Ode to my puppy

MY dog died on Friday. It wasn’t without warning. It was via a big needle full of green stuff that snuffed out her life and left her asleep on my lap as I sobbed heartbroken into her fur.

It was horrible.


Let’s do the addendum thing… she was born sometime in December 1997. She’s been mine since January 1998. She’s had an extremely long and full life. It was time. But I wasn’t ready. I don’t think I was ever going to be ready.

And the kicker to all this is…. I have had her almost my entire adult life (minus one year). She’s seen me through boyfriends, heartbreaks, car crashes (will always rememer my relief to see her running in excited circles on the roof of the car after I flipped it in a culvert – and both of us riding in the ambulance, then the nurses moving my hospital bed so she could see where I was and stop disturbing other patient’s with her barking), graduation, career (remember the time she tried to bite the mayor? Good times.), weddings, babies… the whole shebang.

I can’t count how many times I confided in her before anyone else, how often I sobbed into her smelly coat, unafraid of being judged.

She was the only person at the house when I was chased home by some crazed weirdo one time. She sat on the couch with me as I called the police. She was just a pup but she knew something was up, she sat quietly, attentively, watching me with concern.

And she showed me places I may have never discovered on my own. Always on a quest to find bushland where she could run leash-free, I eventually bought a house near some bush/farm land that boasted hills, creeks, horses, kangaroos and even a waterfall. Would I have even known it existed if I didn’t have to chase her down overgrown paths? Doubtful.

Even when I was pregnant, I would walk her down there, sing songs to my unborn son and when it was time to go home, she’d happily drag my tired butt back up the hill to our house. And when I had kids, I could tie her to the pram knowing she wouldn’t try to bolt and disturb sleeping babies.

But it’s not those things I miss. Though I’m grateful to have those memories, I just miss her pushy, “pat me now, pat me here” shoving whenever you walked outside. I miss rubbing my feet over her whenever I sat outside. I miss checking on her one last time before I go to sleep at night. My instinct to do these things is as natural to me as breathing.

I didn’t think I could miss a dog this much. But for so long she was a fundamental part of my life: my source of unconditional affection, my first real responsibility in life, my Karra-Mia.

PS A heartfelt thank-you to my boss for giving me the day off, to my brother who helped bury Karra, to Husband’s boss  who also gave him the day off, and to Husband for all his support.


25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joanne
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 04:25:37

    Oh Peta, such beautiful heartfelt words – I’m so sorry for your loss xo


    • petajo
      Oct 12, 2011 @ 05:06:20

      Thanks Jo – it’s nice to have people commisserate rather than my initial fear that people would go: “she’s just a bloody dog!” ..xx


  2. Cheryse Durrant
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 12:25:47

    Aw, Pete, hugz and thinking of you. Her ghost will be with you always – as strong as her memories.


    • petajo
      Oct 12, 2011 @ 05:05:37

      Thanks Cheryse, it’s not “normal” here yet, but it’s getting better. I have a lovely new canvas pic of her in my office and it always makes me smile.


  3. marketingtomilk
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 16:20:18

    I’m sorry. I adore dogs. Yours looks perfect.



  4. Desleigh
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 02:27:08

    oh Pete,
    I am so sad for you. I understand your pain.
    If they had their way, they would NEVER leave us. Determined to ignore the fact that their poor body simply cannot take any more.
    Something that has helped me get through similar grief is knowing I was able to end the pain for them. A final act of love and friendship.
    Hold on tight to all those great memories. I still remember Karra on your wedding day!!


    • petajo
      Oct 13, 2011 @ 03:19:49

      Thanks Desleigh – was thinking of you too, I remember you going through something similar (though if memory serves correctly the vet was Not Good). And you’re right, at least I could end her pain … xx


  5. Simone
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 02:51:14

    Hugs to you Pete … it’s amazing the impact animals can have on our lives especially being with you for the amount of time Karra-Mia was. xo


  6. Peta
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 02:54:02

    Thanks Simone! She certainly left a big imprint on my life..xx


  7. Cranky Old Man
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 03:09:34

    The only thing I don’t like about dogs is that you usually outlive them.

    I am sure you will have other dogs, don’t try to compare them to Karra, not fair to them. That first dog is almost always the best.

    Sorry for your loss, been there and most “people” don’t really understand.

    The Cranky Old Man


  8. Donna @ NappyDaze
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 03:52:00

    Oh how heartbreaking! We lost so many pets growing up until one came along that lived 17 years. Losing him was like losing a family member. And its why I wont have another as I dont want to risk the pain of it all again. Hope your loss eases soon x


    • petajo
      Oct 14, 2011 @ 07:54:07

      Thanks Donna! It really is the end of a chapter… and I still think she’s sniffing around here sometimes when I hear some small noise. 😦


  9. Eloise Verlaque
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 06:26:34

    oh you poor, poor thing. I can only imagine what a heartbreaking moment that was for you. I always think its the last final beautiful act of friendship that you could hold her as she passed. I am so sorry xxx.


  10. parkconfessional
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 07:45:14

    Dear Fellow Dog Person, I still cannot watch Marley & Me without shedding tears as big as a two year old’s. Anyone who has ever had a dog and loved a dog knows the pain of losing that dog too. I feel for you, and send you loads of furry, chewed-up, tail waggy healing energy.


  11. SpecialK
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 13:52:39

    Oh, I dread the day. You told a beautiful tale. Hoping you pain eases soon. Come on over to my place although not for a laugh. I too have shared a special story. Chin Up and take care.


  12. Supermac
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 16:04:04

    Ya, your story also reminds me of Marley and Me. I watched it twice and cried like a kid each time. Sorry for your loss ;-(


    • petajo
      Oct 15, 2011 @ 23:02:33

      Thank you Supermac… we had a storm last night and normally I’d be trying to keep her calm and not wake the kids. THAT was depressing!


  13. Trackback: Getting on with it… « PetaJo
  14. Liz @Mumstrosity
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 01:48:48

    It’s never easy to say goodby to a loved one. My brother had young brown lab named Cappa, and his housemate had a Great Dane.They were snail baited, possibly by one of the neighbours. They were discovered very ill in the morning, we got them to the vet but Cappa didn’t survive.

    It sounds like Karra-Mia was a great and loyal companion. She looks very cuddly 🙂


  15. petajo
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 04:10:58

    Oh, that’s horrible! Can’t imagine what kind of people they must be to do something like that.


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