Our family dog Colby passed away almost two years ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to write about it until now.
My dear friend and blogging partner lost her precious Kasie yesterday so as homage to all of us who have ever loved a pet (cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, …) I am moved to write.
Colby was almost 18 years old when he was put to sleep, March of 2019. He was a Schnoodle that we rescued from a Schnauzer rescue organization in NJ. Maybe, there aren’t enough Schnoodles in the New York area to rescue to warrant their own non profit!
After being interviewed as though we were adopting a child, driving from Westchester to Northern New Jersey to meet the dog in a vet’s office to be screened and vetted, and supplying references from friends and family, we were deemed worthy of Colby.
He was black in color and three years old at the time, feisty, a little shy (who wouldn’t be if they had been taken back to the pet store twice!) and slightly mistrusting. Did you know that black dogs are the hardest to place because of their color? True. Dogs are smart. They know who loves them and wants them. They size people up pretty quickly and their 6th sense is pretty darn good.
We picked him up at the Vince Lombardi gas stop right after you enter into NJ. He hopped out of the van he was brought in to say hello, spunky and curious about what was to come. He came with a stuffed dog, which we dubbed “Vince”, in honor of the place we met and where his new life began.
My older daughter was in her last year of high school at the time and my younger daughter three years her junior. Colby really became’ daughter #2’s best friend and my husband, who was by then doing a lot of work from home, his buddy too. I was working in the city and commuting so got to know Colby at a slower pace. I grew to love him as much as I had any other dog we had owned in the past (two before him, one who lived to almost 18 and the other almost 16)
As the years went by, our love grew stronger and our family bond with Colby was cemented for life. We took him on vacations, snuck him into hotel rooms where we knew he wasn’t allowed, dressed him up for Halloween, and made him chopped liver or steak for his birthday once a year.
Fast forward many years and I look back on him as our friend, consoler, therapist. confidante, and wise old soul.
Dogs provide us with enduring love, ask so little from us, and return so much. As with anything else in life, the decision to let go is very hard. It must be clear cut to you that it is time, not anyone else’s. You know your pet best.
Though he was almost blind, had evident signs of dementia, and walked very slowly, no longer interested in walks on a leash, he was not ready until that March of 2019. We were away for the winter and gave him many days of warm sunshine on those old bones rather than a winter of snow and cold. The weekend he stopped eating we knew. What “they” say is true. You know when it is time.
My husband and I brought him to our local vet wrapped in his favorite blanket. We knew in our hearts that it was time. We caressed him, kissed him, told him how much we loved him. We looked away for a split second and the shot had already been administered. Our vet was wonderful and allowed us as much time as we needed to cry. I hugged him for being the person he was, understanding completely the love a family has for a pet.
So to my dear friend, I know how much it hurts, how your heart feels ripped out, how a flood of memories keep going through your head, and how the house feels empty. You have Cody and I’m glad you do. Each dog or cat is unique and brings its own personality into the family. Cherish the time you had with Kacie. Rest in peace sweet thing.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”-Anatole France
Enjoy the Ride-bumps and all
x0x Barclay & Joy