What do I do now?

These are the words that kept spinning through my mind at 2:37 in the morning when the emergency vet called me last Friday, and it became clear that my beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bliss, wasn’t going to make it. So much of that painful conversation is a blur, but I’m pretty sure I said them out loud, probably a few times.

The kind veterinarian on the other end of the line spoke calmly and compassionately about the reality of the situation. She called my dog Miss Bliss, which I loved. She tried to make me feel better about the fact that since we are in the middle of a pandemic, I’d been unable to enter the hospital when I dropped Bliss off in respiratory distress earlier that evening. Instead, I’d had to sit in the car and watch them carry her inside. Then she told me if I wanted to see Bliss one last time, I needed to come right then, but I…

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