Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy…

He entered our lives in the Fall of 1997, a reddish furball of Collie and Australian Shepherd mix. We had just lost our 12 year old Beagle not long before. “No, let’s wait a while I said…it’s too soon.” But hubby had other ideas! And….who could say no to that face! That’s when Dodge entered our home.

Carmen, our first grandchild, was just over 18 months in this picture. It started Dodge on a long road to LOVING kids! He lived through 9 grandkids tugging on him…#10, almost 6mos old, won’t remember the big dog…but Dodge knows he’s another family member!

Dodge grew into a big dog, the size of a Collie, and to some probably looked like he’d take your arm off at the elbow! But he was as gentle as they came. Everybody was a friend and came to visit him not us! He had a way of talking when people came in the house, not barking, but talking. I guess letting us and them know someone was here and how happy he was to see them. Some people even talked back in “Dodge talk”!

I’m going to miss that… as he got older and started losing his hearing, he did that less and less…. one day he stopped doing it altogether.

March 98

Fall of 99

If you were outside, so was he! He loved the outdoors and sometimes it was hard to get him inside!  

Our road was his road, the neighbors his neighbors and he’d visit often. He’d even escort walkers and joggers for a short distance down his road.

He lived through being hit once, chasing a rabbit across the road.

Funny thing with him…I don’t know that I remember him ever killing a rabbit. But always in the summer, he’d find a bunny nest, bring a baby or two up in the yard…. put them down in front of him and wait.

Have you ever heard a rabbit squeal? Well, they do! Kind of like a squeaker toy.

He’d paw at them to make them ‘squeak’! When they’d stop he’d paw again!! As long as they kept squeaking he stayed there! Usually someone rescued the poor thing or it died from the trauma. Silly dog!

The mail carrier, UPS, Fed-ex drivers all knew him and he knew they had treats! It was always funny if we had a sub and to watch Dodge greet them! They were sure they were his next meal!

From 2012…with his buds, Bandit and Jack

He started slowing down the last year or so, his jaunts not lasting quite so long, not wanting to stay outside as long and finally his hearing. CLAP CLAP to get his attention, often startling him. Poor guy.

It was hard for him to get down and up the back steps, something he'd done for almost 17 years. So, we started letting him out the front door, only 2 steps. Let me tell you, old dogs DO NOT learn new tricks. He’d come to the back door every time to be let in! One of us would have to go out, CLAP CLAP, C’MON DODGE… and slowly he’d amble to the front door where he’d need a little help getting up those 2 steps.

He had no strength in his legs and on the vinyl flooring it was like walking on ice! We put scatter rugs down to help him make it through the house.

Sleeping more and more… it was time to have “the talk”… we knew it needed to be done, but it’s so hard!

One of his favorite places… by the front door, sound asleep.

Saying goodbye… his pals were with him until the end. He even got to say goodbye to the littlest one, Daniel.

It was a beautiful evening when the vet came, even then he was happy somebody came to see him! He enjoyed some last scratches…

No more suffering now, he’s at rest. Probably running chasing those baby bunnies so he can make them SQUEAK!

Goodbye, Dodge… till we see you again.

22 comments :

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, Dawn, sweet friend, what a beautiful post about Dodge and how he was so much a dear member of your family! My heart aches for you all...it's such a loss! But thanks for sharing this dear tribute to him! Praying that God will comfort you all! Love and tender hugs!!

Grace said...

Oh Dawn... no fair... you made me cry! What a beautiful tribute to a very special friend!!! My heart breaks for you all... I know Dodge will be missed for a long time!!! Thanks for sharing a little bit of him with us... very special! Sending hugs!!!

Robin Clendenning said...

Such a lovely story about your precious Dodge. I loved reading it and it reminds me of my sweet Cody. We so love our dogs don't we.
I'm so sorry for your loss Dawn and I'm praying for you!

Sabrina aka okimom2girlz said...

Dawn, I am so sorry about Dodge! You gave him such an amazing tribute and I am sure he knew how much he was loved! Sending lots of hugs and prayers of comfort!

Julie- justwritedesigns said...

I'm ao sorry, Dawn! I know how awful it is to lose a much loved companion!

Angela White said...

Your tribute to Dodge was written beautifully. I have tears in my eyes and know he will be missed greatly by all of you. Thinking of you and sending hugs your way.

Melody (lacyquilter) said...

So very sorry for your loss, Dawn. Many hugs.

Joanne Travis said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved furry friend, Dawn. It sounds like Dodge lived a very beautiful, full life and was surrounded by a lot of love.

Wanda Cullen said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to Dodge! He sounds like he was such a wonderful friend to all! So sorry for your loss.

Dawn Barrett said...

Thanks a lot.im crying my eyes out and I never knew Dodge! You obviously were a great caretaker. Im glad he had such a life and was lived by your family.

Donna Nuce said...

Tears in my eyes as I type this. What a beautiful story about a beautiful dog. They really are part of the family. So sorry for you! Been there, done that, so I totally understand your sorrow!

Starla said...

What a lovely tribute to your four legged family member! Your pictures show how much he was loved and will be missed.

Ruth said...

Awww, what a beautiful tribute to another 'epic' family pet. I know how hard it is to say that last farewell, and yes, I have tears in my eyes, too.
Hugs, and we'll miss him too.

jkreucher said...

I think saying goodbyeto our fur babies is one of the hardest things to do! You have made us love him through this amazing tribute! And yes, I have tears in my eyes too!
So sorry for your loss Dawn!
hugs
Judy

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to an old friend. Thanks for sharing. Hugs n' Stuff, Lynne

Karen Barber said...

Now there are tears running down my face….because we are about to face the same thing with our golden. You are so right, it is never easy!! Luca has lost his hearing, but he still gets around well….not as spry as he once was but he manages….but it's the fact that he's almost 11 years old….and the average age of a male golden is 12, and our last one only made it to 13, I cherish every day and cry when I think we might only have a couple more years at best. Then we say no more, it' s too painful, no more, and then eventually we weaken…….hugs to you Dawn, I know the deep feelings of loss, it took me months to climb out of my funk when our last one died….cyber hugs and lots of sympathetic thoughts.

Holly said...

Oh Dawn, I am so sorry. Your Dodge is a beautiful puppy and I'm so glad he had a wonderful life with you. I'm smiling through the tears and I love the pictures of Dodge through the years. I'm going through a similar time with my 13 year old baby (going to be 14 in Sept) - the hearing, the cataracts, loss of strength in the legs. How great that you have a vet who is willing to make house calls. That is so precious that Dodge could spend his last moments at home with his family. Hugs, my sweet friend!!

Diana Nguyen said...

Oh, he sounded like a sweetheart of a dog. There's something about a dog's love that just can't be put into words - but you've written a wonderful post on your love for him. I'm so sorry you had to say good-bye. Hugs!

Francie G. said...

Tears! Hugs to you!

Joann Burton said...

I sit here having just read your post with tears still flowing. My oldest dog passed away today. And I feel like a child has left me. I have two dogs who belonged to my hubby and I. But mainly to him. When I lost him they were much needed comfort to me. And now one is gone. My heart is broken again. What a wonderful tribute and I must go before I get upset again. joann sassy raggedy

laughingstamper said...

I enjoyed reading about your ball of fur! He sounds like an excellent family member and friend. I'm sure you will miss his company.

Audrey Ann said...

What a beautiful and precious baby - thank you for sharing his life with us Dawn. I'm writing with tears streaming down my face - because I can relate to the love you had with this beautiful animal and to the pain of having to say goodbye. Our animals are our family and it sounds like Dodge was a very special part of yours. I know he's still with you - just not in the same way as before. Hugs my sweet friend - love you!!