Goodbye, My Faithful Friend

We found out last month that Harry our beautiful hound had advanced stage lymphoma. We were told he might have weeks, though it could be months. I hoped for the latter, fate had different plans and opted for the former.

Last week he was OK, Saturday he was a little slower but I thought it was the heat affecting him. By Sunday I knew it wasn’t the heat. Our boy, our first baby, had had enough. He was suffering and it was time. I made the call to the vet, then lay down with him on the kitchen floor and said my goodbyes. The Husband took him to be euthanased, stroked him whilst he took his last breaths.

And now he has gone. My home is too quiet, even with the children around. I desperately want him back, for one last cuddle, one last wag of his tail, one last bark. It’s not to be, though. I understand this. Pets die, we are expected to outlive them. In actual fact, when I look at it logically, we are now better off financially, we are free of a dependent, life will be easier. But no matter how many times I tell myself these things, I just want him back.

Harry was so good, the very best. We won’t have another dog, we could never have one as great as Harry. He was fabulous with the children, he was brilliantly behaved, he was always a snuggler wanting lots of affection and cuddling up as close to you as he could physically get, and he was so handy for eating up all of the scraps and crumbs – he was a greedy little thing.

And now he has gone.

I walk through the front door and he’s not there, wagging and wriggling, happy to see me.

I go to leave the house and there’s no need to grab a chew for him, check he has plenty of water. He no longer sees me off at the window.

I make my son’s lunch, without a presence lurking hopefully behind me. No need to share the cheese any more. Just buying cheese upsets me.

I take a photograph and it’s devoid of him. He photo bombed with the best of them.

I descend the stairs and he’s no longer waiting for me at the bottom, eager for a snack, wagging his tail optimistically.

The house is Harry-less and I hate it.

It’s only been a few days. It’s still painfully raw and I’m still feeling empty, tears streaming almost constantly. I hold it together, twice a day, for the school run. And then I can come home and release my emotions again.

I am mourning Harry and I am mourning being a dog-owner. For over a quarter of my life, I had Harry, I was his mum. I vividly remember the day we collected him at 16 weeks old, our first few days together, the puppy years and mischief, then onto the years as the kids came along. He had been with us for just over ten years, for all of our time in this home, the memories are everywhere I look.

I am sure it will get easier. I am sure I will stop crying. I am sure I’ll be able to talk about him without sobbing. In time.

But until then, please don’t tell me that he was ‘just a dog’. He was my dog, the best dog, faithful until the end. He was family.

Rest in peace, Harry.

Harry pictures

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61 thoughts on “Goodbye, My Faithful Friend”

  1. I’m so sorry about Harry, it was obvious from your posts and photos that he was a huge part of your family. Not just a pet but another family member.
    My silly cats (one who acts like a guard dog and her sister, who is more of a squirrel) are a massive addition to our family and I couldn’t imagine how we’ll feel when they go.
    The tears will ease but you’ll have your memories xx

  2. I’m sorry he’s gone and so quickly after diagnosis, making that last decision is so tough but an act of love. It’s hard, it does get easier but mourn him right now he looks as if he was a great dog and part of the family. Anyone who says he’s just a dog has clearly never experienced the bond and love of a pet, sending lots of hugs xx

  3. Oh Jocelyn, I am so very sorry. Harry sounds like he was a wonderful dog and a much loved member of your family. I remember how devastated I was when my dog Sam died when I was 14 and when the house we lived in back then was sold 20 years later, I sat at the top of the stairs and remembered all the times I had sat there cuddling Sam. Your memories of Harry will always be in your heart. Sending you all a big virtual hug xxx

    1. He was wonderful and sorely missed. Sorry for your loss, too, nice to think that they are always in your heart x

  4. Oh Jocelyn, I’m so so sorry. This was far too soon 🙁 The tears will stop but you probably won’t stop missing him. Even the ‘at least he’s pain free now’ line won’t be much comfort while the loss is so raw. The Harry shaped hole will remain for weeks, maybe months, but, fill the space with happy Harry memories and the pain will ease in time. Sending love x

  5. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is so very difficult losing a furbaby, and like you say he is not ‘just a dog’. Sending you strength and love, may your many happy memories made with him help your sadness ebb in time. x x

  6. This made me cry so much, I said goodbye to my faithful family members recently and god it hurts, they are part of the family and there is such a gap when they’re gone but I promise it does get easier. Let the tears out there is nothing wrong with that. Much love Jocelyn XXX

  7. Isabel O'Brien

    I’m so sorry. They’re never ‘just’ pets. They’re our faithful furry companions. I’m guessing he knew how very loved he was. You gave him the best of times. X

  8. I had hoped it would be a lot longer before I read this post. Such sad news. Pets become such a huge part of the family made even harder to say goodbye when you have little ones. Sending you all lots of love xxxxx Sleep well old boy xx

  9. A big, big hug to you. As you say they are part of our family. We have a 4 year old Labrador, Diesel and thinking of him not being around anymore is really upsetting. I’m sure Harry had a wonderful life with you, it certainly sounds it. He was adored by you all and you obviously have some lovely memories of him. I’m dreading the day when it happens here. Having wanted a dog every since I was about 4 years old, I finally got one. They bring so much joy and happiness to the family. This brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye, but at least he was one of the lucky ones, he was loved xxx

  10. So sorry to hear this Jocelyn,
    You made the right decision and in time when the hurt fades a little, may you have endless happy memories of Harry to keep in your heart forever.
    Sending you lots of love and hugs lovely xxx

  11. Oh sweety, I’m so sorry, my thoughts are with you. It is so hard to lose a pet because, as you say, they are family. But it does get easier, in time you will look back on the great memories you have of him and smile instead of shed a tear.
    Sending much love xxx

  12. Oh Jocelyn, my heart goes out to you and your family. We too had to say goodbye to a loving a loyal friend recently and even though we still have four other dogs, they aren’t Beanie.

    Pets aren’t ‘just’ animals, they are part of the family, we love them unconditionally as they do us. Nothing anyone says can make the loss of Harry any easier. Nothing will fill the void that his passing has left. And nothing anyone does or says can take away the memories you have of him. He was your furry friend and the tears will become less in time (she says through teary eyes).

    I am sure he is resting in peace and thanking you for not letting him suffer.

    Big hugs.
    xx

  13. He was a sweetheart and I’m so glad I got to meet him and share a few cuddles-he was very snuggly. Those first few weeks are really hard, but the memories and thoughts of him will become a comfort and less of a sadness over time xx

  14. Oh this is such an emotionally raw post and I am so sorry to hear about Harry; it’s totally acceptable for you to mourn Harry and all the memories you had together. He sounds like an absolutely adorable member of your family,
    Much love xx

  15. A big hug from me Jocelyn! I still miss my puppy – actually she was 17 when she left us but I always think of her as my puppy – and I know how special they are as part of our families. Harry was loved by you all and also gave you lots of love back.

  16. I’m sorry for your loss especially so shirt space of time. I went through similar experience with my cat and it is heartbreaking. But at least he is now at peace and that the life he had was a happy and fulfilling one X

  17. Oh jocelyn I’m so so sorry. I totally understand what you mean about Harry not being just a dog, he really wasn’t they rarely are. I hope you feel a little lighter soon in the knowledge that he was give such a wonderful life thanks to you and your family xxx

  18. I’m so very sorry to read that Harry has gone, he sounds similar to our dog – always hungry and desperate to be close to you. He looks like he was a lovely gentleman, and he was very lucky to have such a lovely family. It must be very difficult, and sad, and I send you a hug x

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