This past week has been incredibly tough, and I don't really have the words to convey the profound sense of loss or devastation that is wreaking havoc on my heart. It is one thing to see your partner (because Ty was so much more than just a "pet") struggling, but it is another to realize that struggle and do the most selfless thing a person can do - let them go.
Since his diagnosis of DM (degenerative myelopathy) back in July, we handled the bumps and blips in the road with ease as certain things just became part of 'normal life'. The race-way of sectional carpets and booties became a ritual that we took part in for Ty's comfort and in his best interest. He flourished with the minimal changes and then, just as quickly as our success had surmounted, it seemingly plummeted.
Ty was a very proud dog, and even as the disease made him incapable of simple tasks at times, he still would have powered on to follow me to the end of the Earth. That's just the kind of dog he was. He was hopelessly and frantically devoted to his person (me), and I him.
And when we cuddled on the floor a few weeks ago, I saw it in his face. He was quick to redraw his poker face, because if nothing else, Ty was not a complainer.
But, I saw it.
He was getting tired, and in the fleeting moment he had let his guard down, I saw.
We made his last week extra special. Bacon for breakfast, an entire steak to himself... paw-print canvases, a sleep-over in the living room, massages by the fireplace, and one last "walk". A walk without the wheelchair he simply "dealt" with (because: proud dog can do it himself, thank you very much), a walk without me hovering over him and worrying if he was going to fall.
One very last walk in the sunshine.
And even when he began to get tired, he powered on and walked himself through the front door. Because that's just the kind of dog he was.
My heart is irrevocably broken, and I will miss him immensely for the very rest of my days. I can only hope that everyone has the chance to have felt the love and devotion of a great dog, because he was the very best.
Thirteen years was not long enough.