Saying Goodbye

Life | 03.4.2013

Saying goodbye to a dog is so hard and yet so different for so many different people.  Now that K9 Kaos has been open for nine years, sadly we are saying goodbye to more and more of our original K9 Kaos pack.  Aaron and I also have the losses in our own pack, and our friends and family also have losses.  That is a lot of loss….jeez!

Michele and I often talk about the different ways that people grieve the loss of their dog.  Those that wear their ‘heart out on their sleeve’, those that grieve ‘quietly and privately’, those that get another dog or two (or three) usually right after a loss. Then there are those that could never bear the thought of going through that pain ever again.  What is most interesting is what happens among these groups when  there is a common loss.  Some would think that a ‘quiet & private’ griever is maybe not grieving at all, which of course is not case.  The ‘quiet & private’ griever might be overwhelmed by a ‘heart on the sleeve’ griever and so and so.  If everyone was like me, we would all have huge packs of dogs.  The first thing Aaron said to one of our friends Friday night was that we would probably be getting four new dogs now.  It makes me laugh, but he could be on to something.

I’m actually not positive on what kind of a griever I am.  I kind of think I am little bit of all of them….although I will probably always have a dog.  I sometimes like to write a letter.  For whatever reason it is something I do to say goodbye, some people might think that’s strange.  I wrote this letter to Hootie this morning and I am happy to share it.   I guess this is the ‘heart on my sleeve’ side of things.

Hootie…. Right this minute, I can only think of all of things I should have done differently.  You were such a perfect dog.  I know, I know, I should have never made you play dead all of those times.  You hated that trick so much and I just wanted to entertain my friends.  It was so silly of me and I am so sorry.  This might be a good time to mention however, that it was always very cute and well executed on your part, I was apparently a very bad shot.  As you know, your toy obsession was a little much at times, but I probably should not have hidden your toys in the closet.  I should have played with you just a little bit longer.

You made me so happy, you were so easy and so loving.  I hope you know how much I always loved you.  I hope I showed you enough. In hindsight, I don’t know why I cared so much about you chewing on Runway’s ears all of the time.  I should have just let you do that right?  I don’t think Runway minded at all.  She seemed fine with it actually. Now her ears are dry and she seems to miss you.

I will admit, since I am sure you had no idea, I was never happy when you would wag your tail so hard that it would bleed all over the house.  I don’t think there was much you could do to control that tail of yours.  You were a happy boy all the time! I know your excessive greeting disorder went untreated for years, so it was probably really difficult for you to not give most of our friends a fat lip each and every time they entered our home.  I probably should have been a little more understanding about that I think.

I will never forget that tongue that you could never control, the fact that you were such a daddy’s boy but you saved the best ear grumbles for me, your upside down sleeping, that cute little bark you had in all of your dreams, and your squinty happy eyes.  You were the best Hootie.  I miss you so much.  We all do.


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