Saying Goodbye Is Always Hard…

If you are a  long-time reader here, you know that I have more than an abundance of pets!  That’s because have a soft spot in my heart for most animals.  Back in 2004, I tried to rescue all of the homeless animals at the local animal shelter–and then some!  At one point, we owned 21 cats, 5 dogs, 2 rabbits, a hamster, and a parakeet!  Our pet food bills were quite shocking in those days, and Ed was just about ready to jump ship.

Fast-forward nearly nine years later, and here we are–aging folks, left with aging pets!  Ed and I have already said “good-bye” to several of “our dependents” over the past several years.  These days we’re left with only 13 cats, 2 dogs, a parakeet and 6 chickens.  I’m not sure of the age of “Tweety”, our parakeet, since he, too, is a “rescue”, but I’ve had him for over 8 years.  He has to be living on borrowed time.

Several of our pets were older when I adopted them, so some passed away after a relatively short time.  Some of our younger pets developed  illnesses which cut their lives short, as well.  Such is the life of a pet owner.  Throughout the years, the area surrounding our home has become a virtual pet cemetery, with an assortment of  occupants.

No matter how many pets we lose, it never gets any easier.  After the initial shock of losing a pet has worn off, I always try to concentrate on all of the good days we had together, and the joy we brought each other. However, this doesn’t help to fill the empty void that losing a pet creates–even when many are still left!

Honey Bun

Honey Bun

A while back, I wrote about our struggles with our pet rabbit, Honey Bun.  Honey Bun  had been with me for over eight years.  I’m not sure how old he was when I got him, but he was already big.

Near the end, Honey Bun eventually became paralyzed in his hind legs, and remained that way until his death, about 2 months later.  We did the best we could by Honey Bun, but we were relieved (for him) when he took his last breath–the day before Ed’s 63rd birthday.  Not a day goes by that I don’t miss that old brown rabbit, especially when I visit the carrot patch!

E

Eugene’s the gray cat, who’s looking at the camera

We lost one of our cats, named Eugene, to cancer, last year, too.  Eugene struggled with eating for a long time because the growth affected his throat.  We tried to make sure he had some soft food to eat, and let nature take its course.

In his final days, Eugene found a hiding place so he could be alone, but Ed found him, and took food to him.  Then Eugene found another hiding place, which Ed wasn’t able to find.  We assumed he’d gone off and died, as cats often do.

For several days Ed worried about Eugene, and said he just wanted to be able to give him a “proper burial”.  Then, one day I went out to the cat cafe'( a structure Ed built to feed the cats on), and lo and behold, there lay Eugene, dead, underneath it.  He was nestled among some junk that had been stored there.   (Eugene had been dead for a day or two, which is how I managed to spot him.)  Eugene had come home to die, and in doing so,  granted Ed his wish to give him a “proper burial”.

018

Ethan (in younger years)

2013 isn’t looking so good for our old hound dog, Ethan.  He was one of a litter of 10 puppies that were dropped off at the shelter, along with their mother.  Each puppy was named after a cast member of the reality show “Survivor”, hence the name “Ethan”.

Ethan is about to celebrate his ninth birthday, but he suffers from a variety of issues, and is not in good health.  We’re not positive, but we suspect he, too, may be a victim of some kind of cancer.  A couple of weeks ago, Ethan was really sick, and I just knew the end was near for Ethan.  After a day or two, he rallied and is still with us.

These days, Ethan spends most of his time basking in the sunshine on cooler days, or resting in the shade on the warmer days.  Ethan LOVES to eat, and for the moment, his appetite is still good.  He knows exactly what time supper is supposed to be served, and he will loudly remind us if we run late!  Ethan is a bit lazy, and has always laid down to eat his food.  The day Ethan starts refusing to eat, we’ll go ahead and get the shovel ready.  It will take quite a hole to accommodate that dog!

Shakespeare once wrote, “Parting is such sweet sorrow…”, but, in my opinion, there is nothing “sweet” about parting through death.  It’s the unfortunate downside of loving something– or someone.  Saying goodbye is always so darn hard!

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Published in: on January 29, 2013 at 10:08 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Saying goodby is never easy and creaes a lot of tears but those tears show the love we have for them. I’m sorry you are loosing your wonderful pets, it’s never easy.

  2. What a great tribute to the pets who enrich their humans’ lives!
    I never saw the demise of my three most beloved pets of my childhood and teens. Pretty Boy, a pale blue, loving parakeet was way up in years and had developed a huge growth bulging under his feathers and distorting his tiny body.

    He would ride around on our shoulders, and one day my father forgot and went outside with Pretty Boy. He flew and we chased and called but did not see him again. Someone stole my aging cocker spaniel dixie. I was a newly wed living far from may parents’ home when a German Shepherd jumped their fence and shook to death my aging cat Snowflake. Each was a character and a loving and loved companion.

  3. I’ve never had that many animals. If my husband would allow it, I know my home would be overflowing with them.
    It’s very sad to let go. They all become a part of the family. And like a family, they all have their own personality.
    You wrote a very nice post from the heart.

  4. Kathy, I swear we are always on the same wave length, even if it is a sad one. First let me say I am sorry for your losses and can appreciate your sorrow since I’ve been there quite a few times.
    The reason I said about the same wave lehgth is that I’ve debated with myself whether to write a post about Marcos’ current condition. He has developed full blown canine dementia and spends histime pacing or lost in corners.I have to feed him by hand to get him started. It happened so quickly. So of course I too am seeing a goodbye down the road although as long as he is not physically ill or in pain I will not hurry it along.
    Peace to you and Ed jand find r est in the fact that Eugene and Hunny Bunny have found peace.

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss of Honey Bun and Eugene … losing a loved one (even if it’s “just” a pet) is never easy.

  6. Your post really touched me. You are so wonderful to save and care for the pets…to love them, and be there through the last days. I know, our pets are like our children. I mourn with you.


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