Welcome to the Broken Hearted Club

Hey everyone. Please be sure to visit me over at the Scribes for my post on Chocolate Cupcakes of Doom (and our new recipe page) . And Saturday, be sure to read part two of Lynn Kurland’s interview.

So you may have noticed, I’m not my usual cheerful self.

Another beloved pet has left our family. It’s been  hard to lose three pets in less than a year. Granted, they were all in their elder years.  My cat Ollie was almost 19 (see here)! And there was Sparky (almost 14 years) back in October 2010 (more on him later).

This time we lost Oreo. Our beautiful dalmatian. Our girlie! The love muffin.

The spotted love girl
We adopted her the day before Thanksgiving in 2003. My husband and I decided many years earlier to adopt all our Dalmatians. They are a mischievous breed and not for everyone, so many of them are given up for adoption. She came from New Jersey and was a little freaked out to be left behind by her former owners (who wanted the best for her). I’m glad they decided we would be her new family.
She was six years old at the time. Super lovie and naughty, naughty. Like all Dals, she loved to steal food. She once ate an entire bowl of apples. Later, a brand new loaf of rye bread from Panera was consumed in one sitting. 
Ah, good times. I could tell you more stories, but we don’t have all day.
Eventually, she chilled out. But we were always vigilant. Dalmatians never forget food and will forever swipe anything you’re dumb enough to leave at nose length.
She loved all of us, but her most favorite person was my husband. And he loved her right back. Sometimes, I teased him that he loved her more than me.
Her number one human buddy
In 2005, we adopted Sparky from a shelter. He had been abandoned and was a little loony. He really wanted me to be the only person in his family (I was his number one girl). We made the painful decision to put him to sleep last October, when his body just crapped out on him.
Sparky boy - big dog crammed on little chair.
We faced the same dilemma with Oreo. No matter how sick or decrepit, it never makes the decision any easier. 
I still have two cats left – a brother/sister pair and I know when their time comes, it will hurt just as much. Here’s hoping, I won’t be writing that post anytime soon.
Come visit me next week when I hope to have much better news to share. 
Feel free to leave me a comment your furry loved ones, past and present.

34 thoughts on “Welcome to the Broken Hearted Club

  1. I didn’t get my first pet until I was 17 a springer spaniel named Autumn. She is my mom’s baby. My mother makes her pancakes on Sunday. Autumn gets a cake on her birthday. She’s getting old now. She doesn’t move so fast anymore and we know that her time is coming soon. Still it doesn’t make it any easier to lose a beloved part of your family. Crap! I’m making myself cry. I hope you feel better.

      1. I wake up really, really early. Even when I don’t want to. 😦

  2. Thanks Jamie. Autumn is a beautiful name and I hope she still has many more years. All we can do is love them while have ’em!

  3. So sorry, Casey. I had to say goodbye to my 16-year old mixed breed earlier this week. Even though we still have another dog and an iguana, the house feels very empty. It’s the hardest part about having pets. Jamie, here’s wishing you and Autumn joy with whatever time she has left!

    1. Cindy, I am so sorry for you loss too. This is the first time I’ve ever been without a dog in my life and its so strange. I love my kitties, but they have a different energy than a dog.

  4. My condolences… I lost my beloved Sheba, a siamese cat, three years ago. Still miss her. I feel your pain.

  5. I got my first pet at age 30 when my hubby and I moved in together. We adopted two kittens the first day we lived together. Skye and Ryver. Skye was a tiny little grey and black and white kitty, she never got above 6.5 pounds. She loved to sleep under the covers between hubby and I. She once got trapped in our bedroom and cried to get out, but hubby was sleeping, so she peed on his head. 😉 Seriously, who wouldn’t love that cat?! We had to put her to sleep at just 8 years old, she had kidney failure. It was the only time I’ve ever seen my hubby cry. I was sobbing so badly, I couldn’t answer the vet’s questions. I wouldn’t trade having her for anything, she was more dog than cat.

  6. I’m in tears for you and your family this morning, Casey. Losing a pet is like losing a family member. I was sixteen when I had to put my first dog down. Twiggy was as old as I was and it broke my heart to say good-bye even though I knew I was doing what was best for her.

    You’ve met my buddy Zak who is the best companion and protector a girl could want out in these hills, but at nine, I recognize that his years ahead are surely less than the years behind. I’m not looking forward to the time I’ll have to say good-bye to him. Dogs create such an energy of love and acceptance in a home. They can be the glue that holds you together some days. They are the only creatures on earth that will love you no matter what. Oreo was lucky to have you!

    1. Thanks PJ. I hear you on doing what’s best for your pet, even though it hurts. Zak is so adorable and sweet. I hope you have many more years with him. He is a good buddy! We were lucky to have Oreo too. We adopted her after another of our Dal’s died (Dottie). I used to joke she was my “get over Dottie” dog. But we all know it doesn’t work that way with pets. Once they grab your heart, they never let it go.

  7. I’m so sorry. Eight years is so young. I know, I totally lose it at the vet too. We have stayed with our pets each time and I wouldn’t do it any other way. It’s heart wrenching, but the thought of one of them dying with strangers is too awful to even consider. Cats are just as loving and wonderful pets as dogs. I love them both. Thanks for telling us about Skye.

  8. I’ve spent a lot of time with a Dalmation named Tag, and know about those quirky personalities! I am a cat person, but I would have adopted Tag in a hot second.

    Condolences — it’s hard to lose a pet, especially after so many years together. Always remember that you gave her a wonderful home.

  9. Oh Casey, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Our pets become parts of our family and it’s very painful when they leave us. I have had many pets in my days but the most painful loss for me was the death of my Rottie, Esther. She was 12-years old, which is ancient for a Rottie. She was very much mommies girl and we were always together. She died in 2005 and not a day goes by that I do not think of and miss that dog. You and your family have my deepest sympathies.

    1. Thanks Gerri. They are family to be sure. I’m sorry to hear about Esther. I’m glad you at least had 12 years together.

  10. Sorry to hear you had to make such a hard decision, Casey. We had to do that to our 18 year old Queensland Heeler, Wyatt, last October. He’d been developing a tumor on his side since the age of 14, when the vet said he was hesitant to operate on such an old dog, and he’d be surprised if we had him with us another year. Well, four years later, and Jethro (yes, we named the tumor) was as big as Wyatt’s head, plus he was having other bodily troubles. If it had been me, I would have wanted my loved ones to let me fall asleep in their arms, too. Putting him down was very peaceful. I still cry when I think of him, and miss him terribly sometimes. But he is forever a part of my family.
    Sending virtual hugs your way as you recover from your loss. I’ll bake some Chocolate Cupcakes of Doom and have a wake in Oreo’s honor.

    1. Thanks for the hugs Tam! And thanks for telling me about Wyatt. Eighteen is an incredible age for a dog. My Ollie cat was 18 too when he died and I spent at least a month thinking about all the years and experiences where he was part of our lives. I think about all my lost babies all the time. I hope you enjoy the cupcakes too.

  11. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Fegus 3 years ago and he left such a hole in my life. After 2 years of moping, Robyn decided I had to have another. We looked at adoptable dogs for months but the moment I walked up to Molly I started crying. There was no doubt she was the one. Robyn says Molly is a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ because she is so much like Fergus. It’s taken her a few months but she has me almost as well trained as he did.

    1. Hi Jon, thanks for visiting my blog today and sharing your story about Fergus. Next time I see you and Robyn we can share a group hug. And yes, Oreo was to help me grieve the loss of Dottie so I totally understand where Robyn is coming from.

  12. Oh, I’m so sorry. I feel your pain. We lost our amazing GSD a little over a year ago and a month later got Jake the crazy GSD puppy. I could not stand to be without a little hairy boy.
    That’s tough. My thoughts are with you.

    1. I appreciate that Julia! My hubby and I have adopted our spotty dogs for the last twenty years. Before Oreo and Sparky, we also had Dottie, Captain (he was 12 when we adopted him, Lily and Nestle (like the candy bar). For the first time ever, we are going dogless. My heart can’t take anymore loss at the moment. Maybe with the passage of time, we’ll feel differently.

  13. I’ve only lost one elderly Boston terrier. At this time, we still have two cairn terriers and this topic makes me hope for many years with them. May your burden be light in your grieving as you remember the best of times with your very loved pet. My heart goes out to you.

    1. Thanks Brinda. I hope you have many wonderful years left with your cairn terriers. I love terriers. They are such tenacious and intelligent dogs. I grew up with mini-schaunzers and they are so smart.

  14. So sorry to hear about the lost of such a beloved pet, and particularly about the loss of three within the past year. I know how difficult it is to have to say goodbye to such a special part of your family, but it sounds like you will have wonderful memories to cherish for many years to come.

  15. I am so sorry about Oreo. I know how hard it is, They become such a part of our lives and leave such a hole when they go. Oreo was lucky to have found you for a forever home!

    1. Thanks Carol. Can you believe it was only two weeks ago that were talking about her? The end came so fast. I still feel shell shocked without her.

  16. So sorry for your loss, they truly are members of the family. I recently had to make the decision for our cat Ariel who had a rapid growing mouth cancer but otherwise healthy in every other way but the poor thing couldn’t eat. It was awful.

    Love your pictures and thanx for sharing with us.

    1. I am so sorry to hear about Ariel. I went through a similar thing with my cat Ollie (granted he was 18). When he stopped eating and drinking, we knew it was time. Not that it makes the pain any less. Thanks for telling me about Ariel.

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