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Forever and Always Our Sophie: Losing Our Beloved Family Dog

We lost our beloved Sophie Wednesday night after sixteen wonderful years with her. She was blind and deaf and didn’t have a lot of energy this past year, but she had love and spent her last days sleeping in Lainey’s room and wandering around the house every now and then to find people. Every time I questioned whether I’d know when it was time for her to go, she’d give me a good tail wagging while she rested, letting me know she was happy. Her passing was unfortunately tragic (although many have told me dogs sometimes “go away” to die when they know it’s time), and while the kids don’t know all the details, we’re all completely heartbroken and feeling her loss more than I ever thought I would. I always knew it would be sad when we said goodbye, but it’s been since I was a kid that I lost a pet. And, while I’ve hugged friends with a good “there there, now” pat and tried to relate to their grief when they’ve lost dogs; I’ve never understood until now that losing your family dog is losing a part of your family, and that the pain of wanting them back to hug one more time, to whisper in their ear–even if they can’t hear–and tell them “You MAKE this family–you’re part of us, we love you so much” one more time is deep and recognizable. It’s what has had us curled up in bed the last two nights, hugging each other all in one bed, everyone wrecked and crying but sharing one of those magic moments in life when our love for each other and what we have in this home is palpable.

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Sophie came before me–she was Brett’s dog–so really, she’s the true matriarch of our family. But we never competed for that role. In fact, she was awful at doing laundry too which I think was her way of validating me and letting me know, “Sister. Yes. It’s so hard.”

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She was better with the kids though–definitely more patient. I mean, look at her patient face.

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Like a good matriarch, she humbly partook in childhood play, letting the kids dress her in bonnets and capes and baby clothes and, while obviously mortified, always took one for the team–like she was telling me, “Go ahead. Finish cleaning the kitchen. I got this.”

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When we made that triumphant entrance through the front door with the car seat, bringing each of our babies home from the hospital, she was the first to welcome them–tail wagging, never hesitating to come right up, gently sniff, commit her love and devotion and loyalty, her vow to serve and protect for life. She loved them all so fiercely, and I have countless memories of going in to check on a baby only to find Sophie already there, reporting for duty: “Look, how many times do I have to tell you? I got this.

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Sophie was who we all wanted to be around when we were sad. When the boys had bad days in middle school and high school, they never stormed off to their room without making sure Sophie went with them. And yes, a quick nod from Sophie who made some good eye contact: “This one’s a hard one. I got it.”

She was fiesty and playful in her young years, grabbing stuffed animals and running with them, initiating a good tug-of-war, loving a walk around the neighborhood (but always veering off and pulling the leash where she wanted to go because, like I said, FIERCE MATRIARCH) and–my favorite–running around the living room in mad-dash circles after a bath, knowing her little show would start a fit of giggles from the kids. In her older years, she fell into a nice rhythm of rest and companionship. While she could not see or hear, she never failed in finding us and letting us know that even when it was hard, even when she was tired, she was still there for us–fighting age and body challenges to loyally serve with love for as long as she could. And GOOD LORD, the tears that are rolling as I type that. She modeled matriarchy like none other. And for those who are wondering if Sophie ever got to feel what it’s like to fall in love, I can assure you she did. In fact, she waited until old age to do so. With kids running in and out of the house, she found many opportunities to slip out which led her a few houses down to Brandyn’s friend’s house and the love of her life, Mustang. Whenever we couldn’t find her, we always knew where to look…secret rendezvous at Mustang’s. Get it, girl.

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I stayed up until 1 in the morning the night she died, digging into folders of old photos, looking for all the ones with Sophie–there are so many. And I realized as she showed up in the background in photos of so many events, so many milestones and holidays and memories, what a constant presence she has been in our family. The grief of her passing also represents the grief of the passing of time–the end of The Sophie Era. It was beautiful–some of our very best years.

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This is also the first real experience of grief for my kids. In a way, Sophie has given my children one of the most cherished gifts they’ll have for life; for this delicate, beautiful, deeply important subject of loss and grief that will be part of their future began with her. Her loss will be the foundation, the first lesson that paves the way for the rest, and because of how we loved her and how she loved us, that lesson is beautiful.

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Sophie was most attached to Lainey these last months, choosing her to follow, her to sleep with, her to give her services of peaceful companionship. Telling Lainey that Sophie was gone and leading her through this grief has been gut-wrenching, one of the toughest parenting challenges thus far. I’ve held her–the two of us completely pretzeled together, crying–the past two nights until she fell asleep. “I miss her so bad. I love her, Mom. I love her so much. I want her back, I want her back, I want her back.”

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I do too, Baby. I do too.

While we’ve talked a little bit about death with our kids and have addressed some of the questions of what happens after, it’s kind of awkward and out of place to introduce that subject without reference–“Oh hey kids, let’s talk about death.” I mean, important, yes, and I think it’s something we should be talking about with and without reference, but the reference of real experience and relatable pain definitely gives us an opportunity to talk about these things in a way our kids remember. So what do I tell them? You know, I thought saying the right things about death would be a stressful challenge, but it hasn’t been. I know people have a lot of different beliefs about afterlife and where pets go and heaven and how realistically we should approach these things with kids–we struggle to put a comma where a period might be–but I’ve found the most important thing you can do is talk about it. I have a lot of questions myself, but I find comfort in hearing everyone’s ideas about what happens after, and I tell my kids about all the different ideas. I don’t plan exactly what I’m going to say, and what comes out is sometimes messy, but I don’t let the fear of saying the wrong thing keep me from talking about everything–all the ideas–and creating a safe place where my kids can create their own ideas. We take all the beliefs and throw them into a giant Love Stew and hope that LOVE is what stands out the most. It looks a little bit like this:

You know what Poppa thinks? Poppa thinks there’s a heaven with everyone we love who’s passed together, waiting for us. He thinks his old dogs Ginger and Max are taking care of Sophie now and that my grandpa who always loved dogs has found Sophie and that she’s asleep on his lap. Doesn’t that vision make you smile? And do you know what my friend Nici thinks? She lost her dog Alice, and she thinks that Alice’s spirit is always part of the universe–that Alice shows up now and then to show her love. Sometimes she sees a special glow of light in the mountains where Alice used to run, and it makes her feel so happy as if Alice is letting her know her love still lives on. That makes me feel good too. Maybe Sophie will do the same. And do you know what Donna Nonna thinks? She lost her Tilly, and she feels Tilly’s spirit still with her. Every morning, the moonlight hits the same spot of light in her kitchen, and she takes this little sliver of moonlight as an opportunity to connect with Tilly’s love, even after all these years of losing her. She says, “I love you Tilly.” Would that be something we want to do for Sophie? Maybe we can find a special spot that’s ours and Sophie’s and say I love you to her every time we see light in that spot.

It feels so good to talk about all these different ideas, to talk about what happens to bodies after death–that they are always a part of the Earth we all enjoy–and to talk about the fact that the spirit of love is greater than any proven law in science. We take what we know about death and add what we know about faith and love–that it lives forever and ever. All of these discussions and ideas and memories are comforting us so much.

And the boys? Well, Sophie was theirs first.

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I think Brett was more scared to tell the boys than anyone else. Their love for her was evident to all, and the first thing they’ve always done when they walk into the house is find Sophie and hold her. Austyn has always carried just one picture in his wallet–a crinkled 3×2 photo of Sophie and Latte. They both arrived yesterday morning to have a moment with Sophie’s body before we took care of it, and watching these two grown boys rock her and hold her and sob, shoulders shaking, is something I will never forget. Brett had a meeting and had to leave, but I’m thankful for the bonding moment I got to share with the boys after with Sophie. We wrapped her in one of the kids’ baby blankets, Brandyn tucked his childhood stuffed animal next to her, and we huddled together, hugging and crying and talking about how much we loved her–what a good dog she was. I called Brett after they left and told him how much I loved those boys–how special that moment was.

And last night, friends joined us as we celebrated Sophie’s life and talked about our favorite memories. We released two pink balloons and yelled, “We love you” into the sky as they gently floated away.

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As my therapist friend Cynthia told me the other day, “This is your opportunity to model grief for them–show them how we celebrate and love and remember through the pain.” It is a great privilege to take this pain together as a family and learn from it.

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Several readers sent me this post, written just last week by blogger Julia Marcum after she lost her dog, and I’ve found it to be very helpful and relatable. We ordered Sophie-look-alike stuffed animals for the kids and have been finding many ways to honor and remember our girl.

The house feels like something’s missing, and truly, we’ve lost a part of us that can never be replaced. I miss her quiet presence as I work alone while the kids are at school and would do anything to hear her paws scratch across the floor one more time.

“I didn’t get to say goodbye,” Lainey cried over and over the other night. I told her she gave her the best goodbye a dog could ever hope for–a life full of love, a warm bed to sleep in, a welcome to play, a lap to lay in, a family to call her own.

We’ll miss you, dear Sophie. You will forever and always be loved by us.

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Comments

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  1. Loosing a furry member of your family is so hard, but it’s because they love us for who we are good and bad in a way no else does.
    I was about Lainey’s age when the dog that I grew up with passed away, we were inseparable, she would growl at my parents when I got in trouble :).
    I remember crying for the entire weekend, and my heart still aches when I think about her some 30+ years later.
    We got another dog shortly after and lived through the same thing with her until she was like Sophie, deaf and blind but so loved.
    Big hugs to your family, what an experience to be loved like that.
    Lainey I was you so many years ago , you’ll end up thinking of all the mischievous things you did with her and the hurt will get better.
    You’ll see she will still comfort you years from now, when you picture her face a smile will appear when you thought it was not possible to smile.

  2. There’s really never any real wortwhile words to say in times like this. I’m so very sorry for your loss. No matter how long we have with them, it’s just never long enough. She was so lucky to have you guys and you her. Thinking of your family during this hard time.

  3. Caroline Dixon says:

    Oh Kelle,
    I’m weeping as I read this. You’ve written exactly how I feel after losing our lab, Buster, last week. It has been a beautiful journey of grief with our kids. I hope Sophie and Buster are running around together wherever they may be.

    Hugs and love from our grieving family to yours.

  4. Beautiful tribute to your beloved pet. We read a wonderful new book last night called Ida, Always. It’s a wonderful story about death without taking a direct angle, much like you described. It’s about two polar bears in the zoo.

  5. Carrie wrubel says:

    Check out this book by Cynthia Rylant…It helped us when we lost our dog last December. https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Heaven-Cynthia-Rylant/dp/0590417010

  6. Tears while reading this. Losing a dog is one of the hardest experiences to process, and the hole they leave in your heart never truly goes away. When I lost my childhood dog a couple of years ago, my voice teacher helped me find ways to express and process my grief.

    One thing she told me, which helped me find peace on some of the hardest days, is that the purpose of a dogs life is to make others happy. They are the most selfless, kind, empathetic, and loving beings in this universe. They sense when their humans need love, and happily rise to the occasion, providing snuggles and kisses for as long as they are needed.

    They teach us so much about how to love selflessly and how to give our best selves to the loved ones in our lives – and when that mission is fulfilled, they can return peacefully to where they belong, and if you believe in this, someday venture out and provide the same love to a new family who is desperately in need.

    After my puppy died (Mozart), this quote gave me hope – “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.” – Emily Dickinson. I know this to be true. I still sense Mozart on a daily basis, and when I am facing something challenging in my life, he always knows to show up in my dreams.

    Thinking of you and your family, and hoping you find peace and comfort in the coming days.

    When you are ready to read an incredible book about loving and losing a precious puppy, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is absolutely incredible.

  7. Tracy simmOns bulla says:

    Oh my goodness. 😭 I’m so sorry.

  8. monica Gray says:

    This post absolutely wrecked me. The way you write, the way you love and the way you talk to your children is just so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. We have two dogs and I dread the day that we lose them. It’s not fair that something so special is gone so soon. I wish that our pets could live as long as we do. Big hugs to you and your family and I am so very sorry for your loss.

  9. I just lost my sister unexpectedly and envy the grief of losing a pet. Your dog lived a long life full of love – there’s not anything else you can ask for. It’s never a good idea to compare grief – but I wish this was mine and no one had to endure premature loss of loved ones.

    • I completely understand. While you’re right in that comparing grief is like apples and oranges, I’ve thought many times the past two days that with the way this hurts, especially for my kids, I can’t begin to imagine the pain of losing a family member. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for trusting this space with your hurting heart. Xo

      • Thanks for your kind response – if I read this two months ago I’d feel more sympathetic to the camaraderie in the comments for the loss of your dog (and the other pets that people miss). Just hard to get there at this point in my life. When grief is this raw – it’s hard to be your best self….you’re just trying to be a self. All the best.

  10. Tears while reading this, loosing a beloved pet is so heart wrenching. Beautiful words and beautiful pictures. I once read, “a dogs only flaw is that they can’t outlive us”, which I think is true. Sending love to you all.

  11. Such a sweet tribute to your dog; thank you for sharing! I also love the way you talk to your kids and support them so well through the lovely days and the hard days. Thoughts are with you as you journey through your grief.

  12. What a beautiful tribute to your Sophie! I’m so sorry for your loss. The love of a pet is a very special thing.

  13. Jill Stratton says:

    All Things Bright and Beautiful
    All Creatures Great and Small
    All Things Wild and Wonderful
    The Lord God Made Them All……

    When asked once if he thought dogs went to heaven,
    James Herriot answered, “well of course, for it wouldn’t be
    Heaven without them”.

  14. Can’t. Stop. Crying. Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. Brought back sad memories of losing my own precious dogs & cats. I sometimes can’t recall what happened yesterday but I remember every second of the last moments we spent with our cherished pets. There are no words. Just sending lots of love your way. xo

  15. Man alive, the tears are streaming down my face as I read this. It is always so hard to have a pet pass on. Our family dog passed away earlier this year, and to watch my brother and sister, who have never known a life with out our sweet Lacey was so hard. But the hugs of comfort and tears shared will always be something that I treasure. Our family laid our pup to rest on top of our favorite point at the top of a mountain, overlooking the valley where we live in Idaho. The green goes on forever and my dad was dead set on making sure she had the best view possible. That’s now our place where we go to roast hot dogs and marshmallows and enjoy the her company.

  16. I’m so sorry. I know the pain of losing a beloved dog and it is so incredibly sad. Hugs to your family xoxo

  17. Such a beautiful tribute to your sweet pup! I was never a dog person until our Shadow came to us. He helped heal this special needs mama’s heart as I grappled with my son’s autism & he left us after only 8.5 years. I was & contine to be gutted by his loss but I know that grief is truly an expression of love, one of the deepest expressions really & you are grounding your children with that knowledge. We hurt because we love & to know Love is our highest calling. Hugs to you all!

  18. Unbelievably heartbreaking to lose a pet! I crying as I sit here with my four wonderful furry family members. Our lives with change in a way that is unimaginable when we lose one of them. Sending love your way. This is so hard I know.

  19. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. What a beautiful tribute to Sophie. I believe she lives on and you will see her again.

  20. I love you Kelle. I love your kids, I love your blog. I’m sorry for your loss. Please don’t release balloons. It’s so bad for wildlife, and the environment.

    • I’m so with you on that one – I was thinking that we need a biodegradable balloon (like the packing peanuts they make now – as soon as they get wet they shrink up and quickly decompose)….balloon releases are so popular, and definitely a heartfelt moment, but I too cringe for wildlife and the people who have to pick up the balloons or deal with them caught in trees…

  21. I am completely heartbroken for your family. This is a beautiful tribute.

  22. I am so sorry. Dogs are simply the best. These words are always comforting to me:

    “It is an amiable part of human nature, that we should love our animals; it is even better to love them to the point of folly, than not to love them at all.”
    (Stevie Smith)

  23. All. The. Tears.

    Loss is so hard. Parenting through a loss is even harder. Thank you for being open and not minimizing your pain. Thank you for showing others what it looks like to create a safe space to grieve for your family.

  24. I don’t comment often, but just wanted to say thank you for your words and so sorry for your loss. We lost a 13 year old pet recently and I cried for days. My 6 year old was much more practical about it, and she was surprised by my reaction. She was very tender to me during that time.

    I think it’s the innocence and devotion of our pets that makes us feel sad for them when they near the end of their lives. They have given us so much and we just want to take away the pain.

    Take solace – Sophie knew she was loved!

  25. As I sit here bawling, you would think Sophie was my dog. Your beautiful words make me realize what I have to go through in the near future. Sweet Hannah has been a precious treasure to my husband and I since our three human treasures left the nest.

    It’s something we have to face, and face it we will, but Hannah will take pieces of our hearts with her when she crosses the Rainbow Bridge.

    Now Sophie is your Angel.

  26. I am so sorry for your loss. I think it makes it especially hard when we have to see our children suffering through it too. I love your outlook about how this, in the long run, will be a benefit to them and important learning experience.
    I was just listening to a talk about light and joy. The speaker compared our dark moments in life to the night time and then he made, what I thought, was a profound statement. He said that nightime is nothing more than a shadow created by the Earth for a short while. Even though we have to live through it for a time, we know that the sun is still there and that it will come again.
    I hope that your family’s time in the darkness will be short and you will feel the sun and light and joy again soon.

  27. Joanna Downey says:

    I am so sorry. We have been on this journey many times over the years & I can feel your pain.The only way I can ‘logic it out’ is to think of what wonderful & happy lives our animals have known & how they have been loved & have given back in many ways, whereas millions are not so lucky. Sophie will always be in your hearts & you are so right in your words about her passing being a life lesson for futures losses. Bless Sophie – a much loved dog.

  28. Sandy Schauer says:

    Dear Kelle and family. I am so sorry for your loss of Sophie. You were truly Blessed to have her in your family where she proved her love for you daily. RIP Sophie. Love, Sandy Schauer.

  29. Well said.

  30. So sorry …..it’s so hard to lose a pet. Cherish the memories and photos. ❤️🙏

  31. I’m so very sorry. It’s a family member and it’s tough when you are 6 or 60. But that first one is so enormous. Sending hugs.

  32. This book is my favorite (if that is the right word) tool for helping children understand death. There is no talk of religion or afterlife, but there is something about the gentle wording and beautiful pictures that allow you talk about your belief system as you read the book. Wishing you peace and many happy memories of Sophie.
    Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children by Brian Mellonie

  33. We planted a golden dogwood on our dog Kodie’s grave, a suggestion given to me by a very kind worker at a nursery as I cried and blubbered and explained we wanted to plant something appropriate to honor him. Then she said none of their dogwoods were in good enough shape, and she insisted I get a better one at her competitor’s store.

    Thank you to that sweet worker at Fair Oaks Nursery in Sacramento, your idea was brilliant and your compassion showed through.

  34. Oh Kelle, the tears are flowing. We lost our beloved Boomer 3 years ago and oh what I wouldn’t give to squeeze him one last time. For months following his death I would hear his nails on my floors and his tags jingling. I missed his companionship during the day while my family was away. Our new pup, Rudy, has helped to ease that pain and loss, but there’s something about that first dog that is just extra special. He’s the one that was with us from the beginning. He knew all of our history. I’m just so sorry for your loss. You guys loved Sophie well💕

  35. It sounds like you are handling it beautifully with your children. But I thought I would mention that when we lost my mom when my daughter was almost 3, we got a book that my daughter loved called The Tenth Good Thing About Barney. It’s about a child that loses a beloved cat but it talks about death in a beautiful way and can be generalized for any loss.

    We read it many, many times over the next two years.

  36. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sophie was a very sweet dog and very loved. That’s so obvious. We’ve lost several pets and I can honestly say they have been HUGE losses in my life. I still miss my sweet Abby, a toy poodle, and she’s been gone over 10 years. She gave such unconditional love. She knew my moods and needs better than anyone else, even my husband! We could all learn a lot from the devotion our pets give to us.

  37. I am so so sorry for your loss! They are a member of your family! But I am so glad that I read this at home. Almost 9 yrs for us loosing ours, but its still so raw!

    Rainbow Bridge

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

  38. Oh, God, Kelle, I’m just dying here. I’m so very sorry for you all, my heart literally aches. I allllmost got through your beautiful post without actually crying, but then you brought the boys into it. That’s when I did the scrunched up, heart in throat ugly cry. I have been through this myself so many times, and it doesn’t get easier. I read a book not too long ago called “Will I See My Dog in Heaven.” I don’t remember the author’s name, but he was a man of the cloth and assured us readers that, indeed, we will see our dogs there. I take a huge comfort in this and, not that I’m in a hurry to get to heaven, can’t wait.

    Something interesting happened a few nights ago. I had a German Shorthair Pointer named Gracie, who I rescued from death row at one of our animal shelters. I can’t even tell you how that dog and I loved each other. She thanked me every single day for giving her a home, and did some of the funniest things you ever heard of. For one thing, she loved to steal! I once had potatoes boiled to make salad, and she got them down off the counter and ate SIX of them. She stole tortillas off the counter, as well as zucchini stems, and ate those. She stole my checkbook out of my purse, unbeknownst to me, and my son found it in the backyard. I could go on and on about her and our love for each other. Anyway, about four years ago she got very, very ill, and I had to have her put down. She was my only dog who was licensed (I have three others) since that had to be done before I could take her home from the shelter. OK, I’l get to the point. About a week ago I got up for the day and noticed something shiny on the carpet outside my bedroom. I bent down to pick it up, and it was Gracie’s dog license. How it got there, I will never know, but I like to think she came to visit me during the night.

    Sorry for so much rambling, but I could talk about dogs all day — and almost did! Anyway, I am truly sorry for you and your family. I wish I could give you all a hug. There is nothing like a good dog, and Sophie sounds wonderful.

  39. So sorry for your loss xx This brought tears to my eyes remembering the pets we lost growing up. So much love and yes they do really make the family. If you haven’t seen it already there is a beautiful children’s book ‘Sammy in the sky’ (Barbara Walsh) about a beloved family dog that gets sick and die and the young children wonder where he is now…beautifully illustrated. I fight back the tears every time reading it, but it is super lovely and focuses on the love they have for their dog.

  40. I lost my 15 year old Gracie on June 23. I can’t even get through your post without the tears stinging my face. Bless you.

  41. I didn’t expect losing my dog to be so bad either–but it was awful. That very night, I sent photos to Fred Meyer to be printed because I wanted some around immediately. When I went to pick them up and look for one of those little photo books, there was a black and white (like my dog) *houndstooth* covered one in the bargain bin–just one, for me. He was the only creature that has loved me best in all the world, and while he had his issues (the Cone of Shame was our constant companion for five years), he was my buddy.

    A couple years before he died I saw these on Etsy and had to have one–my only true sign of some hidden crazy dog lady. I love it and they were so nice to work with, adapting one of the other templates for my shelter mutt.
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/whitedogart

  42. Oh my goodness, this was a horrible article to read at work, because now I am hiding behind my monitor to hide my tears and am coughing to keep the sobs in. I am so sorry for your family’s loss, but am also glad that you all got to share in that lovely girl’s love. I have a 2-year-old pup and I can’t imagine not ever having her around. What a sweet, happy girl in the midst of a lovely family.

  43. I am so sorry for the loss of your pup. She sounds like she was a treasure to you all.

  44. This post. I’ve cried like a baby for 20 solid minutes. We lost 2 very special dogs in the past few years. One was 7, to cancer and the other was 15. Both were as you said, FAMILY. I have never commented on your blog before however this post brought feels like you wouldn’t believe. People rarely make me cry, dogs however touch the deepest parts of my soul. I think it’s their constant unconditional love and the way they are just there, to make our lives better because they’re in them. Losing those dogs left an emptiness in my heart that is hard to conceive to an outsider. For they truly were family to us and irreplaceable, each in their own rite. A former boss of mine gave me a book when we lost our girl by Mark Levin called Rescuing Sprite. It probably took me 50 attempts of picking it up and scanning the first page before the tears poured down and I couldn’t read anymore because the pain was too raw but after I was able to read the book and not feel guilty about my tears. I recommend picking up a copy even if you don’t agree with Mr. Levin’s political opinions (I had no idea who he even was when I first read the copy over 10 years ago!) I’ll leave you with a quote from the book ““Even at the end, when he could barely stand on his own, he was a bright light who brought sunshine“. – ML

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