The day our dog passed away, we sat on a bench on the National Mall and cried. Before that, I cried on the Red Line, and at the National Museum of Natural History. The metro was too quiet and empty in the early afternoon, and the star dust at the museum was too much. Everything made me think of her.
Andrew assuring me she was going to be fine.
Andrew wrapped in a blanket at the animal hospital.
Star’s bed, crate, treats, toys, and medicine that were all either put into storage in the trunk of our car or thrown out in an early morning daze.
Star resting her head in a pool of blood, struggling to breathe.
Star intubated on the counter.
And then there was the LinkedIn recruiter asking if I was interested in a proposal writing position for a defense and space company.
There were the work emails blinking on my phone, the condolences.
And emails that weren’t condolences.
The vet giving us prices for x-rays.
Saying yes to everything that could possibly help her.
The dinner of turkey sloppy joes we had prepared in the crockpot the day before, but didn’t eat for some reason. The stale naan we ate with it because we didn’t have buns. Five bites or so.
Andrew holding my hand in bed and starting his prayer with “God, today really sucked.”
God, today really sucked.
The origami stars at the animal hospital. The handful I took. The one I held onto as we waited to see if her lungs had drained at all.
The x-ray that showed a small growth that meant nothing because she was going to die from something else soon, anyway.
Congestive heart failure.
Holding her Ewok toy as I talked to my brother, my parents, and some friends.
Andrew trying to nap on the couch.
Hearing the new neighbors’ dog going up and down the hall.
Getting an anniversary card in the mail.
The oxygen chambers.
Another couple who came in with their cat, who was also struggling to breathe.
The French cat poster in one of the rooms. Our plans to visit France this winter, before I quit my job.
The vet tech who said Star was 11, though we thought she was nine. Maybe she was older.
The vet tech who would have to explain death to her young daughter soon, since she has an old dog.
Crying at Chick-fil-A, “How Great Is Our God” instrumental in the background.
The softness of her head and paws.
The vet tech pulling the towel over top of her.
Star waking us up around 1:30 a.m. and Andrew taking her out.
Star waking us up around 3 a.m., surrounded by pink fluid on the carpet.
Wanting to run red lights to get her to the hospital more quickly.
Dropping the car off for an oil change, sunglasses on.
Donating her food to the Humane Society.
Calling our vet’s office to ask where to donate the open food, and to tell them the news.
Sitting on the uncomfortable wooden bench in the waiting room, watching Guy’s Grocery Games at 4:30 a.m.
The vet saying she was too far gone.
If you hadn’t heard her coughing, she would have been dead when you woke up.
Collapsing in the stairwell on the way back up to our apartment.
Picking out Star’s urn.
Her eyes slipping out of focus, falling asleep, 5:15 a.m.
$28 for euthanasia.
Settling the bill.