Friday, September 17, 2010


Tonight we learned that Clarabelle has metastatic cancer.  She was not improving on the medication, although the diuretics cleared up her chest and lungs enough to get a good x-ray.  The x-ray today showed a number of large masses in her abdomen and lungs. 

Sadly, her mother died of liver cancer when she was just nine.  Clara is only eight, which is far too young to leave this life.  But she is starting to waste away from not eating.  We have been feeding her through large oral syringes, thinking that the antibiotics were making her have an upset stomach.  Now we know that there is nothing to be done but to let her go tomorrow. 

We have an appointment in the afternoon to have her euthanized.  We did some extraordinary things to keep her mother going, but I don't think it was in her best interest.  This time, we decided not to prolong the inevitable.   I realize that dogs are so special.  I wish that we had more time to have her with us. But that would be selfish. 

This is going to be hard.  It always is.  There is no getting around the pain of making the decision to let a beloved companion go.  And then to deal with the loss of such a happy spirit.  We are both so sad tonight.


  1. I'm so sorry Syd! The creatures that nurture us, as we nurture them, they are so special. I will be thinking of you and C.

  2. Sending caring thoughts your way,

    Syd and C.... Clarabelle's sweet spirit is saying it is time to go.. I am sad for you....

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your Clarabelle. I know when I had to get my cat euthanised after 13 1/2 years, it was pretty heartbreaking. Thinking of you!

  4. That is such sad news. I know you both are making the best decision for Clara which is the most loving way you can take care of her. All the best.

  5. Syd, I'm so so sorry. My qualifier and I put down his beloved 14-year-old black Lab last November, and it was just excruciating. We were able to have the vets come out and do it at home, though, which might be possible for you too? I hope so. And I hope you and your partner can be extra-gentle with yourselves during what's just going to be a really hard time. Hugs to you—

  6. I am so sorry to hear your news. We lost our first pup to kidney failure when he was only six years old. I am so sorry.

  7. Syd I am sorry to learn of Clarabelles' illness. I heard something from a Buddhist friend that helped me tremendously when I was grieving and wanted to share it with you.
    Without death there would be no life.

  8. Bless. Thinking of you, C and Clarabelle.

    I have found these resources to be very healing/helpful with bereavement.
    Thich Nhat Hanh - No Birth, No Death.
    Go to 1 hour and sixteen minutes for Signlessness, but the whole talk is great.
    Seed of corn. 6 minutes
    empty of a separate self 1.05 1.15 Interbeing and seperation 1.16 Signlessness. the appearance form. 1.17 Losing someone.
    Depression by Ajahn Brahm

    Om Mani Padme Hum is a very helpful mantra to use at this time both for you and for Clarabelle. you can simply listen to it, or think it, but saying it assists yourself and others.

    Also taoist arch is excellent for moments of overwhelm or weepyness

  9. I am so sad to hear your news. Losing a beloved pet is such a painful wrench. The gift you give her today is a final act of love allowing her to leave this life free from pain and with dignity. But, of course, her spirit will live on. Thinking of you and C today.

  10. Oh Syd, I can feel the sadness of you and your wife and share it with you. I agree that you have made the right decision not to prolong Clarabelle's discomfort but I understand that it doesn't make it much easier.

    I hope things go as well as they can do under the circumstances and that you both find some comfort in knowing that Clarabelle was so happy during her time with you.
    God bless.

  11. Syd pain is the key word. If she is in untreatable pain with no quality of life, though a hard thing to do it is the gentlest way to let her go and rest. Find your comfort in the memories and knowledge that you did all you could to give her a happy life.

  12. oh man...i am so sorry...know this will be a hard day...thoughts and prayers...

  13. So sorry about your beloved pet. We've been through this with two of our best dogs, Springer and Springer Lab mixes, both amazing, wonderful dogs. My heart goes out to you as you make this difficult decision, and lose such a good friend.

  14. This is sad news. I'm so sorry. You're in my thoughts & prayers.

  15. My thoughts and prayers are with you and C Syd. It's never easy to let go of a loved one. Never easy.

    Glad Clarabelle was with you for the time she had. She was loved!

  16. So sorry. I will be thinking of you and your family.

  17. Life for you was
    one long tail-wag,
    the bliss of a dog
    granted a life
    wandering walks
    full of
    sniffery and running
    like a wild thing,
    with the special
    delight of those
    who can turn around
    and barrel back to
    one who loves you,
    one who laughs to see
    you running,
    who rejoiced
    the same way you did
    when he came home.
    One who, when you danced that little dance dogs do
    when they can't contain their joy
    at seeing us again,
    danced a moment with you,
    and filled your heart
    with such love you
    had trouble containing
    it, and sometimes had to race up and down the hallway a few times.
    Old dog, old loved dog, old dog whose face I cannot see for tears,
    we both know what I need to do for you,
    but my heart aches at the knowledge that you won't be there
    to greet me in the morning.

  18. this to shall pass

  19. dang Syd,
    i'm really sorry...
    truly sorry...

  20. Syd - You know you have my deepest sympathies. How strange that I wrote my post just as you were going through this. You did the right thing, although I know it doesn't feel that way right now. I'll never put another dog through what we put Leo through, trying to save him when all advice we got said he probably wouldn't make it. We just wanted so much to keep him with us.

    If you need a friend, you know where to find me.

    Peace - D

  21. Oh my! I just read this AFTER I sent you an email... Please accept my sympathies - I am so sorry about Clarabelle. I know how hard this time must be for you and C. You will both be in my prayers! God bless.

  22. Syd, I am so sorry for you and C. God Bless her and keep her.

  23. Oh I am so sorry to hear this. Our dogs are just so much a part of the family.

  24. Weird, Syd. This play I've been co-directing is about a dog and it ends with the story of the dog being euthanzed. There were not many dry eyes in the house- so many of us have had to go through this.
    I am sending you good thoughts and let me say that I think it takes great strength and compassion to let an animal friend go when it is obvious that his or her life is going to have too much suffering in it.
    A hard, hard decision. But the right one.

  25. Beautiful poem C. It captures the very spirit of our dogs and their little ways that mean so much. Though sad, it made me smile.

  26. So Sorry Syd to hear about the departure of Clarabelle, when I lost Rosie I was crying my eyes out in front of loads of wagon drivers the next day at my job on the despatch at Hansons
    Even now a piccy of my old Rosie brings a lump to the throwt and a tear to the high
    I am glad in a way Rosie died the way she did, our last dog Judy was euthanised at it was even worse
    My thoughts are truly with you good friend Syd

  27. Im so sorry for you and your wife Syd. Clara sounds like she was well loved and care for, what a blessing that you all had each other.

  28. Sad. I know that your decision was made with loving and careful thought. And that is where I am right now. Thoughtful, loving care for you and C.

  29. I know that must've been a very hard experience for you - though, a very selfless one. You and C are in my thoughts and prayers. R.I.P. Clarabelle.

  30. Oh Syd. I am so sorry. As you know I know exactly how you feel. Annie was 1 month shy of turning 8 when we had to make the same decision. It is never easy but it is part of the deal. Part of being a responsible pet owner. Please know that my thoughts are with you and your wife. I am sure Annie met her at the Rainbow Bridge along with so many precious babies we have lost. Take care.

  31. she is such a lucky dog to have you as her person. so many owners of animals do not treat them with the love they deserve.

    i know you feel like you were the one blessed as well. that is how it should be. unconditional.

    your in my thoughts, C.'s poem was amazing.

  32. I'm sorry to read the news about Clarabelle. I understand the heartbreak of making the decision in the beloved pet's best interest. God be with you.

  33. My departed Chester has a huge posse over at the Rainbow Bridge. He and Annie have been dispatched to find Clara and welcome her over.

    This always pulls at my heartstrings, but it is our part when we become guardians of such spirits to release them when it is time.

    Warm thoughts and prayers to you and C.

  34. I think you and C. did the kind thing, Syd.

    I had a cat I had to syringe feed once. She recovered for awhile, but I had to euthanize her not very long after.

    My sympathies,


  35. Oh Syd, I'm just very sorry. I've lived with dogs my entire life and it's always so hard letting them go. I am parying for you guys, for Miss Clara.


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