Saying Goodbye to Our Best Friend

There’s a lot of empty, silent space in our house these days. Nobody’s sitting at the front window, guarding the perimeter from potential intruders. There’s no greeting as we return home and open the front door, no heralded announcement that guests we have not yet heard coming, are in fact arriving.  As friends and I I sit on high stools at the kitchen counter, no one begs to be lifted up so they too can become part of our conversation. And sitting on the sofa to watch some television after dinner, no furry ball jumps onto our laps and sits between us, behaving as if he too is watching the screen. 

watchdog Clancy has been an important member of our family and constant companion for nine and a half years. Yet I must admit, things didn’t start out particularly well. Besides the usual challenges in house training a puppy, this one had a propensity for chewing the edges of the dining room rug and, his specialty – chewing through each and every electric lamp chord in our house.

 Our daughter was very ill at the time, and I traveled often to be with her and assist with my three grandchildren. This situation may have contributed to my lack of patience with my incorrigible new charge, but we did start thinking it might be necessary to find a different permanent home for Clancy. We were rescued by one of my dear friends who offered to become his temporary “foster mother.” She had four older small dogs of her own and in a few weeks she, with the help of her dogs, civilized Clancy. We always gave her full credit for what a special companion he became.

tinyclancy Several years ago, Clancy developed a problem with his liver. As his body began retaining fluids we were told that he might not have more than a couple of months. Some adjustments were made in his medication and he rallied. He continued to have symptoms repeatedly, receive treatment, and return to his peppy, happy self. No one ever had any real understanding of why or how this kept occurring. This phase of our life together was difficult at times but, as happened in going through serious illnesses with our children, it caused us to appreciate most every moment we had with him.

sayinggoodby.clancy

 When the end came, it was a surprise. And it wasn’t. I’d taken Clancy to the vet in our neighborhood for one of his treatments and when he came out he seemed his usual peppy self, but he was shaking. By evening he was not doing well. He didn’t eat and lost control of his bowels several times. Suspecting this might be the end, we took him back to the clinic the following morning and left him for observation. We got the call at 10 am. His kidneys were failing. It was time to say goodbye. 

8 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to Our Best Friend

  1. Sheila – So sorry about losing your sweet pup. I just lost my cat and completely understand the absence at home. Our beloved animals are space-holders in our homes and kinesthetic anchors in our bodies. I miss every part of Tyke’s absence.
    Much love and tenderness,
    Barrie

  2. Hello, dear Sheila and Rich,
    I just checked my e-mails and saw your blog. Wednesday morning I told a womans group in my church parish about Pittsburgh and our time in the US.
    And now I saw this pictures from Clancy and from you. That is really sad, he was so much a part of all our Interplay meetings at your basement.
    I realize I miss all you guys terribly…
    At the moment we think abaout vacation time in the Pittsburgh area and for me it would be great to join the Leaders Meeting in Racine. Maybe it will work out, I would love to see you again.
    Big, heartfelt greetings to everybody who remembers Ina from germany!!

  3. Goodbye, Clancy, no more pain and you were privileged to share the space with your loving humans. Great article, tender and loving. I have a playful, 8 year old therapy dog, Ayni, who lights up my world at work and home. Pets are a gift from the universe.

  4. We’re so sorry about Clancy! I remember what a handful he was when you got him (like my Marley.) I recall doing some Interplay about them. Thank you for sharing. My heart hurts for you and your loss.

    We lost our beloved Keesha on 12/23, a few months after she had been diagnosed with canine dementia. She was almost 16, which is unusual for larger breeds. She was stubborn and didn’t not want to leave us, but it was her time. Rogue is at least 13, and Marley is now 10. Dogs are our “joy guides”, as my friend Suzie J. (whom you met last week) calls them. They enrich our lives and our hearts in so many ways. Namaste!

  5. Dorothy, Thank you so much for your kindness regarding Clancy and for the memory of our InterPlaying together about him and your dog when they were small. Love the idea of our dogs as our joy guides. I missed you at the performing the book in Fort Worth but thanks for sending some people on your behalf. Perhaps I can see you on mt next trip to FW.
    Sheila

  6. Ina,
    I think of you often, especially when I was in Scotland with InterPlayers from Europe, one from Germany. I hope you are able to find some playmates in your new community. It would be great to see you in Racine if that could work out for your vacation.

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