The Presence of Her Absence

It’s been exactly nine days since Gracie passed away.  The pain of her absence is huge.  Huge.

Today, self was puttering around the garden, and she saw small piles of dried up crap spaced in decorous intervals around the wooden deck in the backyard.  Self stopped.  And looked.  Forgive self this tendency to dwell on odious subjects.  It’s just —  Gracie loved to be with self in the garden.  On Sunday, April 3, she and self were outside together, enjoying the sun.  Self was reading a book on the deck, and Gracie came right up to her and raised her head towards self, and self patted her of course.  The very next morning, the world went awry and Gracie died.

Self did some calculations:  Nine days.  That poop can’t be Gracie’s, then.  Of course :  It’s Bella’s, the older beagle, the 15-year-old, who amazes us all by continuing to live in good health.

Monday, the 4th of April, was when self awoke to find Gracie gone, or almost gone.  She was lying by one of the sofas in the living room, and there was an absolute mess of crap around her.  So self rushed Gracie to the vet, but even just on the walk from the house to the car, she felt Gracie’s bones dissolve, her neck swaying back and forth, back and forth, and so self ran, ran.

After four hours on I/V fluids, the vet came and talked to self, and self made the decision to have Gracie put down.  And son was angry.  And hubby asked, why didn’t she bring Gracie straight to the emergency room, why did she have to go to the vet, couldn’t she see, couldn’t she see how dire Gracie’s condition was, and perhaps self wasn’t thinking straight, but she knew absolutely that she made the right decision, to end the poor li’l crit’s suffering.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. Pym said,

    April 14, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your Gracie. That must’ve been very tough. But don’t beat yourself up about it; it sounds like it was time for her to go, anyway, and now she won’t suffer. I know that someday I will have to do that for my Gracie. I’m lucky she’s still around (even if she farts too much); I will try to enjoy and appreciate her presence for as long as I can.

    Take care,


  2. April 14, 2011 at 1:30 am


    Thank you so much. I will vicariously participate in your happiness over still having your Gracie around (farts and all!)

    You know, I was pretty much able to keep a lid on my feelings until today. That was because I deliberately AVOIDED spending too much time in the garden, as I knew it would be very painful. Today, I started clearing out some weeds, and I saw a little hollow in the ground, right underneath the rosemary bush, and I saw it was just the shape of my Gracie’s body, so that’s where she probably made her “nest,” during the day when I was out.


    I’m a mess today. I didn’t even want to blog about it, but — oh well, she was a great dog.

    Thanks again, Jean.

  3. Stella K said,

    April 14, 2011 at 1:38 am

    So sorry to hear that Gracie passed away. You did the right thing.

  4. April 14, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Stella, You took pictures of Gracie and Bella, remember when you came to my house? I treasure those pictures now. Thank you so much.

  5. Lavalady said,

    April 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I’m so sorry about your loss. Gracie always sounded like a lovely dog.

  6. April 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you, Lavalady. She had a lot of spunk, loyalty, tenderness. She was always so lively and curious that I really found those last hours of her life hard.

    Then I keep going back over the day before, trying to remember if there were any signs, but truly I can say there were none. It was a hot afternoon and she was out with me on the deck and was panting a little — but I thought that was just from the heat, and from following me around! Stupid me, she was probably already starting to feel bad, but she was such a spunky dog that she never showed it.

    I appreciate your leaving a comment, Lavalady. It is good to hear from you.

  7. Kathleen said,

    April 19, 2011 at 1:04 am

    I just read that Gracie died. That is so sad. I know how much you loved her. 😦 Hugs……..

  8. April 19, 2011 at 6:32 am


    Thank you. Yes, I loved her a lot. I couldn’t bear the suffering at the end. Son didn’t want me to put her down, he said she was fighting and she was. I keep thinking: should I have waited another day, to see if she pulled out of this latest setback, as she had so many times in the past? But it was horrible to see her suffer. I didn’t want her last days to be spent in pain.

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