In high school (lo, these many years ago) we had to read the Trilogy of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien. A lot of the students complained about it, but I loved the books, and re-read them over and over. In the trilogy, as many of you know... the elves leave Middle Earth by taking a boat into the west.
Today, Hannah's boat crossed over.
Here she is in happier days... very, very rarely did she come out into the yard. Even when we adopted her, her eyesight had gone south.
This photo is remarkable... in it are four of our friends who have crossed the bridge and are waiting for us on the other side.... Hannah, Addie Mae, so sweet and loving... Nick, who traveled from Kansas City, Kansas to Texas to Illinois to Leavenworth to Tonganoxie with aplomb, and Beau, the pony of my heart, who decorated our yard for the last three years of his life. Always one for a visit, it took only a gathering to get Beau up to hear the conversation. I swear he would have joined in if he could.
And yes, your blogger is about 70 pounds heavier there.
Hannah and her daddy, same night. She hated being held and restrained, even though the other dogs liked it. She wanted only to sit or lay by you, where she could hear your voice or feel your hand on her back. Only in these last few weeks did she want to be held.
She often would watch me quietly as I worked or baked in the kitchen.
Or snuggle next to you when it was nap time.
On January second, we removed her left eye, because it had developed glaucoma during the fall. During the enucleation, the vet also did a tooth cleaning. During that, four teeth fell out, they had been very bad. We think she had suffered from toothache for a long time. She did not bounce back well from the eye operation, and she and I had gone to see Dr. Tom four times since. Last Monday, a week ago, I asked him for a fair assessment of her future, and he told me the best we could hope for was another six months to a year, if we could get her sinus infection healed. But you see, in worrying about the head, I missed something else.
She had not eaten since Sunday morning, and had only drank a little milk now and then. I noticed last night that she sat, instead of laying by me on the couch... sitting in a slump, head hanging for almost two hours. Twice, when she tried to lay down, she sat back up abruptly, and I mentioned it to Keith. We talked about having to do what we had put off and planned for Friday afternoon. Again, she tried to lay down, and didn't yipe, but pulled back abruptly, though I could tell she was worn out and wanted to lay. Finally, she slumped down and sighed.
You can see what it is in this picture, taken earlier today, I had made a last-ditch effort to get her to eat a little cottage cheese, which she normally loved.
Her left front paw is badly swollen. She had managed, somehow, we think maybe in her crate, to tear one claw partially out. There was a very, very sore spot there, where matter had stuck together and infection had set in. We aren't sure when it happened, but I know that Sunday night she could not put weight on it. I never even saw it, and it has hurt me all afternoon.
This was her favorite place, then, at my feet, where she could smell me and see me and hear me a little, up very close. I could reach down and pat her little head. Not rambunctious like the two little girls, she was sedate and staid, and the perfect little dog.
Daddy and Mommy will miss you, Hannah Jean, until we see you and Addie, and Oscar, Nicky, Gwen, Jenny, Beau and Lacey across our own bridge bye and bye.