Slightly morbid but necessary update: We've arranged for a vet to come to our home on Wednesday morning to help Ceiba pass while the boys are at school. They understand Wednesday is our Goodbye Day and that she won't be here when they get home.
In the meantime, we're all working on a Memory Box, full of pictures and drawings and even a teeny tiny Ceiba made out of Lego. We'll include things like her collar and favorite toys when the time comes as well.
I have opted to get her ashes back and plan to scatter them on our new work-in-progress garden. No one else in the house wants anything to do with any sort of remains, but I have a mild panic attack at the thought of her just leaving our house and it being like...welp, that's that! So I'm doing that part solely for myself.
We've been pretty straightforward with the boys about everything -- no sugarcoating so far, but lots of assurances that being sad is totally normal and it's okay to cry or feel other things, like anger or fear. I'm really proud of how they're handling things and working through it each in their own unique way.
I think I'll read them the Rainbow Bridge poem on Wednesday, and in the meantime we're all admittedly enjoying this time to spoil Ceiba like she's never been spoiled before. She's enjoying it as well, and all the extra cuddles and PEOPLE FOOD PEOPLE FOOD PEOPLE FOOD have lifted her little spirits and she seems more like her old self, rather than the clearly sick-and-getting-sicker dog of the past few weeks.
(Other than the peeing everywhere. Oh my God. I tried a diaper and it completely freaked her out, like borderline enraged, so we're just accepting the fact that a really thorough steam-cleaning of ALL THE THINGS will commence later this week.)
(Sunday morning breakfast was some marrow bones, bacon and her very own scrambled egg.)
Of course, the little personality boost makes me re-question EVERYTHING, like should we wait, but ugh we're traveling for spring break next week and I can't leave a sick dog but ugh are we monsters for not just canceling the trip but ugh the boys would be so upset and gaaaahhhhhh.
I rambled a lot of this to the vet, who was so kind and lovely and also like, "No, it's GOOD that she's happy. It's also GOOD that you make the choice before she suddenly isn't anymore."
I know I know I know. I can't cure bladder cancer with bacon but I just hate everything about all of this.
I am grateful that our regular vet referred us to the at-home euthanasia service, however. (Peaceful Passage, for those of you in the Baltimore metro area...I have spoken to them on the phone and could already feel their magic calming force-powers.) It'll be so much gentler for her. And after she passes we will bring Max over so he'll be able to know that his little friend is gone and not lost, as I've already developed a recurring nightmare where he decides to compulsively escape the house to go looking for her.
(This sweet sunbeam moment only slightly marred by presence of paper towel soaking up the accident Ceiba had like 30 seconds prior.)
We've also...made the decision to adopt another dog, probably sooner rather than later. Despite YEARS of me cynically saying NO MORE PETS UP IN THIS BOY-CHILD ZOO, the second they asked us for a new dog my will started to crack. Then Jason said, "I too would very much like another dog," and started pulling up all the local shelter and rescue sites and I kept seeing dogs with listings that say stuff like "Beau really needs someone home with him most of the day, are you home a lot?" and that's when I broke completely like OH MY GOD I AM I AM HOME A LOT I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE.
So that's where things stand today. Keeping our girl loved and warm and super-well fed, ready and completely not-ready to say the gentlest of goodbyes, alternating between crying and acceptance and maybe a little touch of excitement that we might be the right home for another dog who needs us as much as we'll need them.
Fuck, though. This still really, really sucks.