That dreaded “date-to-be-determined” we had been anticipating since we received the preliminary diagnosis in late January and confirmed in early February, finally arrived today. Actually, we decided last night, but the moment of truth was this afternoon. It was finally time to say adios to our (my?) sweet black Labrador retriever Halle, aka “the perfect dog,” so named, not by me, but others in our family who knew her.
We were able to celebrate life, with her, one last time this afternoon, doing the thing she probably loved more than anything…swimming. We went to the Medina River at Deer Creek Camp, one of her favorite places on earth, and a place where she spent a lot of time both as a puppy and as a young dog during summer camps.
When we arrived there today, she trotted right into the water and swam about without any real place to go, just enjoying the experience. Lacking the kind of vitality that characterized her nature before her cancer, she was only willing to retrieve a stick twice before she decided she had has enough. This same level of exhaustion had been evident in playing ball for the last several weeks, helping us to know that the time had come.
A sad day to be sure, but we met the inevitable with a mix of sadness in loss with a joy at having had her in our lives for 8 years and 4 months. And a hope that we will be reunited with Halle in the life to come. So, in saying “adios” we not only said good-bye, but we also uttered the prayer implied by the parts of the word “a dios,” literally, TO GOD!
We gave Halle back to God today, with the hope that Jesus will take care of her until we see her again.