Wednesday, June 06, 2012


On May 26th we suffered a devastating loss in our home. On April 3rd our old dog had surgery to remove tumors from her abdomen. Again. It was a really hard recovery. For a while there we weren't sure if she was going to make it. But she did. She made a full recovery and was actually better than she was before thanks to the series of cortisone shots the vet gave her for the arthritis in her hips. She was fourteen years old, which is quite old for a dalmatian, so her death should not have been such a shock, but it was. She died on May 26th, 2012. There was no sign that she was going to die that day. She just did.


 The day before she died The Greatest and I were sitting in the backyard, enjoying the sunshine before the heat of the day made the patio unbearable. Our old dog was following Sweet Pea all around the backyard. She was holding a small rock in her hand (for reasons unknown to me). Old dog was hopeful that she was holding food, and she trailed after Sweet Pea, everywhere her wanderings took her, just hoping the food would fall, or that Sweet Pea would voluntarily feed her (as Sweet Pea is known to do) but she never tried to take the imagined food from Sweet Pea's hand. I remarked to The Greatest on what a good dog she was, and how very glad I was that she hadn't died from her surgery.

 And the next day we came home from shopping to find her on the kitchen floor. She was panting so hard, and couldn't stand. We moved her to the carpet where she would be more comfortable. She was unresponsive. The Greatest used a syringe to put some water in her mouth, and she came around for a minute. She looked at us, she responded to her name. I was trying to look up the number for an emergency vet. And then she died. It happened very quickly.  I think she was waiting for us to come back home.

 I miss her so much. I still turn to let her out to potty, or chase her out of the kitchen when I am cooking. I step over her when I am making me bed, but she isn't there. I just miss her so much.

 The Greatest and I married young, and I moved hundreds of miles away from my family to live with him on a military base. We were so poor we couldn't even afford a phone, but we had each other and that was the important thing right? It was all new and exciting and romantic. And a little lonely, miles away from my friends and family, without even a phone to talk to them (and because we are so very old, there was no internet/e-mail). So he bought me a puppy. I wanted a dalmatian, so he drove an hour into the back woods of the Carolinas to find me the cutest dalmatian puppy I had ever seen. She was the runt, which made me love her more, she was a fighter. And she was brown and white, not black and white. She was different and adorable. This was his gift to me, his young bride. She made us a family. I have never known married life without her. My children have never known life without our good dog.

 She was often infuriating. She was hard to potty train and the occasional accidents were something we dealt with her entire life. Sometimes she would decide she just had to run, and she would knock you out of the way to run out the front door to sweet freedom. She would run and run and run, and come home when she was tired. One day she ran so much she sprained her tail. Eventually we learned that if we chased her she would just run further, as long as we were within eyesight she would keep going. But if we stayed put, she would only go as far as she could see the house.  She drove us crazy sometimes.

But she was also a very good dog.  She was gentle and protective of the children.  She got along well with the other animals in the house.  She was my dog and I love her so.

Rest in peace old dog.  Our family is not the same without you.


Kaye said...

I'm so sorry. I'm coming up on the one year anniversary of my cat's passing and it still hurts...
Hugs to you guys and the kiddies!

darlene mcleod said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss.

I've heard so many stories of animals waiting for their people to come home or wake up or find them before passing. It is so amazing to me, the fortitude of these animals we love. And we are so blessed to have them in our lives. We love them so dearly. I wonder if they know, if they know how desperately we adore them, how deeply missed they are after their passing.

I do hope so.
They are such giving souls.

Vivianne said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. It's only because we love them so much that it hurts so, but they are absolutely worth every tear xxxx