A friend loved so much the thought of living without her hurts like nothing before. She and I were so connected. Curry stood in the place of the child we do not have. She was not a dog but a human in dog form. My husband and I have so much pain regarding her absence. To never see her sit on her favorite chair, to never feel her cool nose nuzzle my ear, to never feel her curl up at my feet underneath the covers, to never see her at the top of the steps when we come home, or never see her precious face again weighs very heavily upon me.
Our lives have been very trying for awhile now. There were two things in life that made me feel like I was blessed. That is my husband and my Curry. We just do not know what to do without our little Curry.
I had let Curry and her buddy Shadow (my friends dog who lives with us half of the time) out to play in the yard. It was such a nice morning so I decided to let them stay out. Usually I would have called them back in but that day I just allowed them to stay out too long. Usually I checked the gate to make sure it was closed and locked...but on this day for no reason I did not.
I had not heard anything from them for about ten minutes when I went to look down on them through the window. Something struck me as funny and I ran down calling for them in that panic voice a parent or pet owner gets when their loved one is nowhere to be found. Sure enough they were not in the yard.
Jumping in the car and screaming out the window for the two runaways, I turned onto the busy street that is near my house. I saw a police car parked in front of the church near my home , people standing in front, and I knew. I parked the car and ran towards them and then I saw here laying on the ground. Obviously she had been hit by a car.
She saw me and tried standing up....made whining sounds....looked at me as if she wanted me to do something. My heart breaks when I think of her like this. There were quite a few people standing around who had seen what had happened, called 911, and realized the hysterical woman was the owner of the pup. They said that the humane society was on the way.
She needed quick medical attention because she was going into shock. I looked for her buddy Shadow and asked if anyone had seen him as well. Just then my neighbor came down and said that Shadow had come to her door whining and scratching to be let in.
Curry did not have time to make it all the way to the humane society so she was taken to the closest vet. One of the ladies who was standing around took me to the vet down the street. Another one of the ladies followed in her car to make sure we got to the vet ok. As I ran into the room where Curry was taken I heard the vet say that this dog was dying. He did not need to say this as I knew.
The vet said that he could not do anything in his office for her as he did not have the proper equipment, thus we needed to put her to sleep or go to the humane society. I had to give her the chance. My neighbor had followed me to the vet so she offered to drive. I got in the backseat holding her tightly. Crying over Curry I felt her going farther and farther away. I told her how much I loved her and held her tightly. I hoped but not alot was there. I told her over and over how much I loved her and held my face to hers. She gasped for air slower and slower....until I knew she was gone. My beloved dog who had barely just turned one left me too early. She was such a bright flame that just burned out right before me in my arms. I held her so tight sobbing over her still warm body.
We arrived at the other vet's office. My neighbor went in to let them know that we had arrived. I did not yet want to let her go. I could not give her up to this office. I asked my neighbor if she would drive me home so I could have a little more time with Curry. I wanted to hold her until she was not warm anymore. Just in case her spirit was still around ...somehow maybe seeing her off until I knew she had her final transition.
I also wanted to let her friend Shadow see her because I think it is important that animals see their loved ones dead so that they do not search for them for months. I have had that happen where one of my pets left us and the other did not get to see or smell their friend. As we pulled up to the curb my neighbor's son came out to help carry her into my house.
My neighbor mistakenly brought Shadow out to the curb whereas I had wanted to wait until I got her in the house. Shadow must have seen or smelled her and started barking and pulling to get to her. I told my neighbor to take him inside. He normally will aquiesce to instruction but this time he did not ...he kept pulling to get to his Curry.
Curry was carried into the house and layed out onto the foyer floor. The son asked how it had happened and I said that the gate was left open. He said that he had been through there the night before but had pulled it really hard. I told him that one has to latch the gate because it does not latch by itself. He said that he had pulled it very hard.....what do you say when you realize who has left the gate open. I just looked away and said that I needed to be alone. He did not apologize, or acknowledge what happened. I do not know if he realized it or it passed over his head that he was the one who letft the gate open.
I layed down next to her and held her tight. Shadow licked her paws, her ears, made sounds to see if she would respond, and sat down next to her. He put his head onto his legs and continued to gaze at his friend. Occasionally he would make sounds or lick her again. I lay sobbing, held her paw, and petted her head. Trying to remember every inch of her, I searched for any sign of the Curry I knew. She was so quiet and seemed peaceful.
I did not feel any broken bones so I think she had internal injuries. I did not know what to do next...I was in shock. My husband was on his way home from LA but would not be in until nine that night. When I called him he could not believe it and cried on the phone. This has been such a nightmare. I called my mother and Shadow's mom Anna. Both came right over.
My mom is not the type to immerse herself in grief so she started cleaning my house. But she was there....that was nice. My friend Anna was so comforting...she just came in and sat down next to Curry, cryng she patted my back. I finally felt like it was time to take her back to the vet. Curry no longer seemed to be around ...I had to let her go. Once at the vet it took three of us carrying her in to the room where the freezer was. I started to help pick her up and put her into the freezer when my mom steered me out and took over. I was touched because she did not want me to see her put in the freezer.
I chose to have her cremated and put in a pretty little tin. It suits her well. Curry was a most special dog. She was so smart. She was never hyper and unreachable but always sweet, cuddly, deeply aware of what was happening around her. We held a connection that I am not sure that I have ever had with any of my pets and I have had alot of them. My last dog Bently died at 11. He traveled with me everywhere including when I moved to Mexico. He was a great pal....but he got to live his life...to the fullest. Curry, on the other hand, only was a little over a year. It was not her time yet....Bently went full circle whereas Curry had just started on her journey. I was sad when Bently left me but I am heartbroken that Curry has left me. Their deaths are in stark contrast.
Not having children, Curry was my child. She went everywhere with me and was always at my side. I am struggling with God right now. How could spirit take her from me? Have I not suffered enough with being barren? I have thought of many reasons as to why....maybe her flame was so bright that it just was not meant to burn so long as most. Maybe spirit needed her elsewhere for other work.
A friend of mine told me when I lost my cat of 20 years that sometimes animals come into and out of our lives for reasons that we will never know. I hold onto this hoping that Curry ultimately knew what she was doing. So many things that I typically would have done like ckecking the gate or sitting outside with he I did not do. A series of seemingly random events took place for this to happen. She had never gotten out before. Why did she go the way that she did? I pray that it is in the hands of God and not some silly mistake. I hope there is something much deeper that I will never know. She was my kindred pet spirit. Maybe she will pull some strings in heaven and send a child our way. Maybe she made room for something new......I pray that this was not an accident.
There are so many horrible frames of moments captured like a picture in my head. Like how the driver of the truck did not stop. Or when I saw the police car and knew she was in front of it. Or how she was alive when I found her and struggled to come to me. Or the look of fear on her precious face. Or how the vet said before he realized I had walked into the room "This dog is going to die". Or how she had one drop of blood on her tongue reminding me she no longer would run and play. Or how I picture my neighbor's son going through the gate and our lives pivoted from this one moment. Or how she looked as she died in my arms. Or how Shadow seemed to be heartbroken as well. Or how when I tried lifting her out of the car she was so limp that I could not pick her up. Or how she layed so still on my floor....life trickling away from my awareness. Or how she finally was cold to the touch. So many shots that send me into a crying mess when I think of them.
Despite the horrible thoughts there was some beauty. I am so grateful that even though the driver did not stop three other cars did that had people inside who were animal lovers and took care of her until I found her. And how a lady that did not know drove me to the first vet. And how when I came out to transport her the second time one of the other ladies had followed us to make sure we got there safely and offered kind words. And how this same lady left a note on my car saying she was praying for Curry. And how instead of Curry dying by herself she died in someones arms who loved her deeply with words of love spoken into her ear and tears of sorrow dripping onto her sweet face. And how my husband flew home because we had lost a loved one. And how friends of ours poured out of the woodwork to mourn for a friend who was not "just a dog" but a spirit who they miss. And how when I asked everyone if they thought she had found her way home they replied of course...Bently was there to meet her". And how when a friend of ours called to find out if I would be coming to his house for Rosh Hashanah almost drove off the road when he heard the news from crying so hard. And how this same friend said kaddish (a jewish prayer said for the dead) to say she was as worthy of a spirit as a human. And when our contractor (Bob) found out he cried and he later that night brought over a card of sympathy with all of our tenants signatures on it. And how cards, messages, friends, meals, and flowers made a beeline for our home. And how the first Shabbat dinner following her death was spent crying over her and remembering her. And how my neighbor Kate suggested that we hold a memorial service for her. All of my friends and memories carried my husband and I over those first few days.
The memorial service was held on a Saturday. My husband and I spent many hours putting together a slideshow of her life. So many people came and not a dry eye was left after the slideshow. Grown men cried and others said how much they would miss her. Not one person thought we were crazy for loving her so much as they did as well. I am so grateful to know how much impact she had on all of our lives. After the show we went into Kate's backyard and sat in the circle of buffalo grass that Curry had loved to play in. Two of our friends had written poems and others shared Curry stories. Again I was overwhelmed with how much love everyone had for Curry and for us. Afterwards we came back to my home for lunch. As people trickled back home we were left with an empty home but hearts that were full of love for our friends and love for the girl that we lost.
For three days after her death the wind blew gently. Everytime I thought of her the wind blew just a little bit harder. The wind had an extra softness on my skin that it never had had before. I like to think that is was Curry's way of saying I am with you. The following prayer is one I have carried with me for most of my life.
A Cherokee Prayer
I give you this one thought to keep,
I'm with you still. I do no sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone
I am with you still, in each new dawn.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand there at my grave an cry
I am not there, I did not die.
Curry is the thousand winds that blow now......