BIANCA’S LAST DAY
When I wrote about Bianca’s passing, I said I’d come back and write about her last day. Honestly, it hurt too much for a long time to think about it. But tonight, something reminded me of her, bringing tears to my eyes. I realized I wanted, needed to write about her. I can’t easily talk about the loss of those I love, but I can write.
What triggered it tonight? A simple silly thing. Watching the video of Jersey Boys. I sang so many songs to Bianca, usually based on her nickname, Beanie Baby or just Beanie. Several years ago, when I lived in San Rafael, I went to see the musical Jersey Boys in San Francisco. I loved it, totally blown away by it. The next day, I was listening to the sound track. Bianca came up to me, just as the song sherry Baby began. I’d grown up hating that damn song, due to people singing it at me in school to tease me. But you know it says,
Sherh eh eh eh eh reee yee bay yay bee. And so on.
Sorry screen reader users, I can’t get it to read that the way Frankie Valli sings it.
But anyway, I had my hand on Bianca’s head, and I started singing it,
Bee ee e e e e nee bay yay bee, beanie baby, Bee e nee, girl you guide me so right, guide guide, guide me so right.
I went on with words like, you’d better ask your trainer. Or why don’t we go out, with your harness on, moving slow and steady, I’m so glad you’re my I ine. And so on.
So, forever after, it became one of the many Beanie Baby songs.
I must hear that in my oldies play list many times, but tonight, listening to the actors singing it on the DVD, remembering how she loved me singing her little songs to her, how she’d wag and wiggle, it just made me cry. I miss her a lot.
The other day, I had something on a paper towel on my desk, and again on the table near my chair here in the living room. Suddenly, it struck me that I need not worry about things like paper towels anymore. Beanie would have grabbed an unattended paper towel, pulling it and everything on it, onto the floor, where she could devour and shred to her little heart’s content. Yes, it’s a relief not to have to dog proof to that degree. Petunia wouldn’t think of grabbing something on a table, of course. But at the same time, it was a little tiny bit sad to know I don’t have to worry about all that anymore.
All this to explain, why tonight, of all times, I wanted to finish the story about Bianca’s last day.
There’s not too much to say really. I took the day off work, and I sent Petunia over to my friends home for part of the day. I made it a fairly normal day for Bianca. Okay, I did feed her twice the normal amount of food she got at meals, actually did that every day since I knew she would be leaving me forever. I also cuddled her a lot, sitting by her and petting her and talking to her about all our adventures, about how much I loved her and how I thanked God every day for the joy and love she brought into my life.
When Joylene came to pick us up to go to the vet, at my request, she brought a bacon cheese burger. Remember, Bianca was a guide dog, then a retired guide dog living with another working dog. She’d never been allowed suche food. That’s not to say Miss Mischief hadn’t snuck a few things over the years. But she’d never been cheerfully given a forbidden burger. I tore it into a few pieces and put it in her bowl. She inhaled that thing! It was gone in about thirty seconds. And she was one heck of a happy dog.
Later, at the vet, just before Dr. Natalie came to begin the process of sending Bianca on to her next great adventure, I gave Beanie the last treat, something she’d discovered to my great horror a few years before, and something she had tried hard to experience again over the years. I pulled a chocolate bar out of my purse and proceeded to feed it to her from my hand. The last thing I could give her.
And the rest, I believe I’ve talked about in another post. I did all I could to make Bianca’s last day something special, giving her time, attention and treats. I miss her, but her antics live on in my heart.
I’m planning to write a book about her, a funny book. Not your typical inspirational guide dog book, but a book about the good he bad, the funny and not so funny parts of living with a dog like Bianca. In fact, I’ve already started it. It will be my final tribute and thank you to a beloved companion. So missed, and never forgotten.
Phyllis Stevens said:
Sherry, That was absollutely beautiful! You made a wonderful companion happy. You know, it doesn’t take much to do that for these dogs. I AM WORKING MY FIFTH DOG FROM THE Seeing Eye, but I never thought about doing such a simple thing for any of my guides. I only kept one, but I never dreamed of doing that!
Hey Phyllis, thanks for your words. Bianca was the first of my guides I was able to have in retirement. actually, she went to her raisers the first couple years after she retired. But once I started working from home, her raiser called me and asked if I’d like her to come home to me. They were gone so much and they felt she was miserable. Their generosity gave me several more years with my sweet girl.
Lissa Bryan said:
I’m so very sorry about your loss. She sounds like a very special girl, and you gave her a beautiful send-off. Your post made me think of all of the wonderful canine friends that have passed through my life, and how hard it was to let them go, but also how privileged I was to share their lives in the first place. Thank you for the smiles and the tears.
Hey Sherry, For some reason, WordPress wouldn’t let me leave my comment on your blog, so I thought I’d attach it here:
I’m so sorry for your loss, but this was a beautiful tribute to Bianca. I’m sure this was the best day she could have had and that’s because you loved her so much! xo Nan