We said good bye to our dog, Stitch, while on vacation in the summer of 2018, exactly 7 days before he turned 13 years old.
This week I read an article about Saying Goodbye to Your Dog and the pain of losing our Stitch resurfaced. I don’t know that I could ever be prepared for saying good bye.
We didn’t see our little dog’s death coming. Granted, he was an old dog in human years, but we thought he was healthy with a few more years ahead of him; and then, in a matter of a few days his quality of life rapidly diminished. He became lethargic and stopped eating. His favorite toys and treats didn’t excite him anymore. We were frantic to find out what was wrong with him, but death was not on our mind. After all, 2 months earlier his vet said he was healthy with a strong heart, showing normal signs of aging.
We took him to a vet hospital in hopes of finding out what was wrong with our little buddy. When we were told he had cancer on his spleen and was bleeding (to death) internally, we were stunned. How could this be? The vet said that pets cover up their illness very well. Most owners don’t realize they are sick before it’s too late.
We didn’t want him to suffer, but there was no guarantee that any form of treatment would eliminate the aggressive cancer, so we made the decision to allow the vet to put him down. It was a very emotional decision. We sent text messages to our daughters, and FaceTimed with our oldest daughter and grandsons, allowing them to say good bye. You see, technically Stitch was our oldest daughter’s dog, making him our grand-puppy. We got him for her as a pup at Christmas. Eventually she moved where she couldn’t take him, so we got him back.
Worst Vacation Ever…
Our 2018 summer vacation was by far the worst “vacation” ever! Returning home after vacation and seeing his food dish, his bed, his toys where he last left them, the video on our security cameras of us taking him outside before we left, etc. We were wreaked. We tried to lay his memory to rest, but it wasn’t easy. He left a BIG whole in our lives. The reality of how our lives revolved around our dog grew quite apparent. He no longer (actively) watched TV with us, keeping his toys near him. He no longer chased his ball. He no longer talked to us. He no longer begged to go bye-bye, nor got excited when we got home.
We were surprised to learn that there are so many pets out there needing a home. Getting another dog was not the plan. Truth be told, we lasted 2 months before we rescued an adult dog! We adopted from Home Fur Good.
This little guy (Chip) stole part of our hearts; and while he will never replace Stitch, he has found a new place in our hearts and we are thankful.