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This was a hard page to do. Not because of the subject, or even the arguing this scene caused. On Monday we sent our dog Dorothy to her reward and I’m consumed with grief. Grief, and guilt, and regret… I didn’t love her as much as she deserved and I loved her so much. I always feel like our pets deserve better than me. I sit here drawing all the time and don’t give them the time and attention they really should get. Keeping the house of cards standing that I’ve built for myself requires so much of my attention that it doesn’t go to the pets who should get more of it. Plus, even though I know I can’t do anything to fix cancer I still feel like if I was more successful I could pay for treatments that would give me more time with them, but I’m not good enough. So I’m left with regret when the time comes to part ways.

The last few years were such a disaster. Everything was all torn up. A complete mess. So Dorothy couldn’t even lay down in my room with me. I just acted like she was going to live forever even though I could see time catching up. So now I’m doubly sad and sick of myself, and the only one to blame is me.

I’m sure there’s a post somewhere in the archive that mentions her coming to live with us. Unless it’s one of the ones that got lost when the site was updated at some point. My mother summarized it all as well as I could, so I’ll share what she said:

“We had to say goodbye to Dorothy yesterday. She came to live with us 11 years ago, when (my daughter) rescued her. She was 25 pounds under weight, hadn’t eaten in at least 3 days, & had about a 100 ticks on her. After Kit & Sadie died, I said no more…….my heart couldn’t take it…….but the house was so quiet and so came Solomon & Crow and how could I turn down this poor girl. I called her Hazel for a few days, but it just didn’t seem right……..so Dorothy from Kansas it was.
The three of them became the best of friends, they played & chased & tussled constantly. Then Sister & Roxie joined the fun & it was an even wilder fun time. It was so funny to watch short little Solly trying to grab her legs & her dancing away.
The house sounds totally different without her big dog paws and Sister & Precious seem a little subdued, they laid side by side on her bed for hours. She was always a little jealous of the little dogs, because she could wanted to be able to fit on your lap like them, but she made due. She was always investigating every sound, protecting us from all danger……….mostly squirrels or raccoons but if it was unusual, she was out to see what was going on…….her normal voice was high pitched, but when she was serious…….she did the big girl bark (that was a real surprise the first time).
JT loved “brown dog” from day one & she him. Life had made her a little needy, but that was ok with him. All the animals love him, but Dorothy was “his girl”. All he had to do was snap his fingers & she paid attention. All Dorothy every really wanted was to be loved………..and so our hearts are broken…….because she was.”

Now when I snap my fingers she doesn’t come and the sound bounces around a house that seems to have a massive hole where Dorothy should be.


So sorry for your loss. I know that deep feeling of guilt and sorrow quite well, but it sounds like you did the best you could and it sounds like she was well-loved and that you guys gave her much better than what/where she came from <3

I heard this once and I thought it was apt and sweet so I’ll repeat it here the best I can remember:

When we lose a pet, the feeling of loss is a reflection of how much we loved them and how much joy they brought into our lives. That sadness may hurt, but it is a reminder that what was lost was loved, and loved more deeply the more it hurts. It helps us remember the good times and the fun, and to know that they lived a life full of love, the best that anybody could ask for.

Very sorry for your loss, Jackie. We may not deserve how much dogs love us but they think we do. She sounded like a beautiful friend.

So sorry to hear that Dorothy passed. A dog will give you many of the best days of your life, and one of the worst. I know I’ll be a wreck when my Dusty passes.

Grief over a pet is just as hard if not harder than the loss of human loved ones. Hugs and condolences from one of your readers who was there 11 years ago too.

Condolences to the loss in your family. Pain is how we know they were loved. If you didn’t feel anything, then they didn’t matter.

Whether you decide to get another new friend or not is up to you, but there are studies that indicate that their presence has a heathy benefit to ours.

My most heart felt condolences i can appricate what your feeling i had to put my cat of 18 years down from cancer a few years back and it was the hardest thing i had to do i still look at the spots he used to lay in and sometimes i even still feel him laying beside me in bed or when i feel really lost i can feel him sitting on my shoulder and giving me a head butt to tell me he’s still here with me.

I realize its not much console especially when these wonderful creatures are such a big part of our life and leave such a huge and lasting impact.
But don’t forget your not alone, I too have a hard time forgiving myself and I often find myself thinking what could i have done differently, and remember keep your stick on the ice i’m pullin for ya.

And in tribute she is now immortal because a precious memory was shared to All who are bettered for reading it. Thank you for this gift of knowing a family member was so well loved.

I’ve lost 2 cats (I had dogs growing up, but these cats were MY pets, as a solo adult). For one, I couldn’t afford the long-shot procedure they said was the only possible way to save him, and the other, I did drop a small fortune to save and she died any way. I didn’t feel any “better” about the second loss. So it’s my view that the loss will hurt as much as it will hurt, regardless of what you do or could have done. We’re all sorry to hear the news and wish you the best, Jackie.

My condolences. I don’t remember the blog post with her first coming to live with you, but I do remember a post about her when she was throwing up. I’m sorry for your loss.

Pets are like kids that way. No matter how much we tried to do for them, it never feels like enough. When my little mop of a dog passed (at about 14 mind you) I almost broke my foot in anger that I was at work when she went. I felt like it would have been easier for her if I’d have been there. I was so worried that she died scared without me, even though she had my wife and daughter and in laws all with her at the time. I spent time for a few days standing near her little grave apologizing for being a terrible owner, all because I had been working. What finally got me out of my funk was remembering how many times she would poke her little head in to whatever I was doing to make me feel better, and asking myself if she would accept me beating myself up like I was. I suggest you take a little time to recover, since I imagine we will all be here when you get back, if you feel that you can. If work is helping you get through, however, please ignore that advice.

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