Goodnight Sweet Chelsea Girl

I’d like to do Saturday over. I’d like to not fret about a $40 remnant rug ruined by a frantic dog. I’d like to quit bitching for the two hours it took me to mop dried dog poop off the hard-wood floors. Instead, I’d like to sit with her a little longer, kiss her face and say again and again how much I love her, remind her that she is such a sweet girl.

Chelsea was up and around most of Saturday, stayed pretty much out of my way while I cleaned up her mess, but DW and I noticed that she wouldn’t take any food or water.

“Her stomach must really be bugging her, ” we both thought.

By early Saturday evening, Chelsea layed down in our mud room and there she stayed. Each of us took turns sitting with her, petting her head, kissing her nose. There was no whimpering or noises indicating she was in pain, but when DW would try to get her to stand, her back legs would tremble and she would sink to the ground.

“It has to be her back flaring up again, ” DW insisted Sunday morning, “If only we could get her to eat, I could increase her Prednisone and she would feel so much better.” (See Dog Days for more information.)

We got her to eat some scrambled eggs Sunday, but still no water. Chelsea hadn’t gone to the bathroom since the explosion Saturday. She hadn’t moved all day. A few times in the afternoon DW carried her outside to enjoy some fresh air and watch the kids playing in the neighborhood. I was entertaining some girlfriends on Monday afternoon for lunch, so food preparations needed to get started by Sunday evening. The smell of fresh boiled chicken floated throughout the kitchen. I was making my mom’s amazing vinaigrette chicken salad and peachy orange mousse. As I started shredding chicken, I just kept an eye on my sweet girl. Her white-haired muzzle stood out starkly against a dark brown throw rug.

“How about some chicken, ” I asked carrying over a small dish of freshly cooked meat. Her eyes just looked up at me, pleading. Not one bite was eaten.

It was almost midnight before I finally called it a day. I locked doors, turned out lights and gave one more kiss.

“Goodnight Sweet Chelsea Girl,” I said. She’ll be better in the morning, I thought.

At home Monday morning.
Monday morning was no different. The girls and I fell into our school routine: lunches, breakfast, backpacks. But DW hadn’t left yet. It is unusual for him to still be at the house past 6:30am. He sat in one of our reading chairs in the family area.

“Maybe we should call the vet,” he mumbled, “Soon.”

There was a sadness in his voice that was unfamiliar and uncomfortable.

“Absolutely. I’m sure they could just give her a steroid injection like we did last time and she’ll be good as new,” I responded.

Chelsea scooted herself into the kitchen Monday morning to be closer to us.
The vet was able to see her at 9am, right after the kids were off to school. At first DW insisted that he didn’t need me to go with him, that I should stay and get ready for my luncheon. He would call me if they weren’t going to give her steroids. I was really angry at first – why shouldn’t I go? I wouldn’t stay home if one of the children were going to the doctor. This was no different. I fumed a bit, assured him that cancelling lunch made the most sense, but he wouldn’t budge.

However, minutes before he was ready to leave he said, “Aren’t you ready to go? I’m leaving now.”

I wanted so much to yell at him, call him crazy – didn’t he just tell me not to come? But instead, I ran upstairs, threw on some clothes and headed out the door.

The vet was very patient. She checked the charts, listened while we droned on and on about Chelsea’s re-occurring back problems and how she just needed a steroid shot. Dr. W started to feel around and confirmed that there was tenderness on her spine, but then she asked, “How long has her belly been this swollen?”

DW and I just looked at each other. Swollen? She hadn’t been up for almost two days, we hadn’t noticed anything. Dr. W decided to run a full blood panel and some preliminary ultra sounds before providing steroid injections. DW and I sat in the examining room. We didn’t say too much, he played games on his phone while I texted my friends to cancel lunch. By now it was 11am – we had been at the vet for two hours already. Dr. W came back quietly, sat down and opened her chart.

“We think there is a mass on her spleen, ” she started, “and her red-blood count is only at 17%. We also tapped her belly and found blood. I don’t think her back is the problem.”

She talked about surgery options, non-surgery options and possible causes but over all she wasn’t very firm on the diagnosis.

DW took my shaking hand. Tears started streaming down my flushed cheeks.

“Well, who do we see now then?” I asked.

Dr. W told us we could take her to a veterinary emergency hospital about 30 minutes away and get a more extensive ultra-sound taken, see what they recommended. If there wasn’t really a mass, or if they thought it was her back, then they could give steroid injections. Otherwise, they were certainly the best place for surgery. Dr. W wasn’t shy in telling us the costs involved with each of these options as well, and again reminded us of our final option.

DW was silent for a few minutes. I think he was waiting for me to decide – waiting for my predictable emotionally driven response because he didn’t want to listen to reason at that moment either.

“Call the hospital and let them know we are coming then.” I said.

The silence in the car was deafening. It was the slowest I had every seen DW drive and by now it was almost one o’clock in the afternoon.

The hospital staff was waiting for us with faxed chart information. Everyone was very somber and kind. Barely thirty minutes went by and the vet already had the ultra-sound tests completed. She was extremely curt and frank.

“There is a very large tumor on her spleen that has ruptured. She has a lot of internal bleeding and…”

This was way too much information. Please, just stop talking, I thought.

“Wait a minute,” I blurted out. “We brought her in today because her back is flaring up. Our vet said there was a possibility that you could just give her steroids and we could go home.”

The doctor’s demeanor softened a little. “It’s not her back, ” she stated. “She is dying as we speak.”

The cancer was aggressive and could not be treated. We were all out of options except to make arrangements with our home vet, get the kids and say our goodbyes. The hospital staff wheeled Chelsea out on a gurney to the car. She still had not said a word. The doctor reminded us that Golden Retrievers are not complainers. It wasn’t surprising that she had done her best to not make us uncomfortable in her discomfort.

By the time we got both the girls from school and arrived at our home clinic, it was 4pm. The Hare was doing her best to be keep her composure. She kept looking to Dad as an example of how she should respond. He was calm, serious, non-emotional. The Tortoise and I on the other hand were in tears. We both wear our emotions on our shirt-sleeve. It was not containable. I am extremely thankful to the veterinarian staff and to our vet for really guiding my children through this process. There was no way I could begin to explain to them how this was going to take place. I barely understood myself.

We all sat in a private family room. There was a couch and a chair, but I chose to sit on the floor with Chelsea. The girls huddled with dad on the couch; all three of them placed a hand on Chelsea’s back. She was surrounded by her family. The first injection sedated her, brought her to a near twilight sleep. I kissed her and whispered loving notions in her ears. She began to sleep and then in just a few minutes the second injection took her from us forever. I heard unfamiliar sobbing and looked up. DW’s face was drowning, his deep blue eyes over flowing with grief. The Hare was also now crying in deep waves.

I don’t know how long we sat there – a while. Each of us petting her and talking to her even though we knew she couldn’t hear us any longer. As soon as we got home, DW rolled up her carpet and put-away her bowls. I wanted him to just sit for a minute, leave it all right where it was because I wasn’t ready to put anything away. But I know that each of us has to grieve in our own way, so I just sat with the girls on the couch. Till this point I had cried in a socially acceptable manner. But I knew I couldn’t contain it much longer and excused myself to “my place” – the shower. It was there that I could finally allow my heart to fully release, uninhibited.

It was a quiet evening. We ate in shifts and curled up in my bed to watch DVR’d episodes of Chopped from the Food Network. But at bedtime, both of the girls wanted their daddy to lay down with them.

I cleaned the kitchen, looked around for something that wasn’t there, locked the doors, turned out lights and whispered one last time,

” Goodnight Sweet Chelsea Girl.”

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268 thoughts on “Goodnight Sweet Chelsea Girl

  1. I just stumbled across your blog today and I had to comment, as I am sitting in my office crying uncontrollably. This was just so beautifully written and brings up fears of my own that I will have to face someday. Even though it’s been over a year, I am still so sorry for your loss as I am sure that you still miss Sweet Chelsea.

  2. I hated reading this.

    No, nothing against you or your writing, but because I wasn’t there for my sweet Sadie Belle when she was “put to sleep”. My mother had remarried, and as a result, I had moved out of the house. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to have to see her go. I didn’t even go back to my mom’s house when they buried her in the yard, and I wouldn’t write on the makeshift headstone that they found for her.

    What was my problem? I was so “mature”. I knew “everything”. The worst part? “She was just a dog.” I could kick myself.

    To this day, I regret not being there for her, as she was there for me for 13 years. I was such an idiot.

  3. I must say, this brought me to tears.
    I have had a very similar experience with a golden retriever he lived to be 14 years old. His tumor wasn’t cancerous, but even so we had to put him down.
    =(. Very nice that you could put all this in words, I wouldn’t know how.

  4. Your top 10 list led me to this post. Thank you for sharing. We put our dog, Addieb to sleep over a year ago and just today we brought home another dog from our local shelter. We are still missing Addie so much… but are happy to have a dog in our home again.

  5. I stumbled across your blog tonight while surfing and I am speechless. We went through the same thing with our Golden, Emma, this past May.

    It is such a gut wrenching experience to say the least. I am so sorry for your loss.

  6. Hi there, That was a lovely tribute to your girl. It made me cry (phyically, sholders shaking and needing a tissue!) I am sure you and Chelsea spent a wonderful life together, both enriching each others lives! I have a yellow lab, Brody and I dread the day! Be well, keep her in your memories. You have an angel now!

    PS I reblogged this! I hope you don’t mind!

  7. Hi Emily,
    Wowsers! Really beautiful post. Was quite hard to read without bursts of (mixed) emotions coming to the surface. We had to put our West Highland terrier (Obi – http://bit.ly/bf88RF) down in February. He had diabetes and we never knew until he literally couldn’t walk. We took him to an animal hospital, where he stayed for around a week. Some days he improved, some he worsened but all the time I thought he’d back home soon for me to annoy (he liked the attention!).
    He never came home – I had to leave my friends wedding to put him down. I’ll never forget the quickening in his breathing when he saw us. He could barely move or sit up, but he knew who we were. I held his paw while the injection was administered and shared his last seconds. Without doubt the hardest thing I’ve had to do.
    It’s taken a while to adjust and I still feel a little weird walking through fields and on paths without him. Still miss his noises, him sitting at the front door making the whole house cold, his digestive obsession and most of all his company. He’s made me a better person.
    Sorry to be all negative! On the plus side we’re getting a puppy next week, a Westie again, so the cycle can begin again.

    Thanks again for your writing,

    Jon

  8. I’m so sorry about Chelsea…I have a 4 year old spitz who i affectionately call my bro… i cant even begin to think what it would be like without him…sorry again…chelsea is lucky to hav been wit u…

  9. I said goodbye to my dear Great Pyrenees, Anais, and my adored cat, Sasha, in the same way. On the floor, surrounding each, at their time, with all the love and strength I could muster. They had been there for me and I needed to be there for them, as hard and painful as that was.

    I am sending you and your family my most sincere condolences. I hope that somewhere in dog/cat paradise, my pets have welcomed Chelsea with kisses, barks and an invitation to play, pain free.

    All the best.

  10. I found your blog from a sweet comment you posted on my sister’s blog http://www.tarynmaxwell.com – you are a wonderful writer! I’m so sorry for your loss. I know with our dog it gave us great comfort to know that we were all able to be with him in his last moments. Doesn’t make it any easier but we are thankful we were able to be there.

    1. Thank you for the compliment. I love reading your sister’s blog – it makes me feel like I am back “home”. I’ve been in Michigan for almost 9 years now, but I still consider Texas home. Although it was very surreal being with Chelsea in her last moments, I know that I would have regretted not being there. Thanks.

  11. I’m sorry for your loss. We’ve lost several pets these past few years, so I know the value of being there to say goodbye even though it hurts. I’m sure Chelsea appreciated you being there for her after all the years she’s been there for your family.

  12. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what it must be like going through this, i’ve got a Golden Lab, she’s only 3 and just thinking about this makes me feel sick. Like others, I cried reading this and I just wanted to leave you a comment to show my sympathy. Hope all is well!
    – Nichola

  13. I read your post a few days ago, but couldn’t bring myself to comment at that time because it moved me to tears. I cried so hard, I scared myself.

    Our “first” child was Willie. We adopted him from the pound. He was mix of Chihuahua and Jack Russel, approximately two-yrs-old and a ball of feistiness. He had been abused, which left him with a deformed leg that caused him to limp. We had him on this earth for seven years until he was diagnosed with leukemia. The vet put him on prednisone, which we were told would lessen his discomfort but wouldn’t prolong his life.

    At the time, I was pregnant with our first “human” baby and I was a total wreck. As the disease progressed, Willie had days that he couldn’t even get up to go outside without assistance. My husband worked nights and there I was…belly big with child and I had to pick up my other child up to take him out to use the bathroom.

    Five weeks after the birth of my son, in Jan 2002, we knew we had let Willie suffer long enough for our sakes. My husband called the vet to let them know we were bringing him in. I called my granny who lived an hour and half away to ask permission to have a him laid to rest in her backyard (all of our family pets are buried there in a special section). My husband reacted as yours…he took a big black trash bag and began stuffing all of Willie’s possessions into it. He said that he didn’t want any traces to remind him when we came home.

    After leaving the vet’s office on the drive to my granny’s, we said nothing to one another as Willie’s lifeless body lay in a cardboard carrier in the back. When we arrived, we found that my family had already dug a grave for him. Everybody in my family loved Willie and we all cried together before putting him into the ground. It was one of the saddest days of my life. About a year later, one of my aunts bought a grave marker for him…that’s how special my Willie was to everyone that met him.

    As I write this comment, I can’t stop crying because it still hurts my heart. We have never gotten another dog, but we want to at some point. We’ve had another child since then (my son is now seven and half and my daughter is almost five) and want them to get a little older before we take the plunge. BUT there will never be another Willie. He was one of a kind and I thank goodness we had him for the seven years that we did!

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Thank you so much for reading. I really appreciated your comments and my heart goes out to your family too. Hugs to you and your wonderful children.

  14. A touching story indeed. It brought back memories of taking my Golden Retriever boy Bryn to the vets with a nose bleed, and returning home without him. I sat alone in our house for the rest of that day wondering how I was going to break the news to my wife and three girls. How could I tell them that it was not just a nose bleed caused by an embedded grass seed or something silly as we had expected, but cancer.
    We have had our present boy Merlin for over six years now. We could’t bear not having a dog around the house, so he came to us shortly after Bryn’s death. Even though it is over 6 years ago it still affects me now when I think about it. I am so sorry for your loss.

    1. Thank you – I know what it is like, being taken off guard – you are in shock. Life just seems to stop for a moment. Hugs to you and your family too.

  15. I am not the kind of person, who normally posts my comments. But I couldn’t help myself and when I read through your blog all I could say was, “Very touching”. I lost my dog ‘Bruno’, and it was very hard for me. I had grown up with him, and knowing one day that he did not exist just didn’t seem right.All the people who posted a comment on your blog are different. The reason is all of us consider our pets to be our family. Each comment had a story of its own to share. My deepest condolences to you, but you know what, I think my Bruno might make friends with Chelsea and cheer her up, as she too is away from you.

    1. Thank you for sharing yourself through your comments. I think Chelsea would love to be friends with Bruno.

  16. I cried while reading your post. Now I am missing my dog more. 😦
    We left our 7 year old poodle in the Philippines. We emigrated to the United States 2 years ago. It’s really sad to part with him and always think how he is doing, but at least in your case, however painful Chelsea’s death was, you are assured that she is somewhere in a better place now without suffering (and probably enjoying unlimited dog food!).

    Are you planning to get another dog Miss?

    1. We will probably get another dog, but it will be a while. We need time to adjust to the change in our family.

  17. To Spud, I understand, how you feel about your dog. Something similar happened to me. My dog Chiquito died in Argentina while I was here in the US. I was planning to bring him over. I feel that he, up in Doggie Heaven, thinks I abandoned him. Eugenia

  18. Though I do not know you, my heart is with you today. Having gone through a similar situation twice, I can feel your heartache.

    I cannot think of a more loving tribute to your beloved family member/friend/baby than this touching and very well-written blog post.

  19. It’s pure serendipity that I came upon your blog. I almost couldn’t read it. We put our 11 year old Golden Retriever, Annie, down on May 10th. My hear goes out to you and your family.

    1. I am so sorry for your family! It must still be fresh in your mind too. Thank you for reading. Hugs to you and your loved ones.

  20. “Pack of Two” by author: Caroline Knapp was recommended reading by one of my teachers at Art School (she was losing her dog at the same time I was). A book illuminating our best friends: dogs. Knapp writes from the heart and brings us a new dimension to understanding the unique qualities of our relationships with dogs and perhaps why we bond so tightly to them. I was fortunate to find this book in our community library.
    Here is the link for Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.ca/Pack-Two-Intricate-Between-People/dp/0385317018

  21. I am so sorry for you loss. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my Hanibal on April 10, 2009.

    It does get easier to live with, but you never forget. Reading your post today has just started the tears flowing as if it all just happened again. It’s OK though, because within the tears I can now finally start to smile over the great memories of Hanibal.

    The vet’s office sent me a condolence card with a poem in it. The poem is called “Over the Rainbow Bridge.” You can find it at http://www.petloss.com/poems/maingrp/rainbowb.htm

    Your story was beautifully written. Just remember all the goods times with Chelsea, and all the special things she did. I know it’s hard to believe now, but it will get easier.

    Thank you so much for writing this, as I always try not to say anything about Hanibal because some people just don’t understand that he wasn’t just a dog…he was one of my kids.

    I did leave a post on WordPress for Hanibal’s 14th birthday. I know he’s happy that he wasn’t forgotten. And I know that Chelsea’s happy that you shared this heartbreaking story with so many people that care.

    1. Thank you so much for the poem link. There have been many references to the Rainbow Bridge and I hadn’t seen this poem until now. I’m so sorry to hear about Hanibal too. My youngest daughter was weepy again this morning so we had to have a little happy dance in Chelsea’s honor. She would have been 14 this coming September.

  22. Wow…I was just about in tears myself by the time I got to This was way too much information. Please, just stop talking, I thought.

    Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

    I really like the code names you use for the members of your family.

  23. Your beautiful, touching story brought me to the brink of tears, and I haven’t really cried in 40 years. 41 years ago I cried freely when we had to have our Lady put down. I was 12 and she was 17 going on 18. My parents got her either right before or right after I was born, so she was like a nanny to me. We bonded very early on. My mother tells me Lady would lick my face and I would lick her face right back. That English Setter was the character of the neighborhood. She loved to dance. She loved ice cream . . . especially chocolate. (She loved anything chocolate. This was before the experts told us it was bad to give it to them.) She loved to visit with the neighbors. She had this tail-mange thing that she wouldn’t stop chewing at, so they built this cage-thing around her tail. (I guess this was before they came up with the plastic neck-cone things.) She would still wag her tail, and the cage – which was made from a very heavy wire – would really do some damage when it hit you. She hated the cage-thing and eventually succeeded in getting it off. Finally, they had to amputate, so she ended up with this strange, but cute, little stub that she wagged as if it were still her magnificent flowing tail.

    There are just so many stories of the old girl. Ones that you never tire of recalling. And ones that you never will forget.

    I now have a silly old Boone dog, who is going to be 17 in October. He’s a remarkable mutt, part German Shepherd and part Sheltie. Used to be greased lightening! Now, he still hangs in there. He does his best to keep up with our 5 year old Golden Retriever, Ginger. (Another dancing fool!) I tell people Ginger is Boone’s trophy wife! I know his day is coming. Sooner than anyone would like to think about, but it is coming. As stoic as I am I know that I will break down on that fateful day. A true and loyal friend is very worthy of tears. It will be my honor to cry for him.

    It comforts me to know that my kids will also have stories of the old boy (and our newer girl) that they will never forget.

    Your family is blessed to have had Chelsea. And, I think the world is a little warmer, a little better off, because of the shared love of your family and your Sweet Chelsea Girl.

    — Your Uncle Rave

    1. Amazing that you still can recall so vividly your childhood dog. I guess that is how it will be for my 12 year old too. I laughed out loud about the “trophy wife”. Thank you for a smile today.

  24. I kept seeing the title and picture for this post on Freshly Pressed. I knew what it was about. I kept avoiding clicking on it. But today, I couldn’t help myself. And sure enough, by the end of your post I was sobbing. I am 46 years old and have had 4 golden retrievers in my lifetime. All three of the dogs I had before the one I have now – I’ve had to make the same heart wrenching decision you and your family had to make. It is never easy. It always hurts so very, very deeply. The only thing that has helped me through the years is knowing that I helped my precious dogs leave this world with dignity, less suffering, and with me by their side. I am hurting all over again for you, your precious family and Chelsea. Holding you close in my heart during this difficult time.

    1. Thank you for sharing with me today – I can’t imagine going through this again, although I know we will have another dog one of these days. Hugs to you too.

  25. I’m sorry, I only read the first few paragraphs and the last 2 lines and I couldn’t read the rest because the tears were coming out.

    It’s absolutely horrible losing a loved pet. 😦
    Sorry for your loss.

  26. Found your blog today and bawled. I’m so sorry for your loss. We have three Goldens, staggered in age so when we lose one, hopefully there will still be one at home wagging its tail and looking at us with those big brown eyes. They are the best dogs ever. Humans with fur, indeed. Sincerest sympathies to you and your family.

  27. I’m so sorry that you lost Chelsea, it’s heartbreaking. I’m always amazed how strong and brave pets can be, and often you don’t even know until it’s too late. I just lost my beloved rabbit about a week ago, and I know that my girlfriend and I are absolutely crushed. There is an emptiness that cannot be filled.

  28. Wow, I am so sorry for your loss. We recently lost our dog to cancer and she was definitely a fighter but we still have her son….out of the 12 others she gave birth to. I hope you two girls are handling it well, my condolences from my family to yours.

  29. I sometimes wish that our pets would complain a little more, so that you know when something is really wrong. My mother lost her dear Rottie, Timo, to cancer not that long ago. She only found out that there was cancer when Timo broke her leg while playing with another dog.

    Your story touch me. I hope that Chelsea has a speedy journey over the rainbow bridge. I hope you remember her in her prime and cherish those memories. My thoughts are with you.

  30. I am so sorry for your loss. I am a man and men don’t cry——WRONG. Chelsea died with all your love with her.

  31. Bless your heart I’m so sorry about Chelsea. I’ve been where you are, sis, and I know nothing makes it better. I’m so glad all the people she loved most were with her when she passed. I know that made it so much easier for her. Thinking of you and your family and your sweet Chelsea.

  32. I’m so sorry. I just teared at my desk while reading this. There is nothing like losing a pet. May fond memories get you through this terrible time.

  33. My heart goes out to you and your family. Chelsea’s picture reminded me of River our beloved golden retriever who passed away last year. Goldens are special dogs they teach us about love, trust, compassion, they are goofy, lovable, smart and in one word they are friend. Our pets will always have that special place in our hearts a fond memory or funny story to share and that is the gift they leave us.

  34. Emily, so sorry to hear about Chelsea. Losing a member of your family is so hard, no matter how old they are or how many furry legs they’ve got. That Dog Heaven book is definitely a good one for young people.

    Thanks for your post. It was beautifully written.

    – Ali

  35. My heart goes out to you and your family. Chelsea’s picture reminded me of our beloved River who passed away last year. Golden retrievers are a special breed – they are loving, smart, goofy, they teach us love, trust, compassion in a word they are friend. Our pets become a part of us. There will always be a fond memory or a funny story to share and that is the gift they give us.

  36. We are so sorry for your loss. Like so many who have commented here, we know this kind of pain well. We lost both our golden LoJack and our lab Nikki late last year to cancer and age. I can only offer you a paraphrase of words that a reader said to us, the words that stood out among so many well wishes and wise thoughts on our blog (which now has an entire category dedicated to the topic of pet loss)…”Be glad you got to love enough to grieve, not everyone does.”.

    You have some empty days ahead and will always be a little teary when you think of her, nothing can take that away. Chelsea knows you love her and wants to you to be happy, to think of her and smile…and you wll again one day.

    Shady and Melissa

    1. Your words are powerful. Thank you. The sadness confirms what an important part of our family Chelsea was, and not “just a pet”. Thank you.

  37. I lost my golden retriever to a rare strain of parvo several years ago. My surmise is that she contracted it when we lived in Central America, and that symptoms didn’t present until after we’d been back in the states for several months.

    It took me a couple of months to properly grieve, I think. I remember it well. A few months had gone by, and we’d picked up a golden retriever/yellow lab mix puppy we called Jack. On this particular afternoon he was just back from vet after having been fixed; he was a little blonde furball with a small plastic cone over his head.

    I was watching Forrest Gump. At the point where Tom Hanks delivers the line, “You died on a Tuesday”, *something* made me look over at Jack.

    And out it came.

    And came.

    And came.

    I cried so hard my eyes appeared bloodshot for a week. I had no idea how much the loss really, REALLY meant to me.

    My heart goes out to you. I offer my deepest condolences.

    1. I agree, it hits you at the least unexpected moments. This morning is was the left over crusts from my youngest daughter’s peanut butter sandwich. Chelsea would salivate everytime the peanut butter jar would be taken out of the pantry. She loved those sandwich crusts. Hugs to you and Jack.

  38. My heart goes out to you. I had to let my beloved cat Amber go after a brief illness last week, and I’m still devastated. Be gentle with yourself during this difficult time. I wish for you that in time, memories of your time with Chelsea will replace this awful pain you’re feeling now of missing her.

  39. Your post about Chelsea is beautiful and I dread the day I have to put my dogs down. My little one, Samantha is older now and we love her so much and Frankie, the shepard collie mix – is younger but we love them both so much.

    Dogs live in the here and now so I try not to think ahead and enjoy their presence while we are together NOW.

    But…time marches on and one day…You showed your pet amazing courage in the face of her discomfort. Don’t forget to listen sometimes if you hear the “jangling” of her dog collar – she is always with you.

    1. Thank you – I don’t think I could have made the right decision by myself. DW is the rock in our house, and yes, I already thought I heard her nails clicking across our hardwood floors yesterday.

  40. So sorry for your loss. Whilst we all wish you well it doesn’t really help. Only time will blur the edges of grief and allow you to recall all the wonderful memories you have of Chelsea. Do hope you will have another pet soon. Have been through the same situation myself, but I know I can’t live my life without the trust and love given by a pet.

    1. I know we will have another dog – I’m just not sure when. I can’t imagine this house without the love of an animal.

    1. We feel so lucky to have had her – my girls are 8 and 12. As painful as it was for them to be with her when she died, they both agreed it would have been harder to not have been able to say goodbye.

  41. Dearest Emily and family,

    I am sitting here in tears and my family and I send our heartfelt condolences. We have 2 dogs and a cat (who thinks he is a dog too!). They are our furry friends and are very special to us. I cannot bear the thought of them not being here with us.
    May you and your family treasure the lasting memories of your lovely Chelsea.

    Snuffles and cuddles from “Lucky, Lucy and Jake” too!

  42. While reading your post I could recall each and everything that happened to us…and at the end the post it seemed that I lost Dino again… Mind is flooded with his memories now…which I refrain from entering my mind. Cos whenever they come…I fall apart. A pet might just be a pet for most families, for me he was jus like my kid. Its been a year and a half and I still cry for him everyday…. I was very unfortunately of not being able to say a final Bye to him. I long for that cuddle… he would sit and struggle to break free and I would hug him ever more tight.
    As I write this on your blog my heart is aching for you and your family…. And for Chelsea…And for my Dino too… half of the post was enough to make me cry….
    Dino died almost in similar condition… I often had to clean the poop but I dint mind. All I wanted was to hug him and tell him that its alright…people often say that female dogs are very mature they hardly trouble you… Dino never troubled us too… I miss all those cute lil things that he used to do to make me smile whenever I used to be in a bad mood… I miss the stare of his sparkling eyes… I miss his warm tickling tongue licking my toe….i miss his bark… the way he used to make me roam around him with the bowl of his food… our walks… terrace sessions… I miss calling out his name ‘Dino’…. I miss him in every bit of my life…
    I try to remember him through my blog… I hardly talk to people about him… cos i don’t want them to be in a dilemma of how to calm me down…
    I believe that the cycle of taking birth goes on till eternity…hence, I think that Chelsea would come back on the earth in a new form… I just wish what I wish for my Dino…that may you meet her again,,, in her new form…and I hope her to remember you and all the love that you all showered on her…

    </3
    Garima

    1. Garima – I am so sorry for your grief. Thank you for your comforting words. Using my blog as part of the grief process was essential – I’m sure it is the same for you. Hugs.

  43. I am so sorry.. i know how it feels, you got me crying at my office i am a dog lover as well and i believe they are the greatest friends ever!

    I wish you and your family the best!

  44. I saw this on the page main and as my 12+ year old Golden Retriever is starting to really show the signs of ageing I appreciate what you have written.

    Condolences to you and your family.

  45. I am very sorry to know about your loss. It must have been really tough and terrible for all of you, because it was so sudden. Chelsea looks so beautiful and seems to have been a wonderful member of your family. When I read your post I remembered the last lines from Hamlet which always bring tears to my eyes ‘Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’. I hope Chelsea is better wherever she is now and looking at your family and remembering her good times with you.

  46. I absolutely started crying when I realized what you had to do. Last summer I lost a puppy due to some health complications, but I was extremely attached to her. It was probably the hardest decision to make. I could have tried to get her surgery, but the vet said she probably wouldn’t have made it through a surgery. I was absolutely heartbreaking, and I felt close to the same heartbreak when I read this. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  47. I am crying as I write this because my dear beloved Topaz passed away the same way. She wouldn’t eat or walk or paly with her toys for a couple of days.

    She passed away at the vets. She a tumor on her spleen that had ruptured and her swollen belly was from the blood. I had no idea that anything was wrong with her.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is. My Topaz passed away 4 years ago but reading your story is like it was yesterday.

    My love and prayers go out to you and your family at this sad time.

    Ivonne

  48. Oh man, you struck a chord deep in all of us. I am so sorry. Like everyone else, tears are streaming down my face. Two labs, finally slowing down a little after almost eleven years and too many visits to the vet, lie behind me, looking up to see what’s wrong. So sorry.

  49. I can’t say this phrase without crying, maybe I’ll have better luck writing it; ‘Grief is the price we pay for Love.’ My dog is the centre of my life; my most faithful friend, my most loving companion and the creature that makes me laugh out loud each and ever day with his antics and his sheer joie de vivre. What an unfillable gap he will leave when he goes, I can’t even imagine how I’ll cope. My thoughts are with you and your family at this very sad time.

    1. Thank you for your kindness – grief is the price we pay, isn’t it? But oh, how I would never take it back. Every tear is worth the days we had with Chelsea.

  50. I began reading your post with a feeling of trepidation, knowing that at some point I was going to cry, but also knowing that I really wanted to read your story. I am so glad that I pushed through the tears. Thank you for sharing your experience. The pain of losing my first dog (also a blond golden) is still very real, even after ten years. My heart goes out to you and your family. Goldens are special dogs, true care givers. I’m not sure how old your daughters are, but there is a great book about losing your pet called Dog Heaven, by Cynthia Rylant. Thanks for the beautiful post.

    1. My girls are 8 and 12 – I will look for that book. Thank you for the information, and thank you for your sympathy.

  51. Hi Emily, Chelsea was so brave. Mia is right, she will live on forever in your hearts, and it’s a great blessing that she could be part of your children’s lives as well. She was such a sweet and brave girl, and I’m sure she drew her that strength from you and your husband as well. Stay strong.

    take care,
    adelene

  52. I stumbled on your blog while eating breakfast. It’s a beautiful day here, sunny and warm and at my feet on the floor I have my own 2yr old retriever Freya lying on her back, lobbying for a belly scratch. Having read your entry… she will most definitely get it. And probably a weekend full of extra treats and long walks in all her favourite places.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t know that there is anything I could say to offer comfort that hasn’t already been said by all the wonderful people here… so instead I just wanted to tell you thank you for reminding me to cherish each moment even more.

    I wish you and your family healing and all the very best.
    – Rayn

  53. Your vivid piece brings back memories of dog loss and the heartbreak. They love so unconditionally and we wish we could comfort them in their pain, but we cannot always do it…leaving us the tough decision, such as you faced. I think it is wonderful you had time to call your family together to say good-bye. We lost our yellow Lab, Jasmine, almost one year ago, on the way to our vacation home. She had had health issues, but had been doing okay. Halfway to our destination, a short walk with her “sister” hound Penelope, went well until we were returning to the car, and Jasmine collapsed, unable to breathe properly. Passersby stopped and told us an emergency vet clinic was a short distance away. We drove her there, carried her in, and when the vet examined her, he saw, and we saw, her gums were blue. He told us she was dying, and we were told our options quickly. We had to decide then and there not to prolong her pain. We could not put her through surgery, at her age, fourteen and a half, so we told the vet to “put her down.” Your story brought all these memories back. We think of her every day…thought we heard her barking last night. Our condolences to you and your family. Thanks for sharing.

    1. That decision is so hard, even when we know in our mind what the right one truly is – our hearts want another option. You were right to not choose surgery. My husband had a hard time telling me it was time to “let her go” but there really was no other choice. Hugs to you and your family.

  54. Oh my goodness that is beautifully written. Thank you so much for writing about this, I have a border collie baby and I am just so scared for when that day comes…

    I wish you and your family the best.

    Tatiana

  55. I´m so sorry for your family loss.
    I love dogs, and i just realized today that Wally (my 8 yeas old black Lab – ) is getting old – a “senior dog”;
    Chelsea history shows how tough dogs are, much more stronger than humans: they live their lives, without thinking all the time in things like troubles, pain, and problems like that, even a cancer.
    I’m sure you and your family gave her all the love, affection and attention throughout his life – and she was very happy, till the end.
    I hope, one day, you guys get together again!
    Greetings from Brazil, (and sorry for my bad English)

  56. i forgot to say this, the next dog that i got looked just like the other two mixed together. thats how i knew she was my new dog. i love her so much. i hope one day you will be able to move on and find another love also.

  57. i am sitting here in tears. tears for you and for me. i have been through this twice in the last four years with two of my dogs. they passed a few months apart. my husband took the larger dog and the next time a friend and i took the smaller dog. she was smart enough to send me out of the room after the first shot. i went into the parking lot and cried as if i had lost my mom or dad. then a few months later it was her turn. then my daughter in law. its just a horrible sad thing to deal with. i think a lot of it is because we can’t talk to them about it. we can’t explain it. and we are never sure that they truly understand just how much we loved them. hugs to you.

    1. I think they do know how much we love them – it’s in the way they interact with us…kiss our toes, lay by our feet, greet us at the door. It does feel like the loss of a family member. Thank you for sharing.

  58. I lost my dog the same way, he was gone within the hour. We were devastated. Griefstricken. Numb. My heart is with you, I am so sorry for your loss. It’s been two years, we have another dog, but there isn’t a day that I don’t remember my beloved beast, Sampson. I know Chelsea is at Rainbow Bridge, running free and happy.

  59. I ran across your blog by accident. I’m sitting here in tears. Two weeks ago I lost my cat, Prissy, who was 18. Our animals are family and losing them is a blow. It takes time and tears to get to a place where there are just fond memories rather than a huge hole in our existence. Chelsea sounds as if she was a wonderful dog. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  60. I am crying so hard right now. Reading this story … this is exactly what happened with my Fayth on 3 May 2007. I still miss her so much.

    Thank you for your story. It must have been so hard to write. She was such a beautiful dog and I am truly sorry for your loss.

  61. I am very sorry for your loss. I read this post because I saw a grey muzzled golden retriever, then after I clicked on it I saw the title. Crazy little world we live in, I had a golden retriever named Chelsea growing up.

    She was the best dog anyone could ask for. She was 2 when I was born and she stayed with me for the first 12 years of my life. Best dog ever.

    Taking her to the vet to be put to sleep was so darn hard.

    Sorry again.

  62. My condolences to you and your family. I know no amount of words could reconcile the sadness. This beautiful piece of blog on your furbabe will ensure her memories will linger longer. H

  63. Hi,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I had a 14 year old Doberman and she was wonderful. All the same issues with the back legs. A week before we put her to sleep, she had all the same symptoms as Chelsea. I had the vet come to the house and we put her to sleep in the living room. You gave Chelsea much love and took good care. My heart goes out to you and the family.

    God Bless

  64. Thanks so much for you sweet post. I know how hard it can be….both Barb and I have done those goodbyes more times than I would care to admit. But…perhaps more importantly….the wonderful friends that have shared thier lives with us over the years. They have loved us unconditionally and asked nothing for themselves except perhaps a calm touch and a caring heart. It was obvious to me that you and your family are very special…as was your dear Chelsea. Words alone can not express my sincere sorrow for your loss…but I also know…that Chelsea is truly in the sunlight…running and playing in green fields…and waiting for you and yours.

    1. Thank you for your kindness – my youngest daughter said last night, “At least now Chelsea can see her other doggy friends in heaven. Do you think they are having fun, mom?” (she is referring to a chocolate lab, a black lab and two yellow labs that were our close friends’ who have passed away in the last couple of years.) Of course I said “yes”.

  65. Emily and family-

    I am incredibly sorry for your loss and empathize with you. Just two weeks ago we had a very similar situation with our dog however she was only 4 years old. She wasn’t eating and couldn’t even hold down water. When we got to the vet he told us she likely had eaten something that got stuck in her intestines. We expected and dreaded this as the exact same thing happened when she was just a puppy. However this time she had become very unstable and the vet said she would not survive anesthesia. He said he could try to stabilize her with fluids but that would only worsen her bowel tissue which had become necrotic and was essentially poisoning her. In the most impossible decision of our lives, we decided to put her to sleep to end her suffering. I have cried almost every day since then and continue to have a feeling of regret but I know it was the best thing to do. We miss her terribly but it does get better slowly. I still hope it is all a dream and she comes back. It is truly amazing the impact those little creatures make in our lives. My thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

    -Alicia

    1. Hugs to you and your family. You shouldn’t second guess your decision – although it was difficult, it was the right decision. Thank you for sharing.

  66. It’s been years since my last dog died and it’s been even longer since I lost the best friend I’ve ever had. I, too, understand what you’re going through but, not to sound at all insensitive, be glad you got to tell her you loved her and that you got to say goodbye and knew it was the last one you’ll ever get to say to her….

    Your blog post is extremely well written, sending its readers on an emotional path where the destination is obvious but the ride was too smooth to care. You gave me an emotional impact in the right vicinity but where I least expected it. My cheeks are salty now.

    Hold on to Saturday because it will help you to appreciate the other, better days.

    1. Thank you – I write the way I talk and sometimes worry that I am too “wordy” or cliche. I appreciated your sympathy and your encouragement.

  67. Puppy dogs are absolutely amazing!

    The magical smiles they share with us, the wags & wiggles they express to show their excitement, the way they make us laugh, feel loved & protected is incredible.

    Having been through this pain myself both with clients & my own dog, Cindy, I send you my deepest condolences. Woof Woof

  68. Hey, I stumbled upon your blog and I just want to say that I am very sorry for your loss. I am sure Chelsea is smiling way up there knowing how much she is loved and treasured. =) Take care.

  69. I am truly sorry for your loss. I lost my beloved cat a month ago and I still grieve every single day. Our home is not the same without him and I know one day, the pain will ease but for now, it hurts too much. Just letting you know you are not alone. Chelsea was lucky to have all of you and you guys are lucky to have had her. All the best.

  70. When I saw the Monday morning picture of your sweet Chelsea, it reminded me soo much of my own Sandy-dog, who so uncannily resembled Chelsea that I could easily think this was a picture of Sandy in her last days. Sandy passed many years ago, but your story brought her back to life for me, as if it was just yesterday that she was with us. Although she continues to leave an “empty space”, I remember all the happiness and joy we shared and cherish the time I had with her. Thanks for sharing your story and touching my heart.

  71. This must have been so hard for you and your family. I’m very sorry for your loss. I also have a dog, she’s turning 2 this year, and even though she’s hale as ever, I can’t bear the thought of losing her. I’m sure that Chelsea is now in Pet Heaven with wings strapped on.

  72. I am so sorry for your loss. I cried as I read your words. Chelsea’s memories will be with you always. She will never forget you all either.

    My pets are my family and they are all I have. I can’t imagine when this day comes. At times they are the only thing keeping me alive.

    It was beautiful that you were all there for her as she crossed over.
    Chelsea and you all were truly lucky to have each other. Take care.

  73. Words cannot express how deeply sorry we are for your loss. My husband is an Animal Control Officer, I’ve devoted over 1,000 hours of volunteer time, and we’re both openly crying as we read your blog. Our two dogs are a very large part of our family and I simply cannot imagine life without them.

    There are no words or actions that can ease your pain, only time. Nothing or no one can ever replace Chelsea, but her spirit will live on in your hearts, and now all of ours, forever.

    May you and your family find peace and comfort,

    Tara

  74. I know you already have many comments on this but I just wanted to say that I am crying with you right now. 😦 Now something is missing, a someone that has been a part of your life for years and a GOOD part at that. The fact that there is nothing that could be done is no comfort I imagine.

    I am very sorry for your loss.

  75. What a beautiful story, and so well told. I am so glad you took the time to write it down so that others can know your experience. I have lost twelve cats, some after long lives, some short, some close together, some quite unexpected. No matter how you prepare yourself, it is never, never easy.

  76. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby. I’m in tears as we went thru the same thing in November with our gorgeous Border Collie Barney.

    Try to remember the wonderful times with Chelsea – she will always be in your heart.

  77. I’m sorry. My deepest condolences. Chelsea was a gorgeous girl and she clearly loved you guys. Be happy as Chelsea wouldn’t want to see her “charges” be sad that she is gone now. She was here to make you happy, comfort you.
    I once read an email that a little boy had said when his dog died: Dogs were brought to this world to teach us how to love, how to care, and how to respect each other. Once their job is done, they will leave. Chelsea has done her job. And she loved you guys. Once past the grieving, you will think back to the great times you had together, all the love she showed you, the adoration, the fun you guys had. Your friend, KSM.

    1. Thank you so much. I do feel like Chelsea taught us so much – patience, unconditional love, responsibility, kindness, compassion and of course how to care about others more than ourselves. I think we are all better for knowing her.

  78. I had a dog. He manifested similar symptoms – vomiting and diarrhea. I was overseas. My dad put him down and never called me; thought it was better to spare me the pain at the moment. I can tell you now that no matter how difficult it is to let your dog go, you have to be there; at least your dog knows it has been blessed and it is not taking its last walk alone. I live with the guilt wondering if my dog ever felt i abandoned it in his darkest moments. Take heart that Chelsea knew she was much-loved. She went away with a doggie heart full of happiness. You will miss her, and you will wish you did not yell at her, or wished you had done something different, but you know what? We all do the best we can, and the dogs being the heartbreakingly understanding creatures they are, will be contented with that.

    1. I am so sorry that you were not able to be there with your dog. DW was worried that it would be too much for the girls, but in the last moments, it was very clear that it was the right decision – our whole family was together one last time. I’m sorry for your loss too.

  79. I’m full on crying for your loss & the thought of what may soon be our own loss too. Goldens are such fantastic dogs.
    Hoping & praying that you’re family is able to focus on the good times you’ve had with Chelsea and that she will forever be in your hearts. {{{{hugs}}}}

  80. I feel your pain, I recently had to say goodbye to our dog of 14 years.

    Even today I thought I should get up from my desk and take a quick walk outside with Ruby. She was my constant companion and friend.

    May you find peace.

  81. I’m so sorry to read your story of saying goodbye to Chelsea. It’s so hard to share out lives so closely with these beautiful creatures for such a short time.

    Although I can still shed tears of each of the dogs I’ve lived with over the years, I’d never want to be without one.

    Sometimes I tell myself that the only blessing that comes from dogs having such a short lifespan is that it allows me to welcome more dogs into my life–if only for a short while.

    I hope you and your family experience healing and can enjoy your many happy memories with Chelsea.

  82. Thank you for your story, I went through loss three times in one year. There is no difference in the number though, it is a profound emptiness that only time begins to erase–and depending upon that relationship between the two- and four-leggeds, could be a very long time.

    God bless you on that journey. Grieve, journal, record stories that you remember, have a memorial, plant a tree, whatever you are led to do–but marking that passing in some way gave me great solace.

    1. Thank you for your words of wisdom – it was a little surprising that a small part of the burden seemed to lighten after writing this blog. I will keep looking for solace.

  83. Emily,

    After a courageous battle with cancer and gradual paralysis, the dreaded day is drawing near for our rottweiler, Samson, as well.

    Sam has been with us through thirteen years of life, greeting my little sister and I as we got off the school bus, watching us go off to college (and though he never understood why we’d leave for so long, Sam never held it against us and was always overjoyed upon our return). He has been our defender dog (chasing off intruders who tried to break into the house and most days, simply wandering from room to room to make sure everything is as it should be.) Sam has been an ambassador for the breed, a friend to every man, beast and child he has met. He has been poked in the eyes, had his ears pulled, stepped on, tripped over and never once complained. He has been a constant companion – ready to go for a walk or ride in the car at a moment’s notice. Sam has been an enthusiastic game player (so in love with his big plastic purple ball, but perfectly content to carry around an empty water bottle, too). Sam has been a master thief (able to steal a remote, shoe or dishtowel out from right under your nose, but never destroying it, simply taking pleasure in the thrill of the theft, making no apologies upon getting busted, but flashing a playfully sheepish doggie grin.) Sam has been a bedside companion, able to innately sense the moment to be nothing more than a steady calm presence (in times of sickness, in times of loss.)

    The past thirteen years he has not just been a wonderful pet, he has been a loving part of our family.

    To say “I’m sorry for your loss” is far from adequate. There aren’t enough words in the English language to do justice to the loyalty and unconditional love our canine companions offer us from day one until their final breath. So, if I can say nothing else, let me thank you for sharing your story… and may each of us who have experienced the loss of our beloved pets always comfort in the conventional wisdom of childhood…that all good dogs go to heaven.

    Best wishes to your and your family.
    Amy

  84. Thanks for sharing. I’m crying. Our 13 year old dog is nearing his own end, and I wonder how we’ll all handle it: Me, my wife, our two daughters (9 and 6 who have known him their whole lives), even our 10 year old dog. Almost, especially her. I try to put my heart in the position to be ready for the inevitable, but can’t. thanks again.

    1. You are never really prepared, but usually the hardest decisions are the right ones. They are the ones that matter the most and the ones that will shape our character. My children may be grieving now, but they have learned so many lessons by having this amazing journey with Chelsea. Hugs to you and your family.

  85. I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t know what we’ll do when we lose our “oldest”. He was our first baby. I definitely teared up at the end with the final “goodnight sweet chelsea girl”…so sweet.

  86. Emily, The photo of your beautiful sweet Chelsea caught my eye when I logged onto WordPress today. Well, it wasn’t long before I was in tears. It was beautifully clear how the whole family loved Chelsea so much and Chelsea loved all of you.

    Your story reminds me of a favorite Louisa May Alcott quote: Love is the only thing that we carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.

    Peace and hope to each of you.
    Linda
    http://www.lindamohr.com

  87. I’m so very sorry. I’m sitting at home and crying fresh tears for you. I pray that the Lord will ease your pain.

  88. I happened on this blog as I came to the homepage of WordPress to log in and post on my blog, JurassiGoth In The City.

    My many condolences and blessing extend to you and your family. I just had to comment as it a little over a year since putting my cat, Rocco, to sleep. He also quickly went downhill and was diagnosed by a cancer specialist vet with terminal cancer.

    I grew up in a rural area with dogs. I remember every one I lost to the two-lane blacktop that bordered our housing development. Every one of those times, I was spared the sight of their suffering. I couldn’t know what a blessing that was until I was fortunate enough to be the kitty mommy of two elderly felines.

    The oncological vet gave him a steroid shot and told us to watch him for signs of improvement. He never regained his vocal, curious, mischievous, meticulous self. When I awoke the next morning to see that he still hadn’t eaten or drank and had soiled himself in his crate because he was too weak and in too much pain to use the litter box, I made the appointment with the vet. I could not let my boy suffer when I could spare him.

    It was also swift and peaceful. I still miss his (and his adopted “brother’s”) furry faces, but the grief has subsided. It’s now replaced by fond memories and gratitude for the time I had with them.

    Your post has inspired me to write about this on my blog. I truly do believe in The Rainbow Bridge and know I’ll have quite the four-legged Welcoming Committee when I arrive!

    1. I am so sorry for your loss too. This is the first time I have really experienced this kind of loss. My childhood pet passed away after I was grown and married. I remember crying after my mom told me that hey had to put her to sleep, but I think part of my sadness was for the pain my mom was suffering. Now I truly understand – this was my baby girl. You should write – it is clear from all of these wonderful comments that there are relationships in words. We connect by our experiences and we grow from sharing them with others. Good luck to you.

  89. I was so sorry to hear about your dog. About 2 years ago we were in a similar situation with our ginger cat, Jones, who had lived with us for over nine years, having come from a shelter. He was the only furry pet I have ever lived with and I could not have imagined the impact he would have on me when we took him in. My partner reacted just like yours and was left absolutely griefstricken. He wanted the vet to be wrong but in the end we did the hardest and kindest thing for Jones who we still miss every day. I would give anything to have him shed fur all over the house again! I am sure Chelsea knew how much love you felt for her and if you can remember that you’ll see this through.

  90. I’m so sorry for your loss and I’m glad you were able to be with her. Our pets are such deep soul friends. I lost my dog very suddenly and unexpectedly on May 10, 2003, on the same night my dad died of cancer. My dad was expected – but Buddy went looking for me and got hit by a car. I will never know why, but I think he knew I was grieving and was trying to find me. Your post brought me to tears, reminding me of all that pain of that day. All the very best to you and your family. You sound wonderful.

    1. I can not even begin to imagine what you went through that night! I am so sorry for both of your losses. Hugs to you and your family.

  91. I am so sorry for your loss. I can sympathize with you, losing a pet is always hard. I’m praying for you.

  92. I’m so sorry for your loss. And your story really touched me, so thank you for sharing! I’m sure you and your family find peace in knowing that she is no longer in pain!

  93. I sobbed heavily as i read the last half. i went through the same thing on march 1 2008 with my terrier who at the time was almost 15 years old.being disabled and unemployed my dog and i were always together ..literally,24/7–he learned so many commands and so many words and would tie words together and understand what i was saying to him.this was the advantage of being with him all day and night for so many years.it enabled him to learn so much./he was literally my best friend.to this day i weep when dwelling on him in memory.i am so sorry for your loss.dogs are so much like children.like people..it’s awesome.there will come a time when you will probably want another friend like chelsea,even though there are never two just alike.

  94. Emily, like so many others when I saw the picture of Chelsea on the front page of Word Press posts had to stop and read your story. I am still crying and am so sorry for your loss. It has been 13 years since my little boy Dice was put to sleep at the vet because of Kidney failure caused by an infection in his hind leg bone contracted by no less than a red ant bite. I raised my baby from 6 weeks old and had him for 15 1/2 years of joy and like your Chelsea there was no major fuss the whole time he was in pain. I am often reminded of the day and night that I stayed up with Dice trying to let him sleep on my chest while he licked my tears away and suffered in total silence. The day we went to the vet was the longest of my life and the most horrible decision I have ever made and know your family felt the same. The pain is gone now and both of our little furbabies are alive in our hearts and our memories. Hang on to those wonderful memories they help with the agony of loss and the “silent hole” their lack of presence leaves behind. You have both the prayers and healing thoughts of another pet lover and total stranger to you coming your way. There are no words that make this easier other than to know you and your family loved Chelsea and she loved you back unconditionally is a blessing for you to hang on to!

    jackie

    http://jacaburintexas.blogspot.com

    1. I grew up in Texas and am all to familiar with those nasty red ants. It is unbelievable to me that one of their bites could cause so much damage. I am so sorry for the struggle that you went through with Dice. Thank you for sharing your story with me and for your encouragement.

  95. Is it not ironic that our dogs provide two totally different emotions in us on two very distinctly separate days. The first one is that of joy, on the day they come into our lives. The other, a deep sadness, a hole within our heart on the day they depart.

  96. I’ve done this too… my eyes are filled with tears. But the promise you have to make to a pet is… don’t let them suffer.

    It’s been 2 years since I put Toby down.. and I have a 9 year old collie.. who I love just as much as you loved Chelsea. Peace to you.

    Please get another dog to love.

  97. I’m so sorry for your loss. My dog is like a daughter to me. I completely understand. I cry if my puppy gets sick even. I enjoy reading your blog. it’s all very heartfelt. God Bless

  98. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost both my dogs two weeks apart from one another two years ago. Some people may think ‘it’s just a dog,’ but a family pet is much more than that. They become a part of your kin and are forever locked in your heart. I send my prayers to your grieving family and your beautiful Chelsea. No one ever truly dies until they are forgotten. She will forever live and thrive in your hearts.

    1. I can’t even imagine going through this grief twice just a few weeks apart. Hugs to you! My oldest said she never wants to have a dog again, but the youngest said, “I want another dog some day, but I just don’t ever want to feel like this again.” Thank you for your kind words.

  99. I would like to offer my condolences. Dogs are part of the family and seeing a family member go is extremely painful.

    Chelsea looks so much like our Golden Retriever (Charlie) we lost a few years ago.

    I hope you will be able to think about the years of happiness that Chelsea brought to your family.

    John Kreiss

  100. Thank you for writing about her. I know she was special to you as you were to her. This is my first time to visit your blog, but I can tell what a special relationship you and your family had with Chelsea. Thanks again for sharing.

  101. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am glad you got to know her. I am even more glad that she got to know you and your family.

  102. I am so sorry. Your beautiful post took my breath away. Same story, different dog, two years ago. Peekaboo (a doxie) was like one of my children, only easier. When we took our last visit to the vet, the entire office staff gathered in the room. I held her in my arms the entire time. When she died, the vet, the staff – everyone cried. (Huge lump in throat). I’m so, so sorry. It took two years, but now I have Cooper, the Jack/Rat. And it’s all good again. Sweetest post ever.

  103. I also saw this on WordPress’s homepage, and I am in tears in my office. I understand the love between a human and an animal. My parents had to give one of their dogs away a few years ago because she bit my sister, who was three at the time, and I wept for days. It’s a sadness I still feel sometimes. I think, “I just want my Lursa girl.” I’m so, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for giving us a piece of your soul, because so many of us can relate.

  104. I just wanted to comment even though we have never spoken,but losing a four legged part of the family is so hard. My greyhound sadly lost her life at the end of last year to bone cancer. I am lucky to have so many wonderful memories and I am sure you have too that you will look back on,maybe still with tears in your eyes,but all our pets are waiting to meet us again at the other side of the Rainbow Bridge,I would like to think that.

  105. Emily,

    I came across your blog entry through wordpress and I just want to express my condolences.

    I’m not too embarrassed to say I’m in tears over your beautifully written post. The love between all members of your family is so clear, especially at a time when one member must leave.

    Take comfort in the love and joy she gave you and I’m sure you gave her.

    1. You shouldn’t be embaressed – I cried the whole time I was writing it, and when I re-read it a dozen times. I even read it out loud to an empty room because I was so used to reading things out loud to Chelsea. Emotions are necessary – it is good to feel everthing and take nothing for granted.

  106. I stumbled upon your blog by fault, but I think it was rather fate. I lost one of my cats two days ago, and reading your article brought back the tears – again.
    I am going to hug my cats and dogs really tight tonight…
    All the best to you and your family, and remember: Chelsea is waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  107. I am so so sorry. I’m sitting here in tears. About a month ago, we took our Sheltie to the doc after she had been throwing up for a few days. We were concerned but not prepared for what he told us. Those same words. Mass on the spleen. The doc ran blood tests and determined she was diabetic. We have her on insulin, twice a day the needle goes into her sweet skin. We don’t know how much time we have with her. After the insulin started kicking in, Skylar became her old self again – running around like she was a puppy. We’re watching it and don’t know how much time is left. I pray for her to stay with us as long as possible and my prayers go out to you too so you can heal…it’s not easy to lose one of your fur babies and dreading the inevitable.

    1. Thank you for your sweet sympathies – and I am so glad to hear that Skylar is feeling better. Every day is a gift. Hugs.

  108. What a very sad tale, one that has played out many times in my life with my cats and dogs, its always hard parting with a dear friend but remember prior to those last few days have been years of joy and companionship which they all bring.

    Thinking of you.

    Dale

  109. Oh, oh, oh. Been there too recently. Like they say: grief is the price we pay for love. But you did the right thing at the right time, out of love and compassion, and Chelsea was lucky for having that. Please do remember that.

    From another English major, writer, dog-lover (and pajama-wearer) …

    Glenye Oakford
    http://www.houndwelfare.wordpress.com
    Full Cry: A Hound Blog

  110. I feel your pain as well. We had to put down our girl after 16 1/2 years due to kidney failure last Friday. What she would eat, she would just vomit. She didn’t go #2 for 3 days. I even made her soup, but that would come right back up in a couple of hours. I mean this is a dog that would eat anything and she was turning down chicken too.

    We did tests a week before and the Doc said that she could go in a week or a few months, but it turned out to be sooner than later. My girl is devastated because it was her dog. I’ve only been around for 6 years but I felt that my little sweetie was my heart and soul. Now I feel lost without her.

    I keep expecting her to greet me at the door, following me to the kitchen when I go to the fridge and she is not there. It breaks my heart that we had to put her down, as she was still full of spunk when we took her to the vet and started barking at a dog in the waiting room. But not eating much for almost a week and then not being able to keep anything down was heartbreaking.

    Also, she had a heart murmur and if we had done an operation (there would have been no guarantee that she would have survived at her age).

    I try now to remember the good times and keep her memories close to me, but occasionally I see my girl breakdown and cry when she sees another dog somewhere.

    This is her:

    And a good friend of mine sent me this poem. He pretty much speaks what I feel:

    http://www.paws2heaven.com/poems/rainbow_bridge_story.htm

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Best wishes.

    1. There are just so many comments to reply to – I am awe struck. Today I forgot to turn the stereo off before I left – I usually left it on for Chelsea, so she wouldn’t be too lonely. Thank you for your compassion and empathy. I hope your grief gets easier each day too.

  111. I normally don’t read blogs on WordPress. Usually I sign in and start working on my blog.

    I saw the picture of Chelsea on the home page and, being a dog lover, had to read this.

    I’m glad I did. It is beautiful. I love the way you write. You put so much into this, at the end of the story, I was in tears.

    I have lost a dog only once in my life. Growing up, the family pet was a Labrador/Pointer mix named Bishop.
    He was my best friend for 12 years, until we, as a family, went through an experience much like yours.
    When I was 15, we euthanised Bishop because his medical condition was untreatable.
    Your story brought all those emotions back to me.
    It also made me remember the fact that the dog I currently have, a 3 year old Lab/Mastiff mix named Goliath, wont be around forever.
    I should take that into consideration more often, like when I’m upset at 5am on a Saturday because he’s at the bed, ready to go outside, when he gets into the garbage, when he opens the front door and runs to the neighbors house… there’s no need to freak out or become irrate, I should be a bit kinder, as he wont live forever.

    1. They are much like our children – I wish that I had been more patient at times too. Especially as she was aging and her bladder wasn’t what it used to be…hugs to you and Goliath.

  112. Always such heartbreak when a beloved pet passes away. I have a very old (18 year old) cat and I cannot even imagine life without her in it. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  113. Wow. I saw this on the WordPress front page, and with such a sweet dog face, I had to read it.

    I cant even begin to tell you how sorry I am. Im sitting here at work trying to fight back tears because how professional would that be? But I can only imagine how hard this is for you. My dog is everything to me. Shes the best company I could ever ask for, and the unconditional love she has for me is amazing.
    Unfortunately, these things happen, and dogs cant live with us forever. I think the most important thing is how well loved she was while she was with you.

  114. Hi! You have no idea who I am, but I just ventured to your post because I am a huge dog fan. Now that I am welled up with tears, I want to thank you for posting that. That was the sweetest story I have ever read. My boyfriend and I just got back from the Vet and getting our puppy all set for the summertime bugs and made sure he was healthy. We are waiting for the test results, but the vet assured us everything is going to be fine, and our puppy Otto is quite the active one. I do have a blog, and I post about Otto frequently if you want to check it out!. http://www.busybeecollegedegree.wordpress.com

    Again, that was the nicest post I have ever read.
    Carrie

  115. I just stumbled upon your blog, and yet I feel like I know you because I know exactly how you feel. I lost my lab Annie a year ago and it was like I lost a friend, a sister. For people who are not pet people, there is no way to explain the connection one can have to an animal who cannot even speak. It is all in how they greet you when you come home or rub against you when you are upset. They know what you need without you even asking. When they are gone, they leave a loneliness that you would never expect. You’re just left with a collar, dog toys, and in my case, a lot of dog hair.

    I am so sorry for your loss and I wish you the best. Hopefully you will get the chance to experience the same relationship with another dog who needs you just as much as you need them.

    Again, I’m so sorry about Chelsea.

    Alexa
    http://www.sushisteakcupcakes.wordpress.com

    1. You have put it so clearly – thank you. It is amazing how quiet the house seems even though Chelsea barely made a sound. It is the soft noise of “presence” that is missing.

  116. You brought me to tears, I’ll admit it. We also have a golden retriever, although Rusty is fine and healthy. I’m so sorry about Chelsea.

    It did however bring back memories to my family’s black lab, lance-a-lot. He had cancer and couldn’t move any longer either, a very similar story. I was about 11 and we had to move him into the garage because he couldn’t control his bowels any longer. I remember sitting with him and lifting his head onto my lap, because he was too weak to do it himself. My mom went with my brother to take him to the vet and wouldn’t let me go.

    It’s hard when a pet is really part of your family.

    1. Hugs to Rusty – I really struggled about whether or not I should let the girls (8 and 11) say goodbye at the vet. We were worried it would be too traumatic but children are amazing. They both wanted to be there for “their girl” and for dad. Thank you for your kind words.

  117. This is quite a story. I am sure it was hard to share. Thank you for writing it. You will always have precious memories.

  118. Well written. I’ve been there and it’s not an easy decision. It’s hard coming home and looking for that faithful friend who’s no longer there. My sympathies to you and your family. Thanks for sharing this.

  119. I just randomly signed onto my account to post a story chapter that I’ve been drafting up and something told me, the minute I saw your pretty girl’s picture, to read it and see what it’s about and I am now, sitting here at my office desk, trying not to cry as I remember my pretty boy Max. He died only a few short months ago after being hit by a car and me having to sign the papers that took him away from me forever. I still have his collar and I jingle it every once and a while to hear that familiar sound of his name tag rattling; you could always hear him coming, no matter how hard he tried to be quiet.

    He got hit by a car, but my Maxito was still very strong: when the vet said that his hind leg might’ve been broken, he still climbed down from the van and came when I beckoned him to walk into the vet’s emergency room and even while we waited for the prognosis, he still wanted to get up and chase a cat that they had brought into the vet’s office.

    He was 65 lbs, and when people first met him, he scared them because of his sheer size, but then he just let his tongue loll out of the side of his mouth, perk up one ear and lay the other flat against his head and grin this wide grin at you and you couldn’t help, but love him. He loved to play with his rope toy and he loved to meet new people.

    God, I miss that puppy.

    It’ll get easier, and you’ll never forget how much you love them.

    R.I.P Chelsea. R.I.P Mi Maxito

  120. It’s sad and sweet and somehow comforting that total strangers like you and I have these places in common, these emotional crossroads where we can pass each other with a sympathetic nod.

    I buried my mother and my brother within months of each other, but the deepest pain of all that year was burying my Buddy. I don’t know what that says about me, but it’s the truth.

    My deepest condolences to you and your dear family.

  121. I found this purely by accident, we lost a dear cat last year – Ernie, he was only 17 months old, and his brother and sister really had a hard time adjusting to his death, as did we. He, like your Chelsea, didn’t let us know how ill he was, and it is still hard to think about what happened. Thank you for writing what I haven’t been able to articulate.

  122. So sorry about your dog Chelsea’s passing. She sounded like a sweet, sweet being. We lost a special cat, Taffy, several years ago, and still keep pictures of him in our bedroom. The human-animal bond is very strong and unique, because it is a relationship based almost completely on emotions. It is a real relationship, and for better or worse, the emotions long outlast the physical presence. That is something to treasure.

  123. My sincerest love & support to Chelsea’s family. We lost our Jessie…12. 5 years ago (!) and it’s still just not the same. But our little family is better for knowing her. I was fine, until I got to your last paragraphs where the kids put their hands on her back and I lost it wahhh! I am literally typing through prisms. Family is family, people who might not understand the depth and breadth a beloved furry charge can make us feel (more). Here’s what we wrote for someone else:

    http://goodwitchbadwitch.com/2009/06/05/death-of-a-salesman-um-i-mean-goldfish/

    1. Thank you so much for reading my blog post. I really enjoyed the link you included as well. It is good to laugh and cry at the same time.

  124. I cried while I read this. You’re so lucky to have had Chelsea in your lives. And I’m certain she was lucky to have chosen you, too. My heartfelt condolences. There is nothing that compares to the love of, and for, a companion of another species.

  125. We lived a day together, so profound and vivid. You write so wonderfully, I feel like I got to know your darling girl for a little. My eyes are brimming with tears and my heart is filled with sympathy for your pain and your family…. and little Chelsea. The only good thing I can say is God bless you that you had this lovely presence in your life, that you could. There are the occasional fools that think us silly for loving crazy these intuitive and spiritual little beings, they have no idea. Be strong and know they never go away, Sweet Chelsea is frolicking nearby and keeping a close eye on all of you….painfree. God bless you and your family…..
    Aprile

  126. I’m very sorry for your loss. Your story was so touching…I have a golden, along with 4 other dogs, but he is by far our favorite.

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Be well.

    Jess

  127. Hello, Your blog entry was very moving. I had a dog named Rubio that I loved deeply. I know you have and will have the best memories of your Chelsea. She will always be with you and the time you have had together will always be precious. May Chelsea Rest in Peace. Eugenia Renskoff

  128. this was beautifully written, thank you so much.
    last august i bought a puppy with my parents and she is now almost one. i can honestly say i don’t know what i would do without her, this post was really touching in regards to loosing a pet, but also in regards to loosing any loved one.

    i lost my nanna december 23rd 2009, it’s still something i’m not 100% completely comfortable talking about, but i was just glad i got the opportunity to say goodbye to her properly.goodbyes are always important i find. i just thought i’d share that little bit too.

    Again, thanks for posting this and sorry for your loss.

    1. I am so sorry about your nanna. It is very hard to find closure when you don’t get to say goodbye. When my aunt passed away, I was too late to be there one last time. It is a regret that I can not shake. I didn’t want that for my children (or myself, I guess) and that is why we got them from school right away. Enjoy your puppy and take lots of pictures.

    1. Thank you for connecting with me – I absolutely loved your post. What a wonderful relationship and such a beautiful dog. Has your family added another family member yet?

  129. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face–this is a beautiful tribute to your dog. I lost my little Sophie, a Maltese/Poodle mix about a month ago. I know your grief. I also have 2 Golden Retrievers…they have the kindest souls. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

  130. *deep breath* wow. in reading this post, i relived the day that we put our beloved Sasha down 4 years ago. it still stings like it was yesterday. i couldn’t stop crying for a week, and i was upset that everyone around me expected me to function as if i didn’t have a close family member just die. i was a wreck, just like i am now reading this post. i wondered if it would ever get better, and it did. the pain never goes away, but it does get better. we miss you Sash.

  131. I just joined this site. Yours is the first post I read, and I so thank you for sharing as, soon, I have to have my darling BuHsi euthanized. Blind, diabetic, deaf, suffering from Canine Cognitive Disorder (doggie Alzheimers), and arthritic, she’s been my most loving and loyal companion for nearly fifteen years. She’s beginning to lose the joys in her life, and to come to that point where ending her suffering will be the last gift I can give her.

    Maybe her and Chelsea will chase squirrels together…

  132. Saw your post title on “Freshly Pressed” and immediately knew the beginning, middle and ending of the story. BTDT and time heals but we never forget and there is always a big galumphy empty space in your heart and your family where a Golden used to be. Deepest sympathies to you.

  133. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve never been in the position you just experienced. It’s so clear that Chelsea meant so much in your lives.

  134. Oh my, what a story. We had a similar experience at the start of last year with our Lab mix, Sulu. Her bad leg, which we hoped could be sorted by surgery, turned into inoperable cancer. My husband and daughter were particularly distraught and it took a long time before we could talk to Megs about it without upset.

    Your tale is tender and moving and I hope that you all will soon enjoy the memories of Chelsea and not just the sad ending.

    Take care,

    Lesley

  135. Very sad. I am sorry for your loss. My wife and I have just acquired our first puppy. We love him and dread the day when we’ll have to say goodbye.

  136. Ohh, this is heartbreaking. I can’t help but think of my pup Stella, not yet 2 years old, who I love so much more than I ever thought I would. Isn’t this the real bittersweet-ness of pets. They love us so completely, they work their way into our hearts with tail wags and wet kisses and snuggling, and they leave us far too soon. Goodnight indeed, dear Chelsea. Sending hugs to you and your family.

  137. i’m sorry to hear about your loss. this was a really touching and sad story. i wish the best for your family, and remember all the great times.

    jason

  138. I have to admit, I skimmed this post because I just couldn’t bear to read it. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. You are officially in my thoughts. Sending big hugs your way.
    And I have no doubt you gave Chelsea the best life imagineable.

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness. It is amazing how close this huge blogging community feels today.

  139. Emily and family:
    You don’t know me. I don’t know you. But what you’ve given me is a beautiful glimpse into a way to say goodbye to a faithful friend. As I am writing you I have my pug, Foo between my feet. She means everything to me. I have a disabiling disease and while my husband works in the office down the hall, Foo is my ever constant companion. She is always there with me. I can’t imagine her not being here . Even thinking about that moment of saying goodbye is so painful to me I quickly push it aside but what you have written lets me know that you can get through it. As I cried while reading this, an emotion came over me I didn’t expect – understanding and calmness. An understanding that although that day will come, it will also go and I will survive. That understanding had such a profound calming effect on my soul. Thank you for sharing your remarkable, but heartwrenching day with the world and with me. Although I don’t know you, I share in your grief. Animals bring such joy and such pain to our lives. It’s the joy we remember forever. I hope that each day that passes gets easier and as a family, you find something or someone warm and wiggly to fill that void.

    Rachelle LeMond – Foo’s Mom

    1. Rachel thank you so much for your kind words. I never thought I would feel this way about an animal. Chelsea was my daily shadow especially when the kids started school full-time. She was the best writing partner too – everything I would write would be read aloud to her before it was posted or printed. It was hard to write without her this week, but yes, every day will get a little easier.

  140. Wow…I think perhaps I was meant to read this today. I haven’t been posting to my blog regularly and just now, when I signed in and saw this, I just had a feeling that it was something I needed to read.

    We lost our beautiful little girl, Miss Binka, almost two years ago now and I can tell you that not a day goes by when my husband I don’t think of her and even speak of her as tho she were still alive and here with us. The pain of her departure from us was and will always be the most exquisite pain I have ever known and this includes the loss of my father too…I have shed more tears over losing my little girl then anyone or anything else I have ever known.

    The pain does get better, but it never goes away completely and maybe it’s not supposed to, maybe its supposed to remain as a reminder to love and cherish and to open your heart even tho you know that ultimately, that very heart will be shredded in ways you couldn’t even begin to imagine. May it help you to know that others have been where you are now and there is always a light that never goes out 🙂

    1. I am so thankful to WordPress for posting this – it is hard to grieve around people that don’t understand the relationships we can have with our pets. It has helped to be heard and it has helped to be surrounded by people who understand. Thank you so much for your comments.

  141. I have a 9 year old Golden and am facing a somewhat similar decision in the near future. Baxter’s situation is less dire (severe hip dysplasia, so it’s a quality of life and mobility issue), but I decided to have the tough conversation with the vet this week. It breaks my heart to know the end is coming, and my thoughts go out to you and your family, particularly since your decision had to be made so fast.

    1. It is certainly a hard decision. My husband and I had talked over the last year about our “plan” if we were faced with a decision. Even with the plan in place, I was on the verge of wavering – hoping for just one more day but that would have just been selfish. There was no way to cure her cancer and she was slipping away whether I wanted her to or not. I hope for the best for you. Thank you for sharing with me.

  142. Emily, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Chelsea, she was so beautiful! I am sure you and your family gave her a wonderful life.

    Your post was beautiful, but very difficult for me to read, it made me cry. As I was reading it it reminded me of the time our sweet collies passed away from stomach problems one year apart. They were siblings. My brother had the girl and I had the boy. I identified with everything you described. We were constantly running to the vet’s office, getting whatever pills or procedures were needed.

    They were the sweetest kids, they added so much to our lives. I miss them terribly.

  143. I am sorry for your loss. I remember each moment of the time that my best friend and Springer Spaniel passed away in my lap after a couple of years of declining health.

  144. I cried as i read this because two weeks ago I had to put down my own 10 year old English Bull Terrier. He had a tumour in his brain, and had been getting seizures for the better part of 8 months. It finally got so bad that we also had to deal with mess in awkward places. Finally, after one terrible seizure, we decided that it’s enough.

    You have my sympathies, my tears and my heart felt condolences. It’s brave writing about this, I could not write about my ordeal.

    Alyss

  145. I work as a veterinary assistant at a small local animal hospital, and I see loss just about every day. Each one is just as hard as the last. You are blessed to have had the love and joy that Chelsea brought you, but Chelsea was also blessed to have had such a wonderful, loving family. She will always be with you, in your hearts and your memories.

  146. I’m so sorry for your loss. We went through the same thing two years ago with our two dogs, and it’s never easy.

  147. So sorry to hear. Chelsea sounds like such a sweet heart, as Goldens are. My 5 yr old Golden, Harley was diagnosed with lymphoma in March and is fortunately now in remission after 12 weeks of chemo. Goldens are fabulous dogs. You are blessed with wondeful memories of Chelsea, I’m sure, and knowing that she loved you and your family with all of her heart.

    1. Yeah for Harley – I am so glad to hear some good news. Being only 5 he has so much life ahead. Enjoy every day. Thank you for reading my blog post.

  148. Oh my gosh, that made me cry. I’m sorry your family is going through this. Dogs are such a big part of a family. Sounds like she had a great life, though, and you can be happy you gave her that.

  149. They say the best place to bury a beloved dog is in your heart. We know your heart is heavy now, but thank you for sharing Chelsea’s story & thank you for giving her the gift of a loving and dignified transition–we hope there’s a day soon, when you remember the all doggie joy she shared with her family–and smile 😉

    Cooper and Swirl

  150. So sorry about your beloved retriever. My family was forced with the same decision with our golden boy a few months ago. It’s one of the saddest things to deal with. I feel your pain.

  151. Sad expereince for sure, no words can expalin it, but the time she was with you, she had the best time of her life, and has lived a full and rich life, i am sure of it.
    Healing will take some time but the memories will be with you forever.

  152. I know we have not met, but I sit here reading your blog at my desk….and tears have welled up and spilled down my cheeks. You captured this very tough moment beautifully with your words. Losing a beloved pet that you see each and every day is excruciatingly painful. Thank you for sharing and I hope it helped just a little.

    1. I am so sorry about Purrthos. Thank you for sharing your very personal story with me as well. Hugs to you.

  153. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I worked at a vet hospital for several years and it never got an easier to see a family say goodbye to their family member.

    Where she is, she is running and playing. And she had a wonderful life because of you.

  154. Oh, Emily. I have tears streaming down my face as I tell my currently stinky, itchy, irritating dog that I love her so.

    I am sending mental hugs to you and your family.

    Rachel

  155. I’ll always remember Chelsea’s “good morning” and “good night” barks and when she was “stealth Chelsea” stalking Holly. I loved her like she was my own — I’ve known her longer than you. It’s comforting knowing that she is being “stealth Chelsea” with Holly once again.

  156. I am so sorry for your loss

    it doesn’t sound like there was anything else you could have done

    but at least you gave her the most loving and gentle passing

  157. Emily,
    I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I had a very hard time not sobbing as I read this. It’s times like these I wish I worked for Hallmark so I would have the right things to say. I think Chelsea was a lucky dog to be loved so much by you guys.

  158. Oh Emi….I am so sorry to hear about Sweet Chelsea. I came to read your blog while at work and here I sit, sobbing uncontrollably. I too have lost pets and know the sorrow and the emptiness you must feel. It is amazing how a simple creature like that can make us feel so full and happy and at the same time, make us feel so helpless and useless. I hope that you and your family’s emptiness will soon be filled with the joy and satisfaction of raising another family pet soon. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family…may your memories abound and linger forever in your hearts.

    Your friend,
    Mia

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