Friday, December 21, 2007


Our pup curled up and asleep in my hand on day 11, so sweet!

Thursday afternoon I had to get the puppy up at 2:30 to feed him. He was no longer waking to eat. He no longer cried or squeaked. He was no longer moving or rooting around. He was hardly eating and he was no longer urinating. His tongue which had been a nice healthy reddish pink was now brown. After he ate he just laid on his side on my leg. He breathing was labored and his mouth was open a bit. I believe his organs were shutting down. I believed that he was starting to suffer and I could not let him die a slow painful death, so I made the decision that every pet owner dreads. It was time to let him go. Cortney, my 11.5 old daughter was sitting next to me as she always did when I fed the pup. She was my faithful assistant, even getting up in the middle of the night to help and hold the pup for a little while and helped me get him settled back in his bed. I had a strict rule of not disturbing the pup while he slept.

I turned to Cortney and told her it was time to let him go. She tried to be strong, but I told her it was okay to feel sad and cry. We both sat on the bed and looked at the pup and hugged each other and cried. I told her that it was okay to be sad and cry and that it meant that we loved and cared for the pup. I told her that even though we knew that letting the pup go didn't mean it was going to hurt any less.

I called my mom to come stay with Cortney and the other kids. I wrapped the pup up in a warm towel and made him comfortable in a box. Cortney brought in a little present she had wrapped and put under the Christmas tree for the pup and opened it for him. It was a tiny stuffed puppy. We put it in the box next to the pup. I called the kids in one at a time and explained to them what was happening and gave them the chance to say good bye to the pup. The older kids were sad and my 9 year old son cried even though he hadn't really become attached to the pup. The younger kids really didn't understand, but I thought they should have a chance to say good bye. Cortney stood by and silently cried. My mom showed up and Cortney clung to her and sobbed as I left.

The drive to the vet was so much different from the day before when I was driving the car while trying to keep the pup in his box, he kept trying to climb out. Yesterday he just laid on his side and didn't move.

When I got to the vets office I went in and I had to wait at the front desk for a moment. That's when I noticed the towel moving. I lifted it up and the pup was trying to sit up. He was so weak but he was trying so hard to be strong and brave. Of course watching him try to recover made me have a mini break down. The staff was very nice and took me right into a room to have some privacy.

This is so hard to write, I keep having to pause to wipe away the tears. I really thought it would be easier to write about today. Getting this out will be therapeutic for Cortney and myself.

I held the pup and petted him and told him how much we all loved him and how brave he had been. I told him how beautiful he was and how sad we were that we wouldn't be able to watch him grow and turn into a beautiful full grown adult dog. I told him how we didn't want him to suffer anymore and that we would see him again in Heaven. I then called the tech in to come get him. I had to sign something that I didn't even dare read. I could just imagine what it must have said and I was afraid it would set me off again. Not that I could really see it through my tears. I took the stuffed puppy out of the box and said one last good bye to our sweet beloved pup.

The tech was only gone a few minutes when she came to get me to let me know it was over. I wish I had been strong enough to be with him until the end but I just couldn't do it.

I came out of the room and I was a mess. Everyone in the waiting room fell silent and all eyes were on me. I could feel that the room was full of sympathy for me and my pain. I handed over my credit card and had no idea how much I even paid and left. Again, I could feel all eyes watching me cross the room and leave. They knew that I was experiencing every pet owners nightmare.

When I got home the kids were doing better and we were trying to pretend that we were all doing okay while our hearts were broken. I knew it was time for me to try to be strong for Cortney's sake. I talked to her again and let her know it was okay to feel sad and that if she wanted to talk I was there for her, as always. I gave her the little stuffed puppy back and she has been carrying it around with her ever since.
I did the things that had to be done last night then put my pajamas on and climbed into bed at 6:30. I was physically and mentally exhausted. The older kids laid in bed with me and we watched some mind numbing TV, we were all tired and feeling a bit numb. My husband had come home from work early to be with us and he took the bed out to the garage to wash everything and put it away. Everytime I looked next to my bed I expected to see the pups bed there and when I saw it was gone and the memory came back a little bit more of my heart broke. Cortney said that she thought that she had heard him squeak a few times. I told her that was natural and we would probably hear him and look for him for a few days.

We only had our pup for four short days, but he made a big impression on us and took a big chunk or our hearts. I do not regret taking the pup and trying to save him. Some may say it was the wrong thing to do, and that we were just setting ourselves up for heartbreak, in hindsite they may be right. I know they had our feelings in mind and the pups feelings and had the best intentions and way more experience with puppies than I do or will ever have. Even though we lost the pup, and it was excrutiating for us, especially Cortney, I do think it was a good lesson for the kids. They have never really experienced loss, and it is important to learn how to deal with it and cope. It never gets easier but they will learn that time helps heal all wounds.

We will always hold our dear pup close to our hearts and we do have more good memories than bad. We also have this short little blog to remember him by.

We are supposed to take one of the pups brothers when he is old enough and weaned. We had already planned on it so it wouldn't feel as though we are trying to replace our pup. Honestly, I am ready to just say we tried and call it quits, but I am going to let Cortney take the lead on that one. I do have a picture of the other puppy we planned on taking and I will post it at another time. I am hoping to go to the breeders house this weekend to see our pups brother to help ease our hurt.

I want to thank you all for your supportive and loving comments and e mails. They have meant the world to me, more than you will ever know. Our pup was loved by so many, and I know he felt it!

Cortney and pup


Thrifty Miss Priss said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Shedding tears now for him, for you and the pets that have gone before me. I know you are not replacing him, but so glad you will be getting his brother in a little while. The new guy will be loved so much more because of what his little bro went thru! Merry Christmas

Tonjia said...

Chris, the love you and all of your family put into the pups survival is huge.. You did all that you could, and we know the pup will be waiting at the Rainbow bridge for you.

Its ok to grieve, and to cry. As pet lovers we open ourselves up for pain, but its all worth it.

Ginger said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet little puppy.

Buster's Momma said...

Your final act of kindness towards this pup will be duly rewarded in the end. Thank you for sharing him and your family with us. I hope that you will also be able to share the new pup with us when he comes home to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I cried while reading this. I don't know what else to say :(

Anonymous said...

Dear Family - you have gone through one of life's toughest journeys, that of losing a loved one. You tool great and tender care of a small creature that most probably (and unfortunately for other dogs) had more love and kindness expressed his way in his brief stay, than so many dogs receive in their life time. Bless you for that.

I do not mean to come across as anything but loving to you and towards your actions, please know this as I say what comes next. I often wonder about dogs from breeders. My mom has a friend who breeds, and often puppies die in her charge. And this breeder is good to her dogs, so it’s not out of neglect, but rather the breeding and over breeding of the line. This, I have since learned, is often the case with specialized breed dogs.

Perhaps you could get a dog from the Human Society, or local shelter? Or, since you seem to have your heart set on a particular breed of dog, maybe there is a rescue society for Papillons? This is a wonderful breed, my Dad had one, so I know why you would want one. I’ve included a link to Papillon 911 Rescue and Adoption.

Again, my deepest condolences to you all. Whatever choices you make, I am sure that the next dog to sleep in the safety of your home, will be a very lucky dog indeed.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add the link. Be well sweet family.

Lynn said...

So sorry for your loss. You were so brave to take that pup when you knew what the consequences might be. It's a great life lesson for your children. It's such and unselfish, loving act. You should be very proud of what you did. I am sitting in work shedding tears for you and yours. Rest in peace, puppy...

Laramie Coyote said...

I am so very sorry for the loss of the pup. I was hesitant to check in because I feared the pup would not survive. I cry now... for the pup, you and your family.

Knowing when to let our beloved pets cross over the bridge is the hardest part (but most important) of owning a pet. Even though it hurts, you have done the right thing.

If this is your first time dealing with loss, you may want to visit this site: It is a memorial site for beloved pets. I have three of my own there, two siberian huskies and the coyote we raised from a pup. Ginny was kind enough to start the breed coyote for Sasha.

The paper you signed was acknowledgment of your decision and a declaration that the pup had not bitten anyone in the last 10 days. Very standard.

I was one of those who emailed you. We decided some time ago that when we could no longer physically handle the large breed dogs, we would have Pomeranians and Papillons. Our house will always be filled with dogs... only the size will change.

I'm sorry this happened around the holidays. I hope your children were able to enjoy their Christmas. A very Happy New Year to you and yours.

Laramie Coyote