Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Saying Goodbye...

Loss changes us, there is no way it can not. I have been preparing for this loss for the last two years, ever since we had to put down our other golden retriever, Riley. Knowing then that the day would come all to soon when I would have to say goodbye to my dear Scout. Thankfully Scout made it almost two full years since that last goodbye. But the day has come and we must let go.


I have seen the decline this year, especially since June when I was sure it was time, but then he seemed to rally yet again and we carried on with life the best we could. But the last two weeks there has been noticeable change, a real challenge for him to get up, even slower than before when going outside to go the bathroom, the challenges of going to the bathroom. Monday night it seemed to all come crashing down, he was visibly shaking and needed to be carried down the steps. Tuesday morning when I got up, he couldn't get up, his back legs unable to support him. I had to make the call.


Scout was the gentlest soul, even as a puppy he never once put his mouth on us. Although he did have a great taste for paper, ripping it up and eating it. We just learned to not keep loose paper laying around. One year he got it in his head that he would help open one of my Christmas presents, before Christmas, while it was still under the tree. My copy of Anne Lamott's Small Victories will forever have a chunk missing out of the paper front cover.


He was the best adventure companion, even though we only had about six months of adventures together before it got too hard for me to get him in and out of the car, and his ability for long walks was gone. Still those hikes in the autumn-colored woods will forever hold a special place in my heart. And our picnics at roadside parks, me eating my Subway sandwich, him demolishing his kibble in six quick gulps.  He finally learned to enjoyed car rides on those adventures, stretching out on the backseat, happy to have the space all to himself.


He has been such a guiding light these last six months with the addition of little Findley, patiently teaching him the ins and outs of going outside to go to the bathroom, going for walks, and letting Findley play fight and chew on him. I pray that eventually more of Scout's gentle nature will find its way into Findley.


While I am filled with oceans of tears and sadness, there is also a huge wave of relief that has washed over me. I lived in constant fear that he would stumble down the stairs and hurt himself, or that he wouldn't be able to get up when either it was just me or Mallory at home, and we wouldn't be able to lift him. We were nearing a decision this week anyway, the timeline just got moved up a little bit. All in God's perfect timing.


Last night standing in the dining room, I watched as Mallory went to the dog food cupboard and scooped food for her dog. For the first time in thirty years, I didn't have a dog of my own to feed. Loss changes us.


41 comments:

  1. Sarah, I am so very sorry... it is so hard to let go, so hard to imagine life without those four-legged companions we love and cherish. Life does go on, but a piece of our heart will stay forever with them.

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  2. What a touching and beautiful story of your beloved dog, Scout. That last shot of just his nose is so beautiful and so in keeping with the end of your story. He will be remembered with much affection in your hearts for always.

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  3. Sarah I'm so sorry for you all. I will remember Scout through your wonderful posts about your adventures. It is so hard to let a faithful companion go but what a great companion he was...

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  4. Sending love and the comfort of warm memories your way. So sorry for your loss.

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  5. Oh Sarah, I'm very sorry...it is so hard. You'll carry the memories, the laughs, smiles, and fond times with him forever. And, if you're like me, a tear will come sometimes, unexpectedly, even years later. We had a fond little dog once, for only 5 years, and I saved one of his favorite toys for years, just to remind me of his gentle touch as well. And i even made a scrapbook of his photos. When they are that special, it's the thing to do. Scout was such a wonderful soulmate.

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  6. Oh Sarah, I know all too well those tears! Sounds like he had a wonderful love filled life with your family. {hugs}.

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  7. Sarah, I am so sorry. It is so hard loosing a pet, your last line broke my heart. Scout sounds like he was a very special companion to share your life with and will always hold a special place in your heart. Sending hugs your way...

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  8. Sarah, The loss of a dear friend like this is so hard. I loved reading you tribute to him, it gave him a little more life in all of our witnessing this post. Hold those memories deep in your heart. A loss of a dear pet always seems to bring back losses of my own. Remembering my Flynn to day because of it. Maybe they are both off playing together now with young bodies that can still do it all. Sending hugs and comfort your way.

    Kate

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  9. I was crying by the second photo. I'm so very sorry. I'm glad you have such treasured memories of your shared life and such exquisite photos of his personality.

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  10. Sarah, I am truly so very sorry.
    I do know just how badly this hurts.
    They become such a part of our family, and hold such a huge space in our hearts.
    May your wonderful memories of Scout, bring you some comfort at this time.
    Sending you hugs, my friend.

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  11. Sarah, I know that you've been anticipating and dreading this day for months. And I know how much you cared that Scout would have a rich, full life for as long as possible, while not suffering at the end of it. You gave him that. You've written such a beautiful tribute to your friend and companion. The "Sit-Stay" photo of the two of you, and the one of Scout and Findley lying side by side have always been favorites of mine. And that last one...there just are no words for that except "perfection." I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how much you will miss him.

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  12. Oh my - I'm so sorry. Your photos are beautiful - Scout looks like such a gentle, loving soul. I know this heartbreak well, and am very thankful for you that the timing worked out as well as it could.

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  13. I know this is such a difficult time for your family. Scout will be missed by all of you and I will miss your stories of adventures together.

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  14. Oh Sarah I am so sorry. I have been in your shoes in the past with our Sheltie, Cody. My heart breaks for you, for your loss. Dogs seem to make our lives complete and when they are gone there is a big hole in our hearts.

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  15. I am in tears - I saw the abbreviated title and Scout's tag and my stomach just dropped. Sarah, sorry doesn't cover it. I hurt for you and send you many many (virtual) hugs. God bless Scout. ❤️

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  16. I'm in tears. My heart is with you, Sarah. I can see Scout had the very best possible life with you. But it is so hard to say goodbye to such a beloved member of your family❤️❤️❤️

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  17. Oh my dear friend...I'm shedding tears for you and your loss. What a beautiful life you gave to Scout. He was so loved. I'm sorry never seems enough...but I hope you know those words come with the deepest of caring. Sending virtual ((HUGS)) Sarah. That last photo....oh my....

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  18. What a beautiful tribute. I know well the sadness of such loss, of the familiar routines and patterns, and the unconditional love. Your life and your art has been shaped by Scout - a beautiful legacy.

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  19. My heart goes out to you, dear Sarah. Losing a loved pet feels like losing a member of the family but their memory will stay with us forever and bring joy even after they are gone.

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  20. Sarah I am so sad for your loss and know just how you feel! Glad though that you have all those lovely memories and that Scout had such a loving home

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  21. I was so sorry to read this earlier. Your tribute was wonderful and that last photo... just wonderful. If it would help to chat just let me know.

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  22. I wrote another post but it doesn't seem to have made it to the comment box, my heart aches for you as I know of the pain you are experiencing. Scout was such a lovely dog. You will always carry him in your heart. I know there is nothing that I can say to take your pain away so I'll just send a virtual hug. I hope it helps.

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  23. Sarah, I'm so sorry. I know there is nothing I can say to make it any better. Oh if only I could...

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  24. Oh my . . . your saying goodbye to Scout
    Is so tenderly, beautifully written/shared.
    My tears are flowing.
    I am keeping you in my caring . . .
    That final picture and your thoughts . . . so sad.
    Precious Scout . . . in peace . . .

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  25. So sad for you and your family, Sarah. We lost our Golden 12 years ago and still she shines in our memories. These nostalgic photos bring tears to my eyes. Hugs from CO.

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  26. So sorry for you and your family. My heart goes out to you and I know exactly how you feel. Although it's been 10+ years, after reading your beautifully written words, it felt like yesterday. Glad you have your beautiful pictures and memories to reflect on. Wishing you peace and comfort...

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  27. Oh Sarah, it's so very hard to lose a beloved animal friend. You have written a beautiful tribute to a gentle and sweet soul...that last photo is so poignant. When my beloved kitty passed away at 18 years old, I was comforted by the thought that she was now free to be with me, no matter where I am. Perhaps that thought will help you too. Sending you peace and comfort. <3

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  28. I know no words can comfort you at this devastating time. You gave your love so willingly and your dog knew that. What beautiful pictures. You are sent love from me and appreciation for all you did for your dog.

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  29. I know no words can comfort you at this devastating time. You gave your love so willingly and your dog knew that. What beautiful pictures. You are sent love from me and appreciation for all you did for your dog.

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  30. It's always a sad day when we must say goodbye to our furbabies and I know how loveable retrievers can be. A nice tribute to your boy Scout - wishing you continued happy memories in your heart and from photos.

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  31. Sweet Scout. I have loved seeing and reading of your adventures together in the time I have known you, We have had to make the call once, and this story brings me right back. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and tribute to Scout. I hope Findley cuddles in close to ease your loss.

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  32. My heart is aching for you. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers. Your shared your love and loss beautifully. Thank you! Hugs! Bonnie

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  33. Oh Sarah, I'm so sorry. This is such a lovely tribute. Sending lots of love your way. x

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  34. A wonderful tribute to a best friend. I know the feeling.

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  35. A wonderful tribute to a best friend. I know the feeling.

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  36. What a beautiful tribute to a precious family member! Our memories always live on! I lost my precious Cosmo over two years ago and I still miss him. I enjoyed reading your heartfelt tribute to him! He was a very handsome dog, so sweet, and I just fell in love with him after reading your post, even though I never knew him. Hugs to you my friend... hoping the pain has eased and the memories are sweet.

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  37. My heart goes out to you. I too am now in a house made too quiet without the presence of a dog. But you've done the most honourable thing for your companion and this present heartache is the price of love and trust both given and received.

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)