This is the shaped letter I am preparing so far to read on my Tracy's funeral next Friday. I was thinking also to have a copy of it probably engraved in wood in her place of resting for her ashes at home which i will build myself after i receive her ashes:
I am so sad and empty with your loss, I am so sorry it had to be so suddenly and that I did not get you regular checkups to catch your decease early and have helped you with proper care to extend your life some more, if only a little more, until you were at least old enough to leave us, I am so full of regrets for what I done wrong to you, for all those times when I did not treat you with enough dignity, for those times that I overlooked and underestimated your value and your meaning in my life.
Oh my dear and beloved companion; from the beginning when we first met, I thought I choose you when in fact I was the chosen one by you, then for the past ten years you have always been there for me like an unnoticed guardian angel, always willing to cheer me up with an approval look, always ready to listen to my conversations to you.
You were my first daughter indeed and I used to tell you I was your daddy until you and I started to be part of this family that the Lord has blessed me with; there was no reserves in you and soon you shared your unconditional love with all new members of the pack and you were our protector, always in the way, on the kitchen, and we always yelling “Tracy get out of the kitchen!” always wanting to go out with us everywhere, how I regret now those many times I chose to leave you behind.
I wish today I could have been wiser and more appreciative of your company, I wish I could be perfect like you are. I will always treasure our many fun moments, our walks, our trips to the doggies park, by the lake in Florida, our early house training nights after my work, you used to run and sneak into the pond for an splash, our plays catching the Frisbee, our tug-plays with the rope, you running to get whatever when I asked “where is the toy? “Our plays with the radio control car that you loved to chase making you look so silly, your kind heart to other animals especially to those smaller than you, your outstanding disposition to be friendly to anyone, anytime. I truly have many good memories from you, sadly not enough to comfort me after your early departure. There are many memories to be treasured and there is an eternal gratitude I owe you for rescue me not once but several times during my hardest times of solitude in life. I remember that day back in April 2003, after I had met my wife Di and I asked you what did you think of her and you kept looking at me waving your tail with that face and those eyes seemed to say “I think our family will get bigger, how exiting that our family will grow after all, that can be a bad thing” you gave me your approval while I had my doubts and you were right for the Lord has blessed me with my whole family as exist today. You were always smarter and protective, you loved to share with anyone, you loved company that I did not always provided you like you deserved, still, it was Ok with you as long as you could have few minutes of belly rub and rough head rubs, you were happy and grateful, you loved baby talks always and every time responded rubbing your head and ears with your paws and with guttural sounds, like you were really talking.
Your time was precious and scarce, I never knew how fast time was running out until last April 28th, by 6.00 pm where the vet read those blood-work results and mentioned your end was imminent. I was in disbelieve, because I have taken your health for granted, not providing medical care or checkups for many years and feeding you what I learned way too late might have been poison food; how could I get so careless?, how do I justify my lack of interest and ignorance? How can I forgive myself?
Everything started to pile in my head and in my heart and an immense fear of losing you invaded me, while I watched you retching and vomiting those toxins on your blood stream from failure of your kidneys. We thought you were having a virus, even still, I left you to suffer for two weeks before agreeing that was time to go to the vet; How can I ever get pass that mistake; I will never know if there would be really anything that could have kept you here with us longer; my heart tells me there was, but I disregarded and ignored the danger you were in. Oh my dear Tracy; I would do or give anything to go back in time and undo my mistakes, whatever I did wrong that might have contribute to this day, If I only knew.
I am convinced the Lord has sent you to my life to try and teach me humility, to try and teach me what real love is all about, he has sent you to not only illuminate the darkest places in my heart with your life, your dedication, your love, your loyalty, and your constancy, he sent you as an answer to a question I once asked him, sunken in despair and heartbroken, when my own personal problems were becoming bigger than me; he has sent me a proof, materialized in you that he exist and he is watching over me
I am sorry for our human behaviors, including mine, of insecurity, selfishness and control; I know you always understood that is why we are humans and you are a dog; we think we are better, rational beings, but we come to shame in comparison as for our "love" is plagued with all these defects and "tails" that you, as a very "inferior animal" are free from.
No matter what anyone could say about you, with or without intentions to diminish our bond, stronger than time itself, I will always love you in that special way that only a pet and its owner can experience; pure and free, as love should be. And when in short we meet again, I will make my wrongs rights, staying always with you until the end of times; we will have then an eternity to do all those things I failed to do while with me here.
You will always live in my heart and will exist in my memories until my time comes. I already miss you, so much!
Death is no true when life's deeds have been well accomplished, you have not only fulfilled your purpose in your time here with me, you have exceeded in such a way that I am now convinced you will always be the master, and I will always be the apprentice.
Thank you and Godspeed, my faithful companion.
Ephesians 1:10: "Everything that exists in heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in Christ."
This is a beautiful and loving testimony about the wonderful relationship and love you have with Tracy. She was such a lucky dog to spend her life in the company of someone who loves her so much.
Your words will not fall on silent ears....she will hear you.
Love knows no boundaries,Love is forgiving and Love is eternal.
God bless Tracy's beautiful Spirit and Soul...she gave love and received love, she is love.
Thank you Connie. I still got to review it to catch gramatical errors or to add anything I might forgot to make better sense of it. I tell you that writing about it geve me a feeling of little confort and relief; there is another writting more bitter because of my wife disbelieve but I changed sfter I spoke to her yesterday; she is in, but i am not convince all the way but is not time to argue, is time to mourn, at least for me; i will probably include some lines giving credit to my wife for her care of many times which she did; Tracy had a different bond with her; like when she asked her to let her out; if I intervined, she would ignore me :) it was all about Di. Same goes for my landlord, which used to expend few minutes rubbing her head and belly always, she was very happy to see him and I would go to second plane when he would be at the door. My landlord took care of her in few occation we were traveling and even took her to his house couple of time for her to play with his kid. Tracy was nothing but pure love, 84 pounds of it; whoever looked at her would feel it ;)
Maybe I will just set this letter together with her little shrine I am planning for her; I will wait to get the right wood I will use and will get creative with the design to try and express with it who Tracy was, what quality of companion she was at all time and what she meant for me; all into that design. I will have to see how much amount of ashes I get to start planning and drawing; it will be a slow project as she has the eternity and I hope to have some time to bring it to completion. When I walked through the pet cemetery grounds here in North Las vegas, I saw beautiful stone works and heartwrenching dedications engraved in stone that mkes one cry like a baby; beautiful poems and dedicatories and i though I will still do my own, even all these lines I feel lucky enough to have told /tracy in her final quick days over and over, and again at the vet, before the procedure while our last "hanging out" everytime I would lose my tears, ahe would look up with a expression i swear could read like "do not cry, I understand, I have never see you cry before"; it would look like she still was giving me courage and strenght like she understood I was not ok emotionally, when such connection is there, words are not needed; an intelligent look from her eyes would speak millions of words.
I do not know if my heart will open again to another pet; I would like to think myself yes, but I can feel the barrear and the wall raising tall; I would love for Tracy not to be sad and to love another caretaker in my stead if it was me the one who was gone first. From the deepest part of my soul will emerge in time the answer. One thing is for sure; it will not be the same mistakes, since I have learned in three days and the days that followed what i missed for ten years, but i doubt, considering myself a one time deal kind of person, any other companion could fill that empty spot that this special friend have left open; that is the beauty and the ugliness of being unique.
What a lovely idea to honour Tracy by working on a shrine for her. That is a great idea.
Like I said, after my dog Toby died, I spent a lot of time making his grave beautiful. It seemed to help my pain, it was like although he had passed, I still was caring for a part of him.
Because of your love for her, it is very possible that one day, when the time is right, that love will lead you to another Dog Soul. You will just know when the time, and the opportunity is right. It might be a short time -or it might be a long time.
After my dog died, I really couldn't, and did not want to take on another dog. But at the same time, dogs homed in on me, like they could sense my love, and my bond with them. And then by a set of strange circumstances the dog I now have, came to me. My bond and friendship with her really took away all my sense of loss and healed my heart.
When you have worked on the shrine, please DO take a picture, if you wish, and put it up here, because I would love to see it.
Did start a slideshow about 8.30 pm until well pass 10 pm, plying in the background 'Get Here" from Oleta Adams.
We all watched family pics were most are my girls playing with Tracy, what a way to remember 1 week of her passing, without tears; i silently and where none of my family could see, shed still some bitter tears. Tomorrow I return to work, where I have to wear a permanent smile with my customers. Normally this is no problem for me, but I pray Tracy's memories wont take me for assault in the middle of me dealing with a client or while driving. My body language tells me still it is not time to come back to reality, but reality itself mocks the idea; there is no choice but go back to work as we couldnt even afford the week I had to take off, it was my choice but I think a wise one other than expensive. True is still now I feel I have done her more damage than a favor taking care of her health. Next weekend i plan to start her shrine. I will see how this week goes; but I have that strange sensation that Tracy shouldnt be where she is but still with us; I think it wasnt her time to go still; I pushed for it out of misery and our human so called judgement. RIP my dear Tracy. I miss you so much.
We all have some amount of guilt when a dog has died and particularly when we have had them put to sleep.Even if it's quite clear we were doing them a kind service.
And another guilt is seeing the past through a magnifying glass, and seeing all the things we did wrong, or didn't do, that we feel we should have done. Oh my goodness! I got that badly after my last dog died. There were so many things I could remember (with the benefit of hindsight) -that had maybe been signs all was not well, and maybe I didn't investigate them fully enough.
My dog died of prostate cancer, and at least a year previously I had seen blood in his urine, taken him to the vet, got antibiotics, they appeared to work, and we carried on as normal. After his death I was struck with guilt that ideally I should have had other tests run, Xrays...blood tests etc (and the vet told me "if the antibiotics don't work, come back and we'll investigate further" Well, we were busy living our lives, and all I noticed was there didn't appear to be blood coming out any more....and that was that!
....And other small things, that after his death haunted me, and I kept thinking "What if I'd been more aggressive with things? Might the tumor at early stages been operable?"
But you see, he (being a Jack Russell) was one of those dogs that never showed any discomfort or problems, until the final stages when it was to late. Actually a lot of dogs are like that. It's an inbuilt instinct in them. But I didn't know that then.
Well, no matter what -after they have gone I think in many cases we do feel we might have let them down in one way or another.
Your grieving is no way done. It won't be for a long time. But it's a good thing to go back to work I think. It might help you not to fall into a deep depression, and gradally get back to those routines of your life, sad though they might feel. It will hurt, and there will be times the tears will well up. Don't be afraid of that. It happened a few times to me, when I was in the middle of doing something, and I would be hit by a sudden memory, and I'd feel the tears coming.....
Bu it is true, as time goes by the cutting-edge of grief gets a little better, and more bearable.
Thanks ginger for all the support; I will remember this parragraph when those moments appears. I am trying to move on not much choice; have to.
without thinking of the guilt, maybe it would go away on its own. I will keep you posted. Again thanks for all the support; suddenly in my mind is like if Tracy appears and I can see her giving a thank you look to you too.
How have the past few days been going for you?
I know it is tough to have to go back to work...you would much rather just curl up into a ball and sleep. It is certainly easy to allow the depression to set in. After I had TwoBits euthanized, I had a week off work also. You are right, a week is not enough. But on the other hand, the fact that you have returned to work, is good. I know you don't want to be there, and it is difficult to put on your Happy Face, but it is a necessary step that needs to be taken. Though work is difficult at this time, it will help to give your mind a rest, even if it is for just a few minutes.
Your grieving will take time, and I know how much you will struggle with the decision you made to have Tracy euthanized...I know you are wondering if you did the right thing when it still feels so wrong.
I can tell you, that on a personal basis, In my heart, I feel euthanasia is the right thing, but my head questions my moral sense of it. It is my own personal "War" within me. It becomes a battle between my feelings and my thoughts. One or the other will have to change, or I will have to find a comfortable compromise between the two... because I will not find peace until that happens.
One day, ( about a month ago ), After several months of regular and sometimes daily battles between my heart and my head....( battles in which my head usually won,)... I was once again, feeling terribly guilty about euthanizing my dog. It was one of those days when I found myself struggling with my conscience, and before I knew it, another "battle broke out" between my Heart and my Head...! My heart has certainly met it's match...! My heart went into battle armed, as usual, with nothing but feelings of Mercy, Compassion and Love...My Head went into battle with thoughts of , Killer, Murderer, Guilt, and Disrespect of Life . It was a nasty battle, like so many I had before.
Once again, I thought my head was going to win this battle. It was and had been a horrible battle... tears were shed, and my heart took a terrible beating....but much to my surprise, that day, My Heart was victorious. For it was during that battle, that my Heart convinced my head that I was not a Killer, or Murderer, as these are acts that are done out of Hatred. And my heart also convinced my head that I was not Disrespectful of life. In fact , it was because of my Mercy, Compassion, and Love for my dog, that I did indeed, RESPECT HER LIFE. and because of that respect, I chose to NOT let her life, end with long suffering.
In my heart, I feel like euthanasia is the "Right Thing" to do, but, because of my morals, and beliefs, I will probably always will have some uncertainty about it.
So from a moral or religious standpoint, Even though I don't know if it was the "Right Thing," to do, I do, at the very least, know I did it for the Right reasons.
This reasoning hits me hard, it speaks the truth, and gives me comfort. My heart and my head have found a "Peaceful" Compromise. I know that I am healing, not only from my grieving, but also about the decision I had made about Euthanizing.
I know that the morality of euthanasia will be a lifelong battle for me. I know that as long as I have dogs in my life, my personal "War with Euthanasia" is not over, but....I do know that my most recent "Battle with Euthanasia" has been won.
LIFE IS A GIFT....and like a gift, life is meant to be ENJOYED.
Suffering is not joyful, and to knowingly allow our dogs to suffer would certainly be disrespectful of their life.We all want our dogs to be with us as long as they can, but none of us want them to suffer just so we can spend more time with them.We all struggle with our decision of euthanasia, and we all feel guilty about things we might have done differently...We love our dogs and we hope and pray that they will have the "Perfect Life" by being happy, and healthy, living to a very old age, and the "Perfect Death" by dying in their sleep ..yes, a Life without suffering.
But the truth is, there is No "Perfect Life," anymore than there is a "Perfect Death".....There is only "Perfect Love" and this is something that our dogs teach us.
Rody... I am sure that our dogs would tell us "Thank- you, for your love,and for not making me live, or die, in misery.."
You know, in the morning before I go out to work I change her water, and recycle food in her bowl, I call her name if I come home and nobody is there and it seems like she shows up, receiving me, I can even "hear" her paws on the tile floor, I look at the trash and I see her smelling into it; and in the bathroom very oftem I look at her bed outside in the room and believe I see her looking at me with the "what's up" expression..I feel her very presence in the house and for that i am thankful; but I also despite the fact that reality dictates she is not phisically there..its scary to accept it and i feel my heart ache; yes I go about my life normally otherwise; sinking again in our rutines and such but i wonder, I always wonder, what if..what if i could had taken that car loan; would all this presence feeling means that she was meant to actually be there and not where she is now? could i have meke her whole and rebound again with $2000 dollars? because if the answer is yes, i would be the most despicable killer and even more selfish than what I was. It is difficult; it will always be for a while. Life is a gift; our companions wereone of the gratest gift to us; In just hope one day I can be at peace and think of myself as a gift to her; I know I could have been better but I failed to better myself so many times and in part because of that, the gift is lost now; not forgotten but lost; as lost as I am in the grieve for it.
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