Keep That Joy Your Pet Gave You Alive

Holly's dog, Kip.

by DFS-Pet-Blog on August 21, 2009

After 14 years of being together, Kip, our dog, reached the end of her life this summer. She was such a part of our lives it’s difficult to do much without thinking about how she would have fit into the activities. Kip was always by my side when I worked in my gardens, looking out for squirrels and chipmunks and wagging at anyone who went by. She liked to say hello to all the kids at the day care center where she quietly accepted all of their attention. For many children Kip was the dog that taught them that dogs do not need to be feared, simply respected. She was the official greeter at our Saturday evening church service, and visited at nursing homes. Kip was a special dog (nicknamed by some of our friends as “Kip the Wonder Dog”) who was our:

Trip Taker, Friend Maker, Church Greeter, Ice Cream Eater, Trail Hiker, People Liker, Hole digger, Smile Bringer, Chippie Chaser, Bear Facer, Water Lapper, Dreaming Napper, Garden Helper, Watchdog Yelper, Hug Receiver, Mood Perceiver, Backseat DriverJoy Provider, Air Sniffer, Spirit Lifter, Tail Waver, Life Saver.

We all miss you, Kip.

For all of you who recently lost a pet, I can relate to how you are feeling. Hold on to the wonderful memories and understand that the grieving process takes time. I hope you can find friends who support you and with whom you can talk about your pet. If you are grieving right now, it may help for you to read “Grief and the Loss of a Pet”, especially the help and healing section. I encourage you to find ways to celebrate and honor your pet’s life and all you have shared, whether it be writing a poem, planting a tree or flower, or putting together a photo album. Keep that joy your pet gave you alive.


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Pet Loss: Sharing the Loss
December 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

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Robin Reynolds September 3, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Great post, Holly, and I’m sorry for your loss. Celebrating the joy your pet brought to your life is vitally important to healing. In fact, that’s what inspired me to write my book, “Life to the Max: Maxims for a Great Life by a Dog named Max.” Our Airedale Terrier, Max, had been with us through some of our most important passages in our lives and I wanted to celebrate everything he had taught us along the way. It just goes to show that life’s teachers can come in a lot of forms–even ones with four paws and a sloppy tongue!

Bill Bartmann-_ September 10, 2009 at 3:31 am

Cool site, love the info.

Lisa October 16, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Sorry for your loss! Kip must’ve been a wonderful companion. Beautiful photo!

carol ann adonizio November 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Wonderful story Holly. Only those of us who have had pets can truly relate to your article. Others who have never had a loving canine could never “feel” what we do if you were to tell them a cute story. Since 1986 we have had dogs,(when I was growing up my mom and dad had cats. Loved them.) My husband and his 2 brothers grew up with a cocker spaniel,Teddy. Needless to say that when our youngest child reached 6 yrs. old, my husband had a cocker spaniel in mind. I didn’t go with him when he went to pick Napoleon out from the mother puppy’s litter. He was quite the character. He was euthanized by our vet at 13 years old when he had congestive heart failure. For the previous 3 months his health was failing as the days went on. I spoon fed him tolerable foods as long as he was willing. Then the day came when he refused everything. We knew that eventually we were going to have to say goodbye. Going in the car to the vets office he sat in the back seat with me while my husband drove. He never squirmed,barked or cried-as if he knew. We both held him in our arms as the vet did his job.To this day,10 years later,I can vividly remember how he had his chin on my lap with my tears falling down on him. We have had 3 dogs after him, a black and white English Springer Spaniel, Mr. Bones. He was a gentleman. He came from a private owner also.He was 10 months old when he started to seizure on the porch.Took him to the Emergency Clinic, he stayed 2 days then passed away from either a brain tumor or cerebral aneurysm we were told. Didn’t get to see him grow older but his memories remain dear. I then soon knew I wanted another puppy. About 5 months later, and now we have a chocolate & white English Springer Spaniel, Sir Alex who also came from a litter and a private home. Alex is now 91/2 yrs old and such a gentle,affectionate dog-never a mean bone in his body after all this time. He sleeps with us on our bed at nite.The years have gone too fast.He is and always has been a joyful companion- always happy to see us if we are gone a few hours or 10minutes! The never-ending wag of his stubby tail when we arrive home is so comforting and very welcome, especially after some days of working with miserable co-workers!! His health is very good. Love every day of having him. I also decided that while I can still walk well and am in good health, I wanted another. His name is Boomer and he is part Brittany Spaniel/English Pointer,came from a private home also. He is a live wire!!,and is now 1yr and 4 months old. I can,t imagine life without Alex or Boomer. They are truly mans best friend. Another dog, Samantha, a beagle/bassett, now 13 was rescued from going to the shelter when the mother puppy was run over by a car and died. Our daughter is now 30 yrs old and Sammy lives with her now; She was very funny and the greater character of them all-chewing tv remotes and air conditioner remotes too, carpeting, shoes, clothes sofa cushions when she was a puppy even though she had every dog bone and chew toy possible. We still laugh at her antics. The best was that we never gave up on her. Still have the “girlie”.

Pam L. August 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I can fully sympathize with your loss. One of our beloved family cats was taken from us by a massive brain tumor that went undiagnosed until it was too late. He was with us for almost 14 years and I was devastated by his loss. Although we still had other pets at home, I started volunteering at my local animal shelter to help myself cope with the grief. My ca brought such joy into our lives that I wanted to keep that memory alive by helping others. It has been such a rewarding experience, so much so, that I share my experiences with others in my blog, “XOXO & Cold Wet Noses.” Please check it out at cold-wet-noses. com.

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