Monday, April 19, 2010

Missing Elsa

I know from experience, when you lose something, someone, eventually, the grief subsides and your memory grows dim. That thought makes me sad. I don't want to grieve, but I don't want her memory to dull either.

I wrote about Elsa in a recent post, she was my 13 1/2 year old dog. This weekend her health deteriorated quickly and we made a decision to have her put to sleep.

I have to say, no matter how "logical" your decision is, nothing can prepare you for the pain you experience letting go of a dear life. We sat on the floor together because it was very hard for her to stand or be moved around, and I petted her and held her as she passed. I so, so, so wished she'd have died at home and made the decision to leave me rather than me making the decision to end her pain.

Today I miss her...I miss her barking to tell me to feed her, right now! I miss her sitting at the front window to tell me to let her back in. I miss her barking at the road to protect me every day as I go the barn, and I miss her sitting under the piano by my feet as I play. I miss her.

She shared so much of my life--always there through transitions--often overlooked as I went about my business.

I found a rock on our property that my husband is going to move over to her grave. It's big enough and flat enough that it can be a seat for me, under the Weeping Willow. I'm going to go out and find daffodils to plant around it so that they'll bloom every April and remind me of her. Also, a friend brought me a Bleeding Heart to plant in her memory. This really comforts me because the most important thing right now is my need not to forget her. I don't want to forget--ever.


  1. Very sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures.

  2. I'm very sorry you lost Elsa. I also fear for the day when I will have to say goodbye to my sidekick and constant companion, Jasper.

  3. So very sorry for your loss of such a beautiful dog. I too have been there several times with beloved pets, its never easy to make that choice to put them down. It ends their pain but not yours, yours just begins.
    I hope your pain lessens soon but the memory of your beloved girl always remains.

  4. I'm so sorry. Elsa looked like such a darling dog. We had to have our dear Paddington put to sleep. She was an incredible 15 1/2. Deaf and going blind she managed to hunt gophers successfully almost to the end. We had her put to sleep because she wasn't enjoying life any more and was suffering. She was part of our lives and I'll never forget her.
    Elsa was a loved and lucky dog.

  5. I'm very sorry for you loss. I think it is much harder to make that decision than to have them depart on there own. I find myself second guessing those decisions quite a lot.

  6. Popped over from Kate's blog~
    I am so sorry for your loss..I too last a loved family member "Elsie Kitten(18 yrs) last week. Pain is terrible and I long for the sweet memories of the times without the ending as it happened.
    I bought some Adirondack chairs, and my husband is going to build a patio for her grave spot...with flowers surrounding~

    I love your Mustang! I get to ride my friend's Kiger..I love him!

  7. KK--Thanks for stopping by--and thanks everyone for the comments--I've read them all and appreciated so much that you thought about me during this.

    I'm sorry for all your losses, too.

    I find myself now forgetting to think about Elsa as much, and then, when I do, I feel guilty that I've let her memory fade. I do LOVE the idea of a monument--the adirondack chairs and patio surrounded by flowers is a beautiful idea.

  8. Linda, your post is a beautiful tribute to Elsa. We will all miss her sweet and loving spirit, and the night she came into this world will never be forgotten. Elsa was the prettiest puppy of the litter; I think you fell in love with her at first sight. She will truly be missed by our entire family. What a gentle and sweet friend to all!

  9. Linda, we are going to have to put our dear German Shepherd to sleep this summer. He has SOME kind of immune-system disorder (we've been given 3 different diagnoses), but he is thin, itches ALL the time, and has lost nearly ALL his hair! It's just a matter now of picking the right time to do it. We do NOT want another dog (we have Ripley, our black lab and she is only 3 years old), 5 cats, and the 5 horses!

  10. Cheryl--I'm sad to hear that, but it sounds like you know it's right. Still, not easy. Putting Elsa down was definitely one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and nothing can really prepare you for letting go and seeing them pass. There has to be great peace, though, falling asleep in the arms of someone who loves you. You'll be in my thoughts...


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