Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I had to put my dog, Patches, to sleep yesterday. I am devastated.

I sort of thought that I wouldn't be. She had a good, pretty long life, and I have two younger dogs who demand much more attention that she did over the last few years.

Still, it was really horrible. I've actually put two other dogs to sleep in the last 18 months (ugh! what a terrible thing to have lots of in your life!) - a puppy who I had had less than a week who had parvo, and my mom's dog, who I'd found at college and who had recently been living with friends of mine.

But she was my baby, and you can't imagine how much worse it is. I got her when she was about one and a half, in 1994. We've been through lots together.

*A dog bite on her back (& trip to the emergency vet)
*A swallowd bottle of ibuprofen (prescription!) (& trip to the emergency vet)
*The breakup of my first relationship (actually, all of my relationships)
*Four cats
*Numerous other dogs (I was always trying to get a second one, she said "no" a lot)
*The time she jumped over a wall at the river and ended up in a drainage pipe outlet - she won't swim, so I basically had to get in the river (in december!) and go around and get her.
*The (barbed) fishhook she got in her mouth (at the river - I actually managed to get it out without damaging anything!)
*The time she jumped off a ledge at the river, and couldn't jump back up, it took me forever to get my scarf around her middle and hoist her back up (during which a helpful woman walked by and told me a dog had died falling down that hill recently)

I almost stopped taking her to the river, but I never did, we all went on thanksgiving.

This photo is more than ten years old (twelve?). There was a willow tree in the yard that for a while had one regular trunk and one stump that was about 5' tall. She was really good at running up the side of the stump, and loved to stand in the tree. The other part fell over in a storm within the year, and it took us ages to deal with it, so it was a great doggy playground.

I didn't name her Patches. I tend towards human-type names for dogs myself. But she already had it, and knew it, and it fit her so well. I'm sad that I will never have to explain that to anyone anymore.

I found myself really really wishing for the afterlife that I don't believe in. So that I could believe I would see her again, that she's happy somewhere instead of just gone.



mmassey@earthwitness.org said...

Pam, I'm so sorry. Losing a close animal friend is like losing a part of your own self. Know that I am with you in your grief.

Plain Foolish said...

I'm so sorry. Patches looks beautiful in the picture you posted. I hope in time that the happy memories will prove a comfort to you in your loss.

Peterson Toscano said...

Oh, so very sorry to hear about your loss. So painful. Pacthes seems like a dear friend. Holding you in the Light as you walk through your grief.

James Riemermann said...

Oh, gosh, Pam, I'm sorry. As you know, we put Becca down last summer, after 14 years. I still get choked up thinking about her, sweet old girl that she was. Patches was a sweetie, too.

Liz Opp said...

Pam, I just found out about Patches in the last day or two... Knowing how huge your heart is for animals and creation, I know this will be a tender and difficult time for you. You and Patches are in my thoughts.

Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

lorcan said...

Hi Pam:
Funny, I was very close to my wee do, phuzzz, pronounced Fuz, a shepard, or police dog, in the 70s, hence fuz, but, so as not to be name calling, spelled phuzzz, but, well Phuzzz was a wise being, and just as family members who have passed still live in my heart, adding their wisdom, so does Phuzzz, and that is some kind of afterlife, eh?
Thy dear doggie is still with thee, there in thy heart.
Thine in the light