The Sad Post

I don’t really know what else to call this post. The past couple of weeks have been unbelievably sad and hard on me and my husband. The baby is fine (and I’m fine) but we did lose a very important member of our family last week.

I wrote in March that our sweet Cain had a vestibular attack. He eventually recovered pretty well although he never got back to 100%. He still had a lot of trouble with the stairs in our house, so we blocked all of them off. All things considered – the vestibular attack, his bad hips, and his age of 12 1/2 – he was doing pretty well.

Until the last week of April.

He started deteriorating fast and went from being able to pull himself onto the couch to not being able to walk more than a few feet without his back end collapsing. We had to hook a beach towel under his backside to assist him in going outside to use the bathroom. He was still eating and drinking just fine, but his poor body was just giving out on him. We declined a referral to a neurologist since we weren’t going to consider surgery at his age but the vet said it could be anything from a brain tumor to a stroke to a spinal tumor that just finally caught up with him.

My husband and I made the extremely difficult decision to say goodbye to our sweet boy on May 3rd. The anticipation was so hard on both of us; this was the first time either of us had gone through this and didn’t know what to expect. I have to give so much credit and thanks to our vet office; we were able to make arrangements and prepay over the phone so that we didn’t have to deal with it ‘after’. They allowed us to stay in our car with Cain until our room was ready and then they came out and got him and took us right into the room. They allowed us to spend as much time with him as we wanted or needed. The vet had just lost her own dog a few days prior so she was extremely sympathetic and extra gentle and loving. The whole experience was surreal but much less traumatic than I expected. It was extremely sad yet peaceful and a mix of heartbreak from losing him and relief that he was no longer suffering.

I know we did the right thing for our dog and while I miss him so much, I am so happy that we were blessed to be his owners for almost 12 years. We adopted him from a rescue when he was eight months old and it was love at first sight. He was gentle and loving and sweet and sensitive. He was awesome and there will never be another dog like him. Ever.

Our other dog, Fritz, seems to be doing okay. He’s getting more love and attention and (so far) hasn’t been acting any differently. Sydney asks “Where Cain?” and I just tell her he’s in heaven. She then usually says “I see him?” but I explain we can’t see him anymore. I’m glad she’s still too young to really understand.

I had already made plans to meet up with old friends in Baltimore the day after we said goodbye so spending time laughing with my friends for two days was a great distraction. I encouraged my husband to go to his parents’ house to get away, so he took Syd and Fritz with him for his own little escape. I was really happy to get home on Sunday but thankful for old friends who can make me laugh and get my mind off of everything.

I’m so sorry for such a depressing post and promise the next one won’t be so sad. This is what has been going on lately and I wanted to explain why I’ve been gone. I’ve also been much less active on Twitter since it’s hard to say much when nothing else really seems important.

I hope you’re all doing well. Give your pets an extra hug from Cain and me tonight, okay?





  1. Congrats on the pregnancy! So sorry for the loss of Cain. We lost a dog a couple years ago and my heart was just broken. You just don’t realize what a huge part of your life they are until they’re not there any more. **hugs**

  2. I’ve said my peace to you about this, but just a reminder that the saddest responsibility of pet ownership is knowing when to ease their suffering by letting them go. You did it, which is part of being a grown-up. Of course, I’m going to go hug my doggie (again) now. Hmm,maybe yet another greenie for him . . . .

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. The loss of a pet is horrible, and knowing when the “right time is” is difficult. Lots of hugs to you and your family!

  4. Marianne Parker says:

    We put our 14 1/2 year old cocker spaniel down the day before Cain. She started having seizures during the night, and by the time morning came and we got her to the vet – she had had 7 seizures. Given her age and her liver enzymes, we were out of options. The vet suspected that she had either had a stroke or was developing a brain tumor.

    I got her boy (my oldest) from school, and we put her down. Like your vet, ours was very sympathetic and let her boy hold her as long as he needed to. When she started to seize again, her boy said it was time and the vet even let him hold her while she passed. It’s been a month, and I’m in tears reliving it.

    I know she was “just a dog.” But, they have this amazing ability to weasel their way into your heart and soul and family life and leave such a large hole.

    May peace be with you – just know that others are walking this path with you.

  5. I am so sorry for you guys! what a hard emotional thing to have to go through. I have two dogs and have never had dogs before them, so reading your story is bringing me to tears knowing that some day this sort of thing could be my future with them. I don’t know how I will handle it…I am at least glad to hear you had great vet to work with and it sounds like a peaceful experience for your fur baby and you and your family.

  6. Katrina says:

    So sorry for your loss.

  7. So sorry 🙁

  8. Oh my goodness, so many hugs to you and your family. I’m sitting here crying at my desk for you 🙁 Just *hugs*

  9. I have been through this and I am so sorry. It took me a long time to get another and the thought of someday having to face another loss is to overwhelming, our animals are with us for far to short a time even when they live to an old age! I am so glad that you had the support of friends and family.

  10. Leighann says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. We had to put down our 10 year old walker hound on March 20th. It truly broke my heart. She was a huge part of our family and there has hardly been a day that I haven’t cried. Please know that other understand your sadness and pain.

  11. 🙁

  12. I am a vet tech and I cry at almost every euthanasia (usually away from the people that have just lost their pet). The hardest thing for us to decide for our four legged kids is when to let them go. You made a choice of love not to let your pet suffer. I hope there is a little comfort in knowing that during such a terrible time. My favorite story is about a four year old who speaks up when his family pet has been euthanized. The family is wondering aloud why pets live such short lives compared to humans. Here is what the four year old said, “When people are born they must learn to do what’s right– like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The four-year-old continued, “Well, dogs are born knowing how to love and be kind to others, so they don’t have to stay as long.” I’m very sorry for your loss!

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