Tuesday, December 4, 2012

You Can’t Rush It

My energy to write is highly non-existent right now, which doesn’t happen often in my world. Sometimes the life gets sucked out of you and that’s okay. If you want unicorns and rainbows I’m sure you can find that on your Facebook news feed.

I sit here with Lucky’s empty bed beside me, where he laid every time I sat down to write. I won’t be moving it for while. Not sure when.

IMAG1030

I do want you to know I read each and every one of your comments. Some made me cry, some made me laugh, all made me grateful for this community. 

This week has been an AFOG for sure. Here are some things I’ve learned in the past three, long days since I had to put Lucky to sleep:

  • It is impossible to run while crying really hard. You have to choose.
  • People who say, “C’mon, it was just a dog” have never had a dog
  • Not being able to “fix” what is hurting your child is one of the worst feelings in the world
  • Just because they are “in a better place” and/or “not hurting anymore” doesn’t mean you have to like it
  • There are some things in life that you truly cannot change no matter how hard you try
  • Sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest, most difficult and most grueling thing
  • A glass of wine, the Hallmark Channel and a warm fire does help. For awhile.
  • Grief, loss and challenges create the perfect environment for bonding with your kids and getting to know them better
  • A house feels full because of who is in it. When someone is missing and not coming home, the emptiness is almost unbearable
  • You can’t rush grief. You have to sit in it. Feel it. Embrace it.
  • A small, kind gesture from a friend or family member goes a long way (you know who you are)
  • You have to forgive yourself for being human and not doing things perfectly

That’s all I’ve got. Just some reflections on crap most of you already knew.

What’s a lesson you learned when you lost a pet or loved one?

SUAR

110 comments:

  1. I'm very, very sorry for your loss. Lucky was very lucky. Please take care.

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  2. So sorry for your family's loss. It's never easy to lose a pet. And you're right, someone who says, "it's just a ___" has never had a furry family member.

    When I had to put my ferret to sleep (ages ago), the thing that helped most was out of my control, I just happened to get a vet that cried as she administered the sleepy potion. It made it okay that I hurt so bad for my little guy.

    Take care and watch lots of lifetime!

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  3. Oh my goodness. I didn't see that post the other day! I am so sorry! We had to put our dog that looked like lucky down a few years ago. It was the toughest thing we've ever done. Praying for you guys!

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  4. I wanted to post a comment on your previous post, but honestly, I was crying too hard. The loss of a pet is so incredibly difficult. I've lost a few pets in my 27 years, it's never easy. The tears eventually dry but the pain never really goes away. A few years ago we lost our baby kitty (he was 9). We adopted him as a kitten and watched him grow into an incredible companion. He was diagnosed with diabetes about a year before we lost him. We gave him shots of insulin twice a day and hoped for the best. Unfortunately he never recovered. While I know he isn't in pain anymore, I would give anything to have a few more moments with him. He was the absolute best and I still miss him everyday. I wish I could say something more profound, but as I sit here writing this, almost 5 years later, the tears are still streaming down my face. I am so so sorry for your loss, big hugs to you and your family!

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  5. When my friend Nancy passed away 1.5 yrs ago, her 13 year old daughter got up to speak at the funeral. She planned to read a poem she had written a few years ago that her mom really liked. After the poem, she said, "There's something else I'd like to say." Oh no, I thought, this part is unrehearsed... what's she going to say?
    And this strong, blonde tween who now had no mommy said beautifully and simply, "I know it's human to cry. But instead of crying because we lost her, we should be happy because we had the chance to know her."
    (and I am, of course, crying as I'm typing this...)
    And I think about that every time I talk to Nancy in my car to tell her how proud she would be of her daughter today.
    Her daughter learned a very mature lesson at a very young age as she watched her mom battle illness and die. Never once has she thrown an "it's not fair" fit. She just somehow, deep down, figured it all out.

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    1. Funny how these young people that loose their parents seem to cope...I, also had a friend who died unexpectedly and the son stood at the funeral and did his poem thing and then afterwards said "I know you guys are sad but you will heal, I lost my best friend and I will heal, but at least he was able to give us all direction for a while." Still 12 years later I remember those words. So be it a pet or a person, they are all still part of our lives, and they help shape us into the people we are today. Animals are the most pure form of affection we can receive and when they are gone it hurts...for a long time...

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  6. Whoever says it just a dog is a dick. They are a huge part of our families. I read the post again yesterday about Lucky and almost broke down then went and hugged Ginga and told her that her good friend is in heaven and she should send him good wishes.

    My heart goes out to you and your family, my friend. I completely understand where you are.

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  7. That was such a heartfelt post Beth. I can only imagine how hard it was to write with that empty little bed next to you.
    When I lost my Ally dog I learned that you can still cry when you think there are no more tears. You can feel such complete emptiness from losing a pure love. . . But also, the comfort of those that understand and share your grief, not to make the pain go away, but to make it not quite so lonesome.
    I still miss her just as much as the day I said goodbye and that was 3 years ago. Now I have 2 scruffy mutts that have weaseled their way into my heart.
    Thinking of you and your family <3

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  8. Beth, you aren't alone! My dog passed away this year very suddenly due to internal bleeding. Animals always hold a special place in our heart and Lucky's memory will always be with you! The first few months will be though so give yourself time to just relax. After my dog passed away my mom didn't move his bed for months, she just left it as it had been. Hang in there! -Grace

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  9. You definitely can't rush grief, and I do think that sometimes grief takes hold of us in unexpected ways. When my childhood cat died suddenly (I got her at about age 10, and she died when I was 22) I was hysterical...my husband actually thought that my dad died when he first heard me on the phone with my mom. I couldn't believe how painful her loss was, and how I cried looking at her picture for months to come. My dad eventually wrote me a poem, which wasn't exactly comforting, but did get to the heart of my grief. I won't write the whole thing, but the ending went like this "Only a cat, it might be said. Only the fabric of a family. Only a reminder that we love, we can lose..."

    For those lucky enough to love them, pets really do form the fabric of our families, but sadly they also leave a huge hole in our hearts when they leave us. Time really does heal - all you can do for now is go through the grieving process, painful though it may be. Hugs to you and your family.

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  10. So sorry about your dog. So very sad. We lost our dog a few years ago. She always slept on the same spot against a wall and after she was gone we noticed the wall was dirty where she would lay against it. (We did bathe her regularly.) Anyway, we still haven't washed that wall or repainted it. (Hope that doesn't sound gross) we framed her picture and hung her collar in the corner. We still miss her :(

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  11. Just catching up on posts, and very sorry to read about your loss Beth. Dogs are amazing little love sponges. I was the last to be convinced that we should get a dog, and can't honestly imagine not having her around. Thinking of you.

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  12. A couple of years ago we too had to put a dear family pet to sleep. Snowball had been with us for most of her 19 years and was deaf and diabetic, requiring insulin injections twice a day. When it became evident that it was "time ", we sat our 14 yr daughter and 7yr son down to explain that Snowball had always been good to us, and now we had to be good to her and not let her suffer. We told them that we were going to be taking her to the vets to be put to sleep. My daughter was hysterical, my son, very non chalant. He went right back to playing Legos. A few minutes later he came back in and said "Mom, what exactly does put to sleep mean?" Well, the vet is going to give her a shot to make her go to sleep, and once she's asleep, she will give her another shot that make her heart stop beating, and then she'll go to heaven and see Jesus. And all he could say, OVER, and OVER was " We're. gonna KILL her?!", well no, well yes, well Dr.k is actually going to.... we laugh about it now, and all the fun we had with Snowball, and how gross her hairballs were! maybe someday you will be able to laugh at Lucky crapping on the floor!

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  13. I think the empty dog bed is one of the hardest reminders after a pet dies. Zeek died in September and we still have his bed; the other two dogs purposely avoided it and refused to use it. We finally just got a new puppy and he's settled into the same bed, so it's nice to finally see it "full" again. Take care of yourself, Beth :)

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  14. My experience with grief is that tears come when I least expect them. People will tell you the holidays are tough, but sometimes it is just a sound or a smell or a song (http://mcmomentsandmemories.blogspot.com/2009/12/crying-over-jingle-bell-rock.html) that brings back a memory that causes a flood. It's a process, one that I don't know if we ever fully finish.

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  15. I don't even know you and I keep up on your blog. I love this honesty that you have in your writting. Your lucky blog just made me ball my eyes out when you posted it. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  16. I could not comment yesterday, I was too sad. A pet, be it a cat or a dog is part of the family and nothing can fill the whole left in out heart. Know he is with you and you keep his bed right where it is, he will still be there in your heart and mind that way. As you knew when it was his time, you will know when it is time to put away his bed as well...you can not rush it. Hugs

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  17. I'm so sorry for your loss. I have lost a dear pet as well. Spotty the rescued greyhound. He has been gone almost 9 years. His picture is still in my office. I still miss him terribly. He chose me to be his family all those years ago. (long story) But I know he is bossing the other dogs around over the rainbow bridge. And that makes me smile. Hugs and prayers to all of you.

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  18. "Just because they are “in a better place” and/or “not hurting anymore” doesn’t mean you have to like it"

    This, times one thousand. And he was never "just a dog," he was a member of your family. Having been in your situation all too recently (a month tomorrow, with my sweet cat, Harley), I know your pain. Glad you and your family are binding together through it.

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  19. I've been there and you have nailed it. Hope you feel better soon.

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  20. I put my sweet Lucy dog down last year about this same time. Yes, it was time and I was glad she didn't suffer any more. Yes, I did take some solace in knowing that it was the humane and right thing to do. But, I agree with you - knowing you did the "right" thing doesn't alleviate the sting. Sometimes, I felt like it would have been easier had she been hit by a car. Then I could have been indignant and been reassured that accidents happen even to good dogs, but being part of the passing - well, that just plain sucks.

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  21. I couldn't finish reading the original post because I didn't want to be a big teary, snotty mess at my desk at work. (I didn't stop reading soon enough - partial fail.) I'm not much of a crier but this totally got me. One of our dogs is 13, and I suspect her last day won't be too long in coming. Definitely dreading that. My thoughts are with you and Lucky!

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  22. I couldn't agree more will all you said! I can remember still "hearing" the sound of my cat for a couple of months after we had to put her down. I hadn't known life without her for 23.5 years.
    You should take all the time you need and once again I am so sorry.

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  23. "You can't rush grief"-- this is so very important. I think so many times people feel like they have to grieve on a timetable and/or impose this belief on others and it just doesn't work that way. I agree that in order to fully process things you just have to BE with your emotions--good, bad and ugly. Being strong doesn't mean sweeping your emotions under a rug--true strength is dealing with your feelings and everything that comes along with it.

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  24. Ugh.I have refrained from commenting because my emotions were just so raw. I get it. It will be two years Jan since we lost our girl, and it does.not.get.better. Her dishes are still out, and we kept her bed and toy box out for a long time. As I was unpacking our Christmas stuff, I came across all of her ornaments, her "in memory of" one made me lose it, and then of course, there was her stocking which we continue to hang. It's so hard, and people who do not have the same type of relationship with their dogs just do not get it.
    I remember my first run with the "ugly cry" as I thought of her...running and crying do not mix. I am rambling, and made this more about my experience instead of telling you how sorry I am for you and your family. I wish I could tell you will feel better, but I cant. :(
    xxxoooo

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  25. Never easy putting a pet down but is the wisest (though difficult) thing you will ever have to do. I too cried while reading your post yesterday and was at a loss for words. You and your family take all the time you need to grieve. Much better to do so now rather than later. (((HUGS)))

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  26. Two comments... 1) it's interesting seeing the bed of Lucky. Is it my imagination or can you see the perfect imprint of his body. It's beautiful, really. 2) Your number 8 bullet resonates..."Grief, loss and challenges create the perfect environment for bonding with your kids and getting to know them better"... this is so true. In life many things bring us together and make us stronger, but sharing the experience of losing a loved one with loved ones, be it human or dog, is a most powerful glue... it binds us like no other force. I don't know your name, so I'll just say.. Dear Shut-up, thank you for sharing this emotion... it binds us all. Michael

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    1. Wow, I am totally humbled by your observation of Lucky's bed. When I enlarge the photo, I can totally see the imprint. Gives me the chills. I even got my daughter out of bed to show her.

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  27. Big hugs, Beth. I am so sorry for your loss. Processing loss, processing grief is so hard and so important. Your wisdom and sensitivity really shine through in this difficult time. I really appreciate these words you have shared with us. Again, ((((hugs))))

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  28. I really have nothing that I can say that will make you feel better, but I am so so sorry. Our dogs are part of our family. They are first babies and the thought of losing them absolutely terrifies me. I hope some comfort comes to you at some point and know that we are all thinking about you!

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  29. I'm so sorry for your loss. When I lost one of my cats a few years ago the lesson that I learned was that when you truly love someone, they never truly leave you. To the people who say that he was just a cat, I say he was my family. He was there for me during some of the hardest times in the my life. I still miss him, 4 years later. But I know that I made the right choice and I still remember how fun, naughty, sweet, and loving he was. He was my best friend. And when I lose another pet, although it will cause me immeasurable pain, I'm sure that I'll one day look back and enjoy all of the good memories. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. Lucky was so lucky to have had your family and all of your love in his life. He truly was a lucky boy!

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  30. After my mother died suddenly, I had flown back home across the country on a redeye. Still dazed, and not even unpacked, I saw the minister coming up the walkway. And really, at that point, I didn't want to hear any of his platitudes, but I let him in anyway. "This sucks," he said. "People will tell you 'she's in a better place' or 'it's god's will' as if that makes it all better. But you have every right to just smile politely, nod and say, 'No, actually, this just sucks.' Besides, they're saying it for their benefit, not yours."

    As ridiculous as it sounds, it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. I still find it weirdly comforting to know that someone was telling me it was ok to feel what I felt.

    So: this sucks. And don't let anyone diminish your loss.

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  31. I started to reply to your last post and just couldn't. Losing a pet is one of the most difficult things I have ever been through. The love and joy pets bring to our lives is so sincere and genuine and there is nothing else like it. I still miss every one of our pets that are no longer here and I dread that one day the day will come again for our dogs now. You're doing all the best things you can do. Take it slow, embrace every memory and hold them close and grieve at your own pace.

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  32. I'm so sorry to hear about Lucky. I have lost many pets and it is just so hard to have them gone from your life. He was a special dog and was very loved so you know he had the best life that he could have. Hugs to all of you.

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  33. You can't run when you are crying because you can't breathe. Your throat tightens up. It's happened to me a few times. When my mother in law died. When my dog died. And when my oldest went to high school this fall. Hang in there, it will get better. Running will be there for you, sooner than you think. Just get outside, fresh air and sunshine will do you good.

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  34. I am so sorry for your loss. We just had to put down our dog, Whisky, a few weeks ago. He was only five months old, but he was born with severe liver issues that went undiagnosed until we adopted him, at four months old. Even though we only had him with us for a short while, I still cry whenever I think about him. The lesson I learned through the experience was that having to be the one to make the decision to put an animal down really freaking sucks. But at the end of the day, it's about keeping your commitment to that animal, to always look out for its best interest. Oh, and if you know someone with a dog, and they will let you spend some time petting/walking/playing with it, that really does help. Even stopping by your local animal shelter and walking a dog isn't a bad idea.

    Okay, so that was a little long winded, but I just felt the need to say that losing a pet absolutely sucks, and you are not alone. :)

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  35. You can't rush it and I wouldn't even try. I want to cry just thinking about losing one of our dogs. Lucky was family, just like anyone else in your family. Just cry and drink wine and go with it.

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  36. You cant rush grief. Nail on head. You have to feel it, bear it, and then eventually release it. Keeping in mind it will pass, as your bit of hope that it will, because while in it, everything feels eternally impossible. You be stronger because of it but think of it like a muscle...only time and rest will heal it. Be well beth.

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  37. You cant rush grief. Nail on head. You have to feel it, bear it, and then eventually release it. Keeping in mind it will pass, as your bit of hope that it will, because while in it, everything feels eternally impossible. You be stronger because of it but think of it like a muscle...only time and rest will heal it. Be well beth.

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  38. I'm thinking of you--such a tough, tough time. And you are so right--pets are family members and when they're gone, there's a piece of the family gone. I'm glad you are allowing yourself the grief. Sending you a big hug!

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  39. We had to say goodbye to our bulldog the week of Thanksgiving. I cried tonight thinking of him and how much we miss him. Healing takes time but he will always be missed. Wishing you healing tonight too.

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  40. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  41. I've learnt that for me I need to get another dog ASAP. It doesn't make you miss your previous dog any less but it gives you a warm cuddly body to hold and maybe cry into. And the house feels a lot less empty.

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  42. It's so damn hard, Beth. I've been married for 14 years and have never seen my husband sob like he did when we put down our first dog in 2005. We were both in the room with her. I'll never forget the feeling I had when I held her and felt her spirit leave. It was very peaceful... but I was haunted for a while by the fact that I held her as she died. And I just missed her so very, very much afterwards. Still do.

    Big hugs to you guys as you walk down the path of grief. It does get better with time. You'll always miss Lucky, but the tears will turn to smiles when you look back on the memories you made with your sweet boy. It won't always feel so raw like it does now. Hang in there.

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  43. I still cry over our pets that we have had to put down, they will always be in our hearts and we miss each one. I keep saying we will not get another one because it is so hard to say goodbye but then we see a cute face and we have another one. Your posts have made me cry all over again, I feel your sorrow and understand.

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  44. We have a lot of pets and have lost many over the years. I always say that the pleasure is worth the pain, but it probably doesn't feel that way to you now. We lost our dog DC in February. We still have 6 other dogs (I am the poster child for "foster failure"), but even now I do the dog head count and when I hit 6 I still look for 1 more. I miss him. His bed is still up in our bedroom and none of the other dogs lay on it. Today we tell funny DC stories and laugh about his antics, but it still makes me misty. Time will help but won't make the sadness go away. Let Lucky live through telling stories and talking about him with your family. Wishing you comfort.

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  45. Awww....Beth. so sorry about Lucky. He really was lucky in every sense of the word, and so were you and your family to have him in your lives. No need to rush moving on....keep remembering and celebrating your buddy in doggy heaven.

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  46. Michelle in MichiganDecember 4, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Great (and very true) title for this post. Losing a pet is a horrible feeling. The grief is almost unbearable. Ignore those who say "it's just a dog..." they don't understand and never will. I cried when I read your post because I know how it feels to have to make the decision you did, it sucks... I send comfort and virtual hugs to you and your family... RIP Lucky

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  47. I think you're right - sometimes you just have to wallow in it for awhile. And slowly it gets better, and then down the road, the crappiness fades and you start to remember the good times.

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  48. It's been two years since we had to put our Shelby down. I still have a Shelby-shaped hole in my heart ((hugs)).

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  49. i can't even read this or the comments today because I am crying harder than I did the other day. Pets really do play such an important part in our everyday lives. Thinking of you guys!

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  50. I'm very sorry about your pup :( I had to put my sweet boy down earlier this year. It's hard, but it will let up in time. Like others have said, remember the good times.

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  51. Just let those tears flow Mama! They are healing. For me, what I learned is, when I could talk about Daisy (the old dog) without crying, then I was ready to get the new dog (Ben). It took a few months. Vacuuming up the last clumps of her hair and putting away the dog bowls sucked.

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  52. My heart goes out to you, Beth. As someone who has lost three dogs in my adult life (darn us for adopting "senior" dogs) I still feel every single one of them in my heart. I'll always remember when we lost our first one that a friend of mine invited me over and let me sit on the couch next to her watching bad tv and not talking. Just knowing someone else was there but still letting me be was a huge comfort.

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  53. Just now it's okay to cry and mourn. I still honor and tear up at random times when I remember the four wonderful dogs who have shared our lives so far.
    Yes, and after reading "The Rainbow Bridge" just once, delete it. There's too much crying there.

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  54. I read your post on Lucky's last day last night, and then I cried myself to sleep. What a Lucky dog he was, indeed, and you gave him such a special last day. It's been 9 years since we had to put down our beloved Sheltie, and I still miss her. It gets easier, but it never completely goes away. I'm truly sorry for your loss.

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  55. This is one of the best essays I've ever read on coping with grief -- thank you.

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  56. I'm so sorry. I remember years ago when I lost my cat, I tried to go for a run and ended up crying at the trail head. A stranger asked what was wrong, and when I told her, she threw her arms around me and let me sob. I know there's nothing that can be said to ease that kind of pain, but something that helped me was a quote by Carl Sagan. He said it after losing his wife. "In the vastness of space and the immensity of time, it is my joy to share a planet and an epoch with Annie." This helps me remember how lucky we are to share moments with those we love, even when it's so terribly difficult to say goodbye.

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  57. I had adopted an 8 yr old Pomeranian, Foxy, two years ago. It was for my daughter who wanted her own little dog because she couldn't cuddle the big dog that we have. I've never had a little dog like her before and I thought she would be super annoying. Turns out we all fell head over heels in live with her!! After 2 yrs she passed away from a heart mumur and a horrible seizure disorder while we gone for the day. I guess what I learned from her was that the very best, most special gifts I've ever received was that little pumpkin and she was just such a surprise and such a unique little thing that caught me and my black heart off guard. She changed me in a way. I never knew how wondeeful the little dogs could be! I thought about getting another Pomeranian next year but I have realized she was one of a kind. And that's how she'll stay in my heart forever.

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  58. I lost my best friend, my cat, Kiraly a year ago. We have a new dog and cat now but I still miss his quirks. He was there at the toughest days of my life, always there when I was sick. I carry around his picture on my key chain. That kind of love never goes away. They aren't pets. They are members of our families.

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  59. On a separate note i have found that if i cry when i run, i WILL hyperventilate and drop dead so i make sure to save my crying for when I'm sitting

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  60. Big hugs! I feel your pain - putting Gizmo to sleep at 15 1/2 was the hardest thing I had ever done. I still miss my little faithful friend.

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  61. Big hugs! I feel your pain - putting Gizmo to sleep at 15 1/2 was the hardest thing I had ever done. I still miss my little faithful friend.

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  62. I can remember the first time I read your blog, and though, there is no way this is real, she has a 3 legged 1 eyed dog... It always made me smile when you wrote about Lucky, my thoughts are with you.

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  63. "You can’t rush grief. You have to sit in it. Feel it. Embrace it." These words kind of sum up my life for the past 6 months. Love to you.

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  64. I totally agree with your above post. I was bawling reading your other post about Lucky's last day because my dog is getting old and I just have never allowed myself to even think about his last day. I am so truly sorry for your loss.

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  65. Your earlier post was so touching; it made me cry. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. There's a reason why cliches like "time heals all" exist: they are true. You just need to get up every day and do the best you can - don't push it or expect to snap out of it. It will slowly get easier till you reach a point where Lucky holds a nice place in your heart but the rest of your life goes on as usual. You're just not there yet - and that's ok.

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  66. I've gotten "it's just a (dog, cat, horse, bird) many times. And you're right, those people don't know that our pets are our families. After having my dog Sid for 18 years we had to put him down... From the summer before third grade until in my 20s he was my best friend, sometimes my only friend, my constant companion and my comfort. My cat Simon I had to put down after only 9 short years. He had an inoperable abdominal tumor. I would have gone into debt to save him, he was the only one I had when I first moved out of my parents house into a strange new town where I knew no one... And then repeated the process 3 more times, crossing state lines and time zones. He let me hold him like a baby and even though it's a couple years later I still can't handle looking at a white and orange cat with blue eyes... And I still cry thinking and writing about him. But I guess that's what I learned the most, that kind of unconditional love and friendship is rare and we are blessed to have it, it doesn't matter if it comes from a giver with two legs or four.

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  67. Growing up I never thought I could deal with euthanasia. Now, as a registered veterinary technician I often perform the procedure on a daily basis. It never gets easier. The only thing that gives me peace of mind is having the ability to end the life of a friend that is suffering. I know there is nothing I can say that will make you feel better. Just know that I am sending hugs and positive energy your way. xo

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  68. After losing my canine companion of 13 years and having two miscarriages all within a few months of each other this spring, I could write a book on running and crying. It's ok to cry when you run, but only streaming tears. Big, hiccuping sobs will keel you over on the shoulder of the road in no time flat. In my experience, the streaming tears will continue long after the hiccuping sobs pass.

    I learned a lot of the things you posted here, too. People say STUPID things that they think might be comforting. Like someone else posted above, it's ok to just reply back with "Right now it just sucks." Give yourself time to be sad. Hug your kids a lot. I know they are a lot older than my two, but we all took tons of comfort in the book, "Dog Heaven." We pasted a picture of our passed puppies inside, and when we get sad and think about them, we get out the book and read about what a lovely place Dog Heaven is. It's corny, but it helps.

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  69. Everything you said is so right on target. I had to put my cat to sleep this past May and she was 16. It surprised me at how upset I was because she'd been sick for a while and I thought I was emotionally prepared but I wasn't at all. I still get a little sad from time to time but I let myself do that because as you said, you can't rush grief. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

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  70. I’ve never had a dog and admittedly don’t really care for most dogs, but I can tell you that people that say “C’mon, it was just a dog” are assholes and should never be responsible for the well being any other living organism…including children. And as a person dealing with a different type of loss personally, and with close friends currently dealing with the passing of a family member, this list is incredibly relevant to all who are hurting from the void left by a loved one’s absence. Hang in there. You’ll be back on the trail in no time.

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  71. Beth - I had to put my 5 year old dog to sleep shortly after I met you after the Vegas 1/2 marathon. I had recently read that “dogs find owners, not the other way around. They pick you and they choose to stay with you. In that way, they are also giving you the end of their life. The deeper the bond, the harder it is to say goodbye. I know I’d rather have any amount of time with a dog I love and suffer the mourning than not have the time at all.” It doesn't take the pain away now, but I did find some comfort. Thinking of you and your family.

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  72. I know I wrote a couple of times about my dog. It took MONTHS like almost a half year before I could speak out loud to anyone about how I felt about losing him. And you are right, people who have not had a pet like that dont know really know what it's like. And know that my dog was in a better place didn't help, I felt selfish but going to my parents house and him not being there just wasn't right.

    Anyhoo... I'm glad you have your family. And more hugs all around.

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    1. And weird enough, a pets love is something different. As I had read your last post and was holding back tears, thinking about my our dog and the feelings, my cat Marley came and curled up in my lap and head butted me a couple of times. Pets just know.

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  73. I agree with every bit of what you wrote but can't get over the "it's only a dog" remark. I still remember how hurt I felt 2 years ago when a friend who had asked what was wrong laughed when I told her my pet rabbit had died suddenly.

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  74. We lost our dog 5 years ago...it is still raw and I had trouble even reading your post about Lucky. I like this quote from Dean Koontz:
    “Dogs, lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and the mistakes we make because of those illusions.”

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  75. Losing Lucky has made me think of all the pets I've lost over my lifetime. One of the hardest things to ever go through but I'd do it all over again, because owning a pet and being loved unconditionally has made me a better/stronger person! I recently got a new puppy and I'm going to enjoy him for as long as I can! Thank you for sharing your story :)

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  76. PEOPLE I WANT TO PUNCH IN THE THROAT ( I love that blog )

    People who say, "It's just a dog"

    We love our pets so much- I kiss my dog on the lips every day. I love him so much. And he loves us back.

    I cry every time you post about Lucky- because I LOVE how you love him and every animal deserves that kind of love and family. I love people with the same depth as I love animals....but, I understand so much how you are feeling and I just hope your pain fades a little, while your love for Lucky and sweet memory of him endures. He was so LUCKY to have you. Sending a hug to you.

    Kely in Michigan (blogless)
    sitesx6@aol.com

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  77. I cried reading your post the other day about Lucky. I've been through the heartbreak of loosing a pet, so I know what you're going through....it sucks. Like you, my pets are part of the family and loosing them is like loosing a little piece of yourself. It will get easier...with time. My best to you and your family. Erin

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  78. Our cat Ringo died in my sons arms. Ringo was just 5 and we never knew what happened or why. But our neighbors came over and dug him a grave and my son and his friend said a prayer and put a few of his toys in his new home.
    A few days later Tanner & I went to a pottery store where we made a stepping stone with Ringos name and dates along with butterflies and colored glass to place outside over Ringos final resting spot. Making that helped Tanner, he had a hard time and cried so much, along with me, those first weeks.
    But we think of the joy that Ringo brought us, and how he was sick in a shelter and we loved him from day one and loved him like no one else. And that is what your family did for Lucky, loved him like no one else did and he gave it right back to you.
    {{hug}}

    Jennifer

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  79. Beth, let me know if you want me to get a little Tanya Harding on the jackwagons who said "It's just a dog" I'm here for ya!

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  80. So sorry to hear about your dog. Very sad to lose a pet. #3 of your lessons is so true and the hardest to deal with in any aspect of loss or pain. I appreciate your words of wisdom as always!

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  81. I still have my first pet (my 13 year old Jack Russell) but I lost my sister in 2007. She fought hard against the worst imaginiable disease. She loved living, even when she was sick. She taught me that every day we are able to rise on our own, we can see, we can hear, we can feel, it's a great day. Too many of the people we want around us aren't anymore, and we should embrace the day for them, in memory of them, and we should smile a smile for them. I can't imagine losing my pet, but I know it will be the hardest thing for my son, who loves him so much it rips at my heart to even contemplate that moment when he's not with us anymore.
    Prayers to you to find peace in your loss.
    Amy P. Philly Runner.

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  82. I'm sorry that you had to make such a hard decision with Lucky. Even knowing it was the right thing only goes so far. I'm sorry, too, that you can't make your kids feel better - that is the very worst feeling as a mom!! I hope each day gets a little easier for all of y'all!

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  83. I am so so so so so sorry about Lucky! I actually had to wait to comment because I was crying too hard when I first read your last post :( Losing a dog is the absolute worst, I remember sitting on our soccer field in college crying my eyes out when my mom told me our childhood dog had died. I was supposed to be heading home that afternoon to say goodbye (I was literally getting in my car to make the 14 hour drive back to ID from Souther CA when she called, and obviously couldn't drive safely once I got the news). I took my chocolate lab, Joby, out for a long run in your's and Lucky's honor yesterday morning, I chose a route that he could be off his leash almost the entire time... I like to think that all of his happy circles were dedicated to Lucky and your family. Sending you lots of hugs!!!

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  84. Beth - I feel your pain and grief. I lot 2 dogs this summer withing 3 days of each other. 1 was 15 the other 12. My husband and I don't have kids so they were our children. We were heartbroken. My wound is still very fresh and reading your feelings about Lucky make me feel like I'm not alone. I miss them immensely but I also miss my daily routine that involved them and grieve for that as well, as I'm sure you do. Their passing leaves a hole in your heart that isn't easily filled. Peace, Love and Hugs to you and your family.

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  85. Beth - I'm sorry for your loss. Lucky truly was lucky to have you all. Hugs to you all. Your list is true on all accounts.

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  86. I'm so sorry about Lucky. We're likely going to lose my aunt's dog, Marco, soon, and it's amazing how much it affects me. The thing I've learned about myself after losing pets and loved ones is that the pain doesn't really go away. It just changes. But it reminds me that I have a lot to remember about them, otherwise I don't think it would hurt so badly.

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  87. Pets are so loyal and the unconditional love they give us is amazing. Those who say that "lucky was just a dog" have definitely never felt that. My brother and his family lost a dog this summer, it was hard on me and my parents. Like other said, it made me give my 4 legged furry family member some extra love. Of course after reading your post, he got some extra snuggles again. Your list is a lot that we should all know, but a very good reminder. Hugs to you and your family.

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  88. I read your post yesterday about Lucky's last day. I'm truly sorry for what you all are going through. It says a lot about what a great little guy he was. He was lucky to have you and you all to have him, so suiting name. I had to take breaks because you had me a mess!!! I didn't even cry that hard when my own Marcus passed this year. I miss him too. I know that feeling of something missing. The waiting that is never fulfilled... I hope you all are able to start to feel better in the coming days.

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  89. We just lost our 11 year old greyhound in early November, totally unexpectedly. We had rescued her as an 8-year old, so we knew we wouldn't have a lot of years, but still, it was not nearly enough time! At our local Christmas parade on Saturday, my daughters and I all broke down when the local rescue group paraded by.

    I lost a beloved dog just over 8 years ago - he was my "first kid, best friend, lifesaver" dog - and I am still not completely over it. I am more able now to lean into my memories of him with a smile than I was for a long while after he died - in fact, I embrace the memories when they come.

    I definitely have learned to give myself permission to grieve for however long I feel I need to, publicly and privately, with no apologies (screw those "it's just a dog" people), and to remember to remember them with joy and gratitude for the time I was blessed to know them.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

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  90. Your photo of Lucky's bed is so poignant. Among the most painful things about the loss of our dog, Ike, was his absence from his bed and from the spot under the kitchen table he loved so much. I also ached at the absence of the sound his collar and tags made when he came to greet me at the front door. Missing these things eased somewhat over time but there are still times when I look/listen for all of them even after 8 years. Thinking of you and your family.

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  91. Ummmm....can I edit the one about "Come on its just a dog" it isn't only that they have never had a dog but also that they apparently want a punch in the face. just sayin'

    One thing I learned is that even though they are painful at first don't hide/take down pictures or get rid of christmas ornaments ect. At first they cause pain but after a while of healing they cause joy when you are opening the ornament box and pull them out. you finally just remember the good times. It takes a few years I am not going to lie but it is worth it.

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  92. So sorry for your loss.
    We have 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a rabbit, but we have also lost a beloved cat and dog over the years. We still miss them. It does get easier with time, but we still miss them for who they were and the trademark things each of them did. It is much harder with children, especially when the pet has been with them in their earliest memories. Praying for your whole family!

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  93. I'm crying with you. It really hurts deep inside to loose someone (yes, Lucky was a dog but we all know a loved dog is that special "someone") you love so much. It helps to remind ourselves how fortunate we were to have been given the time together but it won't stop the pain of loss. We heal but never get over it. I've always had pets and dread the time when we have to say good bye.
    Let yourself heal.
    Go out on those gorgeous trails of Colorado and have a good cry. It will feel good.
    My sister just had to put her 3 year old cat down which was laden with cancer. So sad. So young. I wish we could save all our beloved pets, old and young but God/fate...whatever has different plans.

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  94. My condolences to you and your family. Time definitely heals wounds. Haven't quite figured out if it heals all of them because I am still waiting on that myself.
    The last time I dealt with grief was when I was younger and didn't know how to deal with it at all. I suffered two losses within a short period of time. The lesson I learned, to make sure that you say and express love to those you love whether pet or person. Don't wait because tomorrow is never promised. Seems to me...Lucky knew exactly how you all felt because you were good to Lucky.

    Mrs White
    http://bringingfurmanhome.blogspot.com

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  95. What did I learn? Losing a pet IS losing a family member. There is no way around it. Be gentle with yourself.

    I have not lost a pet while also having kids though ... can't imagine how tough that is. :(

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  96. FYI - I balled my eyes out when I read your post about his last day. Talk about bringing back memories! It's a tender spot that never really goes away.

    For the first few months after we put our precious Akita to sleep I literally could not walk down the pet food aisle in the grocery store without tearing up. Not to mention that the day we lost her I could not remember my ATM pin # - and it didn't come back to me for two weeks.

    Lucky was indeed a lucky dog - well loved. The best kind.

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  97. Aww Beth, this weekend I was in Vegas for the R&R half, and I thought about reading your post from last yr's race, and all the drama while I was there. I was so saddened to see Lucky's last day posted when I got home. I couldn't imagine putting my dog down, who I've had for 7 yrs, and she truly is my best friend. I cried reading your post, but was glad you shared it.

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  98. Hi Beth and family,
    Dogs, they love us and we love them, no conditions. I too, had a 3 legged pup, all dogs are special, but, something about those 3 legged ones..........How LUCKY we are to have loved and be loved by them.
    My condolences, my friend,
    Carol

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  99. "You know the minute you take them home that they'll break your heart in a million pieces one day. But I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

    That's what a pal if mine wrote when talking about her beloved dog whom she lost, and still misses. The joy a pet brings into a home is priceless. I feel sorry for people who just don't get that. So sorry for your loss.

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  100. This is a very insightful list to put together in the middle of your grief. Yes, they are things we already know but it is good list to reflect on. The loss of a loved one is the hardest form of love.

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  101. I've always wanted to comment on your blog, but always thought it would be lost it the shuffle. The last few posts have been very touching. I recently lost my father in law and I understand the aspect of grieving yet trying to carry on with things. Everything you posted hit home. I've lost animals before too, it's heartwrenching too. Lots of hugs for you!

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  102. I feel like it's been awhile since anyone has captured how i felt when we had to make the choice to do the "right" thing for our kittie. I felt like I wasn't allowed to be as upset or hurt as I was because people kept saying it was just a cat. They were wrong and I still think about him often, the platitudes don't help but they are often the best any of us know to do when people are hurting :) sending virtual hugs

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  103. I think that it is awful that you have to find out that you can run and cry hard. I hope that you don't have to do it again.

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  104. A beautiful German Shepherd named Taz (Trouble from A to Z). She's my precious - and you can check out pics of her on my blog - just search "Taz" - she's very photogenic.
    Adorable german shepherd

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