30 June 2016

So That You Know

I would give my life to not have to write this post.  Seriously.  But I do have to write it, and I don't want to put it off any longer.


Yesterday afternoon, we took our sweet Dug the Doodle Dog to the vet's office for the very last time.

I've alluded to him not being his usual self here, but never elaborated, because to be honest, that was hard to write too, and I wasn't really emotionally able to deal with comments and support from everyone.  I know that sounds weird, but there you go.

Dug was never an active dog in the sense that he couldn't really run, and had an odd gait.  This was a combination of him having arthritis, but also because the vet told us that it was likely that whoever had him as a puppy kept him crated except for walks, so his back leg muscles never really had the chance to properly develop.  He wasn't in any severe pain, but he was slower than most pups and more deliberate in his movements.  Needless to say, we didn't care.


When he started having serious trouble walking a couple of months ago, we took him to the vet for a check.  She felt a lump in the area of his spleen, and suggested an ultrasound.  That scan showed that his arthritis was also really bad in his spine, and that there were several tumors and masses near his spleen, kidneys, and other places.

The vet prescribed some painkillers, and suggested two things: 1) let him enjoy his life and the things that made him happy, until they didn't, and 2) take him to a local rehab place, and see if that helped at least a bit in the meantime.  We agreed that as long as he was still his happy self, we'd do whatever we could for him.  But Tuesday night and Wednesday morning it was clear he was not his usual self, and so we knew it was time.

He died having gotten lots of love from the kitties before we left, everyone at the vet's office (where he was a favorite), who kissed him, hugged him, whispered special things to him, and of course, from us.  In his last conscious moments, he knew that everyone who loved him, and those who loved him best, were right there, petting him, talking to him, kissing him.  (We should all be so lucky when our time comes, no?)


We are grateful that we could help him, and that he is no longer suffering or sick.  We know there was an entire welcoming committee - animals and people - waiting for him, to be with him.  We know he will always be with us, even if we can't hug him, walk him, watch him love the cats and love his life.

But it sucks, and it hurts and that will never change.  We know we'll never get over it, but we'll just get used to it.  We've both been through it before with so many of our other family members (human, furry, and otherwise).  We would love to have him here still, but only if he could be healthy - because to wish otherwise is selfish and cruel.

Dug was always a happy boy.  He was full of love, kindness, and he loved his life.  Anyone who would give him attention was his friend.  He liked to play, though on a calmer level, like he did everything.  He was with us for 3 1/2 years, plus a week.  We think he was ~8 years old.

He was our boy, and he is our boy, and he will always be our boy.  We love you, Dug, more than our own lives.  We'll see you again someday. xo




I've been thinking out this, and Dug never wanted anyone to be sad or upset, nor did he like to be sad or upset. So I think he would want us to follow the advice in this quote attributed to Dr. Seuss, even if we can't quite do it right away:

Don't cry because it's over, 
Smile because it happened.

Dear Dug, we are smiling through our tears right now, but know that you will always bring a smile to our hearts and our faces. Thank you for forever being our Doodle Dog, and for saving our lives, especially mine.


Be sure to kiss and hug your family, both human and otherwise, today, as soon as you have a chance.  And if you are so inclined, please say a prayer, think a good thought, or raise a glass for our sweetheart.

29 comments:

sprite said...

Oh, sweetie, I'm so, so, so sorry to read this post and that you and your family had to go through this. Sending you hugs and lots of love and the hopes that you'll be gentle with yourselves the next few weeks.

MIchelle B. said...

I am so sorry that you had to go through this. I do not have the words to express everything I believe that animals bring to our lives. I do know that Dug was lucky to have you and you lucky to have him. And how generous of you to open your home to an older dog! I also firmly believe that there is enough suffering in this world. And if we can ease another's suffering it is the right thing to do, even though difficult. You truly provided Dug the ultimate kindness. (People should be so lucky. Just my opinion)

I will be thinking good thoughts of you, The Tim and Dug and remembering the various stories you shared of his adventures in life. I really enjoyed your recent story of your early morning walk about the neighborhood.

There is an amazing children's book, Dog Heaven, by Cynthia Rylant. It makes me weep every time I read it. But the tears are healing.

Here's to hoping that your grief fades and that you are soon able to remember your good times with him fondly and with joy.

KSD said...

I love you.

Kim in Oregon said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It's just so tough.

Araignee said...

Oh, no....so sorry. Just having been through this you'd think I'd have some words of wisdom but I don't. I just know how bad it hurts.

SissySees said...

Thank you for sharing your grief - and news - with us. They really do touch our lives so deeply, and Gretchen is sitting at my side, reminding me that you said we weren't to be sad...

Dee said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I never petted Dug. Never joined him on a walk.

BUT ................he was part of a bigger family ------those of us who love our furkids with a love beyond reason, loved Dug too. He brought joy to OUR house with every photo.

I am so, SO sorry for your loss.

teabird said...

So much love-

Karen W. said...

Oh Bridget, I'm so sorry. In every single picture you've ever posted of Dug, you could see that he was a happy dog who loved his life and his people. It's no small thing that you gave him that. Much love to you all.

Maureen said...

So so sorry for your loss, Bridget! I always enjoyed seeing the photos you posted of Dug's gentle, joyful face and reading if the adventures you shared around your neighbourhood. My sincere sympathies!!

Mariss said...

I'm verklempt for you and my heart is with you. While words are rarely sufficient to convey the love we have for the loves of our lives, it came through. I may have only met your sweet Dug a few times, but he was magical -- rare to find that level of charisma on anyone. He brought lightness and pure happiness to those he smiled at - and I am so deeply sorry. My thoughts are with you guys, and with Dug and your kitty. Lots of love. Marissa

Bonny said...

I'm so very sorry for your heartbreaking loss, and am touched by your loving words about Dug, his life, and how you made his time at the end as good as possible. You, Tim, and Dug are in my thoughts.

Lorraine said...

Bridget- Oh no. That is terribly hard. Dug was an extraordinary dog, and you and Tim gave him the best life ever.

Six years ago, I lost Casey. I always think of her in happy times, and so it will be with Dug.

{{hugs}}

Vera said...

Oh Bridget, I am so very, very sorry. I read your post yesterday afternoon while at work and had tears streaming down my face. I wish I had words to comfort or cheer you...having gone through this with several pets, I know it's not easy. Certainly Dug was fortunate that you and The Tim took him in...just as you two are fortunate to have had Dug in your lives. I'll be thinking of you.

AsKatKnits said...

Oh, Bridget - this beautiful tribute to Dug has brought tears to my eyes. I will absolutely raise a glass to dear Dug this weekend. Sending my love to you and Tim.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I am so, so sorry. Those masses sound like the same/similar to what Tux had. And sadly, there's nothing you can do for them but make them as comfortable as possible, and listen when they tell you they are ready to go.
Dug was a beautiful boy - and obviously loved you as much as you loved him. It's so hard to lose them, but I'd always rather have had them in my life than not.
Big hugs from the Wandering Cat clan.

Quilting Mama said...

Such a sad post... I didn't get to meet Dug except thru your posts and photos. So glad he gave you and Tim so much love and care. I know your house won't be the same because he will always have his spots and be there in your memories. Hugs from Indiana for you all.

ReNea Owens said...

As I read your post the tears were not far behind. Dug is such a sweetheart and was very lucky to have you guys and you guys to have him. I loved all our visits and pets each year. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. Rest peacefully Dug. We all love and miss yo

kathy b said...

I will do all three. Im so sorry for you. Losing a dog is losing a family member. Our golden Huck's death, was gut wrenching. We still miss him. Prayers for you. He's wagging his tail

Danette Bartelmay said...

Oh Sweet Bridget... My heart goes out to you and I totally understand why it took you some time to be ready to post this. I have been through this more times than I like to think about. It hurts deeply. I am still deeply missing and sometimes longing for the last two dogs I lost. One nearly two years ago and the other nine months before that.
They are our family, our children, our forever babies.
Your Dug was special and gentle.
We make a unique and special connection with some of our animals and it makes it harder to say goodbye. We adjust in stages but don't truly get over them. I will pray for you and your husband at this time.
With much love,
Danette

Mereknits said...

Oh my friend, I have no words. I will be in your place soon and like you I cherish every moment I have left with MAx. I think dogs are so proud, they never really let us know how much pain they are in, I am glad Dug is free from all of that but my heart breaks for you.
Meredith

Mereknits said...

You know I am sending you the biggest hug to try to help you get through this but it is hard, really so hard. Dug was blessed to have you and you him of course. He was and is a beautiful soul that has touched so many people, spreading love wherever he went. My heart hurts for you Bridget.
Hugs,
Meredith

jules said...

Beautiful. All our love!

The Well Fed Wheel said...

Oh dear.....so sorry for you. I know so well how hard this is and I'm thinking of you and sending warm thougts your way. I'm going to give all of mine a big hug for Dug. May he rest in peace.

Marjorie Barks said...

Very well said.

karen said...

I am truly sorry for your loss of a wonderful devoted friend. It never is easy to say goodbye to our furry family members. Thinking of you :)

elns said...

I am so sorry for your loss. He was so beautiful and seemed to have such a good nature in your photos and posts, I felt like I had my own sense of who he was. I do know what an integral part of your life he is and my heart aches for you. Sending you my best.

Marie said...

It's so hard to lose a pet. I know just how you feel. We just lost our elderly cat, Lila. She was just a couple of months away from 20. I know you'll miss Dug, but you gave him a good life and a loving home. Bless you.

Cathryn said...

So, so, so sorry that this happened :( Losing a loved one in any form sucks horribly. Lots and lots of hugs.