Rascal (RIP 3/23/16)

Denial – I knew he was sick. But I didn’t think he was that sick. Sure, cataracts blinded him, but that didn’t mean death. In fact, I was working on an inspirational post to show how pets don’t let illness ruin them. Rascal ran up and down the stairs just like normal; he didn’t mope about because of his visual impairment. However, about three months ago, he’d started vomiting. It wasn’t a lot, but throwing up is a sign. The vet had switched him to a prescription dog food. He refused the dry. He loved the wet. Still, he threw up. By the time I’d taken him back for a wellness visit, he was six pounds and his skeletal structure poked through his apricot fur. Dr. B. guessed that it was lymphoma of the intestines. But I still didn’t think the vet would suggest euthanizing him.

Bargaining – I should’ve taken him to the vet sooner. I should’ve been a better pet owner and friend. I wished I could’ve done more for Rascal. I snapped out of these thoughts. I cared for Rascal close to twelve years and I wasn’t going to let the last three months dictate my dedication. None of us holds the fate of another being in our hands, no matter how intertwined we become.

Anger – No, I didn’t want a “replacement dog,” as my best friend suggested. No, I wasn’t going to get a fish tank, as the mail lady recommended. Fish and dogs are not remotely similar. No, I didn’t want to talk about it and re-live trauma over and over again. And no, I didn’t want to be cheered up. Unlike many, I’m comfortable being sad and angry because I know it won’t last forever. No emotion does.

Depression – I take that back. I’d never felt so much pain for so long in all my life. Uncontrollable sadness ruled me for a few days. My mother died 27 years prior. My father died less than a year ago. I’ve attended a barrage of funerals in between. But I never could’ve predicted the heartache associated with losing Rascal. I thought I would sit in the car and quietly weep. You know, poetic-like? I didn’t. I wailed. I made noises I didn’t know existed. The person who always has it together, who analyzes death as a part of life, who writes about attachment and detachment as natural occurrences could not stop crying. It continued throughout the day when I felt compelled to walk a deceased Raz that evening. It persisted the next morning when I opened the blinds and porch door for an absent Rascal to sit outside. I held myself together long enough to teach, and then when the last student left, tears streamed down my face. Surely, this would end. I just didn’t know when.

Acceptance – You never think about your own dog actually dying. I didn’t, anyway. The day he was euthanized, I washed all of his belongings and donated them to the Humane Society. I knew it was an important step in my grieving process. I thought about how grateful I was to be able to have a dog that fit our family. I’d chosen a Toy Poodle due to Dwight’s allergies. He was little and smart, just like the rest of us. He cuddled with Desi when she rested, and when Kesi allowed him to, he slept in his favorite place, a blanket next to her bed. He traveled many states because if I could bring Raz with me, then I did. I suppose that’s why there was an outpouring of love when I announced it on Facebook. If you know me, then you knew Rascal. I’m grateful that I experienced pet-owner love. People say pets are like family, but I disagree, if you welcome a pet into your home, then s/he probably is family. I know Rascal was.

img_0629RIP Rascal (April 15, 2004-March 23, 2016)

122 thoughts on “Rascal (RIP 3/23/16)

  1. I’m so sorry about the little cutie 😢. We euthanized my family cat years ago and it tore my mom apart. I can only imagine how this feels when you’re so attached. Hugs and kisses xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Katherin, I know all of this stages of grieve all to well. My deepest condolences for having to say goodbye to a dear family member. A wonderful tribute you wrote, which I also know, isn’t easy to do. Big, no, ENORMOUS hug for you and your family.
    XxX

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I’m so sorry for your loss Kathy! I haven’t experienced it yet with a dog. We’ve lost two cats early on, fish, and a parakeet. Iwas sad but they were my kids pets so I wasn’t emotionally attached to them like they were. 12 yrs ago I adopted a Bichon-Poo. I never understood the grieving, and how silly people can be about their pets until Diva Dog. Within hours I was smitten and one of those silly people.

    She’s showing signs of aging and I’m now thinking about losing her sometime in the next few years.
    I never saw this coming.
    It won’t be easy losing her. She is family!

    I hope with each passing day you find comfort, and joy remembering Rascal, and the blessings he brought to you and yours, and you his life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for such a thoughtful reply! Let me warn you right now. You…will…not…be…ready. I promise you, especially if you didn’t think you were going to fall inlove with Diva Dog in the first place lol I was the same way with Rascal. People could hardly believe that I LOVED the dog as much as I did.

      Anywho, love her as much as you can now. And thanks for the kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for asking. Some days it’s okay and then sometimes something weird will happen…I can smell him. Now, I know it’s probably because he had his favorite laying down spots and that doggy smell is hard to get out lol, but it does remind me of him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so sorry for your loss – our dogs are the most amazing additions to our family xxx My Brother has always said we live longer than our beloved pets because they would never be able to live without us. x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aww Rascal 💕. I know this feeling; today (24 march) was 3 years since our cat Delphin died. He held out until the first weekend we spent at our new home in the country. Only 2 deaths (of beings I knew) have truly upset me- Delphin’s and a year later almost to the day , my aunt’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww I’m sorry your dog died. I remember when my first pet died it was really hard for me and I cried for at least three days and it took me a while to even think about taking in another one. Pets are family, their living, breathing, beings with their own personalities.Unfortunately I don’t think people really understand that when they say insensitive things like “Just get a replacement”. Again I’m sorry, just know he’s in a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the empathy Mila! That’s exactly how it was. I didn’t know how I was going to go on! Yeah, it’s like saying get a replacement sister or something. Thanks for the well-wishes and understanding.

      Like

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about Rascal’s passing. I have a little boston terrier who is 12 and has cataracts and is going deaf and the thought of him dying is unbearable. I know it will happen, but I dread it. They absolutely are family. Sending you love ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry for your loss Sista Garland. What’s crazy is no one knows the attachment you can have for a dog, until you have one, and it dawns on you pretty quick how much you can love an animal. They become family. There is a real bond there, that non pet/dog owners will never know, and I’m sorry you have to feel that pain. The last time I had a dog was damn near 10 years ago, and I was close with her, and literally cried as a grown man when I had to give her up. I haven’t gotten a dog since because I don’t want to go thru that again. Thank you for sharing this intimate part of your life, grief isn’t something that’s easy to share. Hope you have a great day today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dave! Isn’t that crazy??? I felt the same way, like how could I have felt so deeply for this little dog? I feel you. I don’t think I could ever own another pet because, like you said, who wants to go through that again?

      Thanks for dropping by 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I know how you feel, I see feel the pain till now for all my departed dogs. Cause they are my own family, I love them so much. I had Diana for less than a year, she died at just six months of age on June 15th, 2015. She was born on Dec 20th, 2014. I cried so hard, my friends start teasing me and making fun of me, cause I was away at school when she died and couldn’t even mourn properly cause I had exams. Before I went back home, my mum got me another dog. At first, I was feeling like I would detest it because I didn’t want a replacement dog, but now I love him, my precious baby. You never get over the loss, but like you say, you’ll heal. People who say you can get another dog, offhandedly don’t know what it feels like to care deeply for pets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that Lara! Was there something wrong with her? I can’t imagine having to actually go to school AND take exams on top of all of that. It was hard enough for me to concentrate, so I understand how difficult that was for you.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying your new dog though! That’s kind of a happy ending/beginning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She got sick suddenly, and funny thing she was a vet’s place, cause I was away at school and my travelled, she couldn’t stay with us, so we gave her to a vet, but I guess the other dogs that stayed with him, had a disease, her death wasn’t peaceful.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Good-bye beautiful dog and beautiful friend! I am still crying for my cat. I feel like I killed him because I just couldn’t afford the vet. Even when I could see he was dying, it was just impossible for me to get him healthcare. So even now, I keep telling him I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, as if he can still hear me.
    And I’m so sorry you’re sad too. XO

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Kathy. It’s so horribly, terribly, overwhelmingly devastating to lose a pet. I’m sad for you and your family. They are such a constant presence in our lives and when they are gone the hole is so much bigger then you expect. Twelve years is a long relationship and it’s bound to be crushing when you lose someone you’ve loved for that long. I hope that the hurt gets less raw and you stop seeing Rascal out of the corner of your eye and expecting him to be there. Cherish the memories. Huge hugs to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks bunches Johanna! It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I’m glad I feel so much better today because quite honestly, I didn’t think I ever would. Every now and then, I expect to hear his little bark. But for the most part, I’m good. Thanks for your words 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’ve had to euthanize four cats in the last eight years, and it never gets easier. You do everything you can for those little guys, and when it’s finally over it is crushing. Our last one was the best, if there is such a thing. He was suffering so much and the vet was so kind. He hadn’t purred for a weeks and then right as our vet put in the drugs his motor started up. I was so happy to end his pain, but so sad to let him go. Sniff. Crying for both of us, and our pets, and hard decisions. XOX

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It was. I loved that cat so much — his name was Gabriel. What a good boy. The last night, we just curled up on my bed, and I played a spiritual meditation for him/us. It was his time to go, though. Thanks for sharing and empathizing. It really makes a difference. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Kathy, I’m crying my eyes out after reading this. Sorry for your loss just doesn’t sound good enough. Our Mr Cheese turned 17 last week and I’m trying to brace myself for this heart breaking loss soon to come but reading your pain gives my heart a tremendous pain. Hugs Sweetie and Raz loved you more than anything I’m sure of. XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks LC! I thought I’d be able to prepare for it but the truth is there’s absolutely no way that you can prepare for something so painful. Thanks a bunch for your words and thoughts. I’m so much better weeks later, but I think about my doggy every single day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He was a cutie. I know you miss him terribly. It does get better with time I’m sure. I know when Mr. Cheese passes I will be beside myself. But reading this helps a little to know that you are getting better each day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. very good…God is taking me in lots of new directions and stretching me in where I should go and what I should do. How about you? What is up with you? I see you are busy pouring out your words to change the world…and you are!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. That little Rascal will always be in your heart. Dogs form a special bond with their people–absolute trust, devotion, empathy–that humans seem incapable of. No wonder we love them so much. 🙂 My heart goes out to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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