When good-bye is not so good….

It’s in the eyes,  she relayed to me just last week. I wondered how we would know when it was …his time.

We were not ready, how can we be?………

A cousin of mine let me know that our dogs will tell us when it’s their moment.  You will see it in their eyes.. How completly right she was.  That gave me the courage to press forward just knowing that, and even though I hated doing it…I made the decision that today was his last day on this earth.  The awesomeness of making that choice was not lost on me… it is mind blowing to hold another’s’ life in your not so capable hands.

The bon fire was blaring on Saturday night, and it seemed that the beagle was having increasing trouble breathing.  We surmised that he was possibly caught in the line of smoke coming from the smoldering embers, and that could possibly be inhibiting his air intake?

Logan sat with him on the dewey, overgrown lawn, and scratched gently under his chin.  He repeatedly kissed him all over the white star which adorned his soft head.

On our field trip last week, when we ventured up to Bianca’s grave I neglected to mention that Mario had lifted his leg and peed on some unknown person’s headstone.. I was appalled, and dismayed.

He had looked up at me as if to say, “what…..you didn’t think I would relieve myself on “her” grave did you?”

Just no respect..what can I say..?We are without excuse..


Looking back from just a week ago, it’s never a regret to take time with those that we love, even when it’s often inconvenient.  Just drop it, and do it, because this will offer you peace down the road…absolutely guaranteed.. Regrets suck, so making the most of time that we share between man and beast is to be coveted.

Saturday…all through the night, the beagle coughed, and struggled to breathe.. It was horrible..and I bawled like a baby, as I curled up amongst my comforter, and multiple soft pillows….Yes…I do have a pillow addiction…don’t judge…

I listened to one of my favorite songs, “Time to say goodbye,” by oh… the Italian opera singer, whose name is eluding me.  Andrea Bocelli….that’s it!.. His voice causes goose bumps to erupt all over my skin when I hear him.  As we do, when we are allready sad, we listen to more music that makes us feel even more desperately despondent!  Why in the blazes do we do this?

I also listened to several sad Country melodies, telling of balads of love and loss, and unrequited love, that destroyed the artists’ heart… the usual torturing of the soul.

I was thankful that I had taken Mario up to sit by his girls’ memory spot.. it felt right, and necessary.


He got to eat his “last supper” of sorts, and enjoyed a few delectable nibbles  from my “Q-Doba” breakfast burrito with great enthusiasm.

On Sunday morning, I realized that I couldn’t let him go forward another day.  His eyes seemed to silently plead with me for his release…his heavenly peace..

With a heavy heart I contacted the vet.  It was Sunday so her answering service was switched on.  I contacted my sons, whose hearts were shattering apart, and let them know.  They wanted to be there with him.

I tried the vet’s number once more, and her assistant happened to pick up the phone.  This was quite unexpected.  I began spilling out our  tale with a shaky voice, and he then said that the doctor was available and put the doctor on.. such a provision!  She agreed to make a home visit, to help our ole boy out.  She is such a kind, and endearing vet, truly a treasure to her four legged  patients.

As we waited for her I listened to “My  heart will go on” from “Titanic, the movie,” as played by Mike Strickland, on the piano.  Brutally and wonderfully brilliant song…It both comforts, and slays…

My sons  were so tender with him.  He kept creeping away from us, and going off and facing the wall.. it was devastating.  Logan said, ” I know he doesn’t want us to see him suffer, but I’m not leaving his side!”

It’s his buddy.  The adventures they have shared, and the mischief they have entertained..a boy and his dog…such an image it creates.

He decided to take him for a last ride in “Dot” the bug.  He was continually struggling to breathe, and we thought perhaps the wind blowing in his face, with the top down, would be a lasting final ride for him….It was….precious…


So often, there really are not any words to express the connection between person and pet.  The loyalty, and unwavering love causes enormous lumps, the size of boulders to form in your throat, and a vice to tighten around your chest, threatening to stop your beating heart.  They are priceless…they know us, and often it seems they live for us.  There was nary  a narsissistic bone in this puppy dog.

This saying good bye, is not good…at all…it’s quite terrible really.

We all hugged and kissed him as he took his last breath, and our tears fell upon his soft coat.  Too much loss…just too much.

My boys wrapped him lovingly in a soft blanket and carried him out to the vets’ car.  We wished him a safe journey, and told him to say “Hi” to Bianca. We wept as we watched her drive off…and with that…he was gone…

I’m not sure if the girl beagle Tillie understands.  She seems quieter and calmer now…perhaps she is grieving too?

We have taken a few walks around the lake she and I.  The last few days have been rainy and cooler.  Yesterday afternoon there was another big dark thunderstorm, and huge balls of hail pelted the earth.  Maybe this is necessary?  It feels like the heavens are echoing our inmost  thoughts, and the chaos of emotion churning in our wounded brains.

Life marches on even when you don’t feel much like marching with it.

I contemplated yet again just living in my bed from now on.  It could be kinda impractical, but the feeling to want to bury yourself in your sheets is very real.

Recalling many of the experiences that the kids and our pets shared together, there is such blessing in knowing these animals have enriched our lives, and deserve a farewell that shows them dignity and grace…a proper send off.

Our  pets give so selflessly , and that woof, or howl, or baying that they greet us with, followed by the jubilant wagging of the tail, and licking of our faces, and hands, fill up our lives.

It’s uncanny to me how he always knew  which part of me was hurting, and he endevoured to make it all better.  Mario was a prince among beagles.  How they know us, and fill us up with their love and devotion.

I get the whole “it’s better to have loved and lost, then not to have loved at all.”  I’m just not sure how much I’m buying it.. Love and loss seem to go hand in hand, and we don’t get one without the other, although I really do wish we never ever had to say good-bye.

Hello is happy, and is filled with hope…I like it much better….

Fly high little beagle…your family and friends loved you with complete abandon, even when you pooped on the rug, and I stepped on it in the early morning, my bare toes squishing it further into the carpet!  The countless pee accidents kept my portable carpet vacuume a humming!

The steak bones you munched on and savoured while finding a safe place to bury it filled us watching, with satisfaction and glee.  Logan instructed  you to “STAY…” while I held you and Tillie, and Logan played “hide and seek” and you searched for ham or a piece of chicken, howling away at the top of your lungs …was just the best.

Bianca and I chasing the two of you all over the main floor in her wheelchair, as you and Tillie danced about and bayed, and she shrieked with delight..this is the good stuff of life.

It was a good life, I think you would say, if you could.  Thank you for being ours, and loving us….



3 thoughts on “When good-bye is not so good….

  1. Jill – I made the mistake of reading this while at work and the tears of sadness are running down my face. How these 4 legged family members are loved is so real. Their love for us is unconditional and full of joy. You are in our hearts – We are so sorry for your loss.


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