I just lost the first dog I’ve ever had, Roxie. Even though she was my first dog, she, unfortunately, was not the first dog I’ve lost. I’ve had my share of losses over the past few years. That’s the unfortunate part of rescuing and having multiple animals. Even though it’s tough, I will always welcome more into my life. Many people ask how I can do it. How can I go through losing them especially when they seem to be passing so close to each other? It may be a special quality I possess, or it may be the knowledge that I gave them the best life and they passed free of pain.
Roxie was never an easy dog to own. The past 11 and 1/2 years have been full of amazing memories and some moments of pure frustration almost pushing me to my breaking point. Leash reactivity, food aggression, resource guarding (people), issues with other animals, and not being good with kids were several of her main issues that at times were too much to handle for a first-time dog owner. However, we made it to the end together and it was my job to see that she lived her best life possible. When I received her diagnosis of bladder cancer complicated by kidney disease, I knew there was only one thing to do, create her bucket list, and give her the best last days EVER!
Ice cream, doggie bone from Tricked Out Treats Dog Bakery and a visit from one of her favorite people (not pictured).
Now we’re back at the beginning of this blog post, looking back at the question of how I can deal with the sadness of losing my furry friends over and over again. The answer is simple and may be difficult for some, but it’s not about me or you, it’s all about them. Create a bucket list for your dog! What are your dog’s favorite things to do, places to go, people to see? Whether you have days, weeks, or months make their last moments the best you possibly can. Focus on creating new memories with them that will last a lifetime! In my experience with dogs, I’ve learned that even if they feel awful and know they are nearing the end of their time with us, they don’t show it. They live in the moment. Roxie was laying in the grass just hours before she was ready for us to let her go.
Enjoy the time you have with your dog. Live in the moment with them. If you can do that, it will make it much easier for you and for them when the time comes to say goodbye.