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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yes, I know we all have that one dog that has the most special place in our hearts. In my case, it is Emma.

Emma was 12 and a half years old and came into our lives when she was nine months. She had to adjust to a house of noisy boys after living with a single lady, but after a few weeks, she did. She became that one dog that will forever be their "childhood dog." And for me, she will be that one dog that knew me and could read me better than any other.

Emma passed two weeks ago during the early morning hours. She was diagnosed with cancer in early summer after showing signs of it since March, and simply weakened until the day she passed. She never showed pain and ate until almost the last day albeit not much. She simply got weaker and weaker until she could no longer walk. Thankfully, she showed little pain and suffering.

The day before she passed I knew that if she did not go during the night, then I would have to "put her down." As they say, I simply knew it was time. On that last day, the "light went out of her eyes."

We were all able to spend time with her in the last evening, and somewhere around 11 pm, she slipped into a coma. At 2:30 in the morning, I got up and scratched her head as I do if I wake up during the night, and she stretched her paws as she usually did. She never looked at me nor could I tell if she was there beyond that movement. For some reason, I like to think that she knew I gave her that last scratch. When I awoke at 5:30, she was gone.

It was a wonderful almost twelve years. We hit the jackpot with her.

Grief is an interesting thing. One never knows how it will hit you. Since I have been grieving for Emma over the past four months, when she actually was gone, a certain amount of relief was mixed with the grief. Oh, I still cried, and even as I type this, I feel the tears just at the edge. But it was also a relief knowing that it was over for her, and yes, for us.

It was not nor is it easy. She was by far the best dog I have had, and definitely the best my wife and family have had. There have been times where I still cannot believe she is not at home waiting for me, and there are plenty of moments where I look at her usual places expecting to find her. And those sounds of hers when she shook her head letting me know she needed my attention or the clicking of her nails on the floor as she was coming around the corner...I swear sometimes that I still hear them, and yet when I look she is not there.

We have so many memories, and the house is emptier despite all of the noise from the boys. I look at her corner where her bed was and miss seeing her. I miss seeing her head as she would gaze expectantly out the window at me as I drove into the driveway. I miss her happy run as she would follow me into the backyard. I miss her paw on my leg as she let me know she really, really was starving and needed the tidbit of food in my hand. I miss those eager eyes asking me to do whatever it was that she wanted.

And I simply miss that beautiful dog who somehow knew what I was thinking and what my next move was going to be. And yes, for some reason, I always was able to understand what SHE wanted when she made a whine or bark or shook her head creating an attention getting noise or simply looked at me a certain way.

Yes, I will look for another boxer to fill the void. I know that the next one will create her own memories and bring joy to our house in her own way, but I also know that Emma will always have a special place in our family and especially in my heart as she looked to me with love and respect as her "master" and trusted that I would do what was best for her. I was always told and finally realized that I was her person. While she loved the rest of the family and certainly was not a one person dog, I was the one she first bonded with and was the one who was with her at the end. I was the one that she looked to and if I looked as if it was going to be okay, then she believed it was going to be okay. I have never felt so close to a dog as I did with her, and thankfully I can say that I have very few regrets of how I was able to care for her all of these years.

I always dreaded the day she would leave us, and now that it is past, I can only cherish the memories of the best dog I ever knew. There will be tearful moments for many days and months to come, but I also realize that moving on and bringing a new canine member to our house is what will be best for our family and will honor her memories.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss :(
I do believe she knows you gave her that last scratch.
Takes time to heal but we never forget.
 

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So sorry for your loss. It's never easy... but it sounds like you gave her a beautiful life and that you loved her as much as she loved you. RIP Emma.
 

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Sorry for your loss and yes this is a beautiful tribute. And sadly dogs just don't live that long and they fall by the way side on life's journey. But although the current days my be dark and sad. The clouds of sadness, will lift and you will remember the good times and be able to smile through the tears. Take care and sorry for your loss.
:(
 
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