When I saw the size of the mass on x-ray, I knew immediately that it was inoperable, and the next days would be our last with our Sunshine Girl. Our hearts were broken wide open once again. We thought at the time that we might have a couple of weeks remaining to spoil her and love her and say our goodbyes, and we were trying to come to grips with how we might know when the time was right to ease her suffering if it came to that. People who have been there always say that "you will know," but we had our doubts until the morning of July 8th when we woke up and knew--just as surely as we knew that she loved us beyond measure. We knew we did not want to take her anywhere but wanted to have her take her last breath at home surrounded by the sights and smells that she loved, cuddled in the arms of the three beings who loved her most. It was Sunday, though, and I wasn't sure if I could find someone at the last minute to help us with our task. In swooped the angel Dr. Barbara Welsch with A Compassionate Way. Dr. Welsch was once a fully practicing veterinarian, but now she counsels veterinarians with professional burnout and those stricken with grief, and in her night and weekend hours, she delivers the sick from their suffering. Marc had his doubts about her, worrying that she might be too "touchy, feely" since she was a counselor. He was very worried that she would try to counsel him through his grief. I can honestly say, however, that had I told someone exactly how I wanted things to be handled, I could not have chosen such a perfect experience. Dr. Welsch was nothing short of amazing. She was loving and kind and explained in all the right places while being quiet in all the right ones, too. She humored Luna's curiosity and protective nature, letting her sniff each and every thing she used. She let us cry and sob and pet and love. She let us talk and sing in her ear. She let us be a family in our home saying goodbye to a piece of our heart.
The good Micheal Williams from Cherished Memories pet crematory in Gainesville had been prearranged to arrive at an appropriate time, and he was neither a moment late nor a moment early. Again, he was a blessing in our time of heartbreak, and we are thankful for him and his services.
After that rather heartwrenching story, I thought this fun, happy picture a necessity.
One of my favorite pictures of me...ever. How boring my workouts would be without my Luna Tuna!