People told me I would know when it was time, but we never really did for sure. I can tell you that a few months ago we noticed that Dog was … the best words I can use are winding down, which makes me think of clichéd metaphors involving dying clocks, but that’s exactly what it was like. She was slowing down. She started coughing and making messes in the laundry room where she sleeps at night. The vet told us her heart was failing, which was creating excess fluids she was too weak to fully expel from her lungs. They gave us antibiotics and not much hope. She was a very old dog, after all.

In the last couple weeks something changed in her. She stopped wagging her tail, she stopped circling the kitchen looking for dropped treats, she stopped expending any energy at all. She barely moved all day long. I wouldn’t go so far as to say there was a sense of despair about her, but there was a sort of silent, sad, enduring resignation. She would eat, but with no interest whatsoever. She had lost so much weight she had this awful gaunt appearance around her back, like her flesh was barely covering her spine.

Last night JB walked her to the park that’s about a block away, and she nearly couldn’t make it back. I watched her, later in the evening, as she lay on the carpet nearby; you could see the effort of her chest rising and falling. I put my hand on her and I could feel her watery, labored breathing. Her overworked heart.

She slowly put one paw up to touch my hand, a broken version of the robust and silly Dog handshake she used to do, and I guess I did know, or maybe I didn’t for sure, maybe I’m just trying to convince myself. We can’t know what she really felt like, we can’t know what she would have wanted. But I believe she had passed some sort of point of no return, that her days would have become increasingly painful. Exhaustion, suffocation, drowning.

The vet helped ease her out of this life today. JB and I were there to comfort her and pet her as she went. It was the worst thing I’ve ever done. Oh, Dog.

141126076_b2d795d505

163919767_b033597d56

406393352_dc4acb5373

500380878_44db408fcb

1325815011_3b5f8ac0b8

1994911960_d4fa78a02b

4784644451_c06e847233

4784645063_d972f860f9

4785278668_f43befb999

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
346 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sarah
Sarah
11 years ago

Oh. I’m so so so sorry. :(

Connie
Connie
11 years ago

I am so sorry. That is truly one of the hardest things you have to do as a pet owner. It sounds like, from what you described, that it was time. Thanks for loving her.

Jenny
Jenny
11 years ago

I’m so so sorry for the loss in your family. It’s agonizing to make those decisions. Beautiful tribute to a good Dog.

g~
g~
11 years ago

Sadness. Utter sadness.

Jas
Jas
11 years ago

I’m really, really sorry, Linda. Based on what you’ve said here, it seems like you made the right decision, but that doesn’t mean it hurts less.

bouncy
bouncy
11 years ago

Oh Dog! I am so so sorry!

Bren
11 years ago

I am crying for you and your family. I am so very very sorry for your loss.

Mere
Mere
11 years ago

So sorry Linda. She was such a trooper– I always enjoyed Dog stories and pictures.

Laura D.
Laura D.
11 years ago

I’m so sorry about Dog. It looks like she had a great life with you – she always looked so happy in the pictures you posted! I think that you did the best that you could for her.

Losing a doggy friend leaves a big hole in your life – it really is one of the worst things ever. I lost my dog in October and its getting better, but it still hurts sometimes. I hope you and your family start feeling better soon.

clarabella
clarabella
11 years ago

Man, I am trying not to full-on weep…oh look how SMILEY she was! I know from personal experience how hard it is, but you should know you did the right thing. It would have been worse to see her suffer. I am so so so sorry.

Lauren (carterbiosea on twitter)
Lauren (carterbiosea on twitter)
11 years ago

Look at that happy dog smile. Letting go is hard no matter when you have to do it, and it’s so much harder when you have to make the decision. We said goodbye to one of our Goldens a year and a half ago, and I still miss Murray every day. You did well by her, you gave her a great life, and she’s up in dog heaven with that smile back on her face.

diana
diana
11 years ago

Its totally devastating – the grief is awful. We put our 14 yr old alaskan malamute down in Jan and I cried for about 10 days. So, so sad but in the end, it was time. Grieve and remember…

Heather D.
11 years ago

Linda,
I’m truly sorry about dog. As one who has lost more pets than I want to think about, I do know how you feel, and I’m sorry.

Corina
Corina
11 years ago

My heartfelt condolences to your whole family. There’s something uniquely heartbreaking and impossible about making the decision to let a pet go. It’s seems like it’s impossible not to second-guess oneself, to wonder if one waited too long, or not long enough. For whatever it’s worth, this stranger thinks you made the right decision at the right time.

warcrygirl
11 years ago

Dog had such a good life with you and now she’s no longer suffering. I know how hard it is to put a beloved pet down; big hugs to you. How are the boys taking the news?

Amy
Amy
11 years ago

There will always be a big, yellow, lab sized hole somewhere in the middle of your heart. All dogs go to heaven, taking with them little flecks of our lives.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Jessamyn
Jessamyn
11 years ago

Oh, Linda. Crying here, too. I am so sorry for your family’s loss.

Steph
Steph
11 years ago

So, so, so very very sorry. She was loved. Thank you for giving her a wonderful life. So so sorry you had to let her go today.

JennB
JennB
11 years ago

Oh, Linda, JB, Riley and Dylan- I am so, so sorry that you are now Dogless. We lost our first “baby” several years ago and having her go downhill so fast was horrifying to watch. Dogs are excellent teachers, they are forgiving children, they love us no matter what. May she always be in your hearts, happy, healthy and loving you all the time. Our pets are our angels – and I’m not big on religion -and stay with us all the time. My heart breaks for you all tonight. May you remember your good times with her, just like your pictures show.

Mindy
11 years ago

I’m so sorry Linda. You did the right thing.

Cristina Kapler
Cristina Kapler
11 years ago

So, so sorry for your loss. It’s heartbreaking that they’re with us for a (relatively) short time. It sounds like she had a good life.

Kathy
Kathy
11 years ago

We did the same thing about 2 months ago. It was hideously hard and horribly sad. We still miss her but are making plans to get another dog. Seems to be the only thing I can think of to feel better.

ericka
11 years ago

What a sad day for your family. I am so sorry.

My guy will be 13 in August and I, well, just will miss him so much when his time on our plane is over.

Nic
Nic
11 years ago

Yeah, I gave up on the trying not to full on weep when I read the subject.

I am someone who is only able to be a doggie mommy, so mine are my children and therefore my heart breaks for you and your family as I know how our furry friends become actual family members.

dani
dani
11 years ago

giant hugs.

Sara
Sara
11 years ago

I am so sorry for your family loss of Dog. She looks so very happy in all those pictures.

kelley
kelley
11 years ago

I am so very sorry for your loss!!

TheRachelS
11 years ago

Hugs to you and your family, Linda. It is always a difficult decision to make, but know that you made the right one.

M.A.
M.A.
11 years ago

Tears of sadness, tears of sadness. I want to say that I so know what you are going through — but everyone is different. I have loved Dog, as I have loved all of you, from afar, for many years. I mourn her loss with you. You’ve touched so many of us with your writing, Linda — candid, touching, tummy-hurting-snort-laughing-in-my-cubicle-hilarious, honest — thank you. I’m sending some big dorky cyber hugs to you all.

Danyelle
11 years ago

I am so sorry. It looks like she had a great life.

m
m
11 years ago

you are brave and kind. <3

KateMac
KateMac
11 years ago

What a good girl. And what a good life she had. I’m so sorry.

lindsayc
lindsayc
11 years ago

I have tears streaming down my face. Bye Dog, you good girl.

gwen
gwen
11 years ago

Oh, Dog. I’m so sorry — but you gave her a wonderful life.

Kristen
11 years ago

Oh, Linda, I’m so very, very sorry. There’s no doubt in my mind that you did the right thing, and I hope you’ll soon be able to look back on the memories you have with her and smile without feeling choked up, although, I know it won’t happen right away.

She was a beautiful girl and I loved hearing about the silly handshake. I’m going to hug my furry girls extra tight tonight and think of your family. Take care.

dani
11 years ago

Oh, jeez Linda. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Now that I have my own dog baby I’m much more touched by how hard this must have been.

Nichole
11 years ago

Oh, I’m so sorry. She looked like a good and true friend.

Wanda
Wanda
11 years ago

I am sorry for your family’s loss. I understand your situation, we had to make the same choice two years ago for our 15 year old dog. Knowing that you made the right choice only helps a little. I hope the happy memories help ease your pain. Making the choice to end their pain is not easy but it is the most loving thing you can do.

Gaby
11 years ago

Oh, man…I’m sorry. I’m tearing up for you. We had to put our cat to sleep a few years ago and it was unbelievably sad. I’ll be thinking of you and your family.

Victoria
11 years ago

I’m so so sorry. Big hugs.

Melissa
Melissa
11 years ago

I’m so sorry Linda. You gave Dog a good life. I hope the pain eases with time.

Jenn
Jenn
11 years ago

I’m so sorry. Sweet Dog.

Christine H.
Christine H.
11 years ago

Sniff…I’m so sorry. It’s never easy, but I believe you eased her pain.

Michele {moxygen}
11 years ago

I am so sorry for your loss, Linda. What an awesome dog Dog was.

Mary O
Mary O
11 years ago

Ah, I’m tearing up over here. Goodbye, Dog. She looked like a real sweetheart.

Kristen
Kristen
11 years ago

I’m so so sorry. Dog was loved, by you, your family and the Internet. She will be missed.

Lori
Lori
11 years ago

This brought tears to my eyes. Dogs are so special. Especially the sweet, loyal family dogs that love and protect you and your children. I’m so sorry for your loss. She had a good life.

Diane
Diane
11 years ago

Oh Linda I am so so sorry for your loss. We can tell she had a wonderful life with your family.

operation pink herring
11 years ago

The internet will sorely miss Dog. I cried reading this… almost two years later and I still can’t think about putting our ridiculous, neurotic, adorable cat to sleep without tearing up. Far and away it was the hardest and worst thing I’ve ever had to do.

ssm
ssm
11 years ago

I am so, so sorry. It seems like you did the best thing for her.

1 2 3 7