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The Loss of a Pet

August 8, 2011

13 years ago,while channel surfing, I saw the most beautiful dog. He was featured as “Pet of the Week” for the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Immediately; I got up, grabbed my purse, and went to meet him.

Once at the kennel, I saw him through the cage. An intimidating chow mix with a quiet disposition. He did not wag his tail, he just stood there glaring at me. I kneeled down to his level, put my hand out, and reassured him I was not a threat. Finally, after a long moment of hesitation, nervously he came over. He held his head low and I knew in that moment his journey had been difficult.

The touch of his coat was as soft as a rabbit. An amazing shade of red, highlighted with black and blonde highlights. A color any salon stylist would be proud to achieve. His tongue spotted with black and his tail stood up like a pompom. He was a gorgeous animal, even with the recent grooming to free him from the painful mats and burrs.

When they brought him to the play yard he did not show excitement. I kept my distance and let him wander around. After a while of extensive sniffing and marking his territory, he came over to me. He lowered his head once again and I began to scratch behind his ear. It was the beginning of a great friendship.

For 13 years he was always at my feet, loyal, loving, and eager to please. He was an amazing companion who loved my children, as much as they loved him. He was their first pet & best friend. The only difficult mannerism was his inability to control the urge to chase rabbits and squirrels. He could escape any obstacle to do so.

We believed him to be 3 or 4 at the time of adoption. He lived a healthy life, and even in his last weeks, he could not resist the thrill of the chase. It would give me great hope to see him run, but the after effects were incredibly heartbreaking.

His last day was an amazing day. It started with the children from the neighborhood surrounding to pet him. He was smiling from ear to ear while they praised him. As we drove away, he sat on the chair next to the window allowing the wind and sun to shine on his face. It reminded me of the first day he came home. On our way we stopped at our old dog park, and then, a stop at  McDonald’s for a large ice cream.

It was a very stressful decision to make, but to keep him in pain, would have been selfish. I owed him this.

Our home is very different without him. I keep waiting to hear his bark when the door bell rings, or the door creep open in order for him to follow me. I miss him, and I know that we will eventually bring home another special friend. My biggest hope is that my children will always keep him sacred in their memory as I will in mine.

In loving memory of BJ

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2011 6:27 pm

    Wow! That was amazing. I’m very involved in pet therapy. I have an 11-1/2 year old beagle that has gone in to visit in the nursing homes for 10 years now. I know our time left with him is not long but I know God has used him well. I also know God has my next one picked out for me. You have helped many people through a difficult day by sharing this. Blessings to you.

  2. Chrissi permalink
    August 10, 2011 5:54 pm

    Should have worn the waterproof mascara today…beautiful tribute to your friend.

  3. Leslie permalink
    August 11, 2011 3:43 pm

    A beautiful tribute. We have also enjoyed our adopted dogs from Gulf Coast Humane Society. First was Penny, an Irish setter-mix who was about 9 months old and recovering from a near-drowning experience. We had her for 14 years. We feel she hand picked Molly Grace, a sheltie- shepard mix that we adopted at age 2. Molly was with us for 17 wonderful years. Chelsea, a Lhasa Apsa, came to us after 8 years at a puppy mill. Her transformation has been amazing.

  4. Suzanne Liss permalink
    August 23, 2011 7:26 pm

    Diva is my toy poodle and constant companion. She is ten years old and blind. This does not stop her from living her life to the fullest. But like all living things, her life is only mine to borrow. It would be comforting to know there is a place for pet owners to get together and grieve as one would do for the loss of a child. For a pet owner the feelings are the same.
    Suzanne Liss

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