See You Later Sam!dog and child

Saying Goodbye To The Pet You Love!

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.

2 dogs kissing

  • 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.

child and dog

dad and dog

dogs playing

dog with hat

dogs sticking heads out of car window

Moving forward

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:

Saying Good-Bye to the Pet You Love: A Complete Resource to Help You Heal


dad and dogs

kids kissing and dog

dogs at beach


I would love to hear from you…. Have you had to make this choice before… Please share below….

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5 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye To The Pet You Love!”

  1. Yes you know I too have been there. What an incredible tribute to your Angel Sam. She will forever live in your heart; for that is where she really originated from– in Spirit and in the pure Love Energy only ego-less creatures like Sam (Dogs are the absolute epitome of this). She is playing somewhere with my Queenie. Awwww now you got me sobbing;)

  2. I’m glad I had a chance to read this. It’s clear that you loved Sam deeply and she was lucky to be a part of your family for so long. You’re a great writer and I think it’s wonderful that you take the time to express yourself so eloquently while sharing personal perspectives that will definitely help your readers who may be going through similarly difficult situations. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi,

    I have had to make this incredibly difficult decision twice before. We have a farm in sunny South Africa and we had 6 beautiful dogs (3 jack russells and 3 rescued beagles).

    Today marks the third time we have had to make that decision for our beloved and smallest of the pack, Nala. She’s been at the Vet for a few days and just isn’t getting better. There is nothing more we can do for Nala unfortunately. With kidney failure anything we do for her now is simply prolonging her life but also her suffering. As difficult a decision as it is to help her cross that rainbow, we know and take comfort in that it is a selfless act, and that she will be with our other (who went in December 2017 and December 2018).

    The wounds of losing another one of our pack are ripping open the pain from the other 2 we have lost! Its raw! But we are blessed to have had them in our family & home! To have created memories with them which we will cherish forever. We know that we are setting her free and that she will wait for us one day!

    Love, strength and prayers to all who are grieving the loss of their pet!


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