In the end

I learned nothing from my phone call to the vet.

When we decided this weekend to put Zoe to sleep, Brent suggested we get the job done at our local vet. I. Was. Aghast. Zoe has gone to the same vet clinic for nearly 15 years. How could he think of sending her to a strange place with strangers to do the deed?!

Well, I rethought that as we got ready to go and Brent said, “I’ve got Daniel” as he dashed out the door, leaving me to find and carry and ride with Zoe on my lap the 20 MILES to the vet clinic. Well, fine. She rode with me when we brought her home. She could ride with me on the Last Car Ride.

We were all fine and jovial on the ride there. Tra-la-la. Nothing unusual about this trip. Then we got there and — completely forgetting about the morning’s phone call — I determined I would be the one to walk her in. “It will be less embarrassing if I burst into tears than you,” I said to Brent, fully intending to walk in there calm as could be so Zoe would think she was just going to the kennel.

We got inside and behind the counter was not my high school friend Mary, but a STRANGER. I burst into tears. I could not see to sign the paper that said yes, you may kill my dog; no, I do not want the body; no, I do not want the ashes.

Out from the back popped Mary and she came cruising from behind the counter hugged me and said, “This is hard, but it’s time.” More crying, but I am completely relieved.

“Do you want the collar?” says new girl. “Won’t (wheeze, sob) she (sniffle, snort) be worried (sob, sob, sob) if you take it off?” Like my standing there convulsively crying wouldn’t tip Zoe off. “No, no,” said Mary. “She knows us. She knows it here.”

If I had to name the 10 best days of my life, this would not be one of them.

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