I had my beloved Golden Retriever Collie Cross dog, Tyler, from the age of a very cute 6 weeks of age – he had an amazing smile – until he was 14 years, 3 months and 5 days old. He smiled at me just a couple seconds before he was given a tranquilizing needle before the one that would end his precious life. What a trooper. Such a relaxed, stable, happy-go-lucky, and go with the flow Tyler always was, from 6 weeks to his last moment of consciousness – my “Mr. Zen” as I would often call him. I truly still long for him a lot more than I thought would possible after 10 months. I knew I’d still miss him, but it is an aching longing, still. Love ya tons Tyler buddy and I always will!!!
I’m tearing up again, the sadness of missing him and his not being here welling up inside again. He passed away April 6, 2017. He was lovingly euthanized by a mobile vet on the futon in my living room. He was so happy, despite his pain, a failing heart, severe arthritis and being 80% blind, which I didn’t know until the vet told me minutes before I had to say that gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, gift-of-love for Tyler – goodbye. Maybe he knew, maybe he didn’t. But, God, he was loving and so trusting. (crying now).
It leaves you feeling terribly guilty to know that you are calling your dog up on to a futon to die and he doesn’t know it. Or if he had any knowing of it, he had nothing but trust for me. As the pain is immediate and intense again as I write this today, I hear the 10 week old puppy I’ve had the pleasure to have had for two weeks now tearing around the room, playing with my 10 month old Ragdoll cat, Rafe.
The pain and memories and so often missing Tyler and all that reminds me of him so often has, at times, given way to some happy memories. It has been one of the most difficult pet losses of my life, however, having barely gotten through what was to have been his 15th birthday – his first birthday that he wasn’t here for on January 1, 2018, yes he was born on New Year’s day, in 2003 and I brought him home in March of that year.
I have been busy with work, clients, life etc but Youtubing a lot over the last two years. I think it’s high time I get back to writing. Writing blogs, and Ebooks and other things, but writing. I did make a couple of videos for Youtube on Tyler’s last day as I knew we were awaiting the vet but not sure if Ty did. We spent the day together, he and I and my other dogs were in crates in the other room. I attended to them, let them out, fed them etc but as the time to say that final heart-breaking goodbye to Tyler inched closer I needed also to not only be alone with Ty but to soften the blow for my other two dogs.
I haven’t yet done the memorial video I want to do. So many pictures to gather from so many different devices and places. I have one done for Baylee and will do one for Tyler, and one for Dakota. So much loss of unending incredible love in 5 months December 2016 to May 8, 2017. (I welcomed in Buffy, a Red-Tri Australian Shepherd on January 19, 2018. She was born November 19, 2017 – a Scorpio just like me 🙂
I know Tyler has been gone now for 10 months which means we are inching closer to that one year anniversary – that will be another intense day of grief and sadness as it will heighten even more just how incredibly much I miss Tyler.
It has taken me this long just to write about him and his passing and wow, the intense grief floods me again. What a sweet loving boy he was, eager to please, never barked once, a day in his whole like except a bit of a growl when he’s play tuggy with my other dogs. He played tuggy a lot with my beloved late dog Mandy, it’s been 11 1/2 years now that she passed away, which is one more year than I had her in life but she too is still missed, it’s just not as raw as my cat Baylee (passed December 21, 2016)
Tyler April 6, 2017 and barely a month later we lost beloved Rottweiler beauty, Dakota, just under 2 years of age.
My dogs, Lucy, a 12 year old Yellow Lab, spent 11 1/2 years with Tyler as her buddy and only knew Mandy for 6 months. Mandy and Lucy never like each other. But sweet patient making all the dog fun, Tyler, kept both happy in play so they wouldn’t fight. Jake, my almost 6 year old Rotti cross misses both Tyler and even more so Dakota terribly. Lucy and he snuggle a lot to comfort each other but Lucy is a bit old to want to play now and Jake has been down and is just starting to think about playing with me and the slow acceptance, which hasn’t happened yet of our new puppy, Buffy.
Buffy, is going to be Jake’s transition buddy for the time when we lose Lucy, who is starting to show her age and sadly, having some health problems. But, because dogs so lovingly live in the here and now, each moment, one moment at a time, Jake who hasn’t yet accepted Buffy at all to play with, can’t know right now how much he’ll be glad she’s here when Lucy won’t be.
I’m training Buffy and building a more independent relationship with here because she will be the last dog for me and if Lucy and then Jake go in order, I’ll have Buffy and Rafe. I’m so happy about the playing and friendship that Buffy and Rafe have. I hope that continues as she gets bigger.
Ever since we lost Tyler, the cog in the wheel of all dog play (aside from me) Lucy and Jake have not been playful and while they let Buffy sleep on the bed, usually not too close to them, they still remain very dependent on each other, understandably. I fostered Lucy getting closer to Jake in the last few months of Tyler’s life by having Tyler sleep in another room with Dakota. I would sleep every other night in one room or the other. I think it helped Lucy cope. Jake was pretty resilient but then one month and two days later when we lost purebred Rottweiler Dakota, Jake really has missed her quite a bit and is still just getting a bounce back into his walks and is starting to play again. Lucy is too old and Jake now a little jealous of the puppy, Buffy. Only been two weeks so Jake needs more time to adjust and I hope start to play with Buffy.
Jake, is a great dog, a little neurotic though, high strung, and gets separation anxiety and/or jealous when I spend time with Buffy only (which I have to do, at times, to train her). Jake and I will have to say goodbye to Lucy too – hopefully not for a year or two. Of course Jake can’t know this. I really wish, in a way, that he could, sort of, I think.
Pets, both cats and dogs are amazing! Dogs give so much unconditional love and are great companions as well as just great for our health, every which way. Cats are often very loving too and they love us in a their own ways when they feel like it.
Grieving Baylee, Tyler, and Dakota, (whose pictures I still can’t look at that’s why her picture isn’t in this post) has taken more of a toll on me than I was aware. Sometimes just writing a blog about it, I hope not only helps others remember their late furry companions but I have had a very much needed time of crying and grieving as I looked for and sized the pictures of Baylee and Tyler (I hope to add Dakota’s picture or do another post about her in the near future). Interesting but writing this blog was a huge help (and finding the pictures) in my grief process even more than when I did a video about Baylee and Tyler and took them down subsequently.
We need more love among people in this world. So many don’t even know how to love themselves due to traumatic childhoods. Not everyone wants a pet, but, I think anyone slightly wanting a cat or a dog should really research what type/breed will fit best in your life with your lifestyle and add one to your life and/or your family’s life.
© A.J. Mahari, February 5, 2018 – All rights reserved. All pictures © A.J. Mahari