Saturday, March 12, 2011

belle and rosie

this day has been a long time coming and while i'm relieved that it's over, my heart feels so sad that it's here.

today my parents 2 old, adorable golden retrievers, belle and rosie, were put to sleep. they were 12 years old, litter mates, and they've both been getting pretty broken down in the hips & tumor department for the past couple years. they live in a house of stairs and they were having a hard time managing because clearly it hurt them, just getting where they needed to go. the decision was made that their quality of life had decreased too much and it wasn't reasonable to keep them going with expensive meds. they've had long, wonderful lives together with my family and it seemed that it would be too sad for either of them to live without the other, so they were both put to sleep today, in their own yard, laying snuggled up against each other.

they usually said goodbye under the piano.
 i've known this was coming for quite a while. i've been preparing brooke for it for years because every time we went to visit the grandparents, it might be the last time she saw them and we wanted her to always feel like she said a thorough and loving goodbye to them at the end of each trip.

brooke said they were sleeping 'in a pile' like they did on "where the wild things are."
  belle has always felt like she was our dog. we lived with my parents briefly when i was pregnant with brooke & we were moving from one state to another and belle adopted us then. from that point on, she always seemed like our fur girl. when brooke was 1, belle lived with us for nearly a year, but i couldn't keep up with the extra work required to own a big dog, along with the other stuff that was going on in my life, so she went back to my parents' house. every time we went to visit the grandparents, 6 hrs away, brooke's favorite part was spending time with the dogs. she loves the people, don't get me wrong, but the dogs were the best. they played in the yard with her. they chased things she threw. they sat beside her and watched her play with her toys. they stole her stuffed animals and slobbered all over them. they let her walk them around the yard on leashes, even though they were in a fenced yard and outweighed her by 40 pounds. they caught the ice and food bits she threw to them. they obeyed when she bossed them around and they always showered her with affectionate grins, licks and tail thumps when she looked their way. they were never too busy or preoccupied.

i told brooke a few days ago that friday was the day for the dogs to go to heaven. she understands the reason and she's been preparing herself for a long time and since i was crying when i told her, she just patted my arm and walked away. i didn't know if what i'd told her really sunk in, but last night when we were praying before bed, she broke down and started crying and said that she didn't think her life or her heart would ever feel the same again. like things in the world would never look the same again knowing that belle and rose were gone. she said that next time we're in charlotte, she's going to go out back and sleep on their graves.

it seemed to brooke that since we always have funerals for the people we love, then of course we must have a funeral for our beloved dogs. it seemed insulting and wrong to even consider going on with life before a funeral was held, so chris and decided we needed to do something today to recognize and love the 2 furry girls and how much they've meant to our lives. we didn't want to put up a marker of any kind in our house or yard because brooke would likely fixate on it and let her hurt hang onto her. instead, i took brooke out to a party store today and let her pick out 2 helium balloons, one red, for rosie, to match her collar, and one blue, for belle to match her collar. she picked heart balloons and we brought them home and wrote and drew all over them. we told the dogs how much we loved them and would miss them.

then we all went outside with our red and blue balloons, brooke hugged and kissed both of them goodbye and told them that Jesus would read the notes to them when they got to heaven. we let them go and watched until they were out of sight.

our hearts are hurting, but we're glad to have known these wonderful, goofy, sweet, golden girls. we love
you, belle and rosie.


  1. It is never a good time to say goodbye but at least you can console yourself that they had long and happy lives and left you lots of happy memories.

    McG (aging cat) is leaving us a few unhappy memories at the moment but with an average of 8 out of 10 in the litter tray and the other two just on the edge (just glad someone invented newspaper – what will future generations do when all their reading is in electronic format – will they bring out a Kindle that soaks things up?). Other than that he has perked up and seems happy, so the dreaded last drive has been put off for now….

  2. *cry* this is soo sad.
    I'm so terribly sorry :(
    Beautiful post.

  3. BTW the balloon idea was simply wonderful.

  4. Oh, my. I'm so sorry. Expecting it doesn't make it easier.

  5. Sherilin - I am so sorry, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I know how deeply painful it is and they are truly family members. Those are such sweet pictures!

  6. What a beautiful way for you to let your daughter say goodbye. Sorry for your losses, but thank you for a beautiful story.

  7. What a wonderful tribute to your furry babes. I have to say I am shedding tears. We had to say goodbye to our cats over the span of 2 years. The oldest being 18. You have wonderful memories. ((HUGS))

    The balloon idea was amazing.

  8. Saying goodbye to our furry babies is the hardest thing. I'm so sorry. The balloons were a beautiful idea.

  9. I really appreciate the way you wrote this post. You reminded me of our Buddy dog- he was our golden who grew up with our girls. We had to put him down 2 years ago-he had developed a fast growing cancer. We still miss him every day!

  10. This does break my heart. 2 years ago, I had to put down my boy Golden. My husband always says that Augur (said boy Golden) was the love of my life, not him! haha, may be true! It tore my life apart when I put him down. He was 11. He had been having seizures and stopped eating, and kept falling down the whole flight of stairs. We had to carry him out to potty, but I just couldn't let him go. One day, he stopped licking me, and he seemed to just stare and I knew he was gone. I held him so tight all day knowing, and the next day we took him in. Right when they started the happy meds, he put his head up and pushed his way into my chest. And in snuggled in my chest, he left me. It kills me still, two years later. I love him so much.

    So I know this pain. Goldens are mans gift I think. There are no better dogs. I am so sorry it was time for Belle and Rosie.

    We have Augurs collar, and dred lock, in my car and we listen the his jingle from the tags while driving. Keep him nice and close.

  11. Hugs to you and Brooke. I know how hard it is to say good bye to a pet. But what a beautiful way you chose to do it1

  12. thanks for all the support & to sweet littlesprite who wrote a post for us today. we'll be funny again soon.

  13. oh my, that was sad. It's nice that you have so many good memories of those beautiful doggies.

  14. So sorry to hear about your pups... I think the baloon idea was a great way to help your daughter through.
    Sending virtual hugs your way.

  15. Stories like this always make me sad.

  16. A beautifully written tribute to belle and rosie, I'm still crying. A wonderful way to say goodbye with the balloons. My heart feels for you, but I know there is great comfort with you all in knowing they were alway a very active part of your lives. Take care.

  17. The Bridge and me
    for the departed dear friend.
    A tear;
    to mark our journeys end.
    A smile;
    to remember our past glories.
    A laugh;
    as I recall our funniest stories.
    to know you run free.
    A sigh;
    because you are not with me.
    The bridge;
    takes you to a world full of fun.
    God bless;
    think of me as you run.

    (© George Turnbull (Symdaddy), 2009)


  19. Sherrylin, this may sound strange, but allow yourself to grieve. :(

  20. It sounds like belle and rosie did their jobs well.

  21. Ah, feel your pain. I chose to put my two old dogs down together when they were 14. Now I'm in the same boat with two 6 year old dogs. But I firmly believe the best gift you can give your faithful companions is to let them go when life gets to be too much.

  22. I think you may have misunderstood my earlier comment. The 2 six year old dogs I have now are doing fine. I was just sad that they are the same age as I will likely be faced with the same problem as they age. Still wishing you well on a tough day for you.

  23. What a sad time for you.
    I really like the balloon idea.

  24. How sad. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope Brooke is doing okay! We have a 12-year old dog in a similar situation so reading this really forced me to realize that his time is almost up as well. At least we know all dogs go to heaven:-)Love the balloon idea, by the way.

  25. I am sitting here at my desk crying like a baby. That was a beautiful way to say good bye.

  26. This post had me in tears. Growing up, we have had many furry members of our household. Mom used to take them in and find homes for them.

    It was always hard to say goodbye, whether they were moving to a new family or in the case of our own pets, it was their time.

    So sorry for your loss.

  27. So precious...what a beautiful way to remember them.

  28. Sweet. It is hard to let go of a pet, especially for children.


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