Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Eulogy For A Sweet Dog Who Died Today


Recommended Posts

Some of the qualities of my dog (Jack) that made him who he was:

His basic personality was... effervescent. We'd be lying in front of the fire place petting him and our other dog and he'd reach a level of happiness where he could no longer contain himself. So he'd race around the room and grab one of his squeak toys and squeak it repeatedly while he looked at us really hard. It was his way of saying, "I love you guys".

When you asked him if he wanted a walk he would leap straight up into the air and his tail would wag so hard that his entire body was twisting at the waist, one way and then the other.

Jack loved the smell of tobacco, especially cigar butts. When he was on a walk he would throw himself down on any cigar butt he found in the road and try to get the smell all over his fur. If he sensed I was in a hurry he would pick the cigar butt up and hide it in his cheek, then drop it in his bed to enjoy it in private.

He liked to lick dog food cans out after he ate. I'd run my finger around the rim of each can to make sure it wasn't sharp (I bought canned food with Jack's predilections in mind and got cans with tops that came off nicely with no edge). After he licked out each can he'd move it into one of his "caves". His primary cave was behind a chair in our living room. Ever so often I'd recycle the cans, always leaving one in his "cave". There was one point when I was busy for a while and when it came to recycling I found 15 immaculately clean cans behind the chair.

Jack was kind of a weird looking dog. Basically he was shaped like a fox hound but he had a huge white tail and huge bulgy eyes that weren't exactly focused on the same thing at the same time. I was well aware of the fact that he was weird looking. Ever so often a friend would say, "Uh no offense but... that dog's really weird looking." I'd say, "He's... who he is". He had fuzzy, floppy ears and his chest was marked with the softest, blurriest tiny brown spots in the world. His fur was incredibly soft and sweet-smelling. He had a pitch black nose that looked like a gigantic shelf fungus. It was WAY to big for his face. His nose was always icy cold.

Our other dog is a female pit bull who is very alpha. He was the perfect pack mate for her. She'd do something that said, "I'm alpha". His response was, "Fine, you're alpha. Congrats. I couldn't care less". There was no competition for authority. He had no desire to be in charge. He was a dog-hippie.

He liked to chase animals but once he'd cornered them he had no desire to hurt them. When we walked in the woods he'd chase some raccoon into a corner. Then he'd stop and stare at it. Then he'd want to touch noses with it. My husband and I would DASH over to grab him before he got bitten in the face.

He was terrified of only one thing-- garbage trucks. There was one truck in particular that he hated. We called it "Jack's White Garbage Truck". If he saw this truck at any point during a walk, the walk would be ruined. If he was off the leash he would dash home in a straight line-- even if that line bisected major highways. We really had to be careful. The guys on that garbage truck were well aware of Jack's phobia. They'd yell, "Sorry Jack" when they drove by. There was one morning when they actually stopped the truck so that Jack could approach it and desensitize. I gave each of the garbage men one of Jack's favorite biscuits. It didn't work. Jack was scared to death of that truck for his entire life.

What a pity the sweet innocent things in life can't last forever.


Jack seemed pretty healthy-- slowing down in the standard old dog manner but still enjoying his life. Then over the last two days he suddenly exhibited a series of [pretty grotesque and appalling] symptoms. There was a climax early this morning and we rushed him to an emergency vet clinic. We found out he had lymphoma throughout his entire body. Yesterday was a loving, good day for him and he'd lived a long life so we decided today was it. He'd had cancer before and we'd gotten treatment that had given him 4 more happy years. This time the cancer was hopeless. He lived a long happy life and his passage into death was relatively painless.

He was a sweet, gentle manifestation of love, loyalty and joy and I didn't want his passing to go totally unnoticed. I miss him so much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dear friend, I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious companion Jack, and I can assure you that his passing will not go unnoticed here, where you are among new friends who truly understand the bond you have with your fur baby, and the pain you feel at missing his physical presence now. I'm glad that you shared some of the details of his delightful personality with us ~ he sounds like a real character, and I can only imagine the hole he's left in your heart. You have our deepest sympathy . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dear friend, I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious companion Jack, and I can assure you that his passing will not go unnoticed here

Thanks you for your kind words. I've been plugging along going through some of the motions of having a normal day. Sometimes I feel almost normal but sometimes I just break down and start sobbing.

To be honest the fact that people respond to the news that he's dead with, "Oh well... that's how it goes... get another puppy. There's plenty of good ones at the shelter" doesn't help. It makes me feel like my love for the dog was nothing.

This morning I went to walk the dogs, picking up two leashes. Without realizing what I was doing I attached both leashes to the remaining dog. It was like I couldn't bear the fact that the end of one leash was empty now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm so sorry that you're encountering such remarks, which only serve to discount and trivialize the severity of your loss ~ I know they set my own teeth on edge! I think it may help you to read some informational material about pet loss. See, for example, some that I have listed on the Pet Loss Articles page of my Grief Healing Web site, here: http://www.griefhealing.com/pet-loss-articles.htm. Just click on the titles and you'll go directly to the articles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Two weeks since Jack died. I can sometimes focus on the wonderful things about having known him now, but sometimes (especially on weekends) get lost in playing an hour by hour rewind of his last two days. Like, "6:00. Two weeks ago at 6:00 I noticed [fill in gory symptom]". I find my superstitions running rampant as I come come up with ridiculous explanations of why Jack got cancer-- things about evil loose in the world and that sort of thing.

I can tell people that he died now without having to worry about falling apart. I hope that the fact that my ability to deal with death has improved over the years means that I am growing in maturity and wisdom, and not that I am growing in callousness.

He'd already had one bout of cancer. We chose to do radiation therapy which was very involved. Since then I'd rushed him to the vet with tears running down my cheeks every time I found a new lump. I found new lumps on a regular basis 'cause he was one of those dogs that got lumpy in his old age. We discussed what we'd do if he had a relapse SO many times. Maybe this was the reason it wasn't so hard to come to the euthanasia decision. Also, he was pretty old when he passed and had led a full life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...