This last weekend was a very bad weekend for me, right now I just hope that talking about it will help me feel a little bit better.
I was working 7A-7P friday. My wife works at the same building and we always drive to work together. We got ready for work. I let out the dog while my wife was getting ready, a little 5-6 pound Shitzu-Pomeranian mix named Darth Doodles, 8 months old. We got ready, puppy came back in, and we locked him in the kitchen, where he spends the days while we are at work. He has his toys in there (a teddy bear that he chews on and likes to "mate" with and a little toy mouse that he confiscated from out cat), water and food, and has never had any problems. I was talking to my wife about leaving him outside for the day, since earlier this week I had finaly succeded in making our backyard "Doodle Prood" and he had no way of running away anymore. But it was supposed to maybe snow and we agreed that we will buy him a small dog house this weekend and then let him run free in the yard with our cat while we are at work. We get to our garage from the kitchen and played with him a little bit before leaving. On my way to the door that leads to the garage I saw our trash can in the kitchen and remember thinking to myself, "maybe I should take that trash out real quick, he might make a mess", but he never messed with the trash and we were running late, so off we went.
Friday night was our hospitals Christmas Party, and I was looking forward to having a little fun before coming back to work on Saturday. My wife left her job around 3 pm to go to one of our friends Graduation who finaly got her BSN. After the graduation my wife went home to change for the party and let Doodles out to go potty before picking me up for the party. At 6P she calls me at work and all I hear is her crying on the phone, she was not able to say very much, all she said was that Doodles was dead. After a little bit she was able to tell me that he had gotten a bag over his head and had sufficated. I really couldn't believe what she was telling me. I really didn't want to believe what she was telling me. She didn't know what to do, I told her that we have spare boxes in the garage, I told her to but him in a box and I would bury him when I got home. Luckily I had all my stuff done at work, night shift came in early, and I was able to clock out on time. I went down to the ER drive where my wife would come pick me up. I was just sitting in the drive, sad, not knowing what to think. My wife came, we drove home (a 10 minute drive), not talking, just that kind of crying where you don't really have tears, but your eyes are moist and your nose is running. We got home, parked in front of the house, got in the house, and I was hoping that my wife just played a really sick and twisted joke on me and Doodles would come running to the door. But there was no Doodles at the door. I asked her where Doodles was, and she lead me to the garage, and to a box against the wall. I sat down next to the box, and opened it. On top were his Teddy Bear and his mouse, then all I saw was his blanked that he was wrapped in. I picked him up, wrapped in his blanked and held him. He was just so stiff, like a wood dog covered in fur. I held him wrapped in his blanked and cried. I wanted to see him one more time, pet him, feel his fur running through my fingers. I unwrapped the blanket, and I saw an empty bag of shredded cheese over his head, and I started to cry even more. My wife was able to wrap him up in his blanket, give him his toys, she just couldn't bring herself to pull the bag of his head. I pulled that bag of his head, and just threw it as far as I could, and held his little head. I just couldn't help how but think about how he must have struggled to get his head out of there, how scarred he was, how bad he wanted to have his Mommy or Daddy to come to his rescue, to save him, or at least hold him as he died. But he died, all alone, on that kitchen floor. That what made it all the worse. If we would have let him outside, he might have been cold, but alive. I looked at the trash and thought about taking it out, but he never messed with the trash, never had. And I never have thought about the trash, that morning was the first and only time I even gave it a second thought. But we were busy, and left. He had not touched his food, had not touched his water, and was already stiff when my wife found him. She said that she just stared at him for a while, thinking she saw his belly move. Now I was sitting on the floor in the garage, holding his dead stiff body, crying. My wife next to me. After about 5 minutes she helped me put him back in his box, his blanket around him, his favorite toys with him. And we went inside. We talked about him, but mostly we just sat in silence. We decided we would bury him in the backyard, near a spot where he always got out of the yard to his precious freedom. So that he would be able to leave the yard one more time and be free. I told my wife that when my cat died when I was little and my dad burried him, I wrote him a letter of things I wanted him to know. I asked her if she wanted to write a letter with me for Doodles. We sat down and wrote him a letter. We appologized for him dying, and dying alone. We thanked him for all the happiness he gave us, all the lessons about love and friendship. We said our goodbyes. My wife said she could not bury him with me. So I went out in the backyard at 10P, and started to dig. After making a hole I took him out of his box, held him one more time, looked into his face one more time, kissed his nose, and wrapped him up in his blanket as good as I could, I didn't want him to get cold. I put his teddy bear by his head, and used his feet as a pillow for Doodles, I didn't want him to be uncomfortable. I put his little playmouse next to his head on the Teddys lab. The mouse had a little bell, and I rang it for a couple of seconds for him. Last we had put his letter that we wrote in an envelope, and adressed it "For Doodles, from Mom and Dad". I didn't read it to him, I just knew that he would be able to read and know what we wanted to tell him. Then I started to showel, being careful that I didn't hurt him when the dirt hit him, until he was all covered up. I made a little cross for him. The cat watched me. I'm sure the cat knew, and Doodles knew that the cat came to say goodbye. And I came inside, and held my wife, and she held me. We took his Pet-Taxi that he slept in and put it in the garage. We took his little Paw Print Shaped Stocking off the mantle and took his collar and nametag that was by the kitchen sink and put all his things together. He had a bath the night before, and we haven't put it back on him. We also had just bought an Ornament for the tree that was shaped like him, and we decided to leave that on the tree. I also found our little disposable camera that we bought for Thanksgiving. My wife had Doodles pose alone and with us and took pictures on Thanksgiving, and I was a little happier.
I took off the next day, I hardly slept, and I didn't want my wife to be in the house all alone when Doodles usually kept her company while I was at work. He usually started making noise early in the morning because he had to go outside to go potty. But he didn't wake us up this morning. We talked about all the fun times we had with him, and tried to concentrate on the things that made us and him happy. He had a bath on Thursday and was cold afterward. I wrapped him in a towel and held him for about an hour against me. He never liked to be held without biting and playing, but he held still and let me hold and pet him. I had to get up and gave him to my wife, and he led her hold him and pet him for about another hour, just holding still, and letting us love him. I almost think that he let us give him a lot of love that night before, almost as if he knew. I got the camera developed and we looked at his pictures. I do some photography as a hobby and worked with his pictures on Photoshop. I went to Wal-Mart and bought a frame that was made up of 4 individual frames. 3 frames were picture size, the forth in the upper corner was a little square. I put in a color picture of Doodles in the top frame, one B&W of his Mom and him, and one B&W of his Dad and him, in the bottom frames. On the little frame on top i put black construction paper. And put in his tag from his collar. It has his name on it "Darth Doodles" and we put the frame in the living room. We ordered pizza for dinner. Doodles hated the door bell. If he heard a Door Bell on TV he would go crazy for 5 minutes, bark and run around the house and try to find who just rang the bell. I would ring the bell and tease him with it, wait for him to quit barking, and ring it again. My wife hated when I did that. But it was our little game. The pizza came, the door bell rang, and the house was just silent, I think thats when I really realized he was not coming back.
I went to work the next day, and I found my happy thought. Whenever I got sad, I would first think of last week. Doodles got his first taste of snow and ice. We took him out to potty, and he would try to stay warm on the snow. If you have seen a clip of a lizard in the dessert, dancing on his feet to keep his feet from frying on the sand, you can imagine our puppy on the snow, doing a little lizard dance, trying to somehow keep all 4 paws of the cold snow. That makes me smile now. And then I think of the time I came home from work, and my wife was playing with Doodles on the front yard. He was just a couple of months old and still very little (3# instead of 5#) My wife was running around acting really silly, with her arms up in the air screaming "Oh no, Doodles is chasing me, Help, Help" and he was just running really hard, trying to keep up with her. Then I got out of the car and she told him "Go chase Daddy" and he came running for me and we played together in the front yard. I have made these two thoughts my happy thoughts, and I try to concentrate on them as much as I can.
I am sure we will get a new dog, but we will take time to heal before we do. And we have learned now how fragile life really is, and we will be so much more aware of all the little things that we never thought twice about, because they can't hurt us, but can be very dangerous to a little living being. I thank you for giving me the time and oportunity to pour my heart out. I feel better, and it really helped. Christmas will come, we will plant flowers on his grave in the spring, maybe a little shrub. Like a life tree, that he will help to grow.
Dec 19, '05
I am so sorry for your loss. He was a beautiful dog. Remembering the fun times you had with Darth Doodles will get you through this difficult time. My heart goes out to you and your wife.
Last edit by lexcourben on Dec 19, '05