I am sad to share that our little Artemis was laid to rest today. She was almost 18 years old. My ex Forrest and I got Artemis from a breeder in Oakland back in June 1996. I believe she was actually born in April of that year. She was around 8-10 weeks old. Artemis was the firecracker in the house. Always excited, always happy to see you and easy to care for, unlike her two sister Gaia & Bear (cats). It’s been a long and slow journey down to the end. She started loosinga the use of her back legs off and on for the past year. Over the past couple of weeks it had gotten greatly worse.
Yesterday I had picked her up to take her outside and noticed that one of the tumors was aspirated. Yes I know, gross but it is what it is. This morning we told Paley she was going to the pet hospital. Paley was more shocked to find out there was actually a pet hospital. We said she would not return and that she was going to die and would be with Simon, Gaia and Bear. Sadly I don’t think it really registered with Paley as to the what was going to happen. I suspect that at some point this weekend, she will realize she’s gone and we will explain again.
I am actually not sad to see her go. She had a long life and she really was in a lot of discomfort these past few weeks. Around Christmas we had actually expected to be taking her in for cremation but she was hard headed trooper. Over the past couple of years she did a have a few close calls, some of those were even on a Sunday. We expected to her to die on a Sunday because Simon and Bear both died on first Sunday of the month and a year apart.
It pained me to see them wither away into nothing at the end. When you watch your animal just waste away to the end, for me there were no tears in the end, just happy they’ve moved on and are no longer in pain. I think tears mostly come when you loose your animal suddenly. I cried when I found out that Gaia was killed by a coyote in our neighborhood. With Artemis it was a whole new experience, sadly she had gotten to the point where keeping her alive in her state was just horribly wrong. But handing your dog over to a vet to be put to sleep is a whole separate kind of pain. I don’t think it’s failure, I think it’s more like being robbed of a spirit, I am not sure what’s better in the end. Let them die or give them piece to fall asleep. Such a hard choice!
We will miss Artemis but as I told her before she was gone, you will be with your 3 best buddies soon enough. So happy those 4 will be a family once again. Much love!