The Long Walk

As I made the long walk down the driveway, I realized that I was making it once again.  In one hand I carried a shovel and in the other hand the bodies of James Clancy and Gracie Mae, two little border collies that didn’t make the transition from their mother’s womb to this world.  It just wasn’t meant to be no matter how hard we tried.
 Molly went into labor a few days early and if you have been keeping up on the dog’s Facebook page, you know it has been a real struggle for her.  We all went without sleep for over 30 hours and spent two full days at the Vet’s office. Today’s blog will deal with the last visit and the emotions that we all shared together.
 As I drove to the office at 6 am on Friday, I knew that Molly was going into major surgery when we arrived.  Usually this type of surgery is routine, but we were trying to save her life from complications, she still carried a pup inside her and it would not move for birthing.  All of the options had run out, everything was discussed and tried.  Injections of Oxytocin were sent home and I gave them to her every hour to stimulate her labor, but she was worn out and ready to give up, but not me.  When we arrived at the office, they were waiting for us and after letting her nurse the living pups, it was time to let her go to surgery. 

Right Before the Surgery on Floor at the Vet's Office
I couldn’t be more pleased with the office and staff, but what impressed me more than anything was the dedication of the Doctors.  Over the couple of days that we were there, the Doctors that worked on her were never ready to give up and did the work as if they were working on their “heart Dog”. 
Molly was lead back to the surgery area, but not without one last kiss to me and a lick to her pups that were now in a box sitting next to me.  Dr Davidson told me that I and the pups could wait in his office during the surgery.  His office was right in the main hub where all the action was and as I watched them prepare Molly, I knew she was in the right hands, Dr Davidson’s, his Crew and GOD’s hands.  Before the surgery, I was told that it did not look good for Molly or the pup and that the pup was most assuredly deceased.  As the other Doctors and I exchanged chit-chat in the office during the surgery, one of the Vet techs brought the pup that was lodged inside Molly to a table just a few feet from me stating “we have a heart beat”.  The Doctors and I sprang into action and stimulation was given along with shots directly to the heart and into the tongue, along with small chest compressions, but nothing was working.    She just wouldn’t take a breath, but the heartbeat was still evident.  I had hope and the little pup was a real fighter.  The Vet tech and I worked for over 30 minutes and at times I just took over, trying everything and even giving mouth to mouth.  In my heart, I knew brain damage was setting in and it was time to let this little girl go.  But she wasn’t ready to go just yet, her heartbeat was still there, though weaker and slower.  Without oxygen, there was no hope, so the only thing I could do was to hold her and stroke her little face and keep her as comfortable as I could.  For the next 15 minutes I held little Gracie Mae in the palm of my hands until she left this world. 
Little Gracie Mae, From my Hands to God
 When she passed, I placed her perfect little body in the small box with her litter mates that were waiting for her.  It was amazing, all the little pups gravitated to her, curling and cuddling together around Gracie Mae because she smelled like their mother.  Gracie Mae was with her litter mates once more and she and they were going back home to be with their mother Molly, as it should be.  
 When we got home, and after getting Molly and the pups situated in the whelping box in the bedroom, I took James Clancy and Gracie Mae and began preparing their forever home here on Dogwood Ridge.  Lovingly I wrapped James Clancy in a blue towel and a pink one for my sweet Gracie Mae.  I tenderly placed them side by side just as if they were still in their mother’s womb.  After a final kiss from Molly, I headed down the driveway to “our special area” where we keep our pets that have passed.  All the dogs were with me except Molly who had already said her goodbyes and as I dug the grave the dogs stood and watched.  Not a sound was heard except the wind and an occasional bark from Dutchess as she gave them her parting farewell, as she "is" Molly's 1/2 sister.  Abbie had a ball in her mouth but didn’t dare move and Clancy stood and watched guard, ever so proud but hurt.  After thanking the good Lord for the Joy the dogs have given me and Elaine, and allowing me to hold Gracie Mae until she became his, James and Gracie were buried along with a piece of our heart in a spot that I pass each and every day.
Molly at home right after the surgery
"Hey, who’s this”?  Someone said as a few new arrivals arrived at Rainbow Bridge.  A small crowd gathers around the new dogs, there was Midnight, Lillie, Patches, Morgan and even Bandit and Tat,  they all gathered around to meet and welcome Gracie Mae and James Clancy, the new kids.  There was jumping, barking and running around and lots of licks and kisses for the new pups.  "We know you"! and for some reason, they all did, something was familiar and they seemed to know each other,  and then it was discovered that the "one" thing they all had in common was a piece of my heart.
Someday we'll all be together... Take care little ones…I Love You, Dad
"Heaven is the place of final and complete happiness that God has prepared for us - and if animals are necessary to make us happy in heaven, then you can be sure God will have them there."--Rev. Billy Graham 

Note:  James Clancy is named after his dad Clancy James and Gracie Mae is named after Molly Mae.  The name that I originally gave this Blog is “What Happened This Week”.  Usually I try to keep the reader up-to-date with the events that happened during the week. This week is no different but much sadder with a story I hate to share, but I have found that sharing not only tells the story, it helps to heal me and gives me comfort.  This has been very difficult to tell and I thank you for being a part of my therapy.  Give your dog a hug today.   Ken