A Part of the Family



Seamus ~ A member of the family from 2003.


We put him down last week.

I knew it would be horrible, awful, and terrible when the time came.

It was even worse than I imagined.

The only thing I can think of that would be more painful is losing a child or spouse.

He was full grown when he came to us. The family we got him from insisted he was a normal dog. He played, he barked, he was a dog.

He was not a normal dog once he joined our family. He didn’t bark for a year.  He had a traumatic journey from their home to ours and he fell into a deep depression. He didn’t eat for nearly a week. To help him with the transition, I spent lots of time with him, loving on him, hoping to help him bond with the family.


He bonded with me.

Oh, he liked the rest of the family well enough. He enjoyed it if they petted him. He would eat the food they put in his dish. He tolerated their presence in my absence.

But he lived for me.

At first it really irritated me. I didn’t want another dog when we got him. We already had one and one was enough. But how can you be impervious to such adoration?

You can’t.

I gave up and loved him back.

He aged. For the last few months, he was incontinent and could hardly walk. He quit eating last week.

It was time.

He hated leaving and I hated watching him go.

I know the sting will ease and soon the memory of losing him will fade as other memories of his life with us grow stronger.

Like how when I came home from a weekend or vacation away, for the first ten to fifteen minutes, he “talked” to me. He had to tell me everything that happened while I was gone. He would whine, cry, bark, groan and moan to communicate it all.

He could say, “Mama’s home,” just like the dogs in the email video.

He quit walking on the slick kitchen floor, but he learned that if he stood on the dining room carpet, he could put his front two legs into the kitchen and tap them to remind the cook that he was willing to take care of anything that happened to fall on the floor.

He’s missed. My office feels empty without him snoozing next to me. I’m still checking behind me for his tail before I scoot my chair out.

It’s amazing how the little things become such an ingrained part of life.

Bye Seamus. We miss you. Lots.


Feb 011


  1. Oh Carrie, this brought tears to my eyes. I am so, so sorry. It is heartbreaking to lose a pet. I pray you are sustained with many wonderful memories of your friend.

  2. I just wanna give you a hug.....I know you were dreading this day as you could see it approaching. Seamus was a faithful friend to you and it makes sense that you have a huge void in the everydayness of life. I'm proud of you for putting this down in words and can't imagine how hard, yet therapeutic is must have been to do so. As Cheryl said, it made me cry, too. Thanks for sharing your heart, Carrie. I could feel your loss.

  3. Thank you, friends. Your encouragement and love means so much to me.