Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I HOPED THERE WOULD BE MORE TIME


That is not an original sentence and one that almost every person who has lost a beloved pet has thought when time just-runs-out. 




I've lost my little buddy Mighty Dog after 16 years of constant companionship. I knew he was in the end stages for a while now but I truly hoped we had a little more time. 

We spent his last days together in almost constant touch.  If my hand got tired from stroking him and I stopped, his nose would sneak under my hand and bump it, asking for 'just a bit more please'. I could not refuse. 

Food became repulsive to him, his gate became unsteady, and he just wanted to rest close to me and be petted. When he could no longer even hold down water, I knew it was time. The only positive about his last days is that he was never in pain. He had an incredibly low threshold for pain and would have let me know at the first twinge. For that I am grateful.    His passing was not sudden and we had a fairly long goodbye but I'd have loved just one more day, as long as it was a good one for him.

Sixteen years ago Mighty walked up to my property in the remote Florida countryside as a really cute, dumped out, terrier mix. He was approximately a year old. He just appeared at my gate by the road one day.  

When I opened the gate, he marched on in. Purposefully he head straight for my home, pranced up on the porch and stood before the door.  It was almost like he had been there before. When I opened that door, he strut on in, jumped up on the couch, turned around a few times and almost immediately fell asleep. The stress of being a stray is evidently exhausting. 

That day, he declared me his friend and caregiver in no uncertain terms. I was not given a choice in the matter but I haven't regretted one minute of the past 16 years except his last days when I realized neither I nor medicine could make him better. 

I have cared for over 250 dogs in my lifetime with my rescue work but have only had a few "pets."  The rest were those just passing through while I patched them up and searched for a permanent home for them. 

Mighty was one of the best and longest lived of my "pets." We have traveled many miles, hiked both beaches and hills, shared quiet moments and often laughed--well I did all of the laughing. The little guy could crack me up. He never quite understood my sense of humor but never judged me harshly for laughing at his sometimes embarrassing  moments. This link sums up the little guy. I am so grateful for the many posts and pictures I have.

As painful as it is to feel this aching emptiness, I am so very grateful for the 16 great years we had together. We all know when we pick up and hold that cute puppy that steals our hearts, this day will come.  A rather hard, inescapable fact of life. At least, we had a long run.   

As much as losing him hurts like blazes, I feel the pleasure of pet ownership so out weighs the inevitable pain. I take comfort in hoping my Mom, who loved animals and willed me her tender heart, has him wrapped in her arms, is stroking his head while pointing out some rabbits that need exercise. He would really liked that. 

I know some of you have gone through this very same scenario  and understand the crushing pain.  Sadly, it is not an exclusive club we belong to.

Mighty was my last dog . At my age I would fear dying before my pet and that is unthinkable. That rarely works out well for the dog. 

I will probably not be by your sites to read your posts for a few days. I just need some time to heal. I will see you soon. 

Thank you for listening. 

50 comments :

  1. I'm so sorry, Patti. I know Mighty was a great companion and source of entertainment for you. (((Patti)))

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  2. Oh my goodness Patti I am so so sorry to hear this. Mighty Dog was so lucky to have you fir 16 years and you were lucky to have him as well. Pets are family and they have such a profound impact on our lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you my friend.

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  3. Oh dear dear Patti...I am so very sorry to read about Mighty's passing. I feel I knew Mighty, in my heart, having read about him for low these many years--How very dear he was...What a GREAT Pal and companion he was, and how much you loved each other. My heart goes out to you, my dear Patti....16 years is a long time and I'm so glad you had these wonderful years with dear sweet Mighty....I know the pain you must be feeling. I send you BIG Hugs of comfort, my dear Patti...May your wonderful 'Mighty' Rest In Peace---I know he is with your mother, there in Heaven, chasing rabbits and other fun creatures, and Thanking God for those precious wonderful 16 years you gave him....

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  4. Tears down my cheeks. Any dog owner will make your post personal because, as you said, when you hold that puppy, YOU KNOW. You have been the best mom ever, ever, ever. Mighty reminded me so much, of my little Weeto who died a couple years ago. Cody is my last dog too, for your same reasons. Thinking of you, my friend.

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  5. As soon as I read the title of your post I knew what had happened. I am so sorry. No matter how expected such an event is it never stops being difficult.
    Through your posts you brought Mighty into all our lives.
    Peace to you, dear Patty.

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  6. My heart just breaks for you, Patti. I'm glad you will take the time you need for yourself. You will be in my thoughts, sending you lots of love. Peace and blessings to you, my friend.

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  7. I am so sorry Patti. Mighty was lucky to have you and you were lucky to have Mighty. Sending you a bug Hug.

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  8. I'm so sorry, Patti, so, so sorry . . . and feel tears welling. Mighty will always be with you, as our Chena is with us. Please don't let age prevent you from loving and from a dog loving you. There are older dogs that need homes -- the crushing pain will subside and the gentle smiles of the good times will stop the flow of tears. There will always be a hole in your heart, but peace will come.

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  9. Oh, Patti, this is such sad news. You have my sincere condolences. When you feel ready, I suggest The Souls of Animals by Gary Kowalski as a spiritual comfort. I don't yet know of any real and lasting comfort for the physical pain. They say "time."

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  10. Dear Patti, I'm so sorry for your loss. No real way to describe how you are feeling. It just hurts so much. He had the best care because you loved him. He was a lucky pup and you were his lucky mom. Rest and heal and come back to us in a few days.

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  11. I'm so sorry for your loss...i feel your pain> We lost our 19 year old Jack Russell before we moved to the high country. I agree with Kittie...don't let your age stop you from loving another...

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  12. Exactly Patti. Sixteen years of joy. Your did well and so did Mighty Dog. It's always hard but those good years will always be remembered fondly. I had three hunting dog/family pets all wonderful. And on GSD Baron who had to be put down due to dysplasia at only seven. That was extra hard..... I'm mulling our age problem in considering another dog.

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  13. There never is enough time, is there? So sorry you have lost your friend. We've been there twice and know how hard it is. Take care.

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  14. Oh Patti, this breaks my heart. As soon as I saw the title of the post, I knew. Poor Mighty. You brought him into our lives too, and I thank you for that.

    Our fellow blogger FloridaCracker left a comment on a post many, many years ago when my sister lost her beloved great dane Sadie. It said,

    Every puppy is a potential heartbreak,
    But oh the inbetween.

    RIP sweet Mighty. You were a lucky and well-loved pup.

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  15. Oh, so sorry. Take care of yourself and wrap yourself in all those memories.

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  16. Oh no! So sorry to learn the news.

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  17. I know this pain well, and I am so sorry for your loss. Mighty was a lucky dog to have a mom like you!

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  18. Oh Patti, I am so very very sorry... This made me cry. It brought back memories of when I lost Duchess (who was also about the same age as Mighty)...

    My God Bless You---and help you to heal from this terrible loss...

    Hugs and Prayers,
    Betsy

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  19. I am so sorry, Patti. I--& many others--loved Mighty. too!!

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  20. Sorry to hear about your loss. Pets are wonderful companions, always there for you, never questioning your words or actions. They simply love you.

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  21. Dear Patti,
    I am so sorry for you. Mighty and you have shared so much together and we can guess just how close the two of you have been. We're both shedding tears for you at this far end of the world, and send hugs (rather damp ones I'm afraid!). I wish that love did not have to hurt so much, but what a wonderful thing it is that you and Mighty have shared together.
    Our kindest thoughts to you,
    Peter, Laura, and Nigella Stopit xxx

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  22. Dear Arkansas Patti, my heart grieves and weeps for you in your loss. And the only words I have to share are the ones Dulcy gave to me when she died in 1989 from kidney failure, which brings many felines to death. Two days after she died, she gave me these words: "At the end, all that matters is love. My love for my human and hers for me. I have planted the memories of our life together in her heart. She will find them there when I am gone and they will comfort her." I trust that all the memories you have of Mighty--like the one to which you linked this posting of his chasing off that dog three times his size--will comfort you in the days and weeks and months ahead. Be gracious to yourself and extend to yourself the love that Mighty would extend to you. Peace.

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  23. I couldn't be more sorry. I know what the loss is like and it is one that takes time to get over, if ever. Sending sincere thoughts and wishes for peace.

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  24. Tears for you and thankfulness that his end time was pain free and included precious moments with you.

    I know you won't mind that the tears that your post produced for you and Mighty also covered the passing of my late family pets, too.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  25. Oh Patti, I am so sorry. This is very sad news. 16 years is a very long time to be with such a dear pet. I can only imagine your pain.

    Mighty was a very wise dog to pick you out in the first place. He never could have found a more loyal, loving, and giving friend than you. I love how you comforted him until the very end. I also loved the story of how he came to share your life.

    Special hugs are being sent though this virtual world we share.

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  26. Oh, I am in tears. I hope your sharing this gives you some comfort. I send my caring thoughts to you.

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  27. Hi Aunt Patti,
    My Mom told me about Mighty today... Then I read your blog..I am so sorry. I actually read a few. I kept reading and reading ... I love reading them. I can actually hear your voice in my head when I read them. I love it.
    I remember meeting Mighty Dog. He came to visit with you. He was so cute and definitely lived up to his name! I know what you are going through, and I wanted you to know that I love you and I am thinking of you. I think of you a lot and hope we see each other soon. ((Sending big hugs))
    I love you Aunt Patti
    Love, Keri xoxoxoxoxo

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  28. I am so very sorry, Patti. I know how you must be feeling because I, too, know how hard it is to lose a beloved pet. Mighty received so much love and gave so much in return, I hope that will be of some comfort in the days ahead. I loved reading how Mighty "chose" you and your home as his home, too. He was a lucky guy and I know you feel blessed to have had him for so many years. Take care and know my thoughts are with you.
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

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  29. Oh, Patti. I don't even know what to write. I've been away for a few days and just now saw your post. I am in tears over your loss and I am so, SO sorry. 16 years! I am happy you were there for him and he for you. We really give ourselves to them, don't we?

    I am forever grateful for your words when we were going through Logan's cancer and loss. Even though we have never met, it meant the world to me to have your support because I know that you would know what I was feeling.

    Giant virtual hug, Dear Patti.

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  30. I am just blown away by all the wonderful support, kindness, wisdom and caring coming from your sweet comments. Yes, each comment has brought more tears to my eyes but they were the warm tears of comfort, not the cold ones of loss. I was so blessed with Mighty's long life, but I am also truly blessed having some of the best blog buddies in the Blogdom. I love you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your being there for me. This would have been unbearable with out your kindness. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are the best.

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  31. Oh, sweet Patti I am typing this seeing through tears. I am so very sorry it came sweet Mighty's time to leave this life. My heart aches for you my dear friend. I am so thankful he went peacefully with you stroking him and he had no pain, I know you would not wanted it any other way. I too hope that he is being cuddles in your mom's arm and getting to chase rabbits. He was your buddy for a long time and it will take time for your heart to heal so you take care of you and you are not to worry about anything else. We will all be here when you are ready to blog again. Leaving you lots of love and hugs sweet Patti

    Run free sweet Mighty and we know you will always be with sweet Patti in spirit.

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  32. oh, little Mighty ... so sorry to hear this... it's so painful to lose a little pal... been there ... hurts like hell

    sending a hug

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  33. Oh Patti, I am so sad for you. We lost two beloved pets over the last two years. So sad. Dianne

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  34. Oh I am so sorry for your loss ...yes we have lost many dear felines but a trusted canine is a greater loss and my heart goes out to you.
    I could not believe your post when I decided to have a catch up ...I sort of dropped off the radar for a while. I hope you hands are a little better too. I have read that foods that effect gout can irritate the inflamation in arthritic joints.When you have had time to grieve ....check up to see if any of them show up regularly in your diet.
    I think you might enjoy your latter years more, with a canine companion ...maybe a rescue home may have an older dog deperate for a human companion ....just a thought ...I send you huge hugs xx

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  35. Oh Patti... I'm so sorry...
    This is so hard. Sending you loving thoughts.

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  36. I am ever so sorry about your loss of Mighty, your love of him over the past years has come through loud and clear and so glad you could comfort him in his last hours. I hope over the next few months peace comes to you quicker than slower. I am sure there is a doggie heaven and Mighty is up there watching over you from above in between chasing white squirrels.

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  37. OH Patti I can't hardly write this comment for crying. I am so very sorry for your loss of Mighty.
    You have written such sweet post about him I feel like I have lost a very dear friend too.
    I know your in deep pain right now and I wish I had the words to help you to feel better.
    Mighty will be missed by all of us and please be gentle with yourself!
    I love you
    Maggie

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  38. Very sorry to hear Patti. It is very sad time to lose our loved ones.

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  39. Oh, Patti, I shed tears for you as I read - not for Mighty who had Heaven on Earth living with you but for YOU who must now grieve his absence. He was a little dog with a big heart. I'm glad you had 16 years of his antics.

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  40. Patti I am so sorry... Sorry that I didn't come earlier to let you know I share your pain, that I know what it feels like... You are one of my favorite people in the net and although I can't be there with you, please know you are in my thoughts, my prayers and my heart. I truly believe there is a special place for dogs in heaven.

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  41. I'm sorry to hear you lost your little buddy. He was a handsome fella, no wonder you couldn't turn down his offer of letting you take care of him. Hugs!

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  42. Dear Patti, this must be very painful for you. Fortunately you are wise and know that there was no alternative for his dying. You know that the end was inevitable . I must always cry when I read such a story. Mighty has had a great life and his death was as easy for him as possible, but you have to live with his loss. I wish you all the possible strength, dear Patti!

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  43. Oh Patti, I am so so very sorry. Mighty was a true companion, and gave you many stories to share about him during the years to come. Hugs go out to you as you work through this.

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  44. Patti, Mighty and Sunny sound like they may have been cut out of the same piece of fur baby cloth. I always enjoyed your tales of his adventures or misadventures because they were always laced with true devotion and care. I share your empty spot right now and wish for peace for both of us and think you might be right about the tussle and romp in the after life for our sweet fur babies. Mighty and Sunny are forevermore in our hearts. Love and hugs to you dear friend. Oma Linda

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  45. So sorry to hear this. I know when we lost our 16 year old Fox Terrier,Abe and I both felt lost, especially Abe, since she was here with him in the evenings when i worked 2pm-10pm. The oldest dog we ever had was 22 or 23, not quite sure. I know the vet said that was the oldest dog he had ever taken care of. She was a mixture of Lab and Cocker Spaniel. We have five dogs buried in our backyard. Cuddles, Baby, Benji, and Autumn Eve. I didn't want anymore dogs, but we now have Pepper Jax from the dog pound, he's a little Fox Terrier. Again, sorry to hear about your loss.

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  46. Oooh Patty...I've been working and/or gone so I almost missed this. My heart breaks for you...just breaks!!! I'm sick, the feeling of this loss just makes me sick. I still miss my Sophie, my LD, my Sassy and many more. Each have their special place in my heart. Memory of my recent loss (Sophie) still just brings me to tears... I'm so sorry, so very sorry... xoxox

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  47. Oh Patti, Have loved reading the Adventures of Mighty and I'm so sorry for your loss! He will get to meet and play with Maxwell, the wonder cowdog, and that wild little scotty, Gus. Hugs Brighid

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  48. I'm so sorry, honey. I know how it is - my little Raleigh was with me for 17 years and I still miss him....

    I was out of internet for a day or so and missed this, but wanted to send my love and let you know I am thinking of you.

    xxoo,

    RMW

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  49. Dear Patti,
    I haven't posted in about 4 years, but I must respond about your loss of Mighty Dog...I can understand your pain. Ilost my sweet Misty almost 9 years ago...I had her put down because of her health...she was also over 16 years old. She was my baby since she was adopted at 2 months old. I didn't want another dog because it hurt so much. After about a year, we adopted a two year old chiwau-wau named Pee-wee and he has been my companion ever since. Everywhere I go, he usually goes with me. He is a good camping dogand loves to travel. I few years ago, we met you and Mighty in Mountain View. It was your Birthday and we went out to dinner. I encourage you to adopt again...you need a pet and there is one somewhere for you. Dear friend , we love and think of you often...We will be at the Blue-Grass this year, hope to see you there. Howard and Gay Nell Key

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  50. Howard and Gay Nell,
    Thank you so much for stopping by with your kind words of comfort and understanding. I was so surprised and pleased to hear from you after all these years.
    I so enjoyed our meet and greet. You were my first blog buddy meeting.
    Every Blue-Grass I keep an eye out for you all. Let me know next time you all are in town and we can meet for lunch. I will leave this comment on your old blog also and hope you still check that.

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