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When your dog dies

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by zimbabwe, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. zimbabwe

    zimbabwe Active Member

    If no one responds to this, I won't mind. I realize there is an inherent narcissism in posting about personal tragedies. I'm just being selfish. Writing about this helps. So does knowing that a few people will read it.

    Perhaps this thread will grow as a place where people can talk about their own pet losses. I'm not asking for advice or sympathy; again, I apologize for a truly gratuitous and selfish thread.

    Nine years ago, I moved home after a disasterous three-year period of bartending and being an all-around crappy human being. My vices caused me to lose my job in a nearby city and left me with no option but to tuck tail and move in with the folks.

    I started freelancing, and it led to a full-time gig. (Within the nine-year context, that development is ancient history).

    Anyhow, while I was living at home, I volunteered at the local humane society. I didn't last long; seeing so many lonely animals, abandoned animals, abused animals, etc. was too much for me.

    I did find a dog ---- her pedigree was mixed ---- to adopt. She was the only dog in the kennel that wasn't yapping and howling. She sat quietly on her haunches and stared at. I went into her kennel and told her in her ear that she would be coming home with me.

    Corny. I don't care.

    She was an "unknown stray", as opposed to a "known" stray. She had been neutered but the H.S. vet said that she'd had a litter. She lived with us and remained with my parents after I moved out, after less than a year being "that guy" in his late 20's forced to live at home by his own self-destructive, irresponsible choices.

    She was always "my" dog.

    She became lumpy with tumors in her old age, and finally, one of the tumors was diagnosed malignant. We had it removed. It came back.

    She was fine on Sunday. Fine for her age, which meant it took her longer to get up and down the stairs, she slept more often than usual, and she was slow to get around.

    But Sunday night, she sprawled out and refused to move. Simply lifting her head off of the ground caused her to yelp in pain. She refused to eat Cheerios from my hand, a sure sign that she was in trouble.

    Late Sunday night, she began yelping in pain every three minutes. We crushed up tranquilizers and administered them via syringe.

    In the morning, we wrapped her 95-pound body in a blanket and took her to the vet, where she was euthanized as we held her.

    So R.I.P. Madle. It meant "little girl" in Yiddish.

    I'm...surprised at how profoundly I've been affected by this. There is something uniquely painful about losing a pet, because unlike a human being, there is no literal "dialogue" as the pet passes on. You can tell a dog that you love it, but it cannot tell you back, or acknowledge in any human way that it understands. I hate that she was in such pain at the end. It is haunting me. I hate that she had to go to sleep with the three people she was closest to ---- my mother, my father and myself ---- weeping. I'm sure it was disturbing to her.

    That's....it. Thanks for reading.

    (and for crossthreading reference, THIS is why the Futurama ending with Fry and his dog has always been one of my personal favorites).
  2. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. Losing a pet, especially one you've had for years and has become an important part of your life, is heartbreaking.

  3. KevinmH9

    KevinmH9 Active Member

    Very sad, but cool story, Zimbabwe. I've always liked the stories about those who are close with their pets, especially under the circumstances of how you became close with your dog.

    It's definitely a good refresher to see stories like this whether they are tragic or not. It reminds me and should remind everyone else who they really are even when times are tough for all of us.

    EDIT: I, too, am also heartbroken about your loss. It's always cool to have a companion you can always turn to when you don't have a friend, girl/boyfriend to cheer you up, etc.

    They call them a man's best friend for a reason.
  4. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    Sorry for your loss.
    It's amazing that with all the crap we go through in life, the passing of a pet ranks right near the top of heart-wrenching events.
    My thoughts are with you and yours.
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Zinger died on Aug. 23 and I've pretty much been a wreck since. We got Ella at Christmas and she's fine and a nice addition. But I miss Zinger something fierce and I don't suspect it is going to get much better.

    Probably not what ought to be said here, other than letting you know I damn sure feel your pain. My current oldest, Zoe, is 10 and slowing down. She has a lump that needs to come out. Almost certainly just a fatty deposit. I'm also scared shitless to let them go in. We didn't think too much was wrong with Zinger either, and she was full of cancer.

    Hang in.
  6. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    they may not say the words but they can most assuredly can tell you they love you
  7. zimbabwe

    zimbabwe Active Member

    Oh, I know. I was just speaking to the greater sense of helplessness I felt in this situation, compared to losing human kin.

    Which I hope does not come across as crass or heartless.

    It sucks that you can't explain to a dog why she is in pain, or why you are doing what you are doing on her behalf, or that you are not crying because you are upset with her.

    I'm bereaved to the point of having irrational thoughts.
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I'm very sorry to hear about your losing Madle.

    As much as Samson sometimes gets on our nerves, I know I'll be a wreck when she passes. And I know that when I read that "Rainbow Bridge" poem that sportschick posted, it's going to get mighty dusty in here.
  9. KG

    KG Active Member

    I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet Madle. I lost my little Motley almost exactly a year ago, and I can't begin to describe how much it hurt. I had a hard time understanding how I could so painfully mourn for a pet, but the pain was real.

    A dog may not be able to voice the words, "I love you," but they know when you love them. I really believe they do. We're not just someone that gives them food and shelter, we are a part of their family, a part of their pack. They love us too, and I'm sure Madle loved you.
  10. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    The cremains of our first dog, who lived with us for nearly 15 years, are buried in our backyard, near the screened part of a gate he loved to look out as people walked by. The flowers on his grave are in full bloom and we water them every day.

    We went 18 months before getting a new dog, a partly different breed and entirely different sex, so as to avoid direct (and unfair ) comparisons. She's wonderful and as much as we enjoyed the freedom of beig dogless, the joy our new companion brings is immeasurable.

    Everyone who has a dog can understand your grief. It's real, and I'm sorry for your loss. It does pass. It does take time.
  11. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    I haven't lost a dog or a pet, but all I know is what I learned from a little movie back in 1989...

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  12. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    I too am sorry for your loss. Our all-star is on his last legs (literally), and we are struggling along with him. We also plan to wait and get a completely different type of dog; comparisons would be too painful. Try to focus on the positive memories, the unspoken interactions that spoke volumes.
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