A Member Of The Family – Not ‘Just’ A Dog

January 24, 2010

I had Barney from 14 weeks old. We spent exactly 2 weeks short of 11 years together. That’s a third of my entire life. It’s a long time.
Some people have dogs and they sleep in the kitchen/hallway, get walked because it’s necessary and are confined to certain parts of the house. Not Barney, he was a real part of the family. He slept in our room in his own bed, we went on family walks and even took him out for special walks on his birthdays. We wrote him cards and wrapped him presents for all special occasions (birthdays, Christmas etc). He was included in everything we did. He was a proper part of the family. He may have been a dog but we treated him like a child. Yes, he toileted in the garden but you have to draw a line somewhere. I’m sure that had we been able to train him to use a toilet, we probably would have done.

I get the feeling some people think that a week of grieving for a dog is more than enough, that I should be over it by now and getting on with things and just be grateful for the other things I have in life. Just because I feel depressed right now, doesn’t mean that I’m not grateful for my beautiful, (almost) 2 year old. My love for him is unconditional, just as it was, and still is for Barney. I don’t need to be told to be grateful for what I have. I already am very grateful but it doesn’t lessen the pain that I’m feeling about losing one love of my life.

I know time heals. Well, actually, that’s rubbish. It doesn’t heal, it just makes the pain feel less raw and grief easier to cope with. I know that in time I will be able to remember Barney with smiles and laughter, but, there will always be tears too.

Barney made up a quarter of this family unit, and we’re a very tight unit, so losing him has made a big difference to our lives. It’s had a massive impact and it’s not one that we’re going to just get over. It’s going to take time.

I’ve spent years supporting others, never asked for anything, rarely complained, so it’s sometimes a little saddening that I don’t get the same level of support when needed.

Such is life though.

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5 Responses to “A Member Of The Family – Not ‘Just’ A Dog”

  1. Jaimee Butterfield said

    Anyone who knows you knows how Barney was just as important to you as Matt or Luke. Its clear to see, I don’t know anyone else who celebrates there ‘dogs’ birthday by making him a cake, giving him cards, presents and taking him on special walks. You could tell how loved he was from how happy he was. If you want me to come down for the day for some company or want to talk just let me know, I want to help if I can? XxxxxxxxX

  2. Jennifer said

    I came across your blog while searching the internet for information on Melanoma in dogs. My dog, Carson was recently diagnosed with melanoma in his mouth. I am struggling with when to put him to sleep. He has been sick for a while and after months of tests, x-rays, mri’s we finally found the melanoma. HIs kidneys are mess and he has a tumor near his heart and lungs. I adopted him when he was older so I don’t know his exact age but he is between 11-13 years old. He does not have the quality of life he used to have. He sleeps all day, and like your Barney, will only eat when I cook him chicken and rice (which is every night). He has lost so much weight and he has tumors all over his body. He wags his tails, likes to be loved, and goes on very slow walks around the block.

    Its hard to figure out when they are in pain, and how much more time he has. I don’t want him to suffer, but I am not sure if he will perk up, or if this is a good as it is going to get for him. I was curious how quickly Barney’s behavior changed.

  3. moose845 said

    You had commented on my blog when I talked about one of my dogs diagnosed with melanoma. It’s hard to find the right words to tell you how so, so sorry I am that Barney is no longer with you. My prayers are with you.

  4. canineoralmelanoma said

    Thank you Moose845. Which was your Blog? I’d seen a few on my travels through the internet whilst searching for information on oral melanoma.

  5. canineoralmelanoma said

    Moose – I re-found you. Your dog, Hemi. Is all well? I hope so x

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