My bestie was a Westie named Rory. This past Monday I had to say goodbye to her and she left a hole in my heart that I don’t think will ever heal. And I am not sure that I want to refill it. But I would like to tell you more about her. I have written posts about her in the past. But now I have decided to write more short stories about Rory and I am calling them The Chronicles of Rory (we are big Narnia fans, can’t you tell!).
A Fairytale Beginning
A long time ago in a country (Romania) far, far away, a little female Westie was born. Little did she know of the journey that was already planned for her. In another part of this land, there was a newly married couple who had just moved here for the husband’s work. His wife, not knowing anyone, was starting to feel lonely away from her family. So they decided to expand their little family and add a cute little four-legged furbaby. And that is how our fairytale began almost 11 years ago.
All Fairytales Must Have An Ending
In the past few months, I had noticed Rory slowing down but I thought, well she is 10 years old, she isn’t a spring chicken anymore. But this past Friday she got sick to her stomach. Rory had a tendency to get sick because she had a sensitive stomach, which I have heard is an issue with Westies. This time was different. She seems disoriented and wouldn’t lay down. While I was getting ready to go to bed, I decided to sleep on the couch and let her sleep with me. When I went to lift her up on the couch she yelped in pain and scurried off. I knew then something was wrong but I just thought maybe it was an upset stomach.
When I woke the next morning she had crawled under the bed and I could tell she still didn’t feel good. So we decided that I should take her to the emergency vet. We were supposed to be headed to Disney World but I decided to hold off until we knew more. As I was driving to the vet, I started thinking about her age and maybe there was something seriously wrong. I was still holding out hope but I was extremely upset and I cried the whole way there.
The emergency vet told us that they wanted to run some tests and keep her overnight because she seems to be dehydrated. I figured she was in good hands so we went on to Orlando. We were only going for two nights and I figured we could rush back if is was really bad news. While we were down there they kept calling with updates and suggested they keep her another night. They had gotten her fully hydrated but the vet noticed she had fluid in her abdomen and they also noticed a mass near her liver. And she was still in a lot of pain.
We left Disney World on Monday and started the drive back to Tallahassee and the whole time I was on the phone with doctors and seeing what our options were. Hubby and I talked about it a lot and he said this was my decision because she was really my dog. He never pushed me one way or the other. No one could ever give me a straight answer as to what was wrong and said that none of the tests were showing them anything conclusive.
When we picked her up from the emergency vet, we had one last hail mary. There was an ultrasound specialist that had agreed to do a special ultrasound because I still wasn’t getting a clear enough answer to make my decision. We rushed her over and he had agreed to stay late to fit us in. I could tell she was still in pain and she whimpered the whole way there. I felt helpless, I wanted them to either find a way to fix her or stop her pain. It was breaking my heart.
He sat us down after the ultrasound and said that he thought something had ruptured but he couldn’t tell what it was. He thought her gall bladder was damaged and that it may have been from the mass. But only an aggressive treatment plan which included multiple surgeries was our option and that she still might not get better or even live through the surgeries. Hubby asked him if it was an appropriate time to think about putting her down. At that point, I am glad he asked the question. I had dreaded thinking about this but I just couldn’t handle her being in so much pain.
We finally made the decision to put her down and I was a hysterical mess. You know that scene in Steel Magnolias when Sally Fields says she was there when Shelby took her last breath and all of the men had left because they couldn’t handle it. Well, that was us. Hubby and our little man left the room. It was probably too much for our son, plus I was upsetting him because I was so upset. So I was there in the room with just the vet and Rory when her little heart stopped beating.
The vet left the room and let me say my goodbyes in private so it was just me and her. And all I could do was cry and tell her I was sorry. I was sorry for letting her go. I was sorry for going out of town while she was sick. I was sorry for not seeing her pain sooner. I was sorry for not doing enough. I was just so sorry. I said some more goodbyes and then the vet tech came and took her to prepare her for us to take her home. She almost made it out of the room before I could ask for her collar to be taken off so I could keep it. I am still trying to decide how to upcycle it so I can keep it with me always.
Until We Meet Again
Those next few hours I cried on and off at my house. My eyes were burning because they were so raw and I just couldn’t stop crying. I still tear up and sometimes have a good sob every once in a while. I’ve been told that doesn’t go away anytime soon. And I am ok with that because I like remembering her and seeing her pictures and videos. Seeing all of these helps remind me that she had a really good life.
We buried her at my mom’s house this past Wednesday in our family’s pet cemetery. We will get a headstone for her and I can visit her whenever I am over there. I joked with my mom and sister that now they could never ever move…not really joking. I will forever look for her when I walk in my house and miss her barking at the tv whenever a four legged animal is on the screen. Thank you, Rory, for all of the wonderful memories and I can’t wait until we see each other again.