I thought I'd have a premonition, know the last night when I hugged her goodnight or took her on her last walk. I thought I'd wake up with a sense of dread and foreboding. I did not. I took her half way on her last walk, until my dad and she started walking down the part of the sidewalk where the grass gets dicey (i.e. there are some stickers) and I realized I had no shoes on. I waited for her to come back and into my room before I went to bed. I said goodnight to her. I don't remember how involved that goodnight was. Is that awful? Was I taking her living for granted when she was sick? I don't remember if I hugged her, but I know I patted her and said good night. She was laying between my bed and the radiator, her head tucked under the bed. Something she used to do all the time but hadn't in a while. Perhaps that should have been a sign. I know I didn't do one last mom-dog cuddle time with her. I wish I had. But I know she felt loved anyway.
Somewhere, in the middle of the night, she wandered into my dad's room. Leave it to Cinn to ensure that I wasn't the one to find her. She knew that my dad should be the one to tell me. And so, after just getting into the shower at about 5:40 AM, I heard a pounding on the bathroom door. You would think, then, that I'd know. Me with foresight and premonition dreams and bad feelings when something's about to go wrong. But instead, I thought someone needed to urgently use the bathroom and yelled, "I'm in the shower!" And then I heard the reply, "Cinn's not breathing." And then I jumped out of the shower, and grabbed the closest towel I could find - a towel which my parents have probably had since I was in middle school, and may also be seeing its last days. And I flung open the bathroom door, towel around me, and my mom rushed in and hugged me and I cried that I wanted to see her. And so there I half-sat half laid on the floor, at 5:45 in the morning, in a fraying towel, hugging my sweet baby girl, who I had known with one look at her was gone. She didn't look like she'd struggled, or was in pain, in her last moments, for which I am eternally grateful, but she was clearly gone.
My sweet baby girl, in your passing, you went as you did in life: quietly, without fanfare, and thinking of me more than yourself. You knew to walk into my dad's room so I would not be the one to find you. Yet you knew to let me fall asleep with you by my side, one last time, curled by the bed. You didn't want me to have the pain of making a difficult decision about your life, and so you did it yourself.
My Cinn, you were my rock, my best friend, love of my life, my soul mate. You were there for me and loved me and supported me in a way nobody else could. I could tell you all of my troubles, no matter how difficult or deep or dark, without worrying that I'd upset you, or worry you, or burden you with them all. And when I was happy, you knew, and you shared in that joy and energy. You knew my feelings and emotions intuitively. There to offer a hug when I was sad, even when I tried not to convey it. You never once let me down. Not once. And when I look back on our lives together, there is only happiness. There is not one negative thought or memory to taint that. I'm not sure I could, or will every be able to, say that about any other living being. You may think I rescued ten and a half years ago, but in truth, you rescued me, not just then, but every single day that we had together.
And so, as you crossed that rainbow bridge, I hope that you met up with the friends and cousins who were already there waiting for you. I hope that there where you are on the other side, there are never any thunderstorms or loud noises, or pink vespas, or plastic bags blowing, to frighten or alarm you. I hope that you get to sit and bask in the sun and take as many walks and car rides with the windows down, as you desire. I hope your meals are filled with treats and chicken and cheese and celery, which no other dog likes and you will get all to yourself. I hope that you still will remember every day, forever, how much I have, and always will love you. And I hope you wait there patiently, but not sadly, until the day that we meet again, at least in body, for I know you are still here with me in soul. Goodbye, until then, my beautiful baby girl. Mama loves you more than words can ever express.