Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: Saying Good-bye To A Family Pet

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Saying Good-bye To A Family Pet

(Archer's last picture before we left to forever say goodbye)

Yesterday was such a hard day for the Allen household. Our dog of over 13 years took a turn for the worse this past weekend. We took him to the vet on Monday to have him checked out and blood work done. We received the results yesterday morning. Archer, our Puggle, was suffering from 3 different very bad diseases, only one of them were were aware of in November, with slightly elevated liver levels. But the other two were very aggressive.  With him fighting 3 diseases out vet advised that he was just too sick to help him out. We knew he was in pain and suffering and less than an hour later we said our final goodbye. The vet said that he is a fighter because of what was wrong with him. He wanted to be with us even though it was really hard and painful for him. 

It was bittersweet to be with him as he passed knowing that he will feel so much better and without pain but also knowing how quiet our house and lives will be without him and how sad we all will be. He was apart of our marriage since the beginning. We will never forget him. The vet gave us a clay paw print to remember him by. Which was a nice gift.

First of all, these pregnancy hormones are HORRIBLE! I cried almost all day long. And any little thing just sent me off. But he was my best bud. He was always my shadow. Hanging around me. He even knew I was pregnant before I did and made sure to protect me more (he became an even bigger shadow when I was pregnant.) He was a sweet dog. Very good with kids (unless Mason pestered him too much, then he would pitch a fit.) He was a snuggle bug, spending most winter as my personal furnace in my bed. He had a long life and I am pretty sure he was happy, always knew he was loved. It is a hard thing to say goodbye to your household pet that is a family member.

We got Archer from a pet shop just 3 months after our marriage. When we had decided on him, he was the runt of the litter and the most submissive, were almost done with the paperwork, I asked what his birthday was. We found out that it was our wedding day. It was fate! Also, we were originally going to name him Porthos, after the Beagle on Enterprise, but it didn't fit him at all. So we went with the Captain of the Enterprise, Archer and his middle name, Malcolm, is from the armory officer on the same ship. Archer Malcolm Allen became part of our family. We had so many years with him.

Here are some tips that we used to help Mason cope with the loss of his dog:

So Mason doesn't quite understand what is happening. But we decided that we need to be upfront with him. The "going to sleep" thing wasn't working and honestly I didn't want Mason to think that when he goes to sleep he won't wake up either. So we have been very up front telling Mason that Archer is very sick and that the doctor can't help him anymore. That we have to help him by letting him to go sleep and dying. Mason is now telling us that Archer died today. He is sad, but he isn't confused. Or at least he understands a little bit about it. He does keep asking when can we go back and get Archer. Which we remind him that Archer died. Then he says that Archer is with Jesus eating, and getting strong. One comment he made that just shattered my heart was, "Can Jesus send him back for a little bit to play with me?" Oh so sad, but it is what it is. So be upfront with your kids. Help them understand as much as they can, and think about how much you want them to know. but the biggest thing for them is to just be upfront.

Coping with loss of dog for adults:

Apparently males and females process this different. I have been crying and sad all day long, and Matt has been more internal. I know he is sad, but he isn't showing it. I suspect to be strong for me. Take time to accept what happened. Take time to be sad. To grieve. It's ok. Don't be quick to get another dog to replace your previous one. Honestly, we have said for many years that we wouldn't get another dog. I don't think we will. But only time will tell. Probably not until the kids are much older is what I am thinking. But be sad. Take time. It is not shameful.

One thing I have been thinking is that I have been blaming myself for not taking him in earlier. But honestly, this is what was meant to happen. He let me know he was ready, even last night. He was just tired last night. He was ready. And I am at peace with that, but for a time I was blaming myself. Don't blame yourself. Things work as they are supposed to.

Dogs are only with us for so long. Take the time to enjoy your 4 legged family member as long as you can. Remember the good memories! To Archer, I miss you already puppy. I hope you are enjoying your time pain-free in puppy heaven, and playing with your best buddy, Bubba. Love you Archer.

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