The loss of a pet can be a devastating thing. It was for
me six years ago, when I lost my dog Chubs to Kidney failure. I knew big dogs
do not have a long life-expectancy but his was cut even shorter having been
only 6 years old at the time. I watched him struggle that morning; I laid down
next to him to whisper good-bye and hug him one last time before my family took
him in to the vet to be put down. When they returned, and handed me his remains
in beautiful stained wooden container I was numb. I continued to be numb
throughout the following weeks. My cats tried to console me to no avail. Even
little Sadie, who didn’t like people!
Finally, I sat down one night and wrote the piece below.
I can’t tell you how much writing it helped. While I wrote it, I not only
cried, but I laughed. Oh, how I laughed! When I was done, I felt that I had
finally let go. I knew I was going to be okay. I haven’t gotten another dog
yet, but I think it’s time. I wanted to share this with you in hopes that
anyone who has had a pet pass, will take comfort and find a way to express
their grief for their trusted friend as I had.
How quiet the house is. You
see, my dog died.
Many would say, “It’s just a dog,
for heaven’s sake.”
But for me he was so much more.
You see, I’m alone a lot. He was my constant companion.
Sure, I have 2 cats.
If you know anything about cats,
You know your relationship
with them is on their terms.
Besides, the cats will miss him
They used him as their personal jungle gym.
He would lay there and patiently allow them to do so.
He would sit or lay beside me wherever I was.
If I went outside, he did too, the clicking of paws
the floor following me from room to room.
When I took a shower,
he waited outside the door.
Disgruntled because I wouldn’t
let him in,
He would whine until I was done.
When he kind of snorted and sighed at the same time,
My niece said he was “huffeling”.
know how to spell the word,
Sounded kind of like snuffle with
“ing” at the end.
He loved children.
And they, with the intuition of a child, knew it and
Because I am alone
so much, I would talk to him.
I would have these monologues with
In which he appeared to understand every word.
Then he would roll over on his back,
Hind legs splayed out, his fore legs up in the air,
show he was bored with the whole conversation.
He also thought
he was little.
As a Newfie/St. Bernard cross, he was anything
He didn’t realize that there were places he wasn’t
supposed to be.
But he’d do his damnedest to get all 200
Squeezed into the tightest places.
If it meant moving furniture, so be it, he was going
No graceful movements for him,
He’d just flop down wherever it suited him.
Never again will I be able to look at a bag of Doritos,
M&M’s, Jelly Beans, Twizzlers, or those damn
Without thinking of him, he loved all those.
Beware whoever sat down with a bag of any of those
He’d try crawling onto their lap for a favorite
One day, while putting groceries away,
He sat and stared at the package of Oreos.
He didn’t try to take them,
Just looked at them
longingly until I noticed,
Then he’d look at me, the package,
at me, and on it went
go until I relented.
He was my protector as well.
If someone so much as raised their voice to me,
He was there in an instant to stand between me and the
If he wasn’t satisfied that his mere
presence was enough,
The worst will be the long lonely nights alone.
No gentle snoring coming from the side of my bed.
If I got up in the night, he went with me.
If there was a noise outside, he patrolled the house and
Until he was convinced all was well, then
check on me, turn around a few times,
And then flop down to sleep.
I’d reach down and scratch his head feeling secure.
My dog died and I am alone.