Saturday, December 15, 2007

On saying "Goodbye"

I never had pets as a child: and so I never learned about saying goodbye. Boo and Skibo have had to learn three times this year.
The first time was in the spring: we were away, and the people who were renting our house and looking after our pets phoned to say that our youngest cat had been run over.
This summer, our old golden retriever (we didn't know how old exactly, but perhaps thirteen or so) reached the end. And then today, our old, old sheltie, probably nearly seventeen years old, who LOML found walking by the side of a very busy, four lane highway almost twelve years ago, was unable to stand: she just lay there on her side, legs straight out, breathing at twice the normal rate. When we tried to help her stand, her legs would keep going out from under her.

We've known for some time now that we would have to say good bye to her, probably this year, and most likely before Christmas. And while our immediate reaction is one of sadness, and pain, and loss, in trying to explain to Boo that she might have to say goodbye today, I realised that we get two great gifts from pets: one is the company and comfort and friendship (and exercise) that they give us: and the other is the opportunity, often, to understand how important it is to say goodbye to a loved one, and more importantly, how important it is to tell your loved ones every day how much you love them

She went gently, and softly, this morning, with LOML there with her.

So, to my two dear old dogs I've said goodbye to this year,
Yours, in love and gratitude,


alice c said...

I'm so sad for you. Dogs are such loyal friends and expect so little in return. The pain of losing them is a measure of that friendship.

Dawn-Enigma Artist said...

Oh I'm sorry! I,too,have loss my share of pets. Two were Shelties. They are such wonderful dogs.

Have you read The Rainbow Bridge poem?

Here via Michele's (commenting late as the oven timer went off earlier)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, condolences, BreadBox! It's so hard to lose a faithful friend; my cats are 13 and one is chronically ill. I am coming scarily close to going through this myself.

You are entirely right about what our pets provide for us. My life would be entirely different without my cats.

Here from Michele today. I hope the loss isn't too heavy.

Teena in Toronto said...

I'm very sorry. It's never hard. In 2002, I "lost" two cats and a dog. It's been five years and I still miss my dog :( She was 17.5 and I'd had her since she was six weeks old.

carmilevy said...

Losing our cat, Shadow, in 2005 was one of the most difficult transitions we've ever had to go through as a family. Our kids learned about life and loss then, and they've continued to build on those lessons in the years since as illness has crept into their human family as well.

Thank you for sharing this with us. I know I can't tangibly make the hurt go away. But sometimes just knowing you're among friends who have been there and who understand what you're going through is enough to bring some small comfort.

With you in their corner, your kids have everything they need to make it through any challenge that life throws at them.

Popped by from Michele's this time out.