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August 4, 2010

Seriously, I’m a weepy disaster most days from stress and fatigue, but I swear my fellow bloggers and dog friends are wearing me down with sad tales. Empathy is my strong suit and perhaps my biggest weakness.

First came, Dog Geek‘s terrible and sudden loss of her amazing L.

L, who came in third in the NADAC Championships in 2009 (20-inch class)

Then, Dr. V over at Pawcurious posted a remembrance and video tribute to her dog Emmett, who died just a year ago.

(The video includes a photo of my Dal Penelope Grace, who has been gone 6 years this summer. All the pets in the video have crossed the bridge.)

Then, Dr. V had a rough day at work, with some patient euthanasias, right on the heels of her renewed grief. And, that spurred a discussion about what it may or may NOT mean when pet parents do not stay during euthanasia.

Oh, yeah … it continued with Edie Jarolim over at Will My Dog Hate Me, writing about an email she got from a reader who was worried her dog was mad at her (because her sweetie pup did not look at her during that last appointment).

Two weeks ago, I got a call from a friend/neighbor who will soon have to make this tough choice with her eldest dog … whom we adore and have returned home more than once when she got the itch to wander.

Last week , I chatted with one of my longtime editors who lost her golden retriever Huck a couple weeks ago.

I also got an email from my pal Cathy Lester, who lost her beloved border collie (Jeffrey) recently.

CH MACH BOSS Mihran Black Tie Optional HXAs UD RA

Together, Cathy & Jeffrey had many competitive successes and yet in her announcement of his passing, she wrote:

I never guessed that those hundreds of amazing ribbons would mean so very little when my best friend would leave. They are testimony to our time together and yet the things that actually mean the most are the the ones least suspected:

  • Watching a beautiful red dog run through green grass with overwhelming joy.
  • Sitting down to eat a meal, the head that isn’t in my lap is devastating.
  • My hand lays limp and no soft nose comes to fill it.
  • The ball that was constantly tossed to me is in the corner gathering dust.
  • When I lie down at night there is no soft breath on the floor next to the bed.

We were lucky enough to have a most extraordinary journey for 13 years. I’m just so very sad that it’s all over.

Maybe it’s because there has been so much illness, death, and near-death around me in the last year, but each of these losses or stories hit me hard. Displaced grief? Preemptive grief? A sympathy overload?

I’m not sure, but I didn’t want these lovely peoples’ heartache and these terrific dogs’ crossings to go unreported.

All hail all of our pets — current, past, and future.


Addition @ 5:30 pm

I’m also sad to report the passing today of my friend Sharon’s sweet, sweet dog Annie. They’d only been together 18 months. Alas, Annie developed an aggressive brain tumor.

I first mentioned Annie as part of my post about the new White House Dog. Truly, all hail those who adopt older dogs and help them have the best final years that everyone deserves.

RIP, Annie girl, you will be missed.

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. Roxanne, thanks for adding Jeffy’s picture and what I wrote. I cry every time I re-read what I am missing. It’s two + weeks now and I’m somewhat better but oh my, my heart has a very large space that longs for a dear friend to come home.

    1. Of course. I still get all misty thinking about Jeffrey being gone, so I can only imagine your grief. All of us dog moms share in the sadness in hopes it relieves yours a tiny bit.

  2. Ha — you’re returning the favor here, girl. I’d read several of these posts before — well, obviously mine, which still gets comments that make me cry, but also Pawcurious’ — but the final one from Cathy about what she misses just about did me in.

    It’s upsetting in the short run but I think it’s good for us always to remember that there’s a community of us who will grieve truly, madly, and deeply over our pets — no matter what others think of us.

  3. Oh, wow. No wonder these made you cry. I just went through a bunch of Kleenexes. This made me think of our kitty, Scamp, who we lost last summer to liver disease, and all the other wonderful animals out there who have passed over. It also reminded me of this great tribute to a beloved dog that I recently read:

  4. I’ve always said the worst part of loving a pet is letting it go at the end of a good journey. We lost our first Doxie rescue, Hershey 5 years ago at age 16 and we still miss her very much. We also lost both of our cats 3 years ago this summer – one had been with us for almost our entire marriage – and I’ve been thinking of them a lot this summer. The only thing we can do is love them and enjoy them everyday for as long as they’re allowed to stay with us.

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