Tia and I just had a wonderful and bittersweet moment.  She is slowly dying from the hemangiosarcoma invading her spleen, liver and I think, now her bladder.  She doesn't seem to be in any pain except for the discomfort when trying to lie down.  I was in the recliner a little bit ago and she was cleaning up a bowl from lunch for me.  I patted her and told her how much I love her and started thinking about how much I'm going to miss her when she's gone.

I also thought about how I'm going to have to paint an urn for her ashes when the time comes so she can join the other six hounds who have gone to bridge before her.  They line the shelves that are at the top of my windows.  My bridge kids look down on me from the tops of those windows as my life goes on without them.  It's only a matter of time, a very short time, that Tia will watch from her perch up there as well.  I often think,
'If I didn't have so many....I wouldn't lose so many.'

These thoughts got me started and while I quietly wept from my chair, Tia stopped licking the bowl and turned her huge, soulful brown eyes, framed by the now aging white and red face, toward me.  I could almost hear her: "Don't be sad for me Mum.  I'll be all right.  And I'll always be right here with you.  Just like they all are."
I whispered to her, "I love you." and she pushed her chin up to rest on my shoulder to give me a hug as she's done nearly every day since she came here six years ago.  Of course by that time I was blind with tears when suddenly she dropped her chin and began kissing me, licking the tears from my face as they fell. She has never kissed me before. 

I know that dogs sometimes use licking to calm themselves and other dogs that seem to be in distress, so I know that my T was trying to soothe me by doing the same.
Job well done, Tia stopped licking and gave me another hug.  But I could see clearly enough to see those darned window shelves again.
You see, my problem is that I have way too much space up there on those  shelves.

A letter from Mom
A Bitterseet Moment with Tia