On Death of Dogs and Friends

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I legitimately have a good excuse this time, however.  It’s literally been an insane month.  On 9/8 we had to put our pet chihuahua, Lucent, to sleep.  He was 18 years old, so he had a good, long life.  But that doesn’t make it any easier to let him go.  It was the Thursday or Friday before Labor Day weekend that we noticed that he wasn’t feeling good. He threw up some eggs I gave him, and then after that he basically stopped eating.  We couldn’t get him to even eat bacon, which was one of his favorite things EVER (next to Tim).  His back legs started collapsing, so Tim had to hold up his back end so he could use the bathroom.

But Lucent has had rough spells before, and after a few days, he would start to pull through.  But this was different.  He just kept getting weaker and weaker.  He slept with us Sunday night, and each time that I rolled over, I felt him to make sure he was still breathing.  On Monday we cuddled him all day and made a cozy nest for him on Monday night in our living room.  We covered his bed with my childhood blanket that he loved, and surrounded his bed with pee pads just in case.

We woke up Tuesday morning, and he was still with us, but we knew that meant we had to make a decision. I emailed my coworkers and told them that I was staying home that day.   I spent the morning crying with Lucent laying on my chest. Tim’s work is super short-staffed, so he did his short morning shift, and then we took Lucent to the vet.

They told us what we already knew.  Lucent was ready to move on.  It was time.

I’ve lost all my grandparents and some close friends, but I have never been as sad as I was that day, in that room.  I was surprised because I thought I was ready. I thought I was ready to move on. Lucent and I had had a long, long relationship. I thought I had come to terms with him moving on to puppy heaven.  But I hadn’t.  He was a third of our family for 18+ years, and it was a lot harder to let go than I thought.

And it was even harder for Tim. He and Lucent were soul mates – almost literally attached for the past several years.  Lucent was just happiest tucked into Tim’s arm, or on Tim’s lap, or under Tim’s shirt.  They were inseparable.  Seeing Tim in so much pain was almost as hard as losing Lucent.

We had several good, long years with Lucent, and I am very grateful for them.  As with any death though, after it happens, you are riddled with guilt. I wish I would have pet him more, held him more, been more patient with him being under my feet EVERY time I was cooking, gave him more bacon, let him HAVE my child hood blanket (I stole it back a few times).  I wish I would have done so much more to make his final months and years super happy and pleasant and loving.  I know he had a really good life and was a very happy, content puppy until the very end, but I still wish I would have done more and been less selfish.  I was looking forward to being dog-free and to the freedom and flexibility that would offer, but it ended up being a bitter reward in the end.

If you know anyone who has lost a pet, please don’t underestimate the pain that person is experiencing. I know I ALWAYS have up until this point. Now I understand.  Every card and call and hug means so much at a time like that.

So that happened.  And then 3 days after that a friend & coworker attempted suicide. And then a week after that, he attempted again and succeeded.  I didn’t cry for him like I did for Lucent. I think I was/am still a little numb and spent.  We went to his funeral today, and now I am tired and feel like shopping. I think my brain is craving the endorphin rush from buying things.

So that’s been my month. I am SO craving getting back to normality.  We are also starting another primal challenge, and I’m looking forward to getting my nutrition/exercise/sleep back in line.  Because of the craziness we haven’t been eating or drinking right, and my anxiety is starting to pop back up again. I need a re-set.

Hope your month has been happier than mine, and here is to fresh starts and happier times!


8 thoughts on “On Death of Dogs and Friends

  1. Mayqueene

    I could have written what you wrote. I put my dear 17 y.o. kitty to sleep on 7/31/15. I still cry & I wear a locket with her fur around my neck every day. I never loved anyone more than I loved that cat. It helped me to have a reading with an animal communicator after her death (they can contact deceased animals as well). I also lost an old boyfriend to suicide a few months before my cat. Now I understand how deep grief can be, but I am recovering…it just takes time.

    1. hlofromcello

      I am so sorry to hear you have had a summer of loss too. As you say, time helps, but not quite fast enough. There is a hole there that takes a long time to mend. Thanks for commenting and sharing your story. 🙂

  2. dianysus

    Yeah, really great post. Whenever I start thinking about when Lucy gets to that old place it makes me cry, and it hasn’t even started to happened yet. I’m so sad about Lucent, I wish there was something I could do or say. Also, I’m so sorry to hear your friend didn’t make it out of his depression. His family must be completely heartbroken. Yesterday was the 13th year since my dad, you know… and I still don’t know what to say to anyone when that happens.

    To happier times indeed 🙂

    1. hlofromcello

      Thanks for the comment, Diane! Just having friends say they are sorry and that they feel for you really does help. It’s nice to know you are not alone. I never knew what to say to you about your dad either, except that I am sorry, and that I am happy that you have good memories of him.

  3. Angela

    Yes, yes, yes. All those things you said are so true. It is so incredibly hard to let go when a pet (or person) has been such an important part of your life for so long. I remember having to make that decision when our last cat was 19. They hold a place in our hearts forever. So sorry, been thinking about you <3


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