This last weekend I had to travel to Billings on business but was fortunate to spend time with my friends, Steve and Rose, who recently had to put down their Rottweiler, Tasha. During our talks, Rose shared about Tasha’s quick decline and final day but also about how fortunate they were to have had her eleven years. Tasha was two years old when they adopted her from the shelter in Bozeman after they approached BSRR about getting another dog when their first rescue had passed away. As with anyone who has lost a four legged family member, the hole left in their hearts was evident with moist eyes and broken voices as Tasha’s final day was relived. Rose then told about that evening how she couldn’t look at Tasha’s bed and removed it from their bedroom, wash it and then stored it in the basement. I knew exactly how she felt.
I barely got the first word out when I froze and stood staring at the empty bed. I knew not to look elsewhere as the night before, my veterinarian had helped me load his body into my car for me to drive Griz to the pet crematorium that evening. All I was left with was the empty bed.
I didn’t want to do something that was specific to Griz but rather to all the dogs I had walked through life with but were now no longer there. It grew beyond that to where I now send it to anyone who loses their dog and is struggling. To let them know that their pain is normal and that they are not alone. So I share it with you now and encourage you to share it as well. I do this because if there is one thing I’ve learned as a dog owner, it’s that the love we have for our pets is only equaled by the grief we experience when they part from us.