April 2, 2007


Filed under: dogs — Brian @ 6:05 pm

Turns out it was a good time to spoil the dog, recently.

Carla died today. She was at home, on the family room floor. Jenn and I were sitting over her and petting her when she went. Of all the ways she could have gone, that’s about the best I could imagine.

She started to decline on Friday afternoon when she stopped eating again. I took her to the vet on Saturday where we found that her blood was losing the things it needs to serve its purpose. Spent Sunday lying in the grass outside with her, and Monday morning in the house doing our best to keep her comfortable.

This morning (Monday) she was too weak to stand, even with help. We’d made an appointment with the vet for 1:30 – the earliest we could get. She died at 12:30. And it wasn’t until about 11:30 that the twinkle left her eye, and she stopped pulling up the corners of her lips in that dog smile she gets when you speak to her kindly.

It seems as though she was comfortable, though increasingly exhausted, right up until the last.

Some time ago, I wrote this, about how it feels to lose a pet. I hadn’t lost one myself since I was a kid. But right now, what I wrote then seems about right.

Sketch of Carla resting from October, 2005



  1. I’m so sorry.

    Comment by jvjannotti — April 2, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

  2. I just read your article, and I believe I will take a walk and remember that nice dog I met only once.

    Comment by jvjannotti — April 2, 2007 @ 6:53 pm

  3. Thank you, Jim.
    Walks are good.

    Comment by Brian — April 2, 2007 @ 7:07 pm

  4. As I posted to your lovely wife this morning:
    My thoughts, prayers and love are with you guys as you grieve the loss of your wonderful pup…

    Comment by Rachel — April 3, 2007 @ 12:25 am

  5. I’m so very, very sorry. It’s a blessing to know that she left in peace, and that your memories of her will be that she was a Good Dog, in every sense of the word.

    Comment by Eric — April 3, 2007 @ 4:03 pm

  6. Thank you, Rachel.

    Thank you, Eric.

    Comment by Brian — April 3, 2007 @ 7:18 pm

  7. Oh, I am so sorry. I haven’t been on line much yesterday or today, but something told me I needed to check in on Carla. Your article is so well said…and so true. They are a huge part of our family and I know you will miss your tremendously. I sure pray that there is a place in Heaven where we can go to reclaim our most loyal companions. With love and prayers…

    Comment by gwynne — April 3, 2007 @ 8:41 pm

  8. Thanks, Gwynne.

    My friend Dave (who died a year ago next Thursday, if you recall the timing) always wanted a dog. But he was a good enough potential-dog-owner to know that his busy work schedule wouldn’t be fair for the dog.

    I like to think that now he’s got the best dog I’ve ever known.

    Comment by Brian — April 4, 2007 @ 6:02 am

  9. I’m sure sorry about Carla. There is no being more loyal and loving than one’s dog.

    We have a dog. I’ve wondered about the inevitable time that she passes. Wondering is about the best I could do as I never came up with any conclusions :-) I just hope we can be there with her as you were. That was a great comfort for her. I am certain that was all she felt she needed…your touch.

    Rest easy…she is in a good place. :-)

    Comment by Don — April 10, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

  10. Thank you, Don. Sorry to be slow to reply – we’ve been away for the week…

    I think you’re right, that there are no conclusions until it happens. But enjoying the time you have seems to be the key.

    Comment by Brian — April 15, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

  11. I was sorry to hear of your loss. Sometimes I think I am the only one who holds my pets so high in the scheme of things, and then I come across folks like you, and I am pleased to see there are others who feel as I do.

    It’s the toughest part of having a dog in your life, but it is the part when they need you the most, and so I hope some solace can be found in knowing you were there for Carla when she needed you. I can only hope I can be there for my two when they need me.

    Comment by Jeff — April 20, 2007 @ 11:52 am

  12. I did feel a little strange, Jeff, caring so much about a dog. At first. But the more I talk about it, the more it makes sense. She was *such* a big and wonderful part of our lives, why shouldn’t it hurt when she’s gone?

    If you’re taking the time now about how you’ll react then, then I’m sure you’ll do the right things. Whatever those happen to be in your instance.

    Comment by Brian — April 22, 2007 @ 7:38 am

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