Goodbye Jack Daniel

My dog died.


There are no pretty words to say about a death and my emotions are still raw. Certainly, I knew that Jack wouldn’t live forever but I suppose the suddenness of his death has thrown me and my family for a loop. He showed no signs of sickness although he did show his age of eleven years, with his graying hair and occasional yelping from what we believed was arthritis pain.

He was just barking at his arch nemesis, the vacuum cleaner, the day before. He had all his faculties; the sound of a deli wrapper could be heard from any point in the house. He joined me in the kitchen as I made the kids their grilled cheese for dinner, always patiently waiting for the slice he eventually knew was coming his way.

But on Friday, he was ill at ease. He paced the house, looking to all his regular spots to get comfortable. My husband and I fretted, not knowing what to do for our oldest baby. Eventually we decided that we’d bring him to the vet the following day.

I spent the night sleeping on the floor with him; my blanket was a favorite of his and it seemed to comfort him for awhile. At 4:30am we awoke to his labored breathing and realized that he could no longer walk. I carried him down the steps, crying and telling him that he was the best dog and how much we loved him. He licked my face, one last time, and Jay brought him to the emergency vet.

Within an hour, his heart stopped beating. Jay was with him as he took his last breaths.

My family is devastated. I know that’s a strong word but there’s really no other to explain how we feel. We miss our best buddy, our healer, our protector from possums (but not steps, thunder, lightning or bees), our first “kid” and our “big brother”. We miss our pack member, who placed himself just below the kids in order of rank, but grumped about it on the regular.

The house is quiet. Too quiet. I write while all family members are at their respective places when they aren’t smashed into our 1600 square foot home. When they are here, I can’t think straight. When they are gone, I can’t stop thinking.

I can’t stop thinking I see Jack out of the corner of my eye or hear his feet gently padding the floor.

I’ve continued with my streak, getting my miles in, even though right now I’d be lying if I said it was anything more than just going through the motions. My mind wanders to wondering if there was something more we could have done or if we could have seen this coming any earlier than we did. I cry randomly for no other reason than I miss him.

I’m sad and miss my friend.


I know it will get easier eventually.

But not yet.

27 thoughts on “Goodbye Jack Daniel

  1. Aw, Meri, this must’ve been tough to write. I remember when both my dog and then, more recently, my sister’s first dog (who I saw basically as my own) passed away. It was so hard.

    I know you know that time will heal. So until then, I offer all my love and cyber hugs. <3

  2. My heart is broken for you and your family, Mer. You know what a dog lover I am…so I can only fathom the pain and sense of loss you are experiencing. Hugs and love to you during this hard time. sniff.

  3. So sorry to read about the passing of your beloved Jack. I can imagine the heart ache and amount of tissues you must have gone through writing this tribute. It will get easier; it will take time but he’ll always be with you in your heart!

  4. I know this feeling all too well and while the pain of loosing someone doesn’t really ever go away, the love we have for them doesn’t either. That love is what allows you to move forward and heal. I promise it will get easier, but it’s okay to miss Jack and be sad. Love you, Mer.

  5. Sorry, Meri and family. Was shocked when I read your post, cos I didn’t think that Jack was sick, and had just seen Jack (although, of course, he wanted no part of Teddy!). Big hugs to you all. xo

  6. Ah, I am so sorry. Losing any sort of friend is hard and I am grateful you have your family around you… sounds like Jack had an absolutely wonderful life with you and will always hold a special place in your heart. Sending you lots of hugsssssssss!

  7. 🙁 I still replay our dog Ripple’s last day in my mind from time to time. It is so sad and so hard when you don’t know if they really understand what’s happening. I know that all the love you and the family gave Jack is still with him. It never dies. (((hugs)))

  8. I’m crying for you, the family, and Jack. Don’t second guess yourself and your choices about the care you provided. You did everything right. It was sudden, but perhaps that’s a blessing because he didn’t suffer. He loves you all very much, and is grateful for the wonderful forever home full of love that you gave him. Hugs to you all.

  9. Oh my god I’m so sorry! I literally choked up reading this! I’ve been there before so I know how hard it is but it does get better. Just think that you were there for him in the end and he probably really appreciated that. I hope you feel better soon <3

  10. Thank you all so much for your love. It shines through your words and I appreciate it more than I can properly express. <3

  11. I’m so sorry! When our cat died, it took awhile before I stopped expected to see him in his favorite spots. Devastated is not too strong a word–pets are special. Hang in there.

  12. Love you and Jack so much. He was so lucky to call you family, and you all were blessed to have him as your faithful companion for 11 years. It’s so hard, and I don’t think it gets less sad, per se. Time just blurs the pain. <3

  13. Mer, I’m SO SO SO sorry. I’ve lost a few furry ones myself. Devastated is not too strong a word at all. It only begins to scratch the surface of how hard it is and how much it hurts. He was family. Sending you virtual hugs.

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