Tippy Tap Toes

Car keys in my left hand and several sleeping pills in my right, I sat in an oversized chair in the brightly lit bedroom that I shared with my husband of four years.

Numb, I reached for a glass of room-temperature water that sat on the end table beside me. Meant to wash down the tiny blue pills, I used it to quench my very dry mouth instead.

I was about to end it all…for good.

I planned to slip into my garage, plant myself in my silver Chevy Tracker, put on my favorite Over the Rhine song and let the medication do its magic as I slipped into a final slumber, car exhaust filling my lungs.

Just as I lifted the pills to my lips, the tippy tapping of long-nailed dog paws on our hardwood floor flooded my ears. Charlotte, my 13-year-old walker hound, came trotting into the room, her long legs carrying her quickly and causing her dog tags to make a pleasant chime as she entered.

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She came and rested her head on my knee as if asking for scratches on her floppy hound ears. As I massaged her head, I thought back to the first time I heard those tippy tap toes on my hardwood floor – just a day or so after her previous owner, Amber, committed suicide in the exact fashion I was entertaining in that moment.

I remembered how I’d made Charlotte a silent promise to always be there for her so she’d never have to experience the pain of losing someone so close to her again. Yet there I was, pills in hand, ready to fire up my car’s engine and do it to her all over again.

Did my word mean nothing?

Silent or not, I’d made a promise to this four-legged creature that I was about to break. She’d lose someone close to her and be left wondering why her person was there one moment and gone forever the next.

I knew taking my life would be hard for all my loved ones to understand, but it was Charlotte’s possible confusion that moved through my body in that instance.

A canine’s life is short compared to that of her human companion and I couldn’t imagine breaking her heart yet again.

She sighed as my scratches reached the underside of her chin. Not wanting to abandon her, I leaned over and whispered, “I’m here for you forever, girl.”

With that I knew this brown and white pooch had saved my life.

While she has long passed, I still breathe today and am forever grateful for those tippy tap toes.

7 Responses to Tippy Tap Toes

  1. Oh my! My beautiful friend. I have no words. In light of recent events, I need to reach out more. My fur babies give me strength and I’m very happy for your fur baby.

  2. Clarity comes in so many forms. Angels all around and I’m so thankful Charlotte was there with you when you felt the most alone. Hugs!

  3. I’m a doggy Mom of three to include a five month old puppy. I’ve taken several of my dogs to their end, two last year.
    It’s never easy. I’m so glad Charlotte was there for you. She looks so sweet. She needed you to be there with her to her end. May we all have a Charlotte nearby if we feel alone with no hope. A really brave post…

  4. Charlotte’s love, perfect timing. So glad you kept your promise. Glad you still walk among us. Even though Charlotte has gone ahead. She was a beautiful girl. Thank you for sharing-

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