Last night we let Axel go to the basement to let the dogs in. He feels quite proud of himself, being trusted to do this job. I went along with him to show him how to work the latch on the door...again.
He hollered for the dogs to come in, "Hey! GLandnoayayahabahhadaofeiahfkdajn!" and they came running, in the same order they ALWAYS do.
Axel hollered out the door again. "Hey! Glolgkakcndknke!"
He was hollering for Rubee to come. She ALWAYS came in last, no matter what.
But there was no Rubee, and Axel was confused.
"Rubee's not coming Buddy. I'm sorry."
I turned to wipe away the tear that was already running down my cheek. They're awfully close to the surface these last couple of days.
Tonight the dogs ate their dinner then did their face cleaning ritual. This involves lots of rubbing of faces on the rug or using their paws to rub their snouts. Prior to Friday, this ritual also involved Zurri making serious business about cleaning off Rubee's face. Zurri would clean Rubee's eyes, mouth and in her ears. Tonight I noticed Dudley's face was all wet. Apparently Zurri has turned her attention on Dudley now.
Rubee lays on a certain spot on our living room rug. Rubee isn't there anymore, and it just doesn't seem right. This morning when I got up, Rubee wasn't standing there waiting for me to say hello.
Dudley is laying in her spot tonight. Does he miss his mom?
On Friday morning, all three of the other dogs went over to Rubee and sniffed her all over. They sniffed every inch of her.
Rubee didn't really want to get up, and was reluctant to go outside with Dean, and the other dogs watched while she struggled to get up. Later in the day, when it was time to take the drive over to the vet's office, I gathered the other dogs to say goodbye to Rubee.
They ignored her.
It was if they were saying, "We said goodbye to her this morning." They acted as if she wasn't there. I think perhaps she wasn't.
It has been many years since I've had to put a dog to sleep. And actually, I don't think I stayed in the room. It was a dog we'd taken as a rescue and only had a couple of weeks, so I wasn't very attached to her yet, AND she'd just killed 10 of my chickens three days before she developed pyometra. Bringing Rubee to the vet was the most awful feeling. What if we were doing the wrong thing? What if there were some simple fix we were missing? How could we take our Rubee and make her walk into the vet on her own...to her own death?
She even wagged her tail at the vet.
It was a slow, tired wag.
Rubee hated the vets office. She was always very nervous there and would tremble. Not this time. This time she laid down on the bed they'd made for her, in exactly the same position she lies in at home. She was relaxed and seemed comfortable. She didn't flinch when the techs shaved a spot on her leg and put in the IV catheter.
I kept staring at that IV line. That was where we would inject it. The fluorescent blue chemical that would make her heart stop. I couldn't believe we were doing this to our Rubee.
As we were saying our very last final goodbye through sobbing tears, Rubee picked her head up off the floor and looked first at me, then at Dean.
She said, "goodbye.
I'm tired now.
We told the vet we were ready, even though we weren't. We would never be ready. As the vet started to inject the blue stuff I wanted to yell, "Wait! Not yet! I can't say goodbye!"
We told her we loved her. That Fae was waiting for her. And Othello. There were trails to walk where she was going, and mice to sniff out. We would see her again one day. Dean. Me. Angela. Axel. Dudley. Zurri and Roman. We would all see her again one day.
We miss you Rubee. So many memories we have of you. Leading our pack. Your pack. You loved us and took care of us. I can't wait for the day when you'll greet me again, with your slow, happy tail wagging. You will forever be "Our Rubee".