The Last Heartbeat

Grammy has agreed to step in as guest blogger again. This particular post has been so very hard to read, very hard to edit and hard for me to release to the world.  But, on this third anniversary of Girly Girl's cancer diagnosis, in her memory and honor, I share this with you.

Girly Girl in orange
Always Grammy's Girl
It was approaching sunset on a beautiful October evening.  The sky was streaked with red and the sun was warm.  Trees were changing and wore brilliant dresses of orange and red.  This was to be Girly Girl's last night we would see her until we passed over the bridge ourselves.  The Vet was there with her assistant and everything was held up until Charlie and I arrived.  As sick as GG was she got up and ran to the gate to greet us.  She had been bleeding from the nose and there was no hope left for recovery.  But the steel magnolia had not given up yet. Someone had to help her over the bridge and her mother, my daughter, was the only one she could depend on.  The fight had lasted a year, loss of a leg, numerous chemo sessions, numerous radiology sessions, numerous blood tests, numerous x-rays, but the outcome was apparently inevitable.  We were saying our final farewell to our beloved GG, the little girl that could.

Veronica sat on the ground in GG’s favorite sunning spot and had GG lay down in her lap.  The Vet gave her the first shot to relax her and then the killing shot, except it didn’t.  This 58 pound dog’s heart would not stop.  Her mother was murmuring in her ear to go, to let it all go, that it was ok, that she would see her again.  But her heart beat on.  The Vet shook her head and gave her another shot.  Girly Girl relaxed and taking a deep breath, exhaled as her mother rocked her in her arms.

Charlie offered to pick her up but Veronica, tears streaming down her face, said ‘No, this is my job, this is my privilege.”  She went inside and got warm wet cloths and bathed her there in the setting sun and then wrapping her in a white sheet carried her inside to her bed and laid her down.  We sat around, amazed that our own hearts were still beating, there was no way they could survive this but somehow they did. 

As an adult I’ve lost many things, my mother, my father, my beloved grandmother but never did I feel pain like this.  I had been in the presence of the last perfect heartbeat of a perfect soul.


  1. This sounds a bit like when I had to let Treat go, too. It's never easy, but sometimes it's much harder than others!

  2. This is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl. So sorry she had to leave but so grateful you had the courage and strength to let her go. God bless her and God bless you, Veronica and Grammy, for being with her.

  3. I saw your post this morning, but knew I shouldn't read it before leaving for work. I was right...I'm crying my eyes out. What a beautiful way you let your girl go. What a fighter. Your mom is an incredible writer and brought us all there with you. Isn't it an incredible honor and privilege to be a part of these noble hounds lives? Girly Girl was so special. You loved her well.

  4. As I wipe the tears away, I can imagine what an amazing life GC had and how lucky all of you were to have her in your lives. Our hearts will never know the purity of our furkids because they are the only breed that truly loves unconditionally. Thank you for sharing this. I hope GC is running free with our Reznor.

  5. Your story brought such tears in my eyes. I read this looking at Maggie and thinking about my cat Max who passed away in 2008. I can not believe that one day I will have to feel that pain again.

  6. what a tribute to a beautiful girl.

  7. Beautiful tribute to such a sweet girl.

  8. We lost our own sweet Chloe Belle to cancer recently & know how very painful it is to let them go.We can tell that your Girly Girl was greatly loved.


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