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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tyler


It's been a long and weary weekend for us. We woke up to a very sick dog on Friday. Tyler had cancer and was growing steadily weaker all last week, but Friday he finally decided he was done with it. We called the vet at 10am and discussed our euthanasia options and made an appointment for 2pm. 

So began the last four hours I would spend with my fourteen year old dog. Watching a clock tick away the hours of your pet's life is not a fun thing.

I brought his blanket out onto the porch, made myself a pot of tea, and sat there with him, holding his paw, rubbing his head, and helping him begin his passage from this world. The day was beautiful, Carolina blue sky, cool breeze, stillness in the air and we sat together for those last hours. He was refusing food, I needed something, and decided a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was about the only thing I could choke down. I brought it out on the porch, sat on the blanket, Tyler lifted his head, took a sniff. Oh yeah, bread crust from my mom, yum. I gave him a bite, then another, then another, he ate my whole sandwich :-)  and so my last memory of Tyler will be sitting on the front porch sharing a PB&J with my sweet dog.

The drive to the vet in Pittsboro was long, long, long. I put on the classical music radio station, rolled down the windows and cried all the way there. By the time I got to the vet I was composing myself and the sweetest girls on the planet came out to get him. We went in to the room with him and Dr. Shama met us. She is an angel sent from heaven. I have never felt so much peace and kindness come from one person. She sat on the floor with Tyler, he put his head in her lap and she told us how she would help him go peacefully and he was comforted and not scared at all. 

I could not imagine a more gentle and peaceful death for an animal than Tyler had. Trying hard not to grieve his passing, we chose to celebrate the life he had, and what a great life it was. He enriched our lives so much and shared with us his complete and total bliss for living. 

Tyler and Wesley having breakfast in my soon to be new studio

And then we had to break the news to Wesley. Tell her the dog she has had with her since she was seven years old, was gone. On Monday we drove to Winston Salem, picked her up at her house and drove up to Pilot Mountain for a picnic and a hike. We had such a great walk, laughed a lot, caught up on all the school news and had a great afternoon. We stopped along the trail, and told her. We cried, we laughed and we said goodbye to our sweet best friend.


Tyler was born the day after Dale Earnhardt was killed in Daytona. Gerry was rushing around getting things together to go to Charlotte to cover the news of his death and Tyler's mom decided right then to go into labor. My best friend Lisa went and got our kids from school, helped Gerry get his shit together and then stayed by my side to laugh and cry with me and our kids as we watched little puppies come into the world. Cassie managed to push out 8 puppies but by then she was exhausted and could not push enough to get the last one out. The last one was Tyler and I helped pull him out. What an amazing experience. Wesley was seven and was there to see the puppies being born. For eight weeks we had nine puppy fur balls and one really obsessive mama dog in our garage. What a party! Our neighbors were constantly over to visit and play with the puppies, we had kids and puppies and moms and dads around all the time it seemed.  What a fun time! One by one we found homes for them and got Gerry used to the idea that we would be keeping one of them. There was no way Tyler was leaving us!


This year we stayed around here for our vacation, because Tyler was old, we didn't want to board him or have someone else looking after him while we were gone. So we rented a cabin and took him along for his last vacation.


He couldn't go hiking with us like he used to and he slept a lot. He got sick during the night and I was afraid we would lose him that week, but he rallied and got better. I'm so glad we made the choice to take us with him that week, we made good memories.


Here is the letter we got from the Dr. Shama yesterday. God bless this girl! The staff at Hill Creek Veterinary Hospital in Pittsboro is beyond exceptional!


So, we say goodbye to the sweetest dog I have ever owned. He wasn't my dog, or Gerry's dog, or Wesley's dog. He was OUR dog. He loved each of us equally and unconditionally and we are all hurting so much right now from his death.

We are waiting on his ashes. I thought about making an urn for him, I have clay after all, and then we thought about taking the ashes to the beach, or the mountains. But we have decided that we will take them to the river where the monks released the sand mandala this past summer and leave his ashes there where the monks blessed the water and the sand. Since Wesley spent so much time with the mandala this sumer, it seemed like a fitting place. The vet is also making us a clay paw print, I wish I had thought of that, but I am so glad they offered it.

Our house is quiet with the ghost of Tyler very present. I still hear his toe nails tapping on the hardwood floor, still hear his collar jingling, hear his tongue lapping up water from his bowl. I open the door to let him out, I look for him under Gerry's desk, under our kitchen table. He is everywhere, and he is nowhere.

I miss him so much...............

40 comments:

Lori Buff said...

It took only a few words from you to bring the tears to my eyes. Tyler sounds like a great dog and friend, you were all lucky to share lives together. I've said good-bye to enough fur-babies to empathize with you. Please know I'm hugging you in spirit.

Tracey Broome said...

I know Lori, I have read many blog friends posts on pet goodbyes, family goodbyes, always through tears. I always feel that sadness right along with them....
He was a good boy though and he had a great life!
Thanks for the hug xox

Dennis Allen said...

Filled with sadness for you all.Our big golden went on one last RV trip with Tina last summer after being diagnosed with cancer. His trip ended in Jackson Hole but he enjoyed every day of it.

Peter said...

Kind Thoughts to you from this part of the world. You have written a lovely tribute to Tyler with this post. Pxx

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Dennis, that's what I want! Just put me in an RV and drive me to Jackson Hole when my time comes! Yeah!
Thanks Peter, it was hard to write, bittersweet words...

June Perry said...

I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss.

Thank you for sharing his life with us, even though it's brought me to a lot of tears.

It's so hard to let go of these beautiful beings, who love us so unconditionally.

Anna M. Branner said...

As I just this minute came home from Layla's acupuncture appointment you know I am crying. We are so lucky to have these furry friends. Helping them leave us is the hardest and the best thing we can do.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey June and Anna, thank you so much! It has been such a really awful weekend, but writing this blog and reading everyones comments has been very comforting and has made me smile from all the warmth out there!
Xo

oldgreymare said...

Weeping weeping with mascara burning my eyes. Weeping for your family, weeping over my own lost pets who I adored, fearful for my 13 year old deaf and blind Justice.
Unconditional love - they hope only that we love them in return.
I am so sorry Tracey

Michèle Hastings said...

I am so sorry for your family's loss. Saying goodbye is very difficult.

Cat's Ceramics said...

Lots of love x x and thanks to Tyler x x

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks you guys,I am feeling the love today! So is Tylie
Xoxoxoxo

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Such a lovely memorial to your loved pet. I'm in the midst of trying to be brave, trying to give 150% for a cat who is sick, and not at all ready to let go. I've watched 2 pets make the transition, and was so glad to have friends with me for the last one...I'm crying for your love, but know that it will continue in your wonderful memories.

handstories said...

Oh, Tracey, I'm so sorry. This is such a love story, leaving another sacred space- in your heart.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi B. I know, I know, we were holding on too, but he was ready to go and rest :-(. Hugs to you and your kitty xo
Cindy, yes a very sacred space in my heart for always, thanks for reminding me!
Xo

littlemancat said...

I'm so very sorry for your family's great loss - I've been there too and it is a very big hurt, leaving a space that just can't be filled except for the memories and love.
Love to you and yours,
Mary

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Mary, I know many of us bloggers have been through this, another common thread and it's so nice to hear from everyone today, good company while I'm here alone in a verrrry quiet house! Thanks!!
Xo

candacethomasdesigns@gmail.com said...

Dear Tracey,
Peace, Love and Light to your family.
Thank you for sharing memories of Tyler with us.
Peace and Stitch,
Candace

DirtKicker Pottery said...

Sorry about your sweet Tyler. It sounds like he had an awesome life and was very loved.

Vicki said...

Oh Tracey. The moment I saw your post title, I just knew.
Your beautiful blue-eyed boy.
And the tears flowed.

You helped make his transition out of this world such a peaceful one, surrounded by pure love.

My heart aches for you and all of us who lose our beautiful, loyal best friends.
They leave such a hole in the world they live in with us.

I'm facing similar, as Jack has blood profile next week - he has been off and on for some time now. Good days and bad ones.
It hurts every time I think of losing him. My shadow.

Lovely Tyler is still around you. He's making sure you'll all be OK before he leaves for the beyond.

I think the choice of where to release his ashes is such a good one.
Honouring his honourable soul.

Peace, blessings and hugs to you x

Tracey Broome said...

Candace! So good to hear from you, are you in sunny California now?
Cindy, thank you he did have a really awesome life!
Vicki, I knew when I posted these photos it would make you think of your sweet Jack. It is so hard isn't it? Thank you for the lovely comment. Xoxo

Sleeping Village Pottery said...

Tracey... I don't think I could add anything more to what has already been said by all of these wonderful people, so I will just say how sorry I am that you have lost your sweet boy. I was sitting at my desk at work yesterday, and tears were welling up in my eyes as I read your words. Peace to you and your family.

Tracey Broome said...

Thank you so much,these posts have been wonderful, there is much kindness and love in the world! I appreciate all of these comments soooo much!
Xo

Susan Wells said...

Oh Tracey. Take care. So many changes. You have such endearing photos of Tyler to keep our hearts warm! What a sweet home you gave him and he gave you. Love to you and Wes and Gerry and Tyler's soul in the sky.

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks Susan, big hug! Yes, big changes for both of us!
Xoxo

Hannah said...

Oh Tracey. I am sitting here flooding the key board with tears. What a beautiful tale of a well loved friend. They are such a big part of our lives these furry four legged friends. Take care.x

Tracey Broome said...

Hey there Hannah, yep it's been a tear filled week! Thanks for your kind words
Xoxo

Susan Jonsson said...

I am not convinced that words can ever express or convey condolences....when letting go of an animal friend. I do know that these animal family members have earned the same respect and honor that we give to our human family and friends. 32 years with my beloved horse Sam, taught me that....and then some. So I honor Tyler's memory and all he means to you...now and forever. He was a very fortunate friend to have had your family to love and to be loved by him.
Sincerely,
Susan

Tracey Broome said...

Susan, thank you sooooo much. I have always felt the same when I would send someone a sympathy card or leave a blog comment, or send an email, but I tell you these words have been very comforting. I am feeling the love! Tyler didn't really know he was a dog, haha!
Thanks for your words, big hug

Mr. Young said...

Sorry for your loss. I know the feelings, as I have lost many fine pets throughout the last 50+ years. You will still feel him around in the stillness of the day.

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks, Mr Young, I do feel him everywhere, you are right. Any of us that have loved a pet and lost them has gone through thiss, so my post is sort of for all of us. Have a great school year!

Sandy miller said...

Well I saw this the other day and couldn't open it........ I had a feeling. Zeus still has his paws wrapped around my heart and it's still heavy. Today I read....... Shit I can barely type.
Blessings be to our beloved four legged beasties! My you run through fields and catch all those rabbits you chased in your dreams...........

Tracey Broome said...

Ahhh, Sandy, I know, I thought about you and how I cried and cried after I read the post you wrote, saying goodbye to your friend. I have actually thought about that blog post quite a bit this week and how you honored your dogs life. Maybe they are out there somewhere becoming friends!
Xoxo

M E Garde said...

Tracey I am reading this with tears in my eyes, and remembering our own Lola who we lost not long ago. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Trish said...

Tracey... I understand..
Warm Canadian hugs to you all.
T.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Maureen and Trish, thank you so much!

Michael Race said...

Hey, Tracey;
Just read this this morning, we can all relate to the pain you are going through. I still can feel Jonas's ears on my fingers.
We should all be so lucky as to go as gently as our dogs... big hugs.
m

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks Mike! Yeah, those ears.... I loved Tyler's ears, they were so soft. He tolerated me playing with them, but didn't like it much :)

doug Fitch said...

Sending love to you Tracey x

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks so much Doug, feeling much love these days!!!
xo