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  1. #1

    On Losing A Pet...

    I still marvel at the pain of losing my first dog, Elvis. Like so many dog lovers, upon leaving the nest, beginning my own adulthood, getting married and setting up house, our first goal, perhaps subconscious, was to have a dog of our own. Or maybe it was my goal…

    Anyway, Elvis was sitting in a crate at a local pet store, awaiting adoption through the Humane Society, and we just happened to be there, buying cat food, and that was all she wrote: the dog was in our car, driving home, seemingly before we’d even realized what we’d just done.

    I had dogs growing up, playful little Dachshunds who I loved, in a distant sort of way, the way a child loves their dog. It’s different when someone else potty trains and wakes up in the night with the family pet – without much direct responsibility for their upbringing, I wasn’t raising the wiener dogs as much as I was just enjoying their company.

    So I was utterly unprepared for the next few months, as my Clifford-sized puppy grew, and grew, and grew. I knew he had big paws and a large frame, but this puppy was gargantuan. A mix of Shepherd, Bloodhound (?), Rotty (?) – who knew? All we knew is that by six months, he was nearly 80 pounds of unbridled joy.

    He nipped and bit and ran wild circles around us as poured our mutual affection into raising what would be, for seven years, our only child-like responsibility. Then came the actual children, and Elvis, ever the protector, was there, sleeping peacefully under my son’s baby swing, snoring loudly.

    By the time we moved, again and again, Elvis was in the back of the van, a strapping 120 pounds of hound, barking so ferociously at each passing cow in a field that the vehicle swayed under his baying.

    The feelings came rushing back to me as I read a recent post on a new site I frequent, CultureCloud. A dog lover who recently lost her beloved dog felt moved to write a sort of diary of her loss:

    And it simply devastated me. I hadn’t realized how, nearly 10 years later, the loss of the mighty Elvis shakes me to this day. It’s a dog. I realize that. So why can’t I think of him without a sharp intake of breath? I guess it’s because, for us, he’ll always be that dog, the one that made everything right, the one all of our earliest family memories were shaped around.

    It’s a familiar formula, I know, one I re-read recently in Marley & Me, and maybe that makes it even better, because I know I am just one of many, many lucky souls who owned that dog. That joyous, life-affirming, wonderful dog.

  2. #2
    You are a talented writer...and your post made me all weepy. I can't even think about the loss of any of our dogs without tearing up. To me, it is surprising if someone is not devastated by the loss of their doggie.

    We have been a home to six dogs over the course of 37 years, and every one was a heartbreak to lose. Abby is our seventh dog and we know it won't be any easier when her time comes.

    I enjoyed your short story.

  3. #3
    So true.
    Some days I can think of my beloved lost pets and smile or laugh at a memory and other days I am overcome with grief and weeping. It is because they are parts of our family. Not lost items or objects. People THINK of pets that way sometimes but those of us that have had the fortune of a loving pet in our arms and our lives know that they are not a possession or an object. It is akin to losing a family member. The pain never goes away.

  4. #4
    I lost my dog last year. We found him dead in the basement. It looks like he had an heart attack.

    I feel your pain and must say you have terrific writing skills.

  5. #5
    Your post is pretty well and it make me cry. I m very sorry about your loss. You have the serious pain after death of your dog. Its really a terrible tragedy and really hurting you.
    Some peoples goes in serious grief after lost of their pet because they loved them very much. Pets are part of our life and our best friends. I know its very difficult time for you. But you should trying to be happy and move on.
    God helps you. My prayers and wishes with you.



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