Dawg. Gone.

It is with heavy heart and lots of tears pouring down over my keyboard that I tell you this morning we put Dawg down. It was time. She was struggling with walking and seeing and hearing. She had mini seizures and slept all day.

We gathered last night to give her tons of hugs and kisses, the kids slept in sleeping bags at her side, then we let her go. We’ll have her cremated and later decide where to put her ashes.

She was a devoted funny happy gal, who especially loved soaking up the sun.
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She was our protector, our best friend, and one for whom serious cuddling was a cure for all the woes in the world.
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Her big brown eyes looked straight into your soul and she knew she was loved right back.
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Dawg’s stern face often scared visitors and I never let on to people I didn’t know that she wouldn’t hurt a fly. I felt a certain ease knowing that any contractor in the house worried that one wrong step might send Dawg at them. Her bark was loud and fierce.

Only once did I see her lunge, lunging not to bite, but lunge as she was trained to do, to corner someone she felt was a threat. That was to a seasonal assistant to the UPS driver. Dawg obviously sensed the assistant was not a good human and let him know.
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Dawg was always at our side – where we went, she wanted to be. Outside, inside, in the bedroom. Helping to garden, helping take in the laundry from the line, putting out the trash – she was there.
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Dawg was a digger, loved to bury bones or root out critters, the latter got her skunked at least twice.
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Her favorite sunning spot was the back patio, upside down to get a tan on her big fat belly. She’d stay there for hours. Here you can see how gray her face became. She went from young to old in about a year. Hey, maybe she wanted Hillary to win?
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She hated the car though – was always the one who got sick, would gag and drool from nerves, even trying to coax her in, it was not her thing.
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The one time she felt being in a vehicle was fun was when she rode in the giant military truck a son has. Wow, she was on cloud nine up so high. A rare smile.
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She was a dapper dresser, the winter plaid, or blue, depending on her mood.
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She hated the rain and I literally had to shove her out the door, or do a fake-out doorbell ring to get her out. Sadly, over the last two years, her hearing was so bad she neither heard the doorbell or even the UPS truck, which, in her youth, would send her barking in excitement.
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She was pretty healthy, only once being ill, shivering, under the covers. But we took attentive care and she got well quickly.
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With her best dog friend Bear..Dawg was a big girl but miniature compared to Bear. They were good buddies.
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We haven’t begun to let this soak in. For now, we are all useless sobbing messes. The house will be unimaginably quiet and life not ever quite the same without Dawg at my side.

At some point, we’ll decide where to donate all the dog beds, the dog coats, bowls, food, collars and leashes – probably a rescue shelter that specializes in pit bulls, but for now it’s too soon to think about giving anything away.

Sigh. We love you Dawg.

PS: Give me a couple of days to regroup before blogging again. Okay?

29 thoughts on “Dawg. Gone.

  1. I’m so sorry. It’s such a difficult decision for a family to make but I’m glad for you all, and Dawg, that her last evening was filled with love. Thinking of you.

  2. Well, the Lord has a dog now,
    I just sent Him mine,
    The old pal so dear to me.
    And I smile through my tears
    on this first day alone,
    Knowing they’re in eternity.
    Day after day, the whole day through,
    Wherever my road inclined,
    Four feet said, “Wait,
    I’m coming with you!”
    And trotted along behind.

    Rudyard Kipling

  3. Despite my constant complaints about dog-blogging and shaggy dog stories, I too am wiping my eyes.

    Death has a terrible sting, especially for a beloved family member.

    I am very sorry for your loss.

  4. So terribly sorry. I always looked forward to Dawg tales, a major reason why I kept reading your blog.
    A very sad day, indeed.

  5. This is such sad news. The loss of a dog’s unconditional love, companionship, and intelligent wit really is a loss of a member of the family. It is a very hard day.

  6. So very sad and painful for you & your family. I only hope someone loves me enough to help me leave when the time comes.

  7. Oh, no. The loss of a beloved pet is heartbreaking to an extent that cannot be understood by those outside the immediate family. My deep condolences to you. I hope that the memory of all the happy years you had with Dawg brings you some comfort.

  8. Oh what sad news, yes tears in my eyes. Don’t know what to say to comfort you. The poem Flash posted is perfect.
    It’s going to be a sad holiday weekend at your house, know we are supporting you with our thoughts.

  9. When you feel up to commenting, can you tell us how old Dawg was and maybe share a funny story about her. Tough day.

  10. We put our 15 year old black lab down last month and we were inconsolable for a week. My children picked her out as a puppy so you can imagine their sorrow. That’s a long winded way of saying I understand how you are feeling today.

    Like others said, the posts about Dawg were always among my favorites. I hope you can find a way to get back to blogging soon.

  11. i would like to offer words of comfort, along with your other ‘friends.’ Dawg was part of our family too as we felt the joy she gave you.

  12. So very sorry for you … and for us, as we enjoyed her so. When you can, please tell us how she came into your life. As a pup? A rescue? Other? How old was she? Would love to see pic of sweet Dawg as a young’un……….

  13. My dear friends,
    Thanks so much for your words of kindness. It was a tough day yesterday, the place way too quiet, no toenails clicking on the wood floor, water bowl still full and dog beds in every room, empty.

    For those of you who asked, Dawg was 16, and actually yesterday was her birthday. She belonged to our son who got her as a pup when he lived in Santa Monica. Dawg lived with that son (who was then a chef) as he advanced his career, Santa Monica to Santa Barbara and then Chicago. It took Dawg a while to adjust to life in cold Chicago, in a high-rise, after being in the sun of Santa Barbara for a few years.

    Alas, the Chicago restaurant closed, leaving son without a job so he packed up and came east. They stayed with me for a bit, and then as son changed careers, and moved out, it made sense for Dawg to live with me full-time, so in 2009, I became her primary caregiver.

    There are photos of her as a pup but they are on an old computer so it’s unlikely I can unearth them easily.

    Thanks again for all the emails and comments. It’s nice to know Dawg was as much a part of your lives as she was ours. I feel a little calmer today, still off kilter, but a little better. Have a good Friday.

  14. When the time is right another dog who needs your love will find you.
    And I truly believe Dawg will select that lucky critter for you.

  15. Dawg, we will always be thankful for your support of Heelers! So glad we had the opportunity to know you, and to feed you. You had a great life, and we know just how much your mom loved you!!!

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