Saying goodbye to my best friend.

Saying goodbye to a pet. It’s possibly the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Our boy has struggled with arthritis for the last 11 years but the last 3 or 4 have been really awful as he has developed an intolerance to the medicine keeping him mobile. He’s tried every option going and is now on a heavy dose of painkillers while he’s off the anti-inflammatory tablets to give his stomach a chance to recover. We know his time is coming to an end, but it’s so hard to know when. He is still interested in life, he’s eating and the vet isn’t advising it yet but his body is failing him. We know it’s on the cards, there is no miracle cure and he’s a good age for a labrador so it won’t be too much longer. This is my ode to him, as I know it will be too painful to write when he is no longer with us.

Saying goodbye to a pet.

How he could most often be found, or warming himself against my Mum’s AGA!

Monty-Moo,

As I sit writing, there is a lump in my throat that’s hard to swallow down. I know some people think that it’s crazy to be so upset, it’s just a pet, just a dog they say. And I get that, I really do, but you’re not just an anything. You have been my best friend for the last twelve years. That is a really really long time. You have been the only constant in our lives for so long now, that I just can’t imagine life without you. I vividly remember when we met you. A litter to choose from, all so sweet, there is nothing more appealing then a puppy is there? How to choose, in the end, you chose us, plonking your fat little bottom down on my husband’s foot, that was it, love at fur-st sight.

Getting you home was a trauma, knowing you weren’t allowed to go down until you had your jabs but worrying that you needed a wee on the long journey, we ended up dangling you in the air in a lay by. Needless to say you didn’t go!

You became a pretty good co-driver!

You were a firm favourite with all our friends. We’d take you to the pub, snuggled in behind me on the bench seat, we were never apart really! Except when you went through your ‘teenage’ stage, you were a total horror, you chewed so many of my high heels, but only one from each pair. I used to drive you round to my Mum and Dads’ ‘for a break’, what a premonition of the future as a Mum that was! 😀

Your absolute best thing ever was long walks on the beach involving a lot of swimming. You were a nightmare in summer though, the packed beach providing far too many opportunities for you to be really naughty, head into cool boxes, people forced to hold their fish and chips in the air as you thundered by all soggy and sandy. You also had a terrible habit of popping children’s balls as you ran by, I carried spare change with me for that very reason! Luckily it was quite a short phase!

Every stage of our lives has had you in it, resting your heavy head on my bump when I was pregnant, sat by my feet when I was in labour, soaking up my tears on more then one occasion when I battled post natal depression, then proving yourself the best family dog ever.

Protective, gentle, never complaining when your walk was cut short, or didn’t happen, you didn’t make a fuss, I’ll never forget their little toddler hands entwined in your fur as you gently led them round while they used you as a real life furry walker.

Every writer needs a sofa companion.

The children adore you, they were devastated at Christmas when we all had to say goodbye to you, I left them wailing on the doorstep as I rushed you in, convinced that it was the end for you. An ear infection affecting your brain apparently, a course of antibiotics and you came home, and got better. Until you got something else. And now we’re here. Watching you, desperate to catch the ‘right point’. We don’t want to give up on you but equally we don’t want you to suffer. You are going to leave such a hole in our lives. I’m not even sure what life looks like without you in it. I may sound dramatic but you have been there to great me for almost every morning of my life for the last twelve and a half years. You’ve nudged my elbow and made me spill my tea more times then I can ever count, snored like a pig over tv programs, stolen so much food and don’t get me started on the rolling!! But I wouldn’t have you any other way.

Mischievous even in old age!

Mostly, although I know you’ll never read this, I just want to thank you, for being so faithful, so gentle, so uncomplaining. You’ve given us total devotion and I’m very glad that you chose us that day, we couldn’t have asked for a better dog to be our family companion for so many years.

I don’t know how long you have with us, but please know that we will make it the most loved time ever and when the final moment does come, we will make the right decision and help you to go gently. We will be with you until the very end, as faithful to you as you have been to us.

You’re a very good boy.

If you are saying goodbye to a pet too, I’m so very sorry, and if this post has been upsetting for you, just know that I understand. They are never ‘just a pet’. I just needed to get this down so it’s known how brilliant he is.

Update: very sadly, we lost our beloved boy on the 27th January 2017. We are feeling his loss greatly.

 

78 Comments

  1. I’m sad for you. I remember when my family dog Nina passed the emotions were so strong.
    Big love to you all!
    He picked the best family to be apart off.
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  2. That is so beautiful. We lost our choccy lab (Nelson) about 9 months ago due to cancer, he was also 12. They are our first babies, they train us for parenthood, but are also the best things to bring you back up out of that bad sad mood after a really long day of dealing with life. As I read your words I thought you were talking about our dog – loves swimming, chewing and eating everything in sight but just so loyal. My thoughts are with you at this time and I hope Monty can be as comfortable as possible for as long as you, your family and he needs to be. Xx

    • Oh thank you Jo. That is a beautiful, comforting comment and Nelson sounds like a wonderful boy too. It’s been so overwhelming the lovely response I’ve had to this. It helps reading everyone else’s thoughtful comments.xx

  3. Ah bless him Lou, really sorry you’re having to make this decision now, I know how much you all love him. You’re right they’re not just pets, they’re part of the family.
    Nat.x
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  4. Oh my goodness, this made me cry! Pets may not be human, but they are part of the family. We lost our cat late last year at 16, she’d been with me throughout all of my adult life, I was devastated! I hope you get a while longer with him yet x
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  5. I’m just going to sob into my wine for a little while! They really aren’t just a pet, but it takes having one to fully understand that. I hope whatever time you have left is full of great memories.
    Sending lots of love and huge hugs.
    Xxxx

  6. I’m tearing as I read this…I was almost afraid to read this post. I cried so much when I lost my Parrot and everyone told me to “get over it”. Some people do not understand that they are so much a part of your family. Big hugs to you and your family.
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    • Thank you El, it’s awful losing anything that you love and care for deeply. I really hope that time has helped to lessen the blow for you. You never ever forget though. Thank you for your kind words.

  7. We have an eleven year old basset hound and are worried about this day approaching…
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  8. I’m crying like a baby and hugging my Lola tight. She has to be sedated on Friday and I’m a wreck since it’s so risky for English Bulldogs. I can only imagine how awful it will be when she gets old and her time comes round. I’m so sorry for your loss. #bigpinklink
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  9. Ah I’m sending a big hug, I know it’s very hard when we loose an animal. Pets just seem to be there for you, when you need them most. They really are part of your family and cannot be replaced, but take comfort in the fact that you created such a lovely life for him, that’s also irreplaceble. #bigpinklink

  10. Oh how sad. He looks absolutely gorgeous, and I know exactly how you feel. Pets are part of the family, and none more so than a dog. Xx
    #bigpinklink

  11. Pet really isn’t the right word, they become a real family member and their loss takes so much adjusting to and lots of time before you remember them fondly without being upset. Sounds like he had a wonderful life with you. #BigPinkLink
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  12. Truthfully I struggled to read this, only because I love my pooch so much I can’t bear the thought of losing him. I’m so sorry for your loss and I wish that you all feel a little better soon. It looks and sounds like you gave him a wonderful life xx

    #BigPinkLink
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  13. Oh this is so sad! You poor thing. 11 years is a good amount of time to have with him (although probably no amount of time is long enough). I really feel for you, sending lots of hugs, I hope your heart heals soon xx

    #bigpinklink

  14. Sending you some serious hugs! It really is so hard to say good bye to a pet. They are such a huge part of your life and often an indescribable addition. Xxx
    #BigPinkLink
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  15. Losing a pet is so hard. They are part of the family! Big hugs to you #bigpinklink

  16. Pets really do become a true family member, our friends and our protectors. In my family, we are more of a cat lovers, so I’ve cried my share of tears for them, but also my grandmom had a dog Dika and when she died it was heartbreaking for all of us. So sorry for your loss. #bigpinklink

  17. Pets are a huge part of the family. You gave him a wonderful life. Sending hugs xxx #BigPinkLink

  18. Beautifully written. I have tears in my eyes. Pets really do bring so much love, joy and happiness to a family. Sending lots of hugs. xxx
    #BigPinkLink

  19. Oh Louise I read this through tears – just beautiful but heartbreaking and I fully sympathise. We have three dogs and it is almost too much to bear. It;s so very hard to know what to say other than Monty was so so lucky to have you as his family – 12 incredible beautiful years my lovely xx sending love #BigPinkLink
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  20. I don’t have a pet but this really brought tears to my eyes. I remember how devastated I was when my hamster died when I was 14, I can’t even imagine how you’re feeling. Lots of love ❤️ #bigpinklink xx

  21. They are never just a pet for sure, cats, dogs even hamsters, they are all family members. I’m so, so, sorry for your loss he really was a beautiful boy. xx

  22. ‘They are NEVER ‘just’ a pet’ – ever. I’ve zero problems telling you I’ve shed a few tears reading this. Monty- Moo sounds like the ideal family dog & buddy. Fully of character, cheek & love. Jackpot combination. I know exactly what that’s like as we had a Lab called Lumpy who died aged 3 1/2 in a hit & run with a speeding car. Like your pup, Lumpy picked us by forcing her way past her siblings to get to us. Sadly, we found her in a garden with her neck broken and I’ll never forget it nor have I gotten over it if I’m 100% honest. We now have a Ttoodle called Noodles and he’s a cheeky handful (for a medium sized dog!) but a great family pet with the Nips love. Genuinely I’m so sorry for your lost. But if possible, try and be happy that you have 12 amazing years with him because that is a beautiful thing.

  23. I read this with tears in my eyes. Pets are always family members, no matter what type of animal they are. I grew up with so many around and can still recall their individual personalities and the gap they left when we lost them. We have a dog (a Labrador!) too and she is very much a fur baby, in fact currently a fur-teenager, your mention of shoes made me smile, and such a wonderful member companion to us all.

  24. I am so so sorry for you all. What a loss but what happy memories you must have of your faithful companion for the past 12 years. Your post really brought a tear to my eye. I’ve never had a pet but when my brother’s beloved black lab passed away last year, I felt such sorrow. It is still strange when we go there and he doesn’t come to the door. What a moving piece. xx #bigpinklink

  25. I’m so sorry for your loss. Pets are never “just a pet”, they’re furry friends who add so much to our lives. Sending hugs to all of you.

    Gah, I still miss our gerbils and their endless sawdust flicking!

  26. I’ve never really had a pet so I can’t really imagine the situation but I know they become part of the family.

    So sorry to hear your pain.

    #BigPinkLink
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  27. I have tears in my eyes. I remember our family dog who was 16 when he passed away, I’d moved down here then, but had seen him days before . It’s such a sad time and such a real change, hope you’re baring up, thinking of you x
    Lynne New Mummy Blog recently posted…My happy list 5 – daffodils, creme eggs and toddler laughsMy Profile

  28. This is so sad, pets are a member of the family 🙁 Sorry for your loss xx #BigPinkLink
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  29. So sorry for your family’s loss. Labs are such great pets. We have Golden Retriever, Queso Cheese Monster, and when he goes I swear I will be upping my meds.
    #bigpinklink
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  30. Oh Lou… Crying into my laptop here-he sounds like just the most amazing dog, and what a fab tribute to him. I don’t understand how anyone can say they’re ‘just a pet,’ when they live and breath, and have personalities, and you form strong attachments to them. You must feel so lucky to have known him. I can’t imagine what it’s like at the moment, especially for the children. Much love-I’m so sorry for your loss xxxxxxxx
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  31. Sending you and your family lots of hugs Louis, loosing a pet is so hard. It sounds like Monty had a really wonderful life with you all and you will obviously never forget him.xx #bigpinklink

  32. Oh this is so lovely. Pets absolutely do become a part of the family. Ours have their own voices and we have conversations. They are true companions and it is heartbreaking when we lose them. RIP Monty – you sound wonderful and you were adored. Alison x #BigPinkLink

  33. Ah, so sad. I’m sorry to hear this, what a terribly sad post. It must be a very difficult time for you all. He was a lucky dog to have such a lovely home and loving owners #BigPinkLink
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  34. I have to say, not being a pet person really, I have always found the attachment hard to understand, but this post made me genuinely sad. The way you have written about him has made me really feel the attachment you and your family had, and the love that must have been shared between you all. Sending so much love, I finally get it. xxx #bigpinklink

  35. This is so beautiful. I hope writing has helped you grieve. I remember when we said goodbye my first family dog. We’d had him since I was a baby and he was 18. We all gave him one last pat before we went to school and when we got home he was gone. I am so sorry for your loss. They are never just a pet. #bigpinklink
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  36. This must have been a very hard post to write.
    #bigpinklink

  37. Oh lovely this made me cry so much. I have been there, three times now to the three most wonderful dogs. We have a fourth dog, Oscar, and I hope that our time with him is long and happy, you just never know. Anyone who says they are “just a dog” has never had a pet like we have. Much love, #bigpinklink
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  38. I’m so sorry for your loss Lou. I must admit that id deliberately not read this post until now as I knew it’d upset me. But I also knew that you’d do Monty proud. What a beautiful dog, and how lovely that you got yo know him and love him xxx #BigPinkLink
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  39. Sending big hugs, this has made me feel so sad. I’ve never had a dog but I was bloody upset when my rabbit died so a dog must be ten million times worse! At least he’s no longer suffering and hopefully he’s running through the sea of his dreams now. #bigpinklink
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  40. I’m so sorry to hear you lost him! No matter what some might says pets are massive parts of people lives. Their the Ines who listen when no one else will, they see us at our best and worst but they still love us unconditionally. What a special love to have had with such a wonderful four legged friend xxx #bigpinklink
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  41. The biggest and warmest of hugs to you, they are never ‘just a pet’. They are family and they are loved. Am crying because I feel for you as I know the pain of it myself. I lost a chocolate lab when I was aged 7 and then a golden lab when I was aged 27. Both of them amazing, both of them family. My OH keeps saying about getting a dog one day but I don’t know if I can survive the saying goodbye again. The love and memories they give are worth it though so maybe someday. He’s a beautiful boy, how lucky you were to have him xxx #bigpinklink
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  42. I am sobbing as I read this. True Dog people pet people will totally understand your grief. You lost a member of your family. Knwo that I know and understand all too well. I am sending hugs, love and my deepest sympathies to you and your family. The worst flaw about a dog is their life span. Much love, Lisa <3 <3 <3 #BigPinkLink

  43. I know I said this on your FB page but this is such a beautiful tribute. I remember when our family dog died in tragic circumstances – I felt the loss for a long time. There’s no companion quite like a loyal dog. x #bigpinklink
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  44. I’m so so sorry, it’s just so hard. Please know we are thinking of you. Thank you for sharing this post, it must have been so hard to do. xxx #bigpinklink
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  45. I’m so sorry. Our Benj passed away last summer. I wrote a post about how it affected the boys – I’ve not been able to write about how I feel – I’m there with you. xxx #bigpinklink
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  46. Losing a pet is awful. A few years ago our 13 yr old cat disappeared (on the very day my son started school for the first time) and I was an emotional wreck for a very long time. I still get upset about it now. She was my constant companion for 13 yrs and had seen me through a lot of very big ups and downs. They’re more than just pets, they’re members of the family. Sending big hugs x
    #Bigpinklink
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  47. oh bless. It’s so hard to say good bye. #bigpinklink

  48. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    It’s not the same but I used to keep pet rats. Every time I had to take one to the vets for the last time I was inconsolable. In the end I stopped keeping them as it was just too hard to go through the hart break. #bigpinklink
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  49. So very sorry for your loss and they are never just a pet but part of the family. I like how he chose you – obviously a very wise dog as clearly so very loved
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  50. As a fellow dog lover I found this absolutely heart breaking. You were truly blessed to have him in your life. #BigPinkLink
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  51. So sorry for your loss. What an emotional time for you. I hope you can cherish all those happy memories that you have. Lots of love. xx #BigPinkLink
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  52. Aww this made me so sad. I’m really sorry for your loss. I haven’t had a lot of pets but my daughters dad had a 2 dogs when I met him and when the time came both he and my daughter were so upset, they were part of the family and it was a big loss. Sending lots of love xx #bigpinklink
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  53. I am fighting back the tears typing this, your post is so honest and full of love. I am so sorry for your loss. He wasnt a pet. He was your family; and a piece is now missing from your life.
    My childhood pet Chloe, died ten years ago at the ripe old age of 14 and I can tell you that the grief will pass. But the fond memories wont. You will always have your memories and love for your Monty-Moo and he will be watching you all from the beaches in the sky xx #bigpinklink
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  54. I am so sorry for your lost. I had a cat who was with me for 18 humans years since she was a small kitten. You have written this piece so beautifully. What a tribute to him. I am sure he knows it that you love him too. xx
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