Thursday, January 2, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Candy

Tonight we said goodbye to sweet old Candy. She was ours for almost five years, and letting her go was very very difficult. How does one properly say goodbye to an animal who can't really understand what is happening or why things have suddenly changed? For her, there is no extra significance to the last stroke of her fur or the final kiss on the top of her head. She only knows that she is somewhere new, with someone new, and that Shannon and I are gone. She can't conceive of the permanence of this change. And that is, perhaps, the most heartbreaking part of leaving her. That she doesn't know.

We packed up all of Candy's things - her food, her favorite toy, her well-worn bed, among many other things - and then drove her over to her new place. It's a lovely little apartment, quiet and not too large. Her new owner, Emily, is very sweet, and very calm - really the perfect personality to care for an old delicate girl like Candy. We all sat on the floor in the living room and opened the door to Candy's carrier. She hesitated for a few minutes, just looking out the windows, trying to figure out where she was. Soon enough she came out, and actually seemed excited by the new environment. She walked all around the apartment from room to room, smelling and staring with those big glowing cataract eyes. And she was perfectly comfortable with Emily, rubbing and purring happily.

Candy ate a little dinner, we talked thoroughly about everything Emily needs to know, and then soon the time came to leave. Shannon had coaxed Candy into her little bed, and she was sleepily purring. It seemed the right time to go. Each of us gave her a final goodbye kiss on the head. She seemed fine. But as we walked out the door, her head popped up and she looked after us. As we passed the window she was craning her head to watch us walk by. Those big glowing eyes pierced us both right to the heart. It was a terribly painful moment. I won't forget those eyes catching mine through the glass. It's going to stay with me for a long time.

I can only hope she quickly forgets about us, and doesn't look at the door of her new apartment, expecting us to walk back through it. Her senility and short memory is a blessing. But she will be confused for a time. Emily will be showering her with attention and love, no doubt. Perhaps that will distract Candy enough to keep her happy while she adapts to her new life. She had to do the same thing when Shannon and I took her from her previous home. She has proven her adaptability. She is truly a wonderful old girl, with so much love to share with everyone she meets. We are lucky to have had her in our lives.

 We will miss you Candy.

Days to Takeoff: 10

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