It is with a heavy heart and burning eyes that I write this. At 10 a.m. on Friday morning, March 11, Honeybun passed away in my arms.
A part of me knew that it was her time. Her health was getting worse. She could hardly stand up. She fell down a lot more, and we recently found that her kidneys were beginning to fail.
Honeybun's quality of life was not what it used to be. She didn't want to play with other dogs as much and she even stopped looking to other people for pets and love. A lot of her time was spent indoors and sleeping. Her bad days were outweighing her good days.
On the other hand, I didn't want her to go. I loved Honeybun so much and a selfish part of me wanted to keep her for another 100 years, because I didn't want to go through the pain of losing my dog. It felt like I didn't get to spend time with her. Life gets in the way and a lot of coulda-woulda-shouldas begin to fill my head.
I could have taken her for more walks. I would have played with her more. I should have taken her to the vet as soon as it started.
Second guessing was beginning to cloud my memories of her, but I know that these thoughts are just the darkness of fear, loss and regret ― and not the truth. One of the comforts I have is that she passed away in her home, on her bed, surrounded by family that loved her very much. Even though it was awful to have her leave in my arms, I am glad she didn't have to go alone in a sterile vet room. After her many surgeries, she was not a fan of the vet. Honeybun left on her favorite spot in the world.
Honeybun had a wonderful life with us. We loved her so much, which is why this time hurts so bad. It has been a few days and even though the pain is still fresh in my mind, the doubt is leaking away and the good memories begin to come to the surface.
The day before Honeybun died, I wonder if she knew it was coming. She had a really good day. We went for a walk and the wind was blowing, which was her favorite time to walk. We got outside and she took off, almost taking my arm with her. She ran the length of four buildings, something she hasn't done in a long while. Honeybun also played with a neighbor's dog. Bouncing and bucking like a little bronco. When we got back and it was time to feed her, she was jumping around like a crazy baby. She ate her food with a renewed passion. Later that night, she woke me up at 3 a.m. for a walk. We went outside and she just stood there, looking around, letting the cool breeze wash over her. I feel bad, because at the time I was still groggy from sleep and wanted her to hurry, but looking back I wonder if she was getting a last look at her world. I wish I could have gotten into her head and hear her thoughts. They would probably be about wanting more food, of course.
We came back inside and I gave her a treat, filled her water dish and went to bed. I heard her climb onto the couch, walking back and forth, searching for the sweet spot and plop down with a satisfied grunt. If I would have known she would have six hours left, I would have sat next to her and petted her the rest of the night.
I miss her. I miss her so much my insides hurt. One of my fears is that a year from now, or maybe two, I won't think about her as much and that Honeybun will be nothing more than a faded memory. I will try not to let this happen. Honeybun has left her mark on my life. She opened my heart and made me feel in ways I never thought possible.
She was my dog. She was my baby. She was my piggy. She was my family. There will always be a Honeybun-sized hole in my heart that is filled with sweet memories and pain.
I love you Honeybun.
I wish that I had more to add, but it seems as though Sam has covered it all. It’s always difficult to lose one you love, but it seems that losing your dog is a unique kind of pain.
Part of that difficulty is that not everyone feels as deeply over the loss of an animal as others ― as though because they didn’t walk on two legs instead of four that they aren’t family. HoneyBun was our first child and we’ll never stop loving her. Thank you to all who loved her, and were her family before we were, and continued to be her family even after we brought her home.
After she passed we took her home to Best Friend's Society, where she will be laid to rest. Next time you make it to Angel's Rest, be sure to stop by and say hi. Honeybun always loved visitors.