Friday, October 15, 2010

Treasure's Final Tale

This is the post I never wanted to write. Yesterday we took our beloved Treasure to Dr. Earl and released her from her struggle with cancer. She was first diagnosed on August 28, 2008 and given two months to live. I took her to Dr. Earl on September 29, 2008 and she thrived under his care for the next 24 1/2 months.

When we returned home from France in June, the ultrasound check showed that her cancer had begun to grow. She was showing more signs of her health deteriorating as we approached the time of our departure for Canada. When we returned from that trip Treasure, I think, sensed that the end was near. Her appetite waned and she began losing weight. Her back legs were making it very hard for her to take her walks and I would invariably have to carry her home each time we went out.

One thing that never diminished was her Westie spirit. If I even looked like I was heading to the front door, she would dance all the way and beat me there, wagging her tail in anticipation of the great outdoors. Mostly we would just go walk around the yard, slipping around and through the bushes in the garden. Thursday morning we just sat together in the grass, warmed by the sunshine. Meredith and Murphy had both come by at lunchtime. Treasure even shared a bite of fajita from Murphy, the only food she had eaten in two days.

I had called Dr. Earl's office earlier in the morning, and told them that we were ready for her "quality of life" appointment. He told me last week that she would know and would let me know when the time was right. All day Wednesday her eyes were telling me that she was no longer able to find comfort in her struggle. Her legs were being affected by the growing tumor, yet in her Westie determination, she could still, remarkably, climb up the twelve steps to "our room" where my computer and sewing machine are - a room where we shared so many hours together, a room that will hold many memories in the days to come.

As I watched her nap, just hours before her final appointment, I was reminded of a poem shared by an internet friend years ago, and I knew that I couldn't reverse the progress of this day.
If It Should Be
If it should be that I grow weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.
You will be sad, I understand,
Don't let your grief then stay your hand,
For this day more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.
We've had so many happy years,
What is to come can hold no fears,
You'd not want me to suffer so,
The time has come, please let me go.
Take me where my need they'll tend,
And please stay with me until the end.
I know in time that you will see,
The kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.
Please do not grieve, it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years,
Don't let your heart hold back its tears.
Author Unknown
So, with the heaviest heart, Graham and I took my precious Treasure to Dr. Earl yesterday afternoon. Our friends, Lois and Doug with Jefferson, met us there and, as a family, we loved Treasure through her final minutes. She was handled with such love and care by Dr. Earl and his staff, and as much care and love was given to me and I am forever grateful.
This blog post is going to serve as grief-therapy for me, so please forgive me if I bring you to tears. I have picked just a few pictures of some of the aspects of Treasure's personality. There are many more and I will probably post more in the days ahead. When she first came to us I wrote short stories about her called "Treasure's Tales". This may be the final tale in her story, but it also may motivate me to go back into the archives and tell her stories all over again.

Treasure, after successfully opening her Christmas present from Auntie Jo, takes her bounty into her favorite closet to enjoy all by herself!

Following our return from France, I got the message loud and clear that if I were planning to go somewhere, Treasure was going to go with me!

Murphy adored Treasure and worked diligently to train her to sit up and beg for her treats.

When I began quilting, Treasure spent many happy hours in the vicinity of my work. Sometimes she was on the floor by my feet, but more often she preferred the tabletop where there were always stacks of fabric to snooze on. She was my quilt tester and has been photographed on almost all of the quilts I've made.

Here she comes up the stairs! She would start at the bottom and in one long breath run nonstop up to the top. Because she always wanted to be wherever I was, this would occur multiple times a day. Unbelievably, she did this on the morning of her homegoing.
My sweet Treasure came into my life as a six year old on Valentine's Day, 2004. We loved each other the moment our eyes met and shared that bond until her very last breath. Rest in peace, little angel.


Ruthie said...

eLaRue, know that my tears are flowing for you and Graham. You loved Treasure with a wonderful love and she knew it. Like you said, when your eyes met, you both just knew. I will be praying for your strength. Enjoy looking and remembering all the good times.

Love you, Ruthie

Ruthie said...

LaRue, know that my tears are flowing for you and Graham. You loved Treasure with a wonderful love and she knew it. Like you said, when your eyes met, you both just knew. I will be praying for your strength. Enjoy looking and remembering all the good times.

Love you, Ruthie

Meredith said...

sweet sweet pictures!!! she even let Adrian and Andrew bug her in her old age!
I'll cry with you any day of the week!

Lois said...

My dear friend of the heart... Thank you for letting us share Treasure's complete life journey with you. When she turned her precious face to mine, I know she breathed in the love and compassion that enveloped her during those moments in Dr. Earl's office. She left for Rainbow Bridge wrapped in the dignity of her 'westie-tude'. With each of us who knew her, she left her special, accepting love that lingers on, in 'Tresure's Place', in our hearts.
Hugs around your heart,

Anonymous said...

The tears of sadness that Treasure is gone but tears of remembering all the great stories, pictures and happiness that she brought.

I know it will be tough but we are always here for you.

With much love,
Kathy & Jenny