I woke up yesterday morning and laid in bed for a few minutes.   My baby bump is far more pronounced first thing in the morning.  Maybe it’s the combo of a full bladder and empty stomach.   I was pushing around my belly, and for the first time, I felt a true jab from the baby girl inside me.

I’ve felt flutters for a week or so now, but this was a real touch.  It was a special moment and made me really happy.  I jumped out of bed to start my day.  I brushed my teeth, got dressed and then called for Diesel and Daisy to put them outside.   After not seeing Diesel, I went to his crate and saw him still inside.   I immediately knew something was wrong.

He couldn’t get up.  There was vomit and pee in his bed.

I took a deep breath and sat down next to him.  I pet him and talked to him.  I tried to see if he could get up.  His back legs weren’t working.

We’ve known for a few months that Diesel was declining.  At almost 13 years old, he was showing a lot of signs of age and I knew this day was coming.   Josh and I adopted Diesel, a beautiful chocolate lab puppy, only a month after we got married.  He was our first “baby.”

I know you want to stop reading, it’s ok if you do.  But I share my days with you…my real days…so i’ll share this one too.

After I took a few minutes, I called the vet and woke up the boys.  I told them what was going on and had them sit with Diesel until it was time to go.   I emailed Josh, who’s ship is somewhere on the other side of the world.

I scooped 80# Diesel up in a blanket and carried him to my jeep.  I’m grateful for all of those atlas stone sessions I did to learn how to pick up heavy weights from the floor.

When we arrived, they had a giant comforter for us to sit with him on the floor.  A very kind vet started evaluating him and told us that he had a type of old dog vertigo…and that sometimes this could improve.  But after a few more checks she told us his inability to walk wasn’t the vertigo.  It was neurological loss to his back legs…like progressive paralysis.  This would not improve.

I knew.

I took a few minutes to talk to the boys.  Diesel was a part of their lives from birth.   Watching them experience pain was crushing for me.

When it was time, Logan and I laid on the floor with Diesel.  Diesel put his head in the crook of my neck, his favorite spot, and he went to sleep forever.

A few hours later, when we were home, Josh called from the ship.   We talked for a few moments and I cried.  Even though I didn’t have much to say, I missed him tremendously in that moment.  I was so sorry he didn’t get to say goodbye.

Diesel had a wonderful happy life and I am grateful he was with us for so long.  What a blessing animals can be.

Thank you for reading…. strangely I feel a little better having written this email.   My days feel so raw lately.  The highs and lows are so pronounced and I have the strange understanding that this period of my life will always stand out as a beautiful and challenging chapter.

Before I sign off, I need to tell you an amazing coincidence.   A few months ago Josh and I anticipated this day.  We decided to reserve a puppy in a litter to be born in December.  We knew Daisy would need a friend for her final years….and the boys would need a dog to love.

We hoped the litter would be born by Christmas, so we could give a picture to the boys.  But the litter didn’t arrive.  The boys received a stuffed animal puppy and a letter from daddy with the announcement.   They’ve asked every day if the puppy was born yet.

The litter of puppies arrived last night.   How strange and beautifully cyclical life can be.

Until tomorrow…