Bill Murray once said, “I’m suspicious of people who don’t like dogs, but I trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person.” I couldn’t agree more. And for us, we are 100% dog people. So, naturally losing our girl Sam was beyond devastating.
When you have a pet for a long part of your life they become part of your legacy, your story. For my family, Sam has been with us since I was dating my husband. When Bobby graduated NYU and we were stationed in North Carolina, we rescued our fur baby at a shelter in Pender County. She was a beaten puppy and very timid, but we knew she was the one.
She loved our family and welcomed each baby one by one. 13 years is a long time to be greeted by a dog every day. She was part of our family so naturally saying goodbye is quite shocking and very difficult on all of us.
What I didn’t know about having to say goodbye
- It’s hard. No matter how humane everyone says it is, having to make the decision to not let your dog suffer and put her down is beyond stressful and difficult. You question for decision no matter how many specialists tell you, “it’s time.” I wasn’t prepared for that and it hurts more than I could have imagined. Of course I wished she died naturally,but that would have been at the cost of her suffering and purely a selfish decision on my part.
- The remaining dog hurts. If there is another dog in your house and they are a pack, the remaining dog will be lost and grieve. I didn’t know how hard this would be on our souls. Watching our a Weimaraner lose her partner is beyond sad. She is so clingy to us and we are doing everything in our power to help her. We weren’t able to put Sam to rest in our home due to the little kids, so Shelby didn’t get to see it happen. She doesn’t know she is gone. It’s utterly heart wrenching.
- Your kids will grieve. Another thing I wasn’t totally prepared for was my little ones crying. You have to think that all they know are these pets, for they were here when each child was born. So, we have just been staying in tune with our faith and talking about rainbow bridge and how they are in doggy heaven.
- Accepting the change. It’s crazy after 13 years to look down and see one empty dog bed and dog bowl. It’s a forced change you don’t want. I think putting those things away at your own pace is best. For us, we are not moving her bed or her bowl, we simply aren’t ready. I don’t think I even knew how much I loved how constant our relationship was, until she was gone. My heart is broken.
I never thought I would say this, but I honestly look forward to rescuing another fur baby. I look forward to lifting my homes sadness and bringing new smiles to everyone’s faces. I look forward to saving another dog and letting him/her be part of our family. I don’t know how long I could possibly watch Shelby be alone. Now, is not the ideal time, with baby number 4 on the way, but eventually we will know when the time is right and we will know when we find the perfect dog for us.
If you too lost a pet and struggle with the loss, I highly recommend the following book:
I would love to hear from you…. Have you had to make this choice before… Please share below….