Not a time I would choose. Or even ever yearn for. Not loss or the emptiness that comes with it would I ask for. But My heart finds its way through the endless aches and pains because the beauty of simple love, of what love truly represents and stands for was shown to me at 12:34 last Saturday. My sweet baby girl Macy took her last three breaths. Audible for me to hear, yet gentle enough for me to feel calmed by.
She was one of my three dogs. One of the two I rescued to a better life. The one who made me laugh with her laid back, eyes half closed demeanor. The dog who could lay her head all the way back behind her, who would always keep a paw on you to remind you she was there. The dog who stole my heart…and I didn’t even know it.
She was my lesson in patience, in sweetness, in unconditional love. I would yell at her, she would wag her tail faster. I would come home from a miserable day and she would be literally bent in half, wagging her tail so hard, I think it actually, at times, wagged her.
We called her “wiggles” because of her ability to be so excited, her body would curl, and her tail would smack herself in the face. She was always squinting because of it.
She started to get sick in May… I noticed she wasn’t eating as much and was losing weight. But the truth is, if I didn’t notice that stuff, I wouldn’t have known anything. She still was excited to see me when I walked in, wiggling and carrying on as usual.
The first few steps out the door on a walk were my favorite. She couldn’t walk in a straight line, she was so excited… She snorted like a little pig, the tail going in sporadic circles we called “helicopter tail” and her prance became quick and bouncy.
In every moment, even to the last three breathes, my sweet baby girl loved life. And she taught me a lot about it…
Macy was going to be put down back in 2003 when I adopted her. She was left on the side of the road with her sister and both were saved from a high-kill shelter in North Carolina and brought to a rescue in PA. I saw her online and immediately knew I needed to meet this sweet face.
I attended a meet and greet on a Sunday in the summer of 2003 in the park with dogs from all different shelters and organizations.
I saw her sitting under a tent, eyes barely open because the sun was so bright.
After a few minutes talking with the ladies there, I picked her up. She laid in my arms and squinted up at me. She licked me… one of Macy’s traits…. that long tongue that always snipered guests in my house. I knew I had to have her.
The next day the ladies called me and told me they would like to have me bring my beagle for a visit to see how they get along.
I did. And they did.
Macy came home with me a few days later.
That first night, Zoe and Macy fell asleep together on the couch. I knew she fit right in. It was easy. She was love… pure and simple. Love in every turn. And the feeling was mutual.
I could go on and on about the stories that made us laugh and cry… the ways she lit up the room and the ways she made me love her…
But the one truth remains… her love was simple and it was pure.
On Saturday, as I sit in the room waiting for the doctor to come and administer the injection, I held Macy in my arms. Just like the first day I fell in love with her. The last day, I held her and fell in love with her all over again. She nestled herself against me, so gentle and sweet.
I thought, “how perfect. She came into my life in my arms… she gets to leave the same way.” The tears flowed.
As the injection started, she rested her head in the crook of my arm, so warm and gentle. I kissed her head and told her I loved her… that she was the best girl in the world. I told her it was ok to go.
With three audible breaths, she went peacefully.
If it’s possible that death can be beautiful, I felt it on Saturday at 12:34pm. Her grace and peace hugged me as she left her physical body. I felt a strange peacefulness through my tears.
That day I was flooded with well wishes and emails from friends and family. I appreciated every single one.
But one stood out to me… It was the Rainbow Bridge poem that owners of pets often get when they go through loss.
It didn’t stand out because I had never seen it before… I had.
But that evening, when I was leaving dinner with a friend, on my way to speak at a field hockey camp… I walked about of the restaurant and looked up. After a quick five minute rain storm, there appeared the most beautiful rainbow I have seen in a long while.
I knew she had sent that to me to let me know she was there, waiting.
Macy taught me a lot about love, and about life… about peace and calm, about gentleness and about the pure beauty of letting go.
I will remember her eyes, the love that she spoke through them, the heart beat I felt when I held her close in those last minutes.
Love is beautiful.
She showed me in ways I would have never known.