When You’re Told Your Dog is Dying…

Don’t worry, I’m not offended that you won’t read this bog post. This one is for those who who will go through this as some point, and need to know there is someone out there who understands. 

First you sit on the sofa and cry. Be prepared to go through an entire box of tissues.

Buy stock in Kimberly Clark, and plant a few trees to ease your conscience.

You make a grocery run and end up buying comfort foods. I bought him chicken balls. He likes them. I gave him twice as many as I should have.

You’re exhausted so you take a nap, but you won’t sleep much because you’ll keep checking to see if he’s breathing. Get used to it; you’ll do it a lot.

Later that day you’ll want to do something together, but your dog is not up to normal play, so you’ll get out the brush and softly comb his fur. Other members of the family will want to join in and you’ll laugh at each other’s antics.

Take lots of pictures; they’ll comfort you later.

You’ll prepare a meal that you know your dog loves, and you’ll share.

You’ll avoid social media because the last thing you want to see is everyone else’s happy pet photos or read their well-meaning advice. You’ll skim through the news but who cares about those idiots?

Each morning you’ll wonder how in the hell you can go to work at a time like this, but you will. Before you leave you’ll hug your dog  and tell him that in case he’s not there when you come home that you love him. Then you’ll cry on the drive in.

You’ll spend the day doing the bare minimum. You’ll avoid the assholes at work because you’re so raw that you might actually say out loud those things you think about them in your head.

At work day’s end you rush out the door to get back home. When you open the door and see your dog’s face you take a deep breath, then realize you’ve been holding your breath much of the day.

He’s well enough to con me, and he knows that now I’ll give in every time.
It’s sad that despite how far we’ve come in treating our dogs and cats like family, they are still not important. Hell, we don’t treat each other with respect, so you know we’re not going to treat each other’s companion animals that way. Fortunately for us, there are those who understand.

The rest of the world can go eggplant themselves.

128 thoughts on “When You’re Told Your Dog is Dying…

  1. Sending love and hugs to you and Rumpy. I don’t know what’s worse, being told and being prepared, or having your pet go suddenly, which happened to me last March. We just have to take the comfort from knowing we do the very best for our pets each and every day and show them how much we love them, by giving them a great life while they’re here.

      1. Yes, either way is awful. The shock is terrible when it’s not expected, but the stress of knowing is dreadful.

      1. Rumpy was the first nordic pup I “met” after we lost or two sibes… he became my heart dog somehow… the story how you met each other, the rumbaroni song and the cookies saurus was something what touched my heart… and it still does…

  2. Yep, you nailed it. And I’m so sorry.

    Hopefully a few people reading this who aren’t planning for a loss will hold their pets close and do something special with them anyway. I know I will.

  3. I feel your sadness and pain and know exactly the emotions and thoughts you describe. I am so sorry Jen. My heart is with you and Rumpy. I wish I could do and say more, but I love you both and hope for more time for both of you.

  4. Mmmmm, eggplant themselves indeed! I might need to borrow that. I favour the Kleenex Aloevera tissues. Looks like I need a bigger box…..and about those assholes at work? Just say what you want. It’s likely the only time you can later explain it away. Or just mutter something about you can’t do ass holes right now and walk away…. tell them Helen said it’s was ok. Sending love. H

  5. Jen, I’ve loved and adored Rumpy ever since I found you both years ago online. The two of you have shared so much, given so much & been everything to each other. I love you both & send you both many hugs, pats & tissues.

  6. Everything you said is heartbreakingly true. Rumpy’s little “con” face is sweet. He has your number. We took lots of pictures and videos of Z Cat but I have not been able to look at the videos and just a few of the pictures and we let her go in 2009. I am sending hugs to you because I just can’t always find the right words.

  7. Oh sweet friend. We know your pain. Don’t you worry about what others think. You enjoy the time left and know that we are always here with you. ❤ XOXO – Bacon

  8. My Frankie kitty is dying of stage 4 chronic kidney disease. Heartbroken doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. I had two cats die suddenly and I have to say I prefer that to watching Frankie die. I know you treasure each and every moment with Rumpy, and I know I will be a bawling mess when you post that he has passed. Sending headbutts and purrs to all, especially Rumpy.

  9. When it was our Mickey’s time, Jen, he crossed that Rainbow Bridge and returned three times before choosing to stay on the other side. We were very blessed in that we were able to arrange our schedules so he would not be alone. On his final trip across the Bridge, we took comfort in knowing that he was ready and chose his own Good. And, yes, he conned us for treats to the very last! You’re not alone in holding Love and Light! 😉

  10. He is an amazing companion, that is clear. His antics and your blog inspired me to start doing some research for a business plan. One where I could take my dog to work with me every day. Rumpys influence, and yours is far reaching. Continue to tell his story. Make him into a children’s book, on how its very hard, but ok to have your feelings. That way he can reach even further.

  11. Enjoy all the time that you have w/Rumpy, we know that you will. Wishing they could be with us for so much longer. {{hugs}}

  12. We would all come to read it because we love you and Rumpy. I’ve walked that path many times, even years before I worked at home and could be here for them, and though it’s painful, the bond between you tightens in a way you never thought it could be, and that is your gift for courage and love.

  13. I understand. We had a glorious month with Stuart after his shocking hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. We’re still not over it and never will be.

    I understand. You understand. Screw everything else.

    Our vet verbally slapped me when I just couldn’t stop crying during a phone call with her during his final month. “GET a hold of yourself and don’t let him know how devastated you are,” she said. “He already knows something is wrong. Don’t make it worse. STOP it. Don’t take away from the positive time you have together.” From that day forward, I pulled myself together in his presence, carried on, and gave him all the salmon he wanted and as many treats as he begged for.

    Screw everything else.

    We’ve got your back.

  14. There is no good way to lose a beloved companion animals. Not unless they are the absolute ancient of days and slip away softly. No, strike that – there is no good way, because my heart was still shattered, just in a different way where I could celebrate many, never enough, years.

    We’ve lost companion animals who lived long and those who died abruptly and without warning. One of my earliest memories is crying my heart out next to the grave for my brother’s dog, Baby Face. I’ve cried over a hamster and I’ve mourned over all my dogs and Kitters the cat.

    Every moment you have now with Rumpy is precious. I understand how you don’t want to leave him to go to work. He knows you love him with all your heart. I would be in agony leaving him behind during a work day so I know how difficult it would be for you.

    I think of you both every day with great compassion and hope for the transition Rumpy wants.

    I will be as present for you as I can be.

  15. Losing a furry companion is as wrenching as losing a family member. If someone does not understand that, they’re not worth your time. Grieving in advance is terribly hard. I know.
    It’s hard to concentrate on anything else.
    Lots of us holding you and Rumpydog close.

  16. Its the hardest thing in the world to deal with….losing our babies and for a moment I had that fear last night with Speedy…but we managed to get Speedy through and eating again.All my love is with you Jen and Rumpy,xxx Rachel

  17. So sad and sorry, Jen. I’ve been through this and it’s hard. Hugs, sympathy, wishes for peace and comfort. (This vanished the first time I tried to post, I am sorry if it’s a duplicate.)

  18. My heart goes out to you, Jen ❤ This is the worst part of having furkids, and it never gets any easier, no matter how many times you go through it. Here's hoping you and Rumpy will still have many more wonderful moments together. Those memories will be a comfort in future. Sending love and hugs!

  19. I’m so sorry you’re going through this now. Spend as much time with your sweet boy as you can. The memories will comfort you when you’re ready for it. Take care of yourself.

  20. Rumpy has such a sweet face. I saw your title and hesitated before reading. That’s because I just went through this myself, and it’s been just over a month since we lost our Sheba. I’m still pretty raw emotionally and knew this would make me cry, but I couldn’t help myself. You nailed it….especially the part about worrying all day at work and then dreading what you might find when you open that door when you do finally get home….exactly. I lost two dogs when i was not at home, and that’s always my biggest fear (I’m thankful it did not happen that way with Sheba). Hugs to you and Rumpy.

  21. I understand completely. Going through the same thing with Mac. He might have a week or two left. (((hugs)))

  22. Please know I’ve been reading along, but can’t bear to “like”.
    You are wise and brave in so many ways in how you are letting Rumpy lead is he wants to – and the cats steering comfort the best they can.
    I remember our bouviers, and the aged long past expectations Westie and all the cats. The German is greying on her muzzle.Fur people are more than pets – they are our support and our family.
    HUGS and may soothing ease everyone’s way.

  23. We love you all so much Rumpy. My heart is with you all. I have been through this many times so I do understand how you are feeling. Sending big hugs and love to you all ❤ ❤ ❤

  24. Jen….we’re thinking of Rumpy, Jen and your fur family. We send you lots of love and hugs from here. Please remember that we love Rumpy and his family and you’re precious friend of us. Rumpy, we love you. from angel kevin and mom

  25. We just went through the same thing last summer with our Tahoe. There are no words that can truly comfort. Knowing that you did everything you could to make them comfortable and loved during those last days is the only true comfort any of us can receive. We are thinking of all of you, and give Rumpy and extra love from us.

  26. Oh Jen, I am so sad and sorry you are on this journey. Your words hit home and ring so true for my own final journey with my boy, Gibson, and it’s been over a year and I still feel every single thing you wrote about. Rumpy, you are so beautiful and special and I hope you have many more days filled with love, fun, and all those special treats. Jen, I wish I had some magical words to make this less painful…but I don’t. Just know you have so many out here who love Rumpy and are here for you. Give that sweetie a big hug from me. ❤

  27. Hurts like crazy when the vet tells you that your beloved baby is “on his way out”. I have Mozie spoiled more rotten than he was. He sits in my lap when I am not at work and loves on me. When he is still I am nervous when I try to see if he is breathing and then he looks up at me and relief floods over me. Just love him all you can while you still have him. Thats what I am doing. When I think about it much, the tears flow. I just try to get in all the loving I can.

  28. You are so right, Jen, though I wish you weren’t. I wish with all my heart that you and Rumpy did not have to go through this. I am so very sorry, and sad. We continue to send purrs and prayers for you, and you are in our thoughts.

  29. Yes, our companion animals are important. People who don’t understand that have less meaningful lives, I think. Sending good ju-ju to your and your pack.

  30. I learned there aren’t words for this long ago. I used to be conflicted going home. I’d want to rush to get there but was terrified. I’d even stall sometimes out of fear, and that still makes me feel awful. It wasn’t that different with my mom. Thise mixed emotions.

    Too familiar a path, but I’m one who absolutely expects that path on the other side of the Bridge to be there, too.

    I pray for more good days on this side. Everyone is a treasure.

    Blessings to you both. Rumpy is very special.

    1. Thanks Janice. I wish we could be together forever but I knew going into this that would not be the case. Now it’s time for me to be there for him as much as I can be.

  31. rumpy has taught us all so much. I have grieved so many times in my life for 70 years…to have had animals and a few humans who have been so fabulous in my life that I cry when they seem to have vanished means the good times outweighed the bad? and that I would go through the sadness at parting all over again…they were all worth my allegiance. I have been privileged to live with two rumpy types in my life…and they were both angels from another heaven somewhere. one had diabetes and the other had epilepsy and recurring tumors between the shoulder blades…8 surgeries for removal of 9 huge lumps over the years. in the same exact spot. recently, my darling dogs saved from homelessness and certain death(one of whom survived heartworm) were victims of trifexis which the vet no longer carries which I only administered when sentinel was no longer produced after 10 years. when I revisit their deaths, I die a little…when I remember that I did my best and they returned my loyalty and love and appreciation for their existence and that we had fun most of the time, I know we animal enthusiasts are the luckiest humans on this odd nutsoid planet.

    1. Nutsoid indeed. Today the most important thing is home and family. The rest can go to piss. That includes every delusional person I have to deal with on a daily basis.

  32. Rumpy, we have known one another a long time really. You knew Admiral better than me, Katiebella2, both on Twitter and on the blog. I am here to give my love to you always and ever, and to your mom as well. Admiral is on the Bridge waiting for me. One day you will be waiting and watching for your mom too. I am Katie Isabella, a Tuxie cat, and I believe we are friends on Twitter as well.

    Your mom is like all of we pet parents. We grieve and suffer for a long long time when our fur babies have to leave us. We would give anything to stop what is happening. My mom and all the pet parents here understand that. Comforting warm loving hugs to you and your mom, Rumpy. And to June Buggy too.

      1. It’s okay. It’s better them to go quick and painless than suffer.

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