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Why Loosing a Dog is Sometimes Harder than Loosing a Family Member

Updated: Aug 24, 2018

Whenever we loose a loved on, it is hard. We love our family and it is difficult to say good bye. When you are a dog lover, that bond between you and your dog is so strong. Our pets love us whether we deserve it or not. They never talk back or say anything hurtful. They just love us.


Our family just had to put down our amazing 11 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. EJ had congestive heart failure so his breathing became labored.


Friday night we were in bed watching TV and my husband noticed EJ’s breathing was different.

We got on the floor with him and started soothing him.

About five minutes later, EJ stopped breathing.

I looked at my husband with big tears welling up.

My husband took one look at me and started shaking EJ.


Then EJ started breathing again. Labored, but breathing. He got more and more comfortable over the next 30 minutes. We thought we had just dodged a bullet.


I was just not ready to loose my best friend.


I kept thinking this is too early. He is so comfortable in my arms

The one that did not care if I had showered or my breath was stinky.


He truly saw me and saw all of me, but he loved me anyway.


We woke up the next morning to EJ wanting to go outside and check his pee mails. We told our children exactly what had happened. I thought they had become immune to me saying that EJ may not have much time left.


I encouraged them all to spend some special time with him, but unfortunately our life went on as a normal busy Friday. There was school, dinner and a class to teach that night. When we got back from our class, EJ’s breathing was bad again.


When I went into each child’s bedroom to say good night, EJ slowly followed as he does every night. I asked each child if they had some time to spend with EJ.


The oldest two had not and wanted to love on him with me. So we got on the floor and petted him. They had their ugly cry and loved on EJ the best they could without touching his chest.


My youngest child was a different story. She wanted to hope that she had another week or longer with EJ. She could not get on the floor with EJ. This sweet child was beside herself just looking at EJ.


My husband followed me and prayed with each child and continued comforting them. I was trying not to cry in front of my children or EJ. I did not want anyone to think anything was wrong especially my sweet EJ.


We went to bed Friday night.

EJ was comfortable until two in the morning.

He seemed very scared this time.

I was prepared with the ER Vet information and called them to let them know we were on our way.


We chose not to tell our children that we were leaving with EJ.

They had all said they did not think they could be present if we had to put him down. So we left and EJ wanted to check his pee mails one more time. We were hoping the vet would give him some medicine and we would bring EJ home.


I kept thinking this is too early.


He is so comfortable in my arms on the way to the vet.

We got to the vet hospital and they put him in an oxygen kennel and said let’s start with some blood work.


To our relief, his blood work looked good.

The vet thought she could give some medicine for us to go home on for a few months.


My first thought was joy and then I was scared that we would have to go through this night all over in a few months.


The vet wanted to run a quick X-ray before admitting the medicine and then everything changed. His heart was so big that it was going to start crushing his wind pipe. She said we had very little time before this became very painful for EJ.




I could not believe we were here.


I had let myself get my hopes up.


She brought us all in a room and while I was holding him, he put his head on my chest. EJ was tired. We gave permission for her to end his life. I felt his body go limp in my arms and my husband and I had our first ugly cry.


I felt like I could not breathe.


My heart was crushed.


I had lost my best friend.


The one that had been there through the craziness of raising three children from infancy. The one that listened to me cry after loosing my father. The one that never left my side when my mother remarried. The one friend that was my constant. The one that always made me feel better by his howl when he wanting me to throw his favorite toy. The one that could give me a deep sigh that said he was loving this moment that we were sharing.


Then we had to pick our tired asses up and go home to tell our children what they had missed. We came home with their favorite donuts and waited. The one time we hoped they would be up at six, but instead rolled out at nine in the morning.


We all sat on the couch and cried. This was the first time our children saw their father cry like a child. My husband’s release was what my son needed. This allowed him to cry it out.


Our home has felt empty since.

EJ does not great us at the door anymore.

He does not follow us into the bathroom for a quick scratch.

He does not take a nap in my chair with me.


He does not come over to me for protection when we have too many children playing in the house.


Our home is just full of a void.


My best friend has left and only dog lovers understand. My responsibilities go on. My life goes on, but EJ is no longer in any pain. He is chasing squirrels all day and night until I see him again. EJ will forever have a piece of our hearts. My good friend, you are truly missed.

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