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Said Goodbye To My Beloved Dog, Scruffy, Yesterday December 6, 2011

Posted by myblueheavenknits in Uncategorized.
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When do you know it is time to let a beloved pet go?

My dog, Scruffy (she was female), and I were so close, I don’t really have words for it – maybe just unconditional love will do.  We got her from the dog pound many years ago after we suddenly lost another beloved dog, Julie, to kidney failure.  We waited about 3 months after Julie, then decided our lives would be better if we had another dog to love and enjoy.  So we decided to adopt a dog from the pound and off we went.

Scruffy was the darling of the personnel at the pound.  She had escaped her former owners on New Year’s Eve, probably with all the noise going on, but sadly, she was hit by a car, and had just now recovered at the dog pound at Easter when we first saw her.  We knew we had a winner immediately, since she was in a cage with a pitbull.  After we adopted her, we found she had the sweetest disposition, never bit anyone, and barked only to alert us there was someone at the door.  She didn’t like being tied up (she would chew through the restraint) or closed into a room (scratched at the carpet until it was bare).  Getting her checked out and microchiped at the Vet, he said she was mostly a Schnauzer, with something else mixed in, because of her coloring, charcoal with silver what is called “feathers” on her eyebrows, whiskers and legs.  He also said that she was probably about 1 year old.  The Dog Pound manager said she already had a litter of two, but they were stillborn.  This led us to think she was about 1 year old when we got her in 1998, so that would put her at almost 14 yesterday.

We took her for walks, she chased squirrels out our small backyard and generally did everything a happy dog would do for about 8 years, and then we noticed she was stepping off curbs and bumping into things, so I took her to a specialist and they told me she was going blind, a congenital problem with Schnauzer’s called Retinal Degeneration.  Also, she had cataracts that even if we went through surgery to fix, would not slow the gradual blindness caused by the Retinal Degeneration.  So, over a year’s time, she slowly went blind, although I swear she could still see enough to determine night and day.  She became cautious when walking, slowed down, felt her way around the house by zig-zagging, hitting walls, etc. until she settled where she wanted to be.  Still, she was happy to be with us and memorized the paths through the house, the doggie door to go outside, so we just adjusted our routines a bit, trying to not move furniture or putting boxes in her memorized way and onward we went.  She still could hear and smell, so that is how she  made up for being blind.

Then she started going deaf.  We would call to her and she would invariably turn in the opposite direction because she was hearing only partially and could not tell where the sound was coming from, but we adjusted again and onward we went.  At this point, her walks shortened, she got slower and I started noticing that her hip and leg joints seemed to be stiff and bothering her.  We thought that maybe she tumbled off the two steps she had to navigate to get to the backyard, but it was really more like arthritis from her early days when she was hit by that car.  She started losing her footing and her legs would not hold her up on our wood flooring, so we put runners, mats, carpets, etc. everywhere we thought she wanted to go in the house.  She was OK on grass, carpet and brick, but wood floors and our deck gave her problems.

For the last few weeks, we have found her “splatted” in the kitchen, unable to get up and whimpering.  I had picked her up several times, but being the obstinate little girl she was, she would not avoid these areas.  Once I found her whimpering on the middle step of the deck, unable to go either up or down and this is when I started to get a huge ache in my heart.  How could we go anywhere if I feared we would find her helpless and in distress when I got home?

I knew she had been giving me signs that she was ready to go for about a year, but making the decision to let her go – when do you really know when that is?  For each case, a different answer.  For us, yesterday was our answer.  We were with her at the end and I know we will meet again in heaven, both in our perfect bodies, filled with the love that we will ever keep between us.  Yes, I cry and ache for the loss of my little girl, Scruffy.  No words can comfort, no good wishes can ease this ache of loss.  Life will go on, but with just a little less happiness.  This is what beloved pets give you – and I know it stays with you even into the next world.

I thank Sandy for sending me this poem she wrote and said it was OK to share with all of you.

Let Me….

Let me romp among the flowers,

feel His warmth upon my back,

with no locks on Heaven’s Gateways,

and no leash to hold me back.

Let me play among your memories,

bringing comfort and not pain,

open up your heart to others,

so I have not lived in vain.

Let me be the one to greet you,

when your days on earth are through,

for I wait among the flowers,

to spend Eternity with you.

-by Sandy Sherman

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Comments»

1. Sandy Sherman - December 6, 2011

So sorry for your loss, I feel your pain. We lost both of our beloved pets last summer within 3 weeks of each other. Both were euthanized. One was a stray we picked up 5 years ago. She tested positive for hearworm disease and we had her cured. She developed a malignant tumor on one let, she had surgery. We did her dental work as they were in bad shape from living on the streets. But then for 5 years we thoroughly enjoyed her, and she had a good life. Then she began having seizures and going blind, it was time to let her go. Here is a poem I wrote after an earlier pet passed away, feel free to share it.

Let Me….
Let me romp among the flowers,
feel His warmth upon my back,
with no locks on Heaven’s Gateways,
and no leash to hold me back.
Let me play among your memories,
bringing comfort and not pain,
open up your heart to others,
so I have not lived in vain.
Let me be the one to greet you,
when your days on earth are through,
for I wait among the flowers,
to spend Eternity with you.
-by Sandy Sherman

2. Lynne - December 6, 2011

I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I really enjoyed reading your story about Scruffy.

myblueheavenknits - December 6, 2011

Thank you for this. I am just going to get a good cry out this morning and see if I can make it through this day. I will always remember her wagging tail, her softness and warmth as we curled up at night together and how she ran to the door when I came home, eager for a pet and a kiss. We shall do all this and more when we meet each other again.


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