Saying Goodbye Is Ruff: How Losing a Dog Impacts the Family

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Saying goodbye to a pet is not an easy decision to make. The saying goes that a dog is a man’s best friend and without a doubt, I believe this now more than I ever had in the past.

When it came time to put down my beloved canine companion I was unaware of how hard this decision would be.

 

My Faithful Companion

Monkey was with me for 11 years; he was my first baby and my constant. When I adopted Monkey, I named him Nibur, but with his vibrant and lively personality, I nicknamed him Monkey. I remember that day; he was the most energetic of the bunch.

While I was in Graduate school, he was my study buddy. Staying up with me in the late-night hours and never left my side. We traveled together and lived in different states. For 11 years when I came home, he greeted me with surpassing enthusiasm.

Saying goodbye to a pet is not an easy decision to make. The saying goes that a dog is a man's best friend and without a doubt, I believe this now more than I ever had in the past. When it came time to put down my beloved canine companion I was unaware of how hard this decision would be...

 

A Boy and His Dog

When I became pregnant with my first child, my concern was on whether or not they would get along, I read many articles on how children can irritate dogs, and I did not want that for him.

I did everything that I thought would be beneficial for Jake and Monkey to bond; I even sent home Jacob’s baby hat to familiarize Monkey with the new baby smell so they could bond. While they say, a dog can only have one master; I would highly question that.

When it came to Jake and Monkey, there was no greater bond. He was the perfect big brother, and they had the best relationship, and he was genuinely my son’s best friend. They did everything together and were always with one another.

While I missed having my dog by my side, to see how positively impactful his relationship was with my son made my heart smile.

Jacob and Monkey. Monkey was Jacob's brother and best friend.

 

Big Brother and Protector

When I had my second child Abby, I was no longer concerned with closeness, although the bond that my boys had could not be duplicated. They both became Abby’s protector. She had two big brothers to look after her.

Abby and Monkey. Monkey was Abby's brother and protector.

 

Time to Say Goodbye

When Monkey became sickly, I was in complete denial and assumed he would be fine and this was just a minor issue, and he would be okay. When my husband took Monkey to the vet, we all believed that he would come home later that evening.

When I received the phone call to put my dog to sleep, it was devastating.

The guilt overwhelmed me, and it was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. While we sat in veterinarian office to say goodbye, I told Monkey that he was a good dog and an excellent friend.

I could not have asked for better memories. I wanted Monkey to live forever, but I wanted him to have a good quality of life, he was telling us he was ready to go, and I had to honor and respect his choice for him to not suffer another day.

My children were with me; I wanted them to have the opportunity to say their final goodbyes. He and Jake just sat there, quietly like they have done for years and it was peaceful.

Monkey

 

In Loving Memory

In Monkey’s honor, we have planted a tree in the spot where he and Jake frequently sat. Since Monkey’s passing my children have asked questions about his well-being and whether or not he is happy in Doggy’s Heaven.

The passing of Monkey was my children’s first loss, and that was difficult. However, we have chosen to allow our children to talk freely and mourn openly about their loss. I miss my friend, my buddy and my companion.

11 years may not have been long enough for me, but he was able to influence those who were fortunate to be around him. A dog can fulfill many needs, but the greatest one for us was the completion of our family unit.

We did not a lose a pet; we lost a family member. I lost my first baby. My son lost his best friend. My daughter lost her protector. We lost a valuable member of our family that cannot be replaced. He was loved and will be missed.

Bea, Jacob, Abby, and Monkey going on a road trip.

 

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