My 6 year old boxer, Abby Rose has always been such a comfort to me. She is the epitome of a dog being "man's best friend". She follows me around and loves to snuggle. She will even stare me straight in the eye waiting for me to get on the floor and snuggle with her (she's not allowed on the living room furniture). You should see her stump of a tail wiggle when she realizes I'm getting off the couch to sit on the floor with her. In the weeks before Evangeline was born, Abby and I spent a lot of time snuggling on the rocking recliner in her room. I would daydream about how special it would be to have a baby in that room and Abby was right there with me.
I've been through some tough times in the past and Abby has always been right by my side. When we lost Evangeline, I knew I'd need her comfort big time... And she's already proven that she's up for the challenge.
The first night we were at home after we lost Evangeline I was so afraid to go to sleep. It just wasn't fair that we were at home without Evangeline. She was not in the warmth of my belly anymore and her room was empty. I held tightly to the blanket she was wrapped in at the hospital and drifted off to sleep. When I woke up I cried uncontrollably and looked down at the side of my bed for my dog. She always sleeps on her dog bed on the floor next to me but that night she was not there. Then I heard Abby jump down from the rocking recliner in Evangeline's room and she came into our room. She walked right up to me and nudged my cheek that had been wet from tears. I kissed her head and whispered "thank you for keeping my girl's room safe." With that she nudged my face once more and turned around and left the room. I heard her jump back into the recliner and I was able to lie there in peace knowing that my beautiful baby girl's room was not empty.
After that night I remembered something special. On Monday May 6, the day before Evangeline was born, Abby spent the entire morning on that recliner in her room. This may not seem significant until you know that Abby follows me everywhere in the morning. Usually she will follow me from the bedroom, sit in the bathroom while I shower and then sit at my feet in the living room while I watch the morning news. That Monday she did not follow me, instead she went right to Evangeline's room and spent the whole morning there until I had to leave for work. It makes me feel as though she knew what was happening... She knew we were losing Evangeline. Monday morning was the last time I really remember feeling Evangeline move. At the time I didn't really think anything of it. Because she wasn't a very active baby and I worked 1-9 pm on Monday. I didn't usually feel her while I was on my feet at work and when i got home that night I just ate something quick and went right to bed without waiting for Evangeline to move. Tuesday morning I started having contractions... I didn't feel her move but just figured it was due to the contractions. Tuesday afternoon she was born sleeping. It makes me wonder if the last time I felt her move on Monday morning was the last moments she was alive with me. I think my dog knew.
I wish I somehow knew what my dog knew... Everyday I wonder what I could have done differently to save her... What if I asked my doctor to check her heartbeat more often because she didn't move much (even though that was her norm, so I didn't really think anything of it at the time), tried to get another ultrasound to check her size or even just pay for a 3d ultrasound for the fun of it like I thought about doing... These things could have potentially saved her if they would have recognized something wrong, like not much movement due to being entangled in the cord or that she was a little small for her gestational age. Maybe it would have made the doctors intervene and had her delivered early, while she was still alive.
I know I can't dwell on the what ifs so I guess at this point I'm just grateful that if my dog did have some kind of premonition, she was there for my baby girl... And she was there for me in the aftermath. I couldn't ask for a better furry friend to pull me through my darkest hours.