Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Rosie - RIP

Like everyone, I am also struggling with the "new normal" due to the COVID-19 virus. I live in a populated area (just outside of NYC) and so we have many people, many confirmed cases, and unfortunately, many deaths. We live in quarantine, we food-shop with masks & gloves, and we "visit" with loved ones remotely. Heck, we even spray lysol on our mail deliveries!

I have been having difficulty painting during these times - seems my focus is not long sustained and I find my mind wandering often. Nothing like looking at your canvas & suddenly "waking up" to find you painted something but, wait, "what is that?" I keep dabbling with the brushes but nothing completed. Perhaps for another day, after all, every art show I had entered has been cancelled so nowhere for the pieces to go right now.

I spend my time taking walks and being out in the yard. Spring is starting (seasons wait for nothing). Flowers & plants are growing, some blooming already, and the birds are very active. It would all seem very normal -- except for the masks. I listen very little to the news as I find they repeat themselves often, sound dire often, and leave me feeling a bit depressed -- often.

But nothing prepared me for losing my Rosie Anne. She was only 8 (not old for a dachshund at all), and she became a very sick little girl very suddenly. Test after test revealed nothing concrete and the vets could only suggest one more test. Her list of symptoms grew with nothing making any sense. When we got the call at 4:30 in the morning, I knew it wasn't good news. She was having seizures, temperature shot up probably due to pain (she had been on antibiotics already). My husband & I made the necessary decision to set her free. The hospital felt it was encephalitis or possible a cancer in her brain.

So at 5 am on a cold, windy Saturday morning, we stood in a tent in the parking lot of the animal hospital, waiting to say good bye. We had masks, and gloves, and tears. When they rolled her stretcher out to us, she immediately started to whimper & wag her tail. She knew we were there - and that was what I had hoped for. Rosie had been a rescue and my biggest fear was that she was thinking she had been abandoned again - I did not want her to die alone with strangers.

Why the tent? Why the parking lot? Why my fears? Because the "new normal" prevents owners from being inside the animal hospital. When I brought her in 2 days earlier, they met me in the parking lot. They took Rosie with them & I got to sit in my car in the parking lot - the "new waiting room." I waited for over 2 hours for a vet to call me on my cell phone to advise what tests they would need to do. I waited another 1-1/2 hours before I got the results - which was, nothing conclusive.

When the end came we were still not able to enter the hospital, and so it was a tent, in the parking lot, where we said our good byes. It made the whole thing so surreal, and yet so real. A memory I will have forever, and the entire 3-day situation has left me feeling somewhat bewildered.

I am struggling a bit each day now - she was with me 24/7, so I feel like I'm missing a part of me. That's because I am. She was in our lives for less than 2 years but she managed to truly work her way deep into our hearts. I know every owner says that their dog is the sweetest -- but Rosie was indeed the sweetest dog I have ever known.

I believe we enter & leave different lives for reasons that aren't always apparent at first. I know she & I helped each other, I just understand (yet) why our time together was so short. Until we meet again, fly free sweet angel, love you always.

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