March 23, 2013

Saying Goodbye Is So Hard To Do


This post is not about food storage, and is somewhat personal. This past week has been full of beautiful experiences and sorrow for me. My daughter's mission call came and she opened it on Wednesday. She will be going to the Chile Santiago North mission. Our family is very happy for her decision to serve. However, with all of this excitement, I forgot to be concerned about my dog.

I knew something was wrong with Abby earlier in the week because she stopped eating. When she wouldn't rise from her porch pillow to come when I called, I knew something was very wrong. She has always tried to please me, and this was extremely unusual. I tried not to worry hoping she was just dealing with arthritis and age.

By Friday, she wouldn't drink water and she was trembling. Inside I knew that if I took her to the vet, she would not be coming home with me. I just knew. I could tell by looking in her eyes that she did not feel well, and I sensed she was fading. I decided to tell my 8 year-old about my concerns, and she tearfully said goodbye to Abby before I drove her to school on Friday.

All morning I struggled with taking Abby to the vet, but I knew as I looked into her eyes that she was suffering. It is always so difficult to do this as a dog owner, and I didn't want to do it myself. But no one else was home, so I lifted her and put her in the car.

When the vet looked at her, without hesitation he said I needed to put her out of her misery. She had a huge abdominal tumor and her heart rate was twice as fast as normal. He said it would be the best thing for her to let her go. I knew inside that he was right, but it wasn't the best thing for me. I decided to stay with her, and they sedated her. She lay her head against my foot, still needing to be near me. Then they put her to sleep. As she took her last breath, I said goodbye to my friend. It really hurts.

Later that day, when I explained to my youngest that Abby was gone, we just cried and cried. I am surprised how much this hurts me, but she was a good dog. A friend to anyone. Extremely patient and loyal. It is hard to look out on the porch and not have her look up at me. Her dog emergency kit hangs in the closet next to her collar and leash. When I come downstairs to let her out in the morning or in the evening, I feel empty. All of those tedious chores we wish we didn't have to do, are now things I miss.

I know that animals were placed here on earth to teach us how to serve and love. They teach us patience and about true commitment. I am grateful they were created for our benefit. I will always miss my friend.

Valerie

Thank you for your kind thoughts and comments.

15 comments:

  1. Glenn Beck just lost his dog today and he shared a poem by Rudyard Kipling . . . wanted to share with you . . . hope it helps the sorrow you have in your heart.

    I wish someone had given Jesus a dog.
    As loyal and loving as mine.
    To sleep by His manger and gaze in His eyes
    And adore Him for being divine.
    As our Lord grew to manhood His faithful dog,
    Would have followed Him all through the day.
    While He preached to the crowds and made the sick well
    And knelt in the garden to pray.
    It is sad to remember that Christ went away.
    To face death alone and apart.
    With no tender dog following close behind,
    To comfort its Master’s Heart.
    And when Jesus rose on that Easter morn,
    How happy He would have been,
    As His dog kissed His hand and barked it’s delight,
    For The One who died for all men.
    Well, the Lord has a dog now, I just sent Him mine,
    The old pal so dear to me.
    And I smile through my tears on this first day alone,
    Knowing they’re in eternity.
    Day after day, the whole day through,
    Wherever my road inclined,
    Four feet said, “Wait, I’m coming with you!”
    And trotted along behind.
    Rudyard Kipling

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  2. So sorry to hear of your loss. My hubby and I lost our boxer of 9 years and we cried for days. They become such an amazing part of your life and our children still talk about him. We ended up getting two rescue boxers because the house was too quite. I thank God for our time with him. Just know she is no longer in pain and is running and happy in a beautiful place!!

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  3. Oh, my dear. I'm so, so sorry for your very personal loss. I cried just reading your words. I believe that Heavenly Father has given us many gifts to bring us joy and comfort in this life, and some of those gifts are in the forms of beloved pets. I pray you will find comfort and be at peace as you grieve this great loss to your family. And you should acknowledge your time of bereavement. A member of your family is now in the spirit world, and will be greatly missed by those who loved her so much. *hugs*

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  4. i am so sorry for your loss. we've had to make that agonizing decision ourselves, and even though it was for the best of our beloved pet, it wasn't the best for us. we've got 2 rescue dogs now, and they have filled the empty spot that was once our "Cujo's". may God's peace and love comfort you during this time.

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  5. ebethe: I just logged on and also thought to share the poem Glenn had on his website. Maybe Jesus did have a dog - guess we won't know for sure, until we see Him and ask. I always say that, but then think, I will be standing in awe of Him, that none of my questions will matter at that time.

    Valerie, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Susan

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  6. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your loss. I have an older dog who has health issues and I so dread the day that I have to do what you did... I know that dogs were given to us to be models for living an acceptable life before God. They are patient and loving, faithful, good listeners and never ever judge. It is a shame that they lead such short lives... only God knows why that is. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  7. I appreciate all of your wonderful thoughts. Thanks for understanding. :-)

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  8. I'm so sorry for your heartache. What wonderful memories you have of your sweet dog. big hugs!

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  9. I cried as I read your post. We have had to put down two dogs in our marriage, and it was such a heart break with both of them. The first one was born 2 days after our third child. The dog and our daughter grew up together. It was so hard when we had to put our Lindy down. My daughter, husband and I went to the vet to tell her goodbye. When we brought her home to bury her, it was the first time I ever saw my husband cry--and I mean sob uncontrollably! They do indeed become such valued members of our family. I used to say that I wished my kids were as obedient as our dogs! My heart goes out to you and your family. Time will help, but Abby will always be in your heart.

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  10. As I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face...my heart goes out to you! I have a golden who is 8 years old and can't imagine losing her and going through what you are..I am lifting you and your up in my prayers Godspeed....God Bless my friend!

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  11. So sorry to hear about your loss. It is never easy to lose a pet, especially one who has been such an integral part of your family. You were strong when she needed you to be, and you helped her cross over as peacefully as possible. I am not LDS, so I don't know if the 'Rainbow Bridge' conflicts with your view of Heaven, but I find it extremely comforting- https://rainbowsbridge.com/poem.htm . Blessings on you and your entire family- Thank you for all the hard work you document on this site to help others.

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  12. Sorry for your loss.....my mother always says " you gave them a great life full of love, joy and happiness"! In the end you did what was best even though it hurts! Bless you and your family!

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  13. I am so sorry about the loss of your family friend. I have had to put a couple of animals to sleep, and your words brought tears to my eyes, not just for you but for me too. Animals bring such joy into our lives, and it is so hard to lose them. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

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  14. I'm a little late to this post but just wanted to say I'm so sorry! I came home about 3 weeks ago to find our little one-year old puppy dead. At just a year old! So unfair!! We've been beating ourselves up since then wondering what on earth we did wrong, what on earth we missed.

    I know, whether we have our pets for a year or for decades, it's still a presence that's missing from our homes and it takes a while to stop waking up thinking you need to let them out, to stop expecting them to run into the kitchen when they hear a package opening, and to stop expecting them to bark when the mailman comes.

    I hope you are able to cling to the good memories of your pet during this time of transition in your home!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jill. My neighbor asked my daughter to walk her dog for a few days while they were out of town. So thoughtful. My daughter was so happy and so was I.

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