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Monday

Still Missing Drake

I went back and forth about how to word this post, or even if it was one to write. But here goes.

We are really missing Drake. Last night before bed, we were looking at photos of him and I cried some more. He was fifteen years old; his days mainly consisted of sleeping. He couldn't take walks with us anymore and he had to be carried to the car and lifted in and out of it. This was a dog who used to live for car rides and would bound into my car for our Friday night pizza pick-up. I loved having him in the car with me and seeing cars of kids next to us who were in awe at this smiling husky.

Drake was on two different pills, a liquid pain medication, two eye drops and one eye lubricant -- all of this two times daily. He had a tumor removed surgically last Valentines Day but he had two more growing on him, one above his eye and one on his paw. He couldn't walk on hardwood floors anymore so we had small rugs all around the house for him like lilypads. He didn't talk to us like he used to (if you've ever seen the YouTube of the husky "saying" I love you, that's what I'm talking about). He really just slept a lot. He stopped sleeping in our room with us and slept in the den. He was having accidents in the house a few times a week. He didn't even love chewing on bones as he once did. We would give them to him and he would just ignore them towards the very end.

We consulted our vet who said that it would be an appropriate time for us to consider saying goodbye to him and that, while it was our certainly our choice, it would be a very respectful way of letting Drake move on. The vet said that we were not rushing this decision (our main concern). I mean, how do you decide when it's time? But on the other hand, it was obvious that his health was rapidly declining, and I feared that we would be out and about having fun one day only to return home and see that he'd passed by himself, without anyone there beside him.

Without going into too much detail, when he did pass, he felt immense love. Lots of hands on him, stroking his fur, whispering in his ear, holding him.

I am writing this post because I didn't feel like there were a lot of people that I could really talk to about the intricacies of this decision and the process. So, with that said, if you ever find yourself in this situation and you are looking for someone to talk to, or someone to whom you can ask questions, please email me.

Thank you ALL for your thoughts, your prayers, your comments on my last blog post, your texts, and the emails you sent. It means more than you know.






59 comments:

  1. I have teared filled eyes for you right now, but know that he felt all the love he had for 15 years and how lucky he was to have you as his family. I can only imagine your pain right now as our pets are a huge part of our hearts too. Sending big hugs your way girly.

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  2. This post hits home to me. We went through a similar situation with my husbands childhood dog that came with him. However, we woke up to the sound of her having a stroke. It was one of the hardest days of our lives. Nothing quite prepared you for that moment, even knowing that the time is near. Praying for you during this time. There will be times of great sadness, and there will be a lot of happy things that remind you of what a great family member you had.

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  3. We had to put our 16 year old Jack Russell Terrier to sleep last Wednesday. Like your Drake, he had been slowly getting worse, was on paid meds for his hips, having accidents more often etc. In the end he failed very quickly. As my husband said, a day sooner would have been too early, a day later would have been too late. You just know it's time. This is the second dog we've euthanized and it really is the gentlest way to let them go.
    We've been looking at photos and remembering his funny quirky ways to get through it. It's a sad time and my thoughts are with you and your family.

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  4. I am bawling my eyes out - again. I am still just so, so sorry for your family. I am so glad y'all got to spend those final moments holding him and loving him to the very end. He was lucky to have y'all and y'all were lucky to have him. I haven't stopped thinking about you. I know the pitter patter of him hurrying to the next rug will be missed, the mountain trips will now be different and there are a few less toys now scattered throughout the house. I am so thankful that Camille got to know him and spend almost her entire first year crawling around him. Hang tight to those 15 years of memories. What a special, special fur baby. Love and big hugs to you all.

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  5. I am crying like a baby reading this. I am so sorry for your loss and I completely respect your decision and love that you were able to love on him when his time came. I've only seen my dad cry twice and once was when he lost his father, the other was when we lost our family dog. We have a 13 year old dog and it is hard to see her age. Thank you for posting this and being open to emails.

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  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. We had fur babies long before our real baby and they are just like family. Thinking of you today & hope your days will be filled with your happy memories together. I love that picture of Drake in gingham!!

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  7. I'm literally crying in my office. What a hard thing for you and your family to go through. It's obvious that you loved your pup and only wanted the best for him. He was so lucky to have such caring parents.

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  8. I am very sorry to hear about your loss. We were in a similar situation not long ago. It is easy to see that Drake had a very happy life, loved by many. You and your family are in my thoughts.

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  9. Just like everyone else, I am crying at my desk. I am tearing up because I can feel the heartache in your words. We had to make the same tough decision with our beloved lab, Bosco, who had bone marrow cancer. Drake was one lucky pup to have such wonderful owners! Perhaps he and Bosco are hanging out at the dog park right now!

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  10. There is nothing like losing someone as loyal and unconditionally loving as a pup. My heart breaks for you, sweet friend. It's one of THE hardest things. Sending you hugs and tons of love always. xxxx

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  11. All dogs go to heaven! So sorry for your loss, I'm sure your home feels incomplete right now, but it is wonderful that you were able to be there for Drake every step of the way--I'm sure he felt immense comfort in that.

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  12. It is such a difficult decision to have to make. When my beloved border collie passed, I wish we had had the opportunity to have done it differently, like you did. I am thinking of you and your husband as I know what a sad time this is.

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  13. Thoughts and prayers with you right now!!

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  14. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We had to make this same decision for our black lab a few years ago, and it truly is such a difficult time and decision. Hugs!!

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  15. My thoughts are with you and your family April! Dogs are family, they are one of us especially when they are around and a part of the family for so long. Thinking of you! xo,

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  16. Crying like a baby in my office reading this! It's so hard to make that decision for your pets, even when it's the right one. We had to do it with my family dog that we got when I was in high school a few years ago, but my parents just knew it was time. Thinking of you all, and hopefully you can take some comfort in the fact that you will meet at the Rainbow Bridge again someday <3 https://rainbowsbridge.com/poem.htm

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  17. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I cannot imagine what you're going through right now. Hang on to those 15 years of amazing memories with him!

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  18. April, I'm in tears reading this. My parents had to make a similar decision for our beloved family dog a couple of years ago - she'd begun exhibiting many of the same things you guys were seeing in Drake. It's never an easy decision, that's for sure. But have peace in knowing that you did the selfless thing in choosing what was best for your beloved fur friend. He was a beautiful boy, and I'm so glad you got 15 wonderful years with him, and that Camille got to meet him. Thinking of you friend, and praying for you guys as you mourn your loss. So very sorry:(

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  19. Going to need multiple tissues. I know how much you & Ian loved Drake, and I know Drake knew it, too. I'm so glad you had 15 long, happy years with him and Camille got to spend almost a year with him. Big hugs!!

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  20. April, first of all I want to thank you for writing about this I know this must have been such a difficult post to share with us. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. I'm so happy to hear how loved Drake was.
    Liz, Ariah and Josh Brown

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  21. I've followed for awhile, but never commented. You are the second blogger I follow whose dog passed away this weekend. I can only imagine and dread the day I have to face this same situation. Thoughts, prayers, and hugs!

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  22. I am so sorry for your loss. Dogs really do become family members and they are never here long enough with us. It is one of the most difficult decisions to put an animal down. Especially, when you love them so much. I pray for healing for your grieving heart. The process won't be easy and you will have some really rough days, but always remember that sweet smiling husky that is now watching over you and your family. You have a permanent guardian angel that is always by your side, riding in the car with you to get pizza, and most importantly loving you for all the love you gave him. Sending lots of love, prayers and hugs your way!

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  23. This breaks my heart. I am so so sorry for the loss you and your little family is experiencing. Prayers for you all!

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  24. Like others said above, I am teary eyed reading this. Your sweet Drake was so loved by his family, and I know that he will be missed forever. I know that non dog owners think it's crazy, but dogs really do become are family members, and saying goodbye is so so hard. You've been on my heart and I'm continuing to pray for you as you guys adjust to your new normal. Big hugs!

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  25. My heart is breaking for you all. I wish I could just reach through the computer and hug you. I can't imagine that's an easy decision to make. I remember when we had to put my dog down when I was little and I cried for days. Hoping it gets easier as time goes on and you know he's in a better place now with no pain. Sending lots of love and hugs your way. Drake sounds like he had a pretty great life with you all.

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  26. While I do not have a pet myself, your words hit close to come. I found myself tearing up, even though I have never experienced something like this. I am incredibly sorry for your loss but know that Drake was very, very much loved throughout his life, even at the very end. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  27. My eyes are filled with tears! I get this. It's so hard to make those kinds of decisions. Pets become such major pieces of our lives. They are part of each and every day. He seems like he was such a great dog and first baby for your family.

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  28. We said goodbye to our Lily - a pit bull/german shepherd mix - last Friday. She had battled valiantly against cancer for two years and by the end was truly, truly suffering. It's one of those tough love things, I think, loving our pets enough to give them dignity in death. Sorry for your loss. *hugs*

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  29. So sorry. Thinking of y'all today. We experienced the same thing with our sweet mini daschund, who was 14 years old, in July. Even now, it's heartbreaking to think about him. I found that making a book with tons of pictures of him and stories that went along with the pictures helped us out a lot. My family still looks at that book regularly, and we all have fond memories of him. Hang in there. It will get better with time.

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  30. So sorry for your loss. Our sweet pup is over 15 years old and we are mentally preparing ourselves and grasping the idea that this is likely her last year with us. We are watching and waiting for her to give us the sign that she's ready to move on and we will do what is right by her. So difficult to make those calls so my heart goes out to you.

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  31. This breaks my heart! Praying for you and your family. I've loved reading posts about Drake over the years, and he seems like he was the perfect dog for you and your family. *hugs*

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  32. What a beautiful post. I will certainly be thinking and praying for you all.

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  33. Thinking about you guys and sending lots of happy thoughts your way. :)

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  34. I truly cannot imagine!! Just the thought of losing my sweet pup brings tears to my eyes!!! Thinking of you!!! xxxx

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  35. my parents came home to find their elderly dachshund passed. It was devastating and they were so upset that she was alone when it happened. Your pooch had many happy years and I'm glad you were with him when he passed. My parents grieved for a year and now have a sweet new dog to love. best wishes and I'm so sorry.

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  36. I am so sorry to hear about your loss April! I once had to put a dog down and words can't describe how emotional it can be! Thinking of you and your sweet family!

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  37. I'm so sorry. I've never had to make that decision myself yet but my parents and friends have and I know it's not an easy one to make. It sounds like y'all made the right decision based on what he was going through and I'm sure he appreciated being surrounded by everyone that loved him when he passed. Thoughts and prayers going out to you and your family.

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  38. I am incredibly sorry for your loss, I can't begin to imagine the feeling that you and your sweet family are experiencing right now. I know you will hold all of the happy moments and memories that you had with Drake close to your heart. Sending hugs and positive thoughts! Xo, Stephanie

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  39. My heart is sad for you- dogs hold such a special place in our hearts!! So sorry to hear about your loss!

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  40. Oh April, I am so sorry! It is obvious you gave him such a great life and now you know he is no longer suffering. Thinking about you during this hard time.

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  41. So sorry for your loss - it is such a hard decision to make. You wish they could just tell you how they're feeling and what's hurtung. We lost our sweet Rosie of almost 15 years to cancer. We still miss her. When the time is right for you and your family I hope you get another fur baby - it has helped us with healing.

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  42. Oh April... I know the decision couldn't have been easy, but I'm sure watching sweet Drake in pain was no easy feat either. My family and I just recently said goodbye to our 14 year old lab who formerly bounded up and down stairs with ease, talked to us just as you described Drake did, and loved to play with our other dogs, only in recent years to sleep all day, stop eating, and limp when she walked. In the days before we said our final goodbyes, she would look at us several times throughout the day and it was just in her eyes that she was ready to not be in so much pain anymore and we felt that we were prolonging her agony by keeping her here with us. I'm praying for you and your family in this difficult time, but it's so beautiful to know that Drake had a family who loved him so much. xoxo

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  43. Your post brought me to tears at the reminder of the loss of our 16 year old lab last January. It is never easy to let them go but in end I just have to tell myself that they were no longer the dog they once were and that they are no longer in pain. I hope you find some comfort in this. I am sorry for your time and hope that you can smile at some of the many loving memories you had with Drake.
    Hugs.

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  44. Oh April -- I am so sorry about your sweet boy Drake! I loved all the pictures of him and reading about him. My family is in the same situation with our 16 year old maltese....Magnolia. Drake's decline sounds exactly like hers. She sleeps all the time, but gets agitated at night -- she also cannot see and bounces off the walls like a pinball, she cannot hear well, we carry her out to the bathroom (when she makes it outside), she slides on our hardwoods --(why is this? they cannot get traction?), she won't sleep in our room either -- only in her bed in the living room, our vet has said the same -- take your time, but our girl is on a steady decline. If you have any advice to help us with our timing decision, please email me: kelliecarrara@hotmail.com -- we also have a young daughter, too.

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  45. Aw I am so so sorry to hear about Drake. This post made me cry... I've totally been there before and as hard as it is to let go, it sounds like you made the best decision you could have for him. They really are a member of your family and it hurts for a while. Sending a big hug and prayers your way!

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  46. Oh my, tears are filling my eyes and I read your post really fast because its just so hard to read about. I am so sorry for your loss of Drake and hope he is up in doggy heaven running his heart out! Hugs to you!!

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  47. My heart breaks for you! I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I'm sure he knew how loved he was and felt so taken care of. xo

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  48. This made me bawl like a baby! I'm so heartbroken for you. We've only had our pup for 2.5 years and I can't imagine a day without her. I cannot imagine the bond and loss after 15 years. But what an amazing life he had! I have no doubt he is looking down on you all and smiling, he was so lucky to have you and vice versa. That pic of him and Camille is so sweet. Thinking of you all, hugs!

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  49. I missed yesterday's post but this had my eyes brimmed with tears. We lost our family pet 9 days after her 15th birthday. My sister took her to the vet because she knew she was acting funny and ultimately she wound up passing away while at the vet. The technicians said they held her while she drifted off to sleep. It's two fold. My sister aches that she wasn't there to hold her. But she is also so grateful that she hadn't passed away at home for her children to see. This was four years ago. I still ache with her memory, the softness of her ears, how she loved a good scratch on the throat (dang it's getting me choked up right this minute!) But some things are very worth having your heart broken over. The love a dog. The only flaw they really have is that in the end, no matter how long, they never live long enough. I feel your pain and can only hope that our dog Finn, has another 10 years in him. Drake lived a good life and is no longer in pain. Sending you virtual hugs. xoxo The pain will eventually fade - but luckily the memories won't.

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  51. I read this post yesterday, as I was at the vet with a sick puppy (actually a 7 year old "puppy", but always a puppy in my eyes.) I read it out loud to the ladies that work at the front desk and our hearts ached tremendously for you-these poor ladies know me because I cry pretty much every time I am there-over my dogs, other peoples' dogs, etc. (animals and babies just have that effect on me-it embarrasses my family terribly!) I hope you find peace and comfort knowing that you did the best thing for Drake. It is not an easy decision, but it was the most loving, selfless decision. Having to suffer with the "what if's" is something you won't have to do because you did the right thing, despite the inevitable heartbreak and grief. He is most definitely frolicking with friends at across the Rainbow Bridge and one day you will see him again. Sending lots of thoughts and hugs your way! xoxo

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  52. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know you did the right thing and you have always been driven out of love for him and giving him the best quality life possible. Hugs!

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  53. I'm just catching up and have to say that I'm so, so sorry for your loss. These pups getting old is so difficult and you definitely don't want them to suffer. I know that decision had to be hard. Lots of thought and prayers to you and your family as y'all grieve sweet Drake.

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  54. oh man hun, tears welling up in my eyes reading this and thinking about when it's Jakes time. SOOO HARD :( Praying for comfort for you all. He had an amazing life thanks to you guys xoxo hang in there!

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  55. So so sorry for your loss! I still miss my family dog and she left us in the 90s. Thinking positive thoughts for you. xoxo.

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  56. I always cry when I hear that someone lost their pet. It just leaves me so heavy hearted. I love and have always had pets. We have two dogs and a cat right now. They are like my children - even more so especially now that my nest is almost empty. I know you are missing him and grieving. I still grieve over our 200 pound Saint Bernard named Cleo. She passed years ago. She got sick in the middle of the night and we had to make "that" decision literally in ten minutes at a 24 hour emergency vet, not our own vet's office. It was awful. Billy Graham once was asked if we will see our dogs in heaven. He responded by saying,"God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there." What an awesome thing we all have to look forward to! God Bless!

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  57. I know someday we will be in the exact same position and it's so painful to even imagine. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  58. I am crying and my heart is aching for you.(ps- shouldnt have read this post at work! whoops!) I am so sorry for your loss. Our pup is our world and the light of our life. Even though he is only 4, I tell him all of the time that he must live forever because he is the best dog ever. Losing a pet is like a losing a member of the family. Thinking about you during this difficult time.

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  59. I am SO very sorry, April. Please know I am thinking of you all and I can completely relate. I wrote this guest blog post many years ago when my first love, Lady, had to go to the bridge. (http://thewetnose.blogspot.com/2009/08/guest-blogger.html). I still cry sometimes when I think about her. We were so lucky to have Lady for so long, as you did with Drake. It's just nothing else can be said about it. Especially in those circumstances with their health and comfort at the end. Because that's how it is when you really love someone.

    Hugs,
    Whitney

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