I cannot accurately describe what it's like having to let go of your dog. It's a gut wrenching, heart ripping, awful feeling. The feelings are only multiplied by the loss of a young dog still so full of life. If you had asked me two weeks before we said goodbye that we were going to lose her, I would have thought you were playing a sick joke on me. But now it's been a month since she's gone, and my heart still feels that ache for her.
Alana was never an easy dog. She was headstrong, brilliant, tough, and resourceful. She was an incredibly complex dog that everyone could relate to. Everyone has felt anxious, untrusting, guarded and reserved. Alana felt that so strongly that every day was a challenge for her, but I got to see the beauty of her working through that. She had so many obstacles to overcome and she was so willing to work through them. Under all that confusion was a dog that was sweet and tender. It just took a lot to unlock those layers.
We saw so much success in her. Watching her blossom at K9 Balance was truly a gift. They taught her how to make better choices when she was overwhelmed, to trust the people helping her, and when to alert us when she was at her breaking point. It was always small but steady victories where we got to see how incredibly blessed we were to have such great trainers by our side.
Unfortunately, she started to develop signs that there was something that had gone "off" in her brain. Even though she had all these cooping mechanisms to help boost her through problem situations, she would sometimes randomly go off without warning. Almost like a land mine that is lying in wait. You wouldn't know it was concealed there until it was too late. Keeping her with us would have posed a safety risk for ourselves, our families, our friends, and others. Who was I to put others at risk?
Saying goodbye was the most challenging decision I ever had to make. Saying goodbye meant being ok with saying, there is where I have to draw the line. But I had to be the one to make that call, and it will be a long time before I stop feeling that burden.
Never did we stop loving her though. Never for a moment. She is still our perfect puppy princess who brought such joy and laughter to our lives. Despite the hardships I would give almost anything to have her back. To have her sleep at my feet again, to have her teach me a new lesson, to have her remind me it's the little details that are most important. She will always be our girl, forever and always.
Goodnight Alana Banana. May you always catch bunnies in your dreams.