We put our “garden dog” punk down March 9th at 4:30pm. I started a post to talk about it  yesterday, but was unable to pull myself together to write about my best friend. I posted about my nightshades being on heat…..(long sigh). I am so overcome with sadness that unless you have loved a pet, you truly can’t understand this grief. It is difficult to express in words, and I have found that people who do not have a pet they love, do not understand. They look at you as if you should just get over this and move on….their thoughts are, well it is just a dog…They are not just an animal they become family….she became my partner in our urban potager.

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My mother had this painted for me by a friend of hers that does a great job of pets. She did it in 2000

We moved  in 1999 fall and brought our first two rescue dogs Buddy ( german shepherd-husky mix) + Sasha ( a beautiful retriever mix) with us to our new home. They were adopted when my children were small + punk was added a few months later after we moved. The older two have passed on over the years, but the last dog from that first dog crew was Punk.

My husband called her “our healer” for she would be by your side if you were sad + comfort you. She would have made a great therapy dog for she had a sense when someone was sad. You could not cry around her for she would come near you and try to comfort you. I can remember her when she was much younger climbing in a lap of anyone that was crying….a healer dog is a rare gift…

At one time, our home was filled with three kids ( + their friends), five dogs, three cats and many little critters that were kept in cages over the years. The other dogs loved the garden to romp and play, but she took the garden seriously. It was her domain.If I were outside the other dogs would go inside after they played, but not punk. She remained by my side each day, I spent in the garden.

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My kids use to say she smiled. Here she is in her garden smiling

The decision was made yesterday after she could no longer walk the garden that she loved so much. Palm Rae Potager was created with her by my side from 2000 the year she was born. I loved my other dogs just as much Punk, but none of them were in the garden with me from dawn to dusk. She did not care what the temperature was she would walk out  and would stand at the door and wait for me to come outside. She would not go inside until, I was ready. The other dogs would find it too hot or were tired of being outside. Never punk! When I worked, in the garden, she was always within a few feet of me basking in the sun. If she did leave my side it was to chase a rabbit across our urban potager.

I made the hardest decision yesterday…I called the vet to have her put to sleep. She was in so much pain and trying to drag herself around behind me she had gashes in her back left leg. It was time + I had to make the call. My husband left it up to me + it was the hardest for me to make. My husband loved her dearly, and he spent Sunday night helping her get up and down from her constant indecision. Her mind was going….He loved her….

Sunday was the first day; I saw a blank look on her face. She stared off into the distance as if she was looking past me + did not see me…The past few weeks she no longer got up to greet me when I came home. She was unable to climb up on the couch to sit next to me…it was always a struggle. I felt it was time to let her go, when I noticed she could no longer walk her garden. She was losing control of her body, and we had to help her go outside quickly before she had an accident. We knew it was time when all she could do was stand on the deck and stare at her garden. She would turn around and go back inside…that was not our garden dog…she was leaving us and needed our help….

Yesterday, I held her in my lap as we sat in the garden on the cold ground. I had all day Monday to spend with her + I was thankful it was a lovely sunny day. There was not a cloud in the sky…..She passed on the most beautiful day of this year, so far. I will miss my punky…..but, I know  she is pain-free +  I know she is walking in a garden right over the rainbow bridge……..and I have no doubt some day, I will see her again.

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This is Chance + he was raised by Buddy our older dog + Punk took him under wing, too. He loves to jump and play which the last year was hard for Punk to handle with her osteoarthritis.

We have “Chance” a pit-bull that is the last of the five dogs. My middle daughter rescued him and he became part of our family in 2005…he loves to jump for hours catching his  rope…he is special, too. They are all special. I hate having to lose a pet, and some people won’t adopt again because it hurts too much when they pass on….. I feel differently…this grief “will”  pass + the memories will fill my “grief-stricken heart” with joy. They do not live as long as us, and we have to learn to say goodbye. We need to help them pass on. It hurts at first, but the “joy” they bring to your life is so much more than the “grief” you feel as you let them go……..please never let your grief stop you from saving a dog that needs a home…our grief will pass + our gardens will be filled with the four-legged friends we love so dearly.

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

70 comments

    1. Thank you Ben, it was not easy to post that about her but I felt a lot better after, I did:-) I went and cut down my raspberry canes. I was wondering if I would feel like going out there again wihtout her, but I played ball with Chance and he hung with me:-)

  1. I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my “Lady” three years ago, it broke my heart. Although we now have another dog I still call her Lady sometimes. It is like losing a family member, they become your baby.

    1. thank you + I am so sorry for your loss. What a lovely name-Lady. You are so right-they are my family. I know there will never be a dog exactly like her-each one is so unique.

  2. It is so heart breaking to let your friend go, but thankfully, our animals always let us when it is time. They give us so much selfless joy throughout their lives (without asking anything in return) and they need us to perform that final act of kindness. You’ve written such a beautiful tribute to Punk, and I know that the joys of having a pet in your life outweigh the grief.

    1. Matt-thank you so much. Yes, they do + today, I cut down my raspberries with Chance. He is a different soul, but a good dog + seasons change as does our life:-)

  3. Oh, down the tears came as I read your story. I know this pain only too well, as you know. Punk sounds like a wonderful blessing to you all and her companionship will be sorely missed. I think you are very strong to write about her passing. It took me a long while before I could about Ruby. I still miss her but am so glad we have Wren, she lights up our life. May your heart be surrounded by healing Light. Heal well, friend.

    1. awww, thank you, Eliza, I knew you would understand for your post on Ruby made the tears fall down-oh that was a hard post to get through of yours. I am glad, I posted it for it needed to be done…I can move on as I know she will too:-)
      To be honest, I told my husband, I don’t know if I want to garden anymore…..I forced myself to go out in the mud and cut the canes of my berries to the ground…it helped me heal:-)

      1. Hopefully, you’ll feel her spirit still with you as I did with Ruby. I think they hang around to make sure we are okay. So go out there, talk to her and cry until you don’t feel the need anymore. It took me a long time to get there, but tears cleanse and heal. HUGS

      2. Oh my Eliza-I have tears rolling down ( cyber hug-thank you)….that is what I need to do:-) I heard buddy bark often after he passed. Crazy, I know. I am thinking of her + you are right, I do believe they hang around. I will have her ashes to put in the garden…I just need to find the perfect place:-) She had such peace on her face + I could see how tense her body was up to the end. The medicine for her osteoarthritis did not help anymore. The back legs just quit working. I thought of you and what you said to me when I was wondering if I would lose her last spring…you said, sometimes you have to “help them”….they are stubborn…Boy were you right. She was a fighter + I believe she would be still here pulling herself along to follow me on her front legs…I could not let that happen. They just gave up + she needed us to help her move on….thank you for sharing your story of-Ruby-it helped:-)

  4. I’ve tears in my eyes reading your post today Robbie. Just to let you know I am thinking of you at this hard time. I heard this beautiful poem at a funeral just yesterday and send you the link( – http://allpoetry.com/Gone-From-My-Sight) – I hope you find some comfort in it.

    1. oh, so beautiful…I saw that in her eyes..she was gone…what a beautiful poem and it brought healing tears to my heart:-) thank you:-) Today, I forced myself to go in the garden and do some chores. I took Chance with and he stayed by my side…she is gone from my sight:-( but never from my heart:-) Perfect poem for today:-) thank you:-)

  5. Oh Robbie! I knew something was up with that last post, but did not ask! My daughter was here yesterday, in tears over the decline of her beloved cat Stan – a decision will have to be made soon and she is dreading it. I reminded her that our grief is just an expression of our love….. it hurts us so much when our beloved pet has to go and can no longer be seen, touched, smiled at. But you are right, soon the grief will ease and you will remember all the joy Punk brought into your life. The photo of her smiling is an absolute hoot – what a smile – what joy! Siddy’s smiles are big like that – but he is a much smaller dog 🙂

    I am including a link to an on-line copy of a poem that you may find helpful to read right now. It was originally written for a cat but someone has adapted it for a dog. http://samsmiles.org/rainbow-bridge/lend-me-a-pup/

    I hope your days will soon enough become less grief laden and your tears borne of happy memories. And yes, in time you will have room in your heart to include another dog into your life and your garden. Punk will send the right one! ❤ ❤ ❤

    1. awww…I can’t fool you:-) I was just not feeling it that day….The last of the 5 is still here. He is at my side. Chance stayed with me in the garden today and followed me every place. He is sleeping near me now. She must of told him to watch after me….
      He knows. They are such wise creatures. I love the rainbow bridge….I know she is waiting + she will be running now and not be in pain…
      I am thinking of ‘Stan” and tell her, I read….it is the last loving thing you can do for your animal to let them go + free them from their pain. Aniamls will hide their pain from us.

      My days will be better + I am so glad Chance was here when I got home. He was always gentle with the other dogs. He was respectful, but his body is so strong. He would bump into her when he would play fetch that he would knock her down. The last year, she was very frail. I am glad we had that time with her, but when your quality of life is gone…it is time to go…..
      she felt no pain + after it was done she had the most peaceful look on her face. She was also relaxed and I could see how the pain had held her for far too long…she is free now.

      1. Isn’t that wonderful! Chance will be with you and take care of you for her. Just beautiful! We spent a long time yesterday talking about our loved departed pets and the different ways they say goodbye and send messages after they have gone. It really is a very special thing. Animals live in ‘feelings’ and they can read us like open books. We have no secrets from them xoxo

      2. He is a different soul, but he is helping me heal! I bet she gave him instructions on how to take care of me since he has not left my side ALL day:-) He follows me as she did:-)

  6. Ohhhhh Robbie! big hugs for you my cyber friend, I am so sorry 😦 It truly is the hardest decision to make (but inevitable) and the decision to not have them suffer is the kindest act of love we can give them. We have two of our babies buried in our garden, each of them lived to an old age and each of them so special and required us to do just this, I know the sadness Robbie and my heart goes out to you. They become our much loved children we just can’t bare the pain of losing. We think of Syd as our healing dog, so intuitive and always there for us, we often talk about the day we will lose him and he is only 3 – such is the bond, and I am sad for your sorrow xx

    1. Wendy, I knew you would understand for you have written about losing a dog. They are like our children. You have a “healer” and I don’t know, if I will ever find one quite like her…a healer is a gift. My husband said tonight, “She had a gift and knew how to make others feel better when they were sad.” It is hard on my husband, too. It is good we have Chance for it we did not , I would be a lot worse today! It helps to have another “family dog” waiting at home when you say good-bye to your best friend. He followed me today + has kept close to me all day. He understands.

      I hope you have many years with Syd + what a special dog. They are rare.We have five dogs + each one was special, but Punk was a healer. It is a gift that only a few dogs are given, I believe.
      She was placed in our life- to help us:-) I can tell you that over the 15 years- she helped me get through some “trying times.” .She would just sit real close and press her body against mine. She would bow her head and bury it in my chest…she just knew what to do….I have never known a dog that did that….a big hug back to your, Wendy. Thank you for your kind and understanding comment….I am blessed with some amazing cyber friends…that truly understand:-)

      1. Aw, you said it all right there 🙂 I have a theory that each pet we have comes into our lives at a time when we most need that particular animal….or they need us. I had a baby who died when he was 15 and he was my baby, he was there as all my kids left home, he lay on my first husbands arm as he died, he sat beside me every day for 6 months never leaving me afterward. When Basil died I was heart broken. I got a rescue dog who had been beaten and mistreated and she was so gentle and sweet but four months later she had to be put down because she had cancer. I said to the vet it just wasn’t fair because I loved her so much and I had recently lost another and he told me this dog needed me, her last four months of her life she was adored when she never had been. Then Roger and I got Bob the foxy who made me laugh when nothing else could, he bought joy. When he died we ended up with Syd and Syd just loves, totally and he had been beaten too. Somewhere out there is your next dog and he will bring what you need, or you will be something wonderful to him, but they never replace each other, ever, do they – they are wonderful in their own right. Dogs are such dear creatures, you were lucky to have that special man in your life when you needed him most….oh, we feel it so badly when they go!

      2. awwww..thank you for sharing Wendy….beautiful way to look at our pets. You have had sadness in your life, but you are right they do come and help us heal. They comfort us:-) We lost Schatze July 29th this past year- she went suddenly in one day. She was my daughter’s dog but she left her with us when she moved out 5 years ago. I thought punk would go before her, but she was okay one day + I took her to the vet where they put her down that same day( july 29t, 2014). I never wrote about that one for it just shocked me. She had cancer all over her body + her body was filling up with blood. It was “Hemagiosarcoma”. The only warning, I had was she was not interested in playing and grunted when she jumped off the bed. She seemed off. We took her in and her insides were flooded with ruptured tumor…Oh, how I can relate.
        I thought she would outlive punk-but we had to put her to sleep that very day. It was the kindest thing to do they told us for there was nothing they could do……Now it is just Chance + me in the garden today. I planted my peas + it felt good for it is spring time. Thank you for sharing your “family of pets”….I blamed myself when she got cancer, I wondered if I did something for I never had a dog die of cancer. I read that our dogs /pets teach us about grief…that makes sense:-) for it seems they are with us for such a short time + then we have to say goodbye…You are right, Wendy-.each one is so different + Chance will pass on someday,too. He will be 11 years old this year. No they never do replace each other… I know when Chance passes on, I will get another dog and it will not be the same as all the others…can’t figure out what it is…but when I see the dog it just clicks..our spirits connect:-) It is a feeling, not something I can really express…you just know:-) + sometimes they just end up at your door:-)

  7. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry for your pain. I can read it in your words and wish I could make you tea. All dogs are special, but a garden dog that is also a healer is a rare soul indeed. I’m glad you have Chance to keep you company during this transition. Our dog is also a pit bull mix and I know how comforting that giant warm brick head in your lap can be.

    1. Actually, I had a cup of tea with me as I sat in the garden on Monday with punk on my lap-perfect:-)Oh my gosh” warm brick head” that is perfect…so true! He sleeps next to me at night + I totally get that description:-) I feel when he goes, I will have to adopt a new rescue dog, I can’t imagine not having a dog next to me…I have learned that it is a part of owning dogs, letting them go. There is too many days of “joy” to the grief….I would adopt again in a heart-beat.It makes this part so much easier, when others understand-thank you:-)

  8. I know this grief. a tough, tough thing.
    My warm condolences to you, dear Robbie.
    We are blessed to have such companions, and it hurts when we have to say goodbye.

    1. thank you , Cynthia:-) It means so much your thoughtful comment. I know some people see them as ” just a dog” or “just a cat” but they are family. I believe what makes our grief so deep is the fact they love us “unconditionally” and most humans find that difficult to do in this life. They are not judgemental or hold a grudge. They forgive + are there for us every day. They really don’ t ask much and they give more than they receive. People that do not have pets are not able to understand this sadness.It is a love that I feel blessed to have experienced, I can’t ever see myself without a four legged buddy:-)

  9. He sounds and looks as though he was, is, a beautiful and magical soul. Much love to you and your family now – I emphasize with you in this moment.

    1. thank you + punk was a “magical soul” that will be missed but it would be selfish of me to hold on for too long…Our animals connect us:-) Most of us have loved and owned a special four legged friend. When they are in the garden at our side-best combination:-)
      I am grateful, I have Chance still-for he followed me all day yesterday. He stayed by my side. He knew( wise creatures)…I can’t imagine life with out an animal in my garden:-)

  10. So sad to hear about your loss,any dog lover will understand. I lost my 15 year old Jack Russell, Pip last year. The one I am pushing in the wheel barrow in my avatar . He is also the dog enjoying snowdrops with me in my snowdrop posts. I still miss him when I’ m gardening.

    1. I don’ t know if that “missing” will ever go away. I forced myself to go out in the garden and “do something” after she passed. It was a lovely spring day, but I had to force myself to go outside. Crazy:-( It is one day at a time. I am sorry for your loss:-( A Jack Russell has such personality! I remember them at the shelter I volunteered, they are great dogs-high energy:-) but cute dogs!

  11. Oh Robbie :(. I am bleeding along with you and crying as I type this. We haven’t had to say goodbye to one of our dogs yet but as they get older we know that time will come. I think opening your soul to a pet brings out the very best in a person. You let yourself truly be “you” with a pet where you may not ever be as open and honest with another human being. To lose a good dog is harder than to lose a good friend in my opinion as no-one or nothing is quite so loyal, or can read you as well as a good dog. R.I.P. Punk. Here’s to that gorgeous rainbow where all of our dogs will meet up in that wonderful garden where no-one will tell them “GET OFF MY TOMATOES!” and they can run to their hearts content. Your honestly about your pain, and your ethos about moving through it and allowing your heart and soul to be open to another dog is inspirational and heartwarming Robbie. I am SO glad you had Chance. Pitbulls might be rough and tumble dogs but when you need them, they are there, especially for a cuddle. Cuddle him lots over the coming weeks Robbie, Punk gave him instructions…

    1. awww…Fran, your comment brought tears to my eyes…you are so right, they just touch our soul:-) They love us completely…unconditionally:-) I agree to lose a good dog is harder than a good friend:-) I know what you mean about “rough + tumble” pit bulls. Chance use to hang around with punk but the last year- it was too hard for her to be near the pit bulls. They would bump into her and her osteoarthritis was too painful. They had her on many meds and adequan shots for two years. It helped until the past month. She was unable to walk straight for her left side just gave out:-( Chance knew and he would try to be gentle…a pit bull in a china house=comes to mind:-) There is NO dog that cuddles better than a pitbull. I have had several different dogs + the best cuddle time buddies were the pits..under the covers and all! What is up with them and being under blankets-LOL-they love to hide under there all the time:-)I agree she gave him instructions, punk raised him ,too:-) but his mentor was our great alpha dog-Buddy ( huskie + german shepard mix).He died in 2009. Funny how dogs pick up the personality of their “alpha” member. Chance has his bad habits of jumping on the counter to pull food over the edge. A skill Buddy taught him well!
      I felt better today starting my snow peas. It was Chance and I and it gets better each day…that first day was the worst. I did not know if I would ever go back in the garden again:-( but I did + today-day 2, I did again to work for a few hours. It felt good and as the seasons change, so will my life…it never stays the same:-)
      I want it to be “all” about Chance. I play ball with him twice as much now and that is pretty neat to him!

      1. I love that you have found a new relationship with Chance now that Punk has passed. He has stepped up to the mark and not been found wanting. Wish I could give him some of our amazing dried beef treats. He deserves them for his loyalty and dedication and especially his cuddles. Gardens are almost as healing as dog cuddles. I am SO glad you have the bounty of spring approaching. Your garden will ease your mourning out of you and allow you the space that you need to build up to the next stage in your life. I love that you are always going to have a dog. You are a very brave lady and I admire you incredibly 🙂

      2. The feelings are mutual, my friend. I admire your ability to do all that you do + I am here for you when you face that day- your lovely four-legged friends pass on. I know it will be one of he hardest days for you:-( They are like our kids but they don’t leave home and they never ask for much in return. A warm place to sleep, food, exercise and cuddle all the time! Some people lose a family pet and never get another one again for the pain was too much. I understand their wish + it is okay if they don’t . As I said in my post, the grief is hard but the “joys” they bring to your life, so much more!My animals love me “unconditionally” and that is the best love in the world. Chance is so dear, but I know he is 10 1/2 years old + it will be his time sooner than I want to admit. He loves to chase his rope and jump,but I know it will come…..It is all about him since he was the baby of the pack for too long. He needs his “quality” time with us where he is our main attention. I thought about getting a puppy, but my daughter brought her puppy over and Chance was not a happy camper-lol. I have to remember he is a “middle ager” and young kids running around 24/7 is not his idea of a good time!

      3. Since reading your post I have made a decision to make sure that we do more with our boys. We took them into the city with us today for a HUGE walk. No lamp-post in the city was left un-peed and they got to sniff and drag to their hearts content. They had a lot of other dogs barking at them but they didn’t bark back. They have good manors for country boys ;). They also got 2 bags of toys from the thrift shop and are currently laying replete from a big dinner. They ARE family and they deserve to be given great opportunities to live their lives happily and with lots of amazing experiences. We are going to make sure that they do from now on. Not that they were completely deprived before but now we are going to do more with them and take them with us more whenever we can :). Thank you for opening my eyes Robbie and Earl says thank you as well. He needed a HUGE drink to fill his ‘tank’ up when he got home 😉

      4. awwww:-) I am doing the same with Chance! The last year, so much attention went to helping keep punk going- I felt like we neglected him. He got to play etc, but the focus was on her-which was understandable. I now play more often with him and he is loving it! They are with us for such a short time + they are family. I am enjoying him more now that I don’t have to worry about her….so much more relaxing. He will be 11 yrs this fall, so I want to make his time left with us the BEST! Pits are the best dogs + they love their exercise:-)

      5. Our two are twitching as they know that in a little bit we are taking them over to a neighbouring town for a walk. They LOVE going in the car and they just had a few dehydrated steak treats each and it looks like it’s another lovely day for them 🙂

      6. I miss her, but I know it was her time to go. The more Don and I talk about it, we realize that she needed to go. Her last days were pretty bad:-( My husband was heartbroken, too. He loved her so much. I held her during the day outside in the sun and he held her as she passed on Monday. I petted her + kissed her face as he held her- which I know she loved. We did not stay for the final shot, I just can’t do that one. I have put two dogs down that had to go + I just can’t do that. She is out but I can’t do the last breath-it hurts too much. Karen above was so brave she did stay for her cat’s last breath. She said, I held her last breath in my hand-so beautiful. We are all different and we do what we can.
        Our vet office is so kind. All the gals that work there are the nicest people. They stay with you and even shed tears with you , as you say goodbye. It is such a peaceful, loving experience. I got a card from them yesterday + everyone signed it with a beautiful comment about punk.They did the same for Schatze + Buddy. They really are special people. It makes it easier to go through this when you have people that are so caring.

      7. Some vets will come to your house. I don’t think we have one like that but when the time comes we will do the very best that we can. I don’t know that I could stay for that last breath but quite possibly I will. Love isn’t easy and it takes a lot of hard work. I think I might feel like I owe them by that stage. I will see 😦

      8. They told us that the first shot puts them out and they don’ t know you are there, so I felt comfortable leaving. She was asleep and not there at that point. The last shot stops the heart + they said it sometimes can cause them to jerk. I did not want to see that:-(
        They really don’t know you are there at that point. We waited till she was out + not aware of us there….they were so kind. I am sure you will make the right choice. It made me feel better when I told them I could not watch them stop her heart:-(

  12. Oh dear Robbie I am so very sorry for your loss! You are right that losing an animal is a special kind of grief, tied up in friendship and memory and your role as their caregiver. Sending you a big hug today!!! Just be gentle with yourself for a while and remember that it will take some time and that’s fine. Give yourself all the time you need, Blog Buddy!

    1. Thanks Blog Buddy!:-) It is spring here and it is heading your way with crisp blue skies + warmth:-) Day two, I made sure to get some stuff done in the garden.The first day, I did not want to go in the garden and work without her around:-( I knew that would not last, but it helps spring is here for it brings new growth… It is Chance and I alone in the garden. It seems quiet now that she is gone. Different is okay, a new season in my life..life never stays the same…we adapt:-)

      1. I know what you mean about that absence…when we lost Peep, it was very hard when I first back in the garden because she was my close companion whenever I was digging. None of the other ducks comes close to her skill at grabbing a worm! *sigh* But it’s okay, this way our pet friends live on in these memories. Hold them close. 🙂 (And enjoy the springness of everything this week!!!)

      2. spring makes it so much easier to accept for there is new growth all around + it helps heal when you see the earth become alive again!

  13. Oh Robbie, I am so grateful that I have seen this post so that I have the chance to write to you.
    I am so, so sorry for your loss and can hardly see to write because of the tears which are falling. Your words come straight from your heart and from a place which, at some point, all of us who love an animal friend end up. And you are right, this terrible time when you know that as the carer, you have to make a decision to help your cat or dog on their way, is the most heartbreaking.
    I too know the value of a pet who likes to be close. And there is something about being in the garden with them which brings together two great loves and a joy which you can only know if you have experienced it.
    I so wish I could help more, or find some better words to help and comfort, but there are none because you are feeling such soul pain. I send you love and understanding, and I, along with many, many others know how you feel.
    Goodbye to your dear Punk and take care of your heart Robbie.
    Love Karen.

    1. Oh, Karen- you are kind:-)I remember your post about your beloved pet:-) It helped me to read your post at the time since I was dealing with punks declining health. I knew it was coming.
      It is hard for people that do not have pets, to understand. I was hesitant to post my feelings, but decided to….because she was with me when I created our garden. She was by my side each day.
      I have had to force myself, the past few days to go outside to work in the garden. The first day, I cut my berry canes to the ground. It felt better to be out there cleaning out the garden. I went out today and put in my snow peas. It is different. I was with Chance (the last of our 5 dogs) + together- we are creating our “new” routine. She was old + I knew, we were being selfish, if we kept her going:-( but it was hard for she had such a strong will to live…that part is the most painful for us to see:-( But she is in no pain now:-)

      1. It is so hard now to go through the daily routine without her and the emptiness will be so painful.
        When I started a business I had three cats and one by one I lost them over the years there. It is funny, but the people who worked for me and with me all seemed to have no empathy for loosing a beloved pet. Then I started to look after an elderly customer who became a friend and he was a great animal lover and he understood the love, the loss and the pain. I do think things are slowly changing for even the vets tell me that part of their training is to take into consideration the bond between pet and owner.
        The pain for you will be so raw just now. Hacking down and doing hard work in the garden is good. Always, I have noticed that when I lose and animal, that the one left gets closer to me, as if there is more room for them to get more love.
        I don’t know Robbie, I have two cats now, both elderly, both with health issues and I know that there are painful times ahead. But the love we will have shared means the world to me, as it did for you and Punk.
        You did the right thing, at the right time and she loved her life with you so much, she just could not stay and yes, she is in no pain anymore. As my vet once said to me about my tabby-cat, Nina, “Karen, it is time”. This heartbreak you feel is no different to loosing any loved one. x

      2. Karen,you are so right-the one left behind fills a new place in our routine. It is weird at times after they pass-for you see them out of the corner of you eye. I did that with my dog Buddy for an entire year. I even swore, I heard him bark. Crazy. I had a routine with punk that required me helping her eat, get around + just live the last few months. I had medication to give her 3 times a day the past year. That is all gone now. I had to rush home at a certain time each day if I was out, to take her out for she found it hard to last 2-3 hours alone without going outside. She had accidents but they were not as often as they were the last week. She was always able to walk the year with a bit of a struggle but she got her body around slowly. The last week, she could go no further than the deck. It was time.
        It is funny, sometimes I feel okay than all of a sudden it just “hits” you when you realize you won’t see them again. It is hard when you watch them get older for you know the time is coming. I really feel for you with two senior cats. Chance is a senior dog + I know his time is limited, too.
        We have an amazing vet clinic that takes such good care of our animals and us. They sent a card the other day and each one of the doctors and vets signed it with a comment about punk. They are so great! They also stared making clay paw prints which you bake at home when they give you the ashes back. It was so special when Schatze ( our other dog that passed quickly one day in July last year-I did not post-awful how she died with cancer quickly). I have her clay paw print next to my night stand. It comforts me.
        I asked if they would have one for punk and they said they do it now all the time. Amazing staff + it really helps to have people that help you with your animal. I could not stay when they stopped the heart, I left after she was put out. We held her but I could not watch that. I have never stayed for the final shot, I leave when they are sleeping. It is too painful. They tell me they stay until the heart stops, I just could not do that ever with my pets….I want to remember them with their peaceful expression. It does not always happen-but I don’t want it to happen when I am there.
        It must be hard to have the vet tell you that:-(….my heart goes out to you. We have 3 cats + they are dear to our family:-)
        The heartbreak is so different + the “unconditional” part of their love makes it even more difficult-there is no baggage..just pure love:-) both ways:-)

      3. I so empathise with the love and effort you put into caring for Punk in the last months. It is heartbreaking trying to give medicine, getting them to swallow it, getting them to eat, willing them to get better. I think that the pain of this loss; this soul pain, goes on for a long time.
        Your vets sound so caring and I know that they care almost as much for our animals as if they were there own. The card and the footprint are such special momentos, proof that others care for your loss.
        I have always stayed for the last injection and this time Ossie exhaled his last breath into the palm of my hand. I cupped my hand instinctively and now, when I miss him I can sense that I carry his soul in my hand. It is a great comfort.
        I have dedicated my latest post to you and Punk. It was written with love and not to make you sad, but to let you know how very much I understand your loss.
        If nothing else, the video may be a comfort in your distress, for it highlights the love and delight which we give to and take from our deep connections with animals.
        Take care dear Robbie…K x

      4. oh my-you are so right that video shows true “happiness” that an animal can have! People never give a thought to a cow. We take them for granted + to see them jump for joy-literally makes them more like a dog or cat!!!! I have never seen cows run and jump like that:-)
        Yes, it made me cry, but in a good way.
        I admire you being able to stay, I could not. It always is so hard for me to say good-bye. Our other two animals passed in the winter but punk went on a beautiful spring day…something so natural about that. Seeing all the spring flowers and animals enjoying the weather makes it easier to let go….it seems like a natural thing to pass on and greet a new season:-)

      5. Yes, I thought that too- that I was seeing cows in a way that I had never seen them before. The story of the cows and how they touched so many people was a little gift to us all and I am so pleased that you liked it

      6. I know. I did watch it and did not see any tears. What I did see was that a big rotating brush was fitted in the cowshed…for the cows to scratch their heads and necks and faces on….they LOVED IT!

  14. Robbie, I am really very sorry to read your post this morning. We have pets who are our family too, losing one of them is very hard. I loved the image of you both with you working in your garden and Punk alongside you. You will have so many happy memories to cherish and will know she is pain free now. Thinking of you.

    1. Thank you Julie:-) It is “Us” pet owners that know this type of love…it is one of the best for it is always unconditional + to me that is perfect love:-)

  15. Hi Robbie, I tried to leave a comment the other day but it went to your spam folder and never showed up. I contacted WordPress to resolve this so I hope this comment posts.

    1. Oh my, I had no idea! Well, I need to make sure that does not happen again. I hate this blogger/wordpress issue. I started on blogger + have one for immunity gardens, but I don’t get your updates in my reader which frustrates me-for I have to remember to check your blogger out for it does not show up in my updates. So if you don’ t see me for a bit, know, I have not forgot your great blog or garden!!! I use to read Granny Annie” and she was on blogger. She passed last year from cancer:-(

    1. I just got the phone call-her ashes are ready….we will put her ashes in the garden. I can’t ever imagine not having a loving pet by our side:-)
      I am grateful for Chance he is a sweetie:-)

  16. Oh Robbie, I am so so sorry. I still miss my “Stan the Man” terribly but Mojo is such a ball of energy that I never feel empty. I dream of the day when Mojo can calmly sit by my side in the garden – instead of stealing my garden gloves and running around like a racehorse actually throwing lawn divots and trampling the new Spring growth! Making me scream to all the neighborhood, “You are my last dog!” I call him my little bear, my furry compadre and I cannot imagine life without him. I know how big that hole feels – so very sad for you. I bet Punk gives you a “garden sign” to say she’s thinking of you and is still right by your side.

    1. awww….I remember your stories about “Stan the Man”:-)your “Mojo” sounds like a free-spirit! LOL-“You are my last dog”-I have thought the very same thing about our dogs over the year! They have their moments:-)
      It is getting easier each day for the last few weeks she was very bad. My husband and I finally admitted it to each other after we took her in:-( It was time. We were not doing her any favors and she was just too stubborn to leave our side. She was not able to walk very far and accidents were hard for her to deal with the last month. She would of held on even if she could not walk, for she would of drug herself through the yard-her quality of life was not good. I was hoping she would pass in her sleep, but read an article where they said-that usually does not happen. Also dogs “mask” their pain….(long sigh)..she was good at doing that:-(We got her ashes back yesterday. I need to put her in the garden some place…I do feel her in the garden:-)
      Each day it gets a bit easier for Chance is still by our side. I can’t imagine coming home to an empy home/gardening without a “dog” buddy-even if they do get into things-LOL

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