Thoughts On Loss

First things first, I have to apologize for being MIA since Thanksgiving. I haven’t really been in the blogging mood since then, and we haven’t even really been cooking blog-worthy meals much lately. This year’s first major holiday was bittersweet for us. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the second time, welcoming most of my family and Billy’s parents (who came down from Colorado Springs). It was a great celebration with lots of good food. But in the days after, Billy and I had to make one of the hardest and saddest decisions we’ve ever made.

I’ve thought long and hard about how I should address this on the blog (or whether I should even address it at all). Throughout the last year and a half, many of you have become what I would call friends, so I thought it was appropriate to share what’s been happening in my life as of late. I’d like to especially thank Amy, who’s shown me that it truly is possible to make great friends through this blog. You’ve been a great support though this Amy, and I don’t know how to thank you for caring for what most people would call a stranger.

Us

Over the last few months, our youngest (and newest) dog, Newman, started becoming a little agressive towards our other dog, Kramer. For the first few months, it was one or two small spouts here and there — something we thought we had under control and were working to fix. We thought we had the cause of the aggression pinned down, and we had even made an appointment to get Newman into some one-on-one training. On Thanksgiving, things changed drastically. Kramer and Newman got in two fights, one before dinner and one during. After the second fight we separated them until all our guests left, thinking maybe it was a stressful situation for the both of them. Later that night, everything seemed fine — they were getting along just fine and we knew we had our appointment in just a few days. Then, Friday they got in two more fights. But this time, we couldn’t get them back into their normal state. Newman was on high alert and Kramer was terrified to get near him. Again we separated them thinking maybe the time apart would help. Late Friday night we tried to reintroduce them with no luck. Newman showed his teeth and growled at Kramer the minute he saw him.

At that point we knew things just weren’t right. Up until all of this started happening, Kramer and Newman got along great — they played together all the time, they ate and slept in the same room and they never had an issue with one another. After a lot of difficult conversation, Billy and I came to the conclusion that we had to find a new home for Newman. Friday night, Billy and I slept in different rooms with one dog each. Newman spent his last night in our house curled up with his best human buddy (Billy, of course). We boarded Newman for the weekend while we worked everything out and tried to find him a new home. Monday we spent the afternoon hanging out with Newman before we took him to a foster home with the same rescue group that we got him from. While this obviously wasn’t our first choice of a home for him, we know that he is in good hands with this rescue and that he’ll eventually (and hopefully soon) find a great home where he can be the center of attention — just what he deserves.

Newman

Obviously this was not something we ever could have anticipated or prepared for. Newman had been with us for just about a year and we had fallen madly in love with him. He was (and is) a great dog, and it was beyond difficult to come to terms with the decision we made. In the end, both Billy and I know that this was the right choice — not only for us, but also for Kramer and Newman. It’s been a hard two weeks adjusting to only one little dog running around our house, but each day gets a little easier. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Newman and wonder what he’s up to and if he’s able to snuggle with his foster humans the way he loved to snuggle with us. It was a great year with him, and we’ll never forget all the great memories he left behind. It really is amazing how much little four-legged fur balls touch your heart.

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13 Comments

  1. You’re too sweet. Blogging is a strange world and the kindness of strangers can be a powerful thing. I’ve experienced it myself over the last two years. If I helped relieve some of the sadness for even a minute, all the communication was worth it.

    Needing to give up Newman is almost like a death in the family. He was once there…and now he’s not. It’s such a tough pill to swallow. And I completely understand the pain.

    Dogs, like most animals, are funny creatures. They sense things we don’t. Read body language we can’t. And are extremely territorial. My two girls were litter mates and have never known anything but each other. They are both 11 now and the day something happens to either one, it is going to be CRUSHING. I can’t even think about it…

    Here’s hoping Newman finds another great home. Soon.

  2. p.s. had you kept Newman, Kramer would have been miserable too. And you would have had so much continued stress in the house.

    You did the right thing.

  3. Aww, I’m sorry to hear that, Stephanie. While I haven’t been in the same situation, I can understand the feeling because my husband and I are both complete animal people and can sympathize with them being a part of your family (for us it’s our two cats).

    I will be thinking about Newman and hoping that everything works out for him.

  4. Awh I know how you guys agonized over this. I’m sorry.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear. That must have been such a terribly difficult decision for you guys. I’m sure he will be greatly missed but I’m sure its for the best. Take care.

  6. This was a beautifully written post…and I loved seeing the interaction between you and Amy. Isn’t it amazing the friendships that can develop through blogging? What a blessing! I know that this decision was painful and hard, but it is evident that you made the best decision for your entire family. Please know that my heart and thoughts are with you. Having to say goodbye to an animal can be so very hard. Much love, my dear.

  7. Stephanie, thank you for sharing this very personal and intimate occasion in your life. I’m so sorry to hear that you had to let go of Newman. I know that saying goodbye to a furry friend can be just as difficult as letting go of a real friend in many ways. It seems that you made the right decision, though. My thoughts are with you and your husband, hoping everyday gets easier. XO

  8. So sorry you’ve had to make this decision. I have a friend who is going through the same thing right now and it’s breaking her heart. You’ll all be okay!

  9. I can feel your pain of lettinggo of Newman but it is the right thing to do. Time will help ease the pain. The thought of Newman getting a good home will give you comfort. HUGS!

  10. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I can only imagine how hard this decision was. My parents have a dog who I love and adore with ever fiber of my being. There have been times when she has almost been lost and I truly feel that if my parents let anything happen to her, I just couldn’t forgive them. I am sending a virtual hug your way!

  11. Awwww…I’m sorry…hopefully is in good hands again. It must be hard to have to say good bye. Hope you feel better…have a great weekend. Hugz.

  12. A difficult situation beautifully handled. I’m sorry for your loss but appreciate your sharing it with us. Thank you for letting us in. Good luck to you and your family, four legged or otherwise.

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