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Category Archives: Grief

On Losing a Dog


A furkid will always be with you in your heart. Mom believed that Peg would want mom to rescue a homeless furkid the love and home that she left behind.

Marking Our Territory

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In his grief over the loss of a dog, a little boy stands for the first time on tiptoe, peering into the rueful morrow of manhood. After this most inconsolable of sorrows there is nothing life can do to him that he will not be able somehow to bear. – James Thurber

In July of 2004, my brother James held Dutch, his German Shorthaired Pointer, for the first time. On November 20, 2014, James held Dutch for the last time. After ten incredible years Dutch succumbed to the ravaging effects of hemangiosarcoma, a deadly and unfortunately common cancer in dogs.

Ten years, that’s the deal. The lucky get more time, far too many get less. But we all must inevitably face the end. That end – the only end – is heartbreak. When Dutch died I held James and we cried. I wasted no breath on neat and impotent words. James…

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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Grief, Uncategorized

 

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When A Furkid Leaves Us


This post is written by my mom.

Sandy was my heart dog. I had her 12 years before we lost her to cancer. She was the dog that would sit on my lap while I watched TV. She followed me everywhere. She slept with my husband on the floor. She was the dog that loved her people.

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When we lost Sandy, I would look at photos for hours on petfinder.com every night. I adopted Sandy from a Humane Society and I wanted to save another dog. My husband said I was obsessed. I was grieving.

I thought another border collie mix would be a good playmate for Radcliff. I contacted a border collie rescue. They wouldn’t adopt a female dog to us because we had Peg, a female shepherd. Peg was 14 years old and very independent.

I had been looking for almost three months when I came across a photo of a German Shepherd mix pup that touched my heart. I submitted an application. We were third on a waiting list.

Almost a month passed. We received an email that the other two applications didn’t work out. Were we still interested? A lady found Ina and her sister. Two puppies were too much work so she asked for help. Ina’s sister was adopted quickly. A foster family kept her outside in the back yard. She was very shy and timid around men. As I write this, I realized that was the exact description on the Humane Society form about Sandy.

Ina was almost three months old with big brown eyes. As I showed my husband her photo, I told him that she might be afraid of him or very shy. He’s a pushover for puppies. Or maybe he was tired of me looking at dogs on the internet every night.

We took Radcliff with us to meet her. He knew something was going on because the kennel was in the back of the SUV. After driving almost two hours, I said “I didn’t realize it was this far away. We don’t have to adopt her. We can go home.” My husband said “We’ve come this far, let’s just meet her.” We drove almost three hours, (one way) to meet her.

We met at the local vet’s office because the small town did not have an animal shelter. When we pulled up, Ina and Allison were sitting on the grass outside the office. We left Radcliff in the car. When we approached them, to our surprise, Ina ran to my husband. When we got Radcliff out of the car, it was obvious that she adored him. But that’s normal, Radcliff has that effect on everyone.

We spent some time with her. I was tired from the drive and emotionally drained. I could not make a decision. I asked my husband what he thought. He said “we didn’t drive all this way to turn around and leave her.” I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to drive back to get her the next weekend after I made up my mind.

So I completed her adoption paperwork on a late Sunday afternoon in a small Kansas vet clinic. We loaded her up in the kennel in the back of the SUV. She slept the entire three hours on our journey home.

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When we got home, it was as if she knew we were her forever family. We cannot imagine our lives without her. My husband commented about how much she was like Sandy. It’s as if Sandy is still with us.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2013 in Adopt, Grief, Uncategorized

 

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