Even if it means oblivion

“Even if it means oblivion, friends, I’ll welcome it, because it won’t be nothing. We’ll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves; we’ll be falling in the raindrops and blowing in the fresh breeze; we’ll be glittering in the dew under the stars and the moon out there in the physical world, which is our true home and always was.” – Phillip Pullman

Today is Dobby’s last day. I posted awhile back about Dobby’s struggles with seizures and behavioral issues. At that time there were two medication changes we still wanted to try, but neither made any difference and I made the heartwrenching call to schedule his euthanasia. At that point, he’d been having a seizure every six days on average, so I decided to push his appointment out a week with the knowledge that he may have another seizure or two and I may have to bump his appointment up if the seizures, fear, or aggression worsened.

dobby rocks

This last week has been spent enjoying Dobby. I made a “bucket list” of the things I thought he would most enjoy that wouldn’t be too exciting (and therefore likely to trigger a seizure). Dobby’s been on multiple off-leash hikes on friends’ rural properties. He’s gotten so many new toys I can’t even count them. He’s gotten to snuggle in bed with me and has eaten his favorite foods. I started feeding him twice as much at mealtime – there’s no longer any reason to watch his weight, and one of the side effects of his medication has been increased appetite. He’s swum and he’s played with his few doggy friends. I’ve told him how much I love him over and over and over again.

I’ve done some things for myself this week, too. I’ve spent a lot of time crying and a lot of time with caring friends. I had a professional photographer take pictures of Dobby by himself and of Dobby and I together to remember him by. I stroked his velvety ears and laughed at his happy prance when he got a new toy. I rescheduled all of the appointments I could and spent less time working so I could be with him.

Everyone who loves Dobby has gotten to say goodbye in whatever way made sense to them. My parents took him on long walks, snuggled with him, and fed him handfuls of popcorn. My boyfriend bought him a bulk lot of squeaky balls – more new toys than Dobby’s ever seen in his life. Friends gave him toys and treats and chews. They invited him to hike on their properties and told him what a special little dog he was.

It’s still hard to believe that it’s almost over. It’s been almost three years since Dobby was pulled from the Rochester Animal Control Shelter. He’s only four years old, and I wish he could live to be a wise, tottery old dog with a grey muzzle. It’s hard to think of my sleek, athletic, awkward, sincere little dog being gone.

Tonight Dobby will get a double dose of one of his medications, a situational anxiety drug. Tomorrow he will get another big dose three hours before the vet comes over, which will make him very sleepy. My vet will come to us, and he will be euthanized in the place he’s happiest and most comfortable. We’ll do everything we can to make sure he knows he’s loved and valued during his final moments. Afterwards, my other dogs will be given the chance to investigate his body before the vet takes it to be cremated.

It hurts to say goodbye, but I’m so glad I got to know and love Dobby. I’m grateful for all of the things he’s taught me about perseverance and love, about hope, and about accepting that the right answers aren’t always the easy ones. Today I will enjoy everything about my special little dog, and tomorrow I will do everything I can to help his final moments be gentle and comfortable.

As I miss Dobby, I’ll hold onto the belief that he’s not altogether gone. The special spark that made him who he was will live on in those whose lives he touched and changed.  We’re all a little better for the connections he made, and I’m hella glad I got to know him. I love you, Batdog.

39 responses to “Even if it means oblivion

  1. Oh my goodness Sara, I’m so sorry. I have enjoyed reading about the little guy. You have managed all his difficulties so thoughtfully. Thanks so much for sharing this. What a lucky doggie Dobby has been to spend this precious time with you.

  2. What incredible love to have shared. Take strength in the days to come and know peace in the memories. – Lorian

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. It is a very tough thing to do and you have my deepest sympathy.

  4. Louise stapleton-frappell

    Reading this made me cry for the loss of your beautiful friend but the love you have will never die. Always in your hearts, always on your minds, never forgotten.

  5. It’s not goodbye, it’s see ya later. I am sorry you had to make the hardest decision a person could ever need to make.

  6. For anyone who loves dogs and those of us who have always had one, this time is especially hard. I have only had to put down one dog in my life and it was a painful, emotional thing but it had to be done. I will be praying for you to have strength during this time. I know that your Dobby will be cared for and loved.

  7. Thank you for sharing this difficult journey and decision. Your writing as always, is touching, thought provoking and wise.
    Wishing Dobby a gentle transition and you strength and peace in the time to come.

  8. Your blog has been on my biz page as a “read of the week” so many times. I find your writing wonderful and educational … and real. Keep doing your amazing work and know that you did soooo much for Dobby. He couldn’t have had a better life with anyone else! Godspeed sweet Dobby and hugs and love to you Sara.

  9. I am so sorry! These moments are the hardest part of being a pet parent, but they are also some of the kindest.

    Run Free Dobby!

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about this Sara. I remember you bringing Dobby to one of Gus’ classes 3 years ago. Thinking about you this week.

  11. Hi Sara. You don’t know me, but I have much respect and admiration for you. I read your words as often as they are available. It’s hard to find the words that I have in my heart to express what a treasure and gift Dobby must have been in your life and that you have been in his. I want to say he was lucky to have you, but I know when you’re working with a dog that has issues – whatever types – that we are the ones that are so lucky to have them in our lives! Your bond ran deep and I’m wishing you memories of the wonderful life you shared.
    – I hugged my dogs just a little tighter and longer today when I read your words! Thank you for that.
    Kathy with Lucas and Katie

  12. Sarah I am so sorry to hear about Dobby. You have had a tough year. Bless you for all you do. I love your blogs and also think you are an amazing asset to the canine community. I’ll be thinking of you.

  13. My heart goes out to you. Bless you for all you have done for him.

  14. Such a hard and yet such a compassionate decision. Brava to you for having the strength and the love to make it.

    Run Fast. Run Far. Run Free, Dobby.

  15. Such a heart felt tribute…wishing healing for your heart and the day when memories are without pain.

  16. Sara
    My heart is broken. Such a hard thing to follow through with. I remember his beautiful gait as he trotted around. Such elegance in such a small package. We are sending you a warm hug from all of us.
    The Sicotte Family

  17. Sara,
    Thank you for sharing Dobby’s story with us. I cannot imagine him having found a more caring, compassionate human being with which to spend his life and someone who had the strength to make the most difficult of decisions in his best interests. While I have never seen his little prance in person, it made me smile to read of it!
    My thoughts are with you both.

  18. Sara, I am so very sorry to hear this. I saw Brenda’s comment to you and just had to read what you’d written. You do a beautiful job putting your thoughts into words! I am also a pet lover and know how hard this has to be on you. Please know that the memories you have of Dobby will be treasures in your heart forever…your 2nd grade teacher

  19. Thinking of you today, Sara, and sending prayers and hugs – Amy


  20. There are no words that make this day any easier. But, please know that your devotion to this dog is a shining example of the way all our dogs deserve to be regarded. We’re all so sorry that you must say goodbye to your wonderful boy. But, we know that there is no oblivion in a dogmom’s heart.

  21. No words can convey how much I feel for you, but to be loved and cared for, right up to the last minute is our greatest gift to give them.

  22. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. I’ll be thinking of you today as you face this difficult journey. Peace to you and Dobby.

  23. My heart goes out to you. Sorry for all of this, no doubt you’ve made as much an impact in his life as he in yours.
    Take care.

  24. I’m so sorry, Sara. What a wonderful time he had with you.

  25. Sara, my thoughts are with you and Dobby during this most difficult time. He is a lucky dog to have a wonderful person like you to share his life. You are a brave and loving individual.

  26. Midwestern Plant Girl

    My sympathy goes out to you.

  27. I don’t have anything new or insightful to add to all of these heartfelt posts. I can only echo the kind words and hugs and thoughts that so many others have already sent. Beebe and I will keep you close to our hearts during this painful time.

  28. I’ve been clicking back and forth from your website since yesterday, not finding the right words to put down. You don’t know me. I read your blog for the first time right when you wrote about Dobby in July. I was at work at the time, so I didn’t bookmark the blog, but Dobby’s story haunted me, and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. It took a few days of creative googling, but I finally found you again yesterday, only to find out that it was Dobby’s last day. I barely read to the end of the post, tears were streaming down on my face so hard. My little Luna has no idea why I’ve been hugging her extra tight all day.

    I still don’t have the right words to say, but I just thought I’d say that you and Dobby are in my thoughts today.

    Run free sweet Dobby, from now on you’ll be chasing tennis balls in an endless meadow and nothing will ever hurt you again. You’ll “be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves.”

  29. i just wanted to echo the comments above. What a wonderful community of dog lovers! I’d also like to say that you are an awesome writer. As a person who has had to face the euthanasia decision several times (though not for the same reasons), I found that your words resonated powerfully. This writing and your Dogster posting brought back the uncertainty, second-guessing, guilt and terrible sense of loss. God bless you, God bless Dobby, and God bless all of us caught up in the struggles and all too brief joys of life.

    – An Internet Stranger

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  31. My deep, heartfelt condolences. What a wonderful preparation for sending your dog back into the universe. By this time, he’s entertaining God with those incredible ears.

  32. I am so sorry for your loss Sara. By now it has happened so you will be grieving. Take all the time to cry as much as you need to. Dobby will not be forgotten by you, but also not by any of us either, the online dog community who so avidly read what you write.

  33. Sara, I am so sorry for your loss. I just read your two blog entries (which were beautifully written) and went through about half a box of Kleenex. Dobby was so fortunate to have had you in his much-too-short life. I fully respect your decision and can only imagine how heart wrenching it must have been. I will be nearing that point with one of my beloved pets, and even though she is a cat, and I know much different than a dog, it still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about that day that I’ll have to say goodbye to her. Our pets teach us so much about life and Living. Thank you for sharing the story of you and Dobby. What a sweet girl. I am happy she is seizure- and stress-free in heaven. You two will be reunited someday! <3 Thinking of you…

  34. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how painful the last days must have been, but it’s beautiful that you were able to say such a heartfelt goodbye.

  35. Just a note to say that I’ve thought about you and Dobby often over the past week. He was a lucky guy to have you by his side, making such a difficult and brave decision on his behalf. Wishing you peace as you move forward with Dobby in your heart.

  36. Pingback: Saying Goodbye: Making the Decision to Euthanize Your Dog | Paws Abilities

  37. so sorry for your loss and sending hugs, he safe and healthy at the rainbow bridge. brings tears to my heat and eyes reading and may you find comment soon.

  38. Pingback: An Ounce of Prevention | Paws Abilities

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