they felt the same shock and heartbreak that we did and still do…

There’s so many people to thank… So many friends and family and people who we don’t even know from Facebook have shared in our grief and prayed for us and our Betty… cried for us and our Betty… thought of us and our Betty. That is the legacy of a gentle soul, anyone who came across her felt her love of life and the thrill she had simply being here. That is the sadness and the loss which it seems we all feel.

Even her Bully, Fred… when we finally left Pet Angels, and we walked through the door to the house. There he sat, our Bully Fred, his sad brown eyes a bit worried as he’s been since yesterday, looking around as we walked in and then I caressed him and he stopped and started frantically smelling my hand. He jumped down from the couch and went a bit crazy, looking everywhere, his breathing quick and it took a matter of a moment to understand, he was looking for his Betty Girl, he’d smelled her on my hand. Fred knows she’s missing from our home, from our hearts, from his life too… My heart breaks all over again because we can’t explain why she’s not here to him. He just knows she’s gone…


How can it be, something so tiny, who could only speak and communicate with the look in her amazing, beautiful, soulful eyes, the scratch of her little paw on your leg, the wiggle of her cute little body, the smile on her precious face, or the licks and snuffles, the playful growls and barks… How can it be that she left such an indelible mark on everyone… including and most of all, me.

I am adrift… trying to float, trying to breathe. I am clinging tight to my husband and her memory. She was not “just a dog”… she was and always will be, My Betty.

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