Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Goodbye, gentle friend


Oh, the ironies of life. While we were off celebrating new beginnings at the wedding this weekend, Buster took a decided turn for the worse. We got home to find him too weak to stand or eat. We knew he just needed to go.

As I was lying in bed Sunday night I found my emotions going crazy, part of me not not believing I was crying over a dog. A dog that I only grudgingly agreed to keep, knowing full well (despite promises to the contrary) he would end up being mostly my responsibility, in addition to three small children. It brought up memories of people dear to me. I remembered receiving the call that my grandma had died. I thought of our miscarriage. I remembered the strange feeling, standing at my grandpa's funeral, just weeks after I found out I was pregnant with our third child. How can I be so sad at saying goodbye to one generation, but hopeful at welcoming the next? I guess I eventually fell asleep.

Of course, nothing is ever smooth. Yesterday morning, when it took two of us to get him up, my husband Dennis had to get ready to go on a business trip. Just an overnight trip - he'd be home Tuesday night - but he felt horrible leaving me to take care of Buster alone. Even worse, we left Allie (13) three hours away, camping with some family friends. I had to call her and tell her Buster might not be here when she got home Thursday. ¨Can´t you keep him alive until I get home?¨ she sobbed.

As the day progressed yesterday, I knew he wouldn't make it even until today, when Dennis got home. So I called my friend Carol, who dropped everything and came over. She helped me lift him into the truck, and made sure I didn´t wreck, driving him to the vet. I didn't think I could do it, but she stood with me as we stroked his soft ears and said goodbye. It was time.

I know it was the right thing to do, but it's quiet around here today. The kids are remarkably unemotional (just wait till Allie gets home). We´re all missing him, and I know it will eventually sink in for all of us, but today I guess it´s just me, looking at his empty doghouse and thinking about it.
And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

From All Creatures of Our God and King
St. Francis of Assisi c. 1225

30 comments:

Laurel Wreath said...

Ok I am crying. My inlaws dog got put to sleep last week. TOO. MUCH. I am sorry for your loss.

PS I could not even see to type, sorry if there are typos...

llyolf said...

Hello Katherine,
I'm sorry to hear about you're doggy. It was about 3 years ago that we had to let our Yellow Lab go.

Paul

Qtpies7 said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I have been there, too. I've never been a dog person, so when our dog could no longer hold herself up to go to the bathroom and was just so humiliated that I had to hold her back end up so she could, I knew I had to put her down. But I did not expect to cry. And I still miss her years and years later.

T.S. Eliot said...

Katherine I'm so sorry... we lost our dog at Christmas so know all to well how you feel. A good friend of mine sent me the book "Dog Heaven", and it's still one of Elijah's favorite books to read. (Thank goodness I can now read it without crying!) Here's the amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Heaven-Cynthia-Rylant/dp/0590417010

Andrea said...

Katherine,
So very sorry to hear your family friend is being put to sleep.
I can imagine I'll feel the same way when our trusty "Zeke" the cat goes..
((hugs))

MamaLee said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I have 2 dogs, and I don't think I'll ever be ready for what you are going thru.

But I wouldn't change a thing.

Peace to you and your sweet friend.

Jen said...

Okay....my eyes are watering up as I look at my sweet dog of 13 faithful years. I know he will be leaving us soon. I'm sorry this had to happen. But in life we have to make those choices. I will say a prayer for you and your family....and Allie. Time will heal the pain dear friend.

Wendy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. I still remember when I was 10 and we had to put my dog to sleep. It was such a hard time for me.

Praying for your family.

marian@fullservicenetwork.net said...

I'm sorry that you and your family have had to say good-bye to such a good friend. Peace.

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

I am so sorry for all of you! Your post last week was so beautiful. I know he was a special friend!

angeleyes Blue said...

I am sorry about Buster. Don't you hate being mom sometimes? I remember when we had to put boots down 10 years ago. Daddy and I were very emotional...the kids not so much. Kevin about 3 at the time asked if Boots was part of the grass yet when we got home...It serves us right for letting him watch Lion King day and night.

Buster sounds like he knew it was time and he was looking to you to do the right thing and give him permission to be let go.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Oh Katherine, I am so sorry. It's so, so hard to let go of such faithful friends.

Margo said...

Oh, this hurts my heart. I'm so sorry. I can understand your pain. I lost a cat not long ago that I'd had for nearly 20 years. Animals really do become like part of your family.

Anne said...

Oh Katherine, we have thirteen dogs and have had to put two of our cats to sleep. I know that it was hard but it was the kindest death Buster could have. I will think of you as you see him in all the familiar places over the next few weeks and for your dear daughter who loved him so. Anne

Ladybug said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I should not have read this post until later when the kids are in bed. My little ones want to know why Mommy is crying. My heart goes out to you! I sit here and look at my furry friends and know I will be saying good bye to them someday.

Ok off to get some tissue!

Beck said...

Aw, no. He looked like he was the sweetest guy.
I've cried over more dogs than I can count. There's no shame in it - he was a good friend.

Anonymous said...

Oh Katherine,
What a picture of the extraordinary things we as moms take care of in the "hum drum" of daily life.
My tears are for *you* and your beloved dog.
You're a great mom!
Jenifer

kathryn eli said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Pets always have a way of ending up as part of the family, don't they? My family even got teary-eyed when we lost our hamsters. Okay, at least I got teary-eyed.

Katrina said...

Oh Katherine, I'm so sorry... I remember when I had to take our dog to be put to sleep. It was almost unbearable and I wondered why I was so emotional over "just" a dog. But they become our companions, our friends, part of the family. I will say a prayer for all of you...

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I am sure the emptiness left behind will be felt by all for awhile. So sorry katherine.

Barbie@ Mamaology said...

I am sooo sorry!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Oh, I am so sad for you. It's such a hard thing, and I'm certainly dreading the day(s) when we have to do the same for our Buster and Bear.

Praying for you all.

Laura said...

Hard and sad, Katherine. Hard and sad.

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

I'm sorry to hear about your dog. :( It's especially hard to be the mama at times like this. (((hugs)))

Sherri H. said...

Oh Katherine,
I was casually glancing at your blog and scrolled down and saw the picture of Buster and I started crying. Oh my goodness - I guess I loved him too. Kendall cried when I told her.

I sure love you,
Sherri

The Parents Zone said...

Hello Katherine,

I am very sorry to hear about Buster, we have gone through this just a month ago, when we had to say good bye to Hopkins "English Pointer". We know he is resting in dogs heaven and Buster too.

txmommy said...

sorry about your dog.
We have a yellow lab and she's a big part of our family.
It's sad when beloved pets pass on.

julie said...

It is so hard to say goodbye to a kind and gentle friend. One who is associated with memories of our children and others we love.

Our dog is also a part of our family (my youngest best friend) and I can't imagine how hard the day will be when we have to say goodbye to her.

Blessings
Julie

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

So sorry. I know it's hard to see those furry family members go.

I have always loved that verse of that hymn and would like it sung at my funeral.

Keri Ann said...

I'm back from vacation and just catching up on blog-reading. I have to say how sorry I am for your family's loss! I've experienced the same, and can relate to your grief.