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Dog Love: It’s Still Worth the Heartache of Goodbyes



Where, oh where has my little dog gone?

She ‘s still here in body though her mind wanders and takes her body in circles when she’s not sound asleep. Little Mary Moo is the last of the 5 five pack. She’s a medium sized dog really, but the smallest one of the pack that was. She’s almost blind and virtually deaf and at the age of 17, slowly and steadily declining. She used to be a feisty girl, full of life. Her obnoxious bark and enthusiasm for catching little animals suggests a beagle/terrier mix. But she doesn’t bark anymore, and the only thing she catches is her bed which she attacks sometimes still to try to make it into a nest.

Mary and David

David is helping old Mary Moo settle down from her pacing.

The thing I’ve been avoiding writing about (besides politics) is the passing of Doodle Bug. She crossed over the rainbow bridge a few weeks ago. I’ve started two other posts about her passing. Maybe I’ll actually publish this one. Doodle was full of life, too. You might have read about her here on my blog – the crazy coon hound who learned how to open the refrigerator. We still have a lock on the refrigerator so her ghost won’t get in and eat the leftovers.

We found out several months ago that she had kidney disease and a mast cell tumor. The tumor shrank significantly with oral Prednisone pills which made her even crazier. I was still in the mountains taking care of my granddaughter when David called me and told me the tumor had grown to the size of a grapefruit and had opened up. The Prednisone wasn’t helping anymore. David had to say goodbye to Doodle without me. It seems unfair because she was so full of life until the last couple of days. But she was about 13 and a big dog, so maybe it’s more than fair that she went downhill quickly and didn’t suffer long.

Here’s a picture of Doodle being good.


When Mary crosses over, there will be no dogs in the house for the first time in 30 something years. For most of my adult life, there has been at least one dog in the house, usually two, and for a while there was the 5 pack. It will really feel like an empty nest. Yes, there will be more freedom, but it will be strange. We’ll have to travel more. We’ll get to travel more. Sigh.

One thing I know for sure is that dog love is worth the heartache of saying goodbye. Every single time. It’s worth it. The happy joy, the unconditional love, the unquestionable honesty, the spontaneous antics, the comforting snuggle, these things make the heartache bearable.  I can’t imagine a world without dog love, or a heaven without dog love. So I’m counting on seeing them all again, some time, some how,  some where.

sun dog with dogs

Sun dog and dog shaped clouds. A Rainbow Bridge?

Here’s the prompt that got this post started:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “where.” Start your post with the word “where” and write whatever comes to you. Bonus points if you end your post with “where” too. Enjoy!   __ Linda G. Hill

To learn more about the stream, visit:

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

44 thoughts on “Dog Love: It’s Still Worth the Heartache of Goodbyes

  1. Thank you for sharing!!.. there is a moment of time when they cease being a dog and become a loving member of the family1.. Doodle is not dead but lies in your heart and goes wherever you go… 🙂

    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there, I do not sleep
    I am a thousand winds that blow
    I am the diamonds glints in the snow
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain
    I am the gentle autumn rain
    When you awaking in the morning hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight
    I am the soft star that shines at night
    Do not stand by my grave and cry
    I am not there, I did not die
    (Mary Frye)

  2. Aww, Sorry to hear you lost a beloved friend JoAnna, and hope when the time comes Mary Moo’s crossing is a peaceful one. They have by the sounds of it wonderful long doggy lives,
    Our pets certainly are family and yes it will seem so strange for a while without a four legged running around
    Take care of yourself JoAnna..
    Much love ❤

  3. Sorry about Doodle Bug. Mary Moo is the same age as our granddog, Scooby

  4. I am so sorry for your loss and the sadness that ensues. When we love, we open our hearts and we grow more capable of loving again. I hope writing has helped. I send you understanding and compassion. It is indeed an amazing love, worth suffering the loss.

  5. I know exactly how you feel. Sorry about Doodle Bug.

  6. I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my beloved dog 2 years ago and I still missed her very much. I know how you feel.

  7. Joanna, sending hugs for the loss of Doodle and for having to watch Mary decline. I hope you and your husband have sweet moments with Mary before she, too, crosses the bridge. It’s never easy to lose our fur babies. ❤

  8. JoAnna, I’m saddened to hear that you’ve lost your beloved Doodle and that Mary Moo will be joining her soon.

    By the way, I’ve never heard of a dog who can open a refrigerator. I wonder what else our dogs are learning from us.

    Coming from a world where dogs were mainly kept as watchdogs and not as house pets, I’ve only come to learn about “dog love” since moving to the US. After being traumatized by vicious dogs, I’ve not yet been able to share in such “dog love.” Though, I must confess, some dogs I’ve met are simply adorable and lovable ❤

  9. beautiful reflection of your loved one, JoAnna!
    sweet pictures to cherish & remember.
    wishing you continued caring moments with Mary Moo.
    my old Fang crossed over a week ago.
    he’s still providing smiles from his adventure earlier this year.

  10. I am very sorry for your loss. Some FB friends and I are of the like-minded opinion that losing a pet is just as hard as losing a human friend or relative. Our doggies love us unconditionally. They are family. There’s a reason they say all dogs go to heaven.

  11. You are right. The love is worth the pain. So sorry for your loss and can only hope all the happy memories take the place of tears very soon.

  12. Beautiful post and much love and comfort to you through these last days. ❤

  13. Sorry for the loss of your dogs. It is good when they don’t suffer. It sounds like Doodle was happy right up to the end.

  14. Awww … I’m so very sorry 😥 We have lost 5 of our furry family members over the past 2-3 years and every one hurts, but I’m with you … the love is still worth the pain of losing them. We are down to five now, but I cannot imagine a household with none. My heart goes out to you and to Mary Moo. ❤

  15. Pet loss is so sad. Every time. I’m sorry you’re going through that grief and I understand how you struggle to write it out. Big hugs to you.

  16. I can relate to this so much. Doodle bug will always live in your heart. Nothing can take away the memories that you have. The pain and heartbreak are inevitable. They say that a pet’s death can cause you much more grief than a relative’s. And I totally agree. Dogs’ live too short a lifetime compared to humans, but all that pain and heartbreak is truly worth it as so you so aptly described. But know this much, they are in a better place and the last thing they want is to see you being sad.
    Congrats on mustering the courage to actually write about it! My Rocky crossed over the rainbow bridge nearly 4 years ago. The journal entry that I made on that day still makes me cry whenever I read it. At times, I fee;l he’s watching over me, waiting till we can meet again. Him and my dear Peggy, my two furry friends whom I’ll miss dearly for the rest of my life.

    • I’m imagining Rocky running happy with his friends when he’s not watching over you. Thank you for the reminder that “the last thing they want is to see you being sad.” I had forgotten that. Doodle was pretty self-centered (and happy) most of the time, but the one time she heard me crying, she came to me with great concern, looked from me to my husband, and nuzzled me. Yes, she would want me to be happy.

      • Sometimes we tend to forget that. I used to cry a lot in the days following his passing. Then a friend of mine who had lost his own furry friend gave me this bit of advice. It really helped me come to terms with my grief. I’m just passing it on. Ohh dogs are the most noble creatures. Let’s hope both Rocky and Doodle are having a great time, chasing after butterflies and their own tails. Take care. ❤️

  17. So sorry for your loss. A dog gives unconditional love throughout its whole life to us no matter how its treated and I agree that it is worth going through the terrible heartache of loss than to have never had known the love of a dog

  18. Your words resonate deeply with me, as we lost our beloved Baxter the Staffydoodle just last week. He was a rescue dog, we think he was thirteen, and now our home feels empty. Before Baxter we had Toby the Yorkshire Terrier. I know we need to rescue another dog but we will do it when the time is right. I grew up with dogs and my family all have dogs now, so I feel a huge sense of loss.

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