Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I Finally Understand...

Back when I was about 8 years old, our family got a puppy. She was a Gordon Setter pup and we named her "Lancette", after both her father (Lancer) and her mother (Lanette).

Lancette was the family dog, and we hunted with her, vacationed with her (we drove to Wyoming in 1978 with me using her as a pillow!) and just plain loved her. Back sometime around 1974, I asked my dad if I could be the one who took care of her. He said "yes" and she became "my" dog (in my mind).

I used to spend countless hours feeding her, shoveling her poop and squirting sown the back yard, walked her when asked/told, and just plain loved her. She was a hunting dog and we kept her outside, in a hay lined dog house.

At some point, we brought her back into the house, and she became more...up until then, she was just "our dog"...now she was "our pet".

And that's the way it was for the last years of Lancette's life. She was a house pet that we fed, watered, walked, petted, and just plain loved.

At a later point in her life, she started piddling on the floor, unable to control her bladder anymore. My parents decided that she needed to be put to sleep.

I remember asking my father, when the time comes, I'd like to take her. I came home from work one day and she was gone.

Until writing this, I'm sure that my dad never knew how angry I was with him. I felt betrayed, after all, she was my responsibility (or so I thought). Heck, I carried a photo of her in my wallet, for goodness sake. I didn't even get to say goodbye.

That was 27 years ago. I'm no longer angry (I got over it a long time ago), but until this week, still never understood why he took that "last walk" away from me.

You see, my smelly, stupid, goofy, silly "forever" pup, Chance, has been diagnosed with cancer and we are saying our goodbyes today. My dad was a year younger than I am now when he took my Lancette to cross the "Rainbow Bridge". It's been a rough 20 hours since I walked into the vet's office and was told the situation was hopeless. I've been a basket case, trying to keep it together for the sake of the kids, but it's been hard.

Tomorrow, I will take Chance on his "last walk".

I finally understand.



Anonymous said...

I absolutely understand your heartache and pain. I've been "mommy" to many cats that have lived fabulous lives, better than most people.

One of the most painful times is making that decision to say goodbye. And as much as it hurt--and I cried buckets--being there and holding my babies was important. Maybe you can share that with your kids and let them be a part.

Bill Shaw said...

Please, please, don't post anonymously if you choose to comment today...if you don't want your name used, click the link on my sidebar and send me an email, so I can at least send you a personal thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Then post your comment anonymously, and I will respect your privacy. Part of the healing process is sharing your grief with friends and acquaintances, and I'd like to know who I am thanking, even if kept private, between us.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.


Reverse_Vampyr said...


Sorry to hear about Chance. My sincere condolences to you and your family. I wish I had words that could help.


Chris said...


Your blog post crossed my desk months ago because of your dog's name, which you'll see below rather resonates with me.

What you wrote also touched me, though, as it wasn't that long ago I wrote about losing my own beloved dog. I post a link to that piece here and would be honored if you read about Orion.



Christopher Lancette

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