More Goodbyes

I emptied Kota’s and Shadow’s folders tonight. I shed only a couple tears whereas previously when I tried to empty Kota’s I couldn’t even pick the folder up without crying. 

I have kept their certificates and images but all the medical records are gone.

Miss you all.

Pepper 2003 – 2010

Tasha 2001 – 2013

Kota 1999 – 2015

Shadow 1998 – 2015

More Grief

I feel like I have been sad for a long time now. Sad since Tasha unexpectedly crashed back in 2013. Just trying to move and get moving. 

I knew then that I would have a really hard time if I lost Kota without another dog to bond with. They are my soul incarnate. They give me someone to care for, someone to play with and train with. They become a piece of me and I them. Tasha took a big piece of my soul with her and Twitch brought a piece with him. He is no Tasha but he is fun. I knew when I left Tasha that night at the emergency vet that she may not make it. I told her I would see her on the other side. I had hoped it would be the other side of surgery but I’ll have to wait to see the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

In fall of 2013 Kota was diagnosed with cancer. I knew his time was limited but he hung on for another year. He lost mobility and balance. He lost eye sight. But he was still my heart dog, my soul. Then he started to get worse and lost a lot of weight. I told him about a month before he died that he could go. That I was as ready as I could be and it was ok. That last night I think he was ready to go. He was tired and breathing was getting harder for him. I am so thankful that Tasha sent Twitch along to help me. 

I wish I had a way to help Kris. Shadow was his heart dog, his baby girl. I told Shadow a few days before that it was ok. That if she was ready, it was ok. Kris said the day before she died that he finally told her it was ok. I think she was waiting to make sure he would be ok and that he was ready.

I hope that Twitch can bring him some comfort during this time. It’s not easy to lose a companion of 15 years.

The original four have passed on now. The next generation is up and coming.


Shadow 1998-2015

Shadow was a lab beagle mix that Kris’ mom got as a pup. The first two years she spent in a backyard getting into trouble. Stories are that she would pull the laundry down and reek other havoc on items left outside.

Kris took her when she was about 2 years old, in 2001. That is when I met him.

He asked me to watch her one weekend and I took her with Kota and Tasha over to my sister’s house. They were having a cookout and my parents were in town. I had Shadow on a tie out on the deck and the other two were inside. We were just sitting down to eat steaks and Brian had placed his plate with steak at the end of the table and turned around to do something on the grill. Shadow walked right up and pulled that steak right off his plate! Brian retrieved it, rinsed it off and ate it anyway. And that was my families’ first intro to her.

Kris and I would meet at the dog park and go for walks or just chat while the dogs played. One day Kota took off playing chase and Shadow chased him down and attacked him. She left a scrape on his butt but after that Kota didn’t play chase at the dog park anymore. They never got into another fight, Kota just stayed out of her way.

Kris and I moved in together and our three dogs coexisted most of the time. Shadow and Tasha got into trouble together and because of each other but Shay was definitely happier with other dogs than without. Before we moved in together Shadow had some serious separation anxiety. She destroyed the blinds in his apartment. She shredded a pillow that was left next to her crate. Once she had other dogs in the house, she was fine!

Shadow traveled from Indiana to Oregon and lived to be 17 years old. She went hiking, boating, RVing and even learned some agility. She was a tough old dog and will be greatly missed.


Lots of things tonight. 

But all superseded by Shadow possibly bloating again. She is weak, appears in pain. I can’t watch her anymore so I’m hiding inside.

Sometimes a sign needs to be big. But the person has to be willing to see it.

When is the Right Time

Shadow is not doing well. She is on again, off again on food. Other than having lost 1/3 of her body weight she is doing ok.

She sleeps most of the time. She walks in a way that makes me think she is hurting to some degree. There is a roach in her back. She has almost constant diarrhea.

She doesn’t often solicit pets from us. She hasn’t gotten a gleam in her eye for over a week.

When do you make the call with a dog like this? She could go on wasting away for a month, two months… Not eating enough to even maintain her current 20 pounds. 

At what point do you say that she has lived a full life, has known happiness, a gentle hand and a warm bed and now her time has come? If she could choose, would she?

This is the hardest thing we must do for our beloved pets. 

Sometimes that choice is made for us

Sometimes that choice is clear.

The hard part is do we wait till that choice is clear? Or do we let them go before the choice is obvious?

No one can tell us that. Not even Shay Shay.