Family, Favorite Things, Life

Saying Goodbye

I know I said I wouldn’t write any personal posts until the kids went back to school but this past weekend we lost a family member.

Tink, my parents’ dog, died early on July 29th. It was unexpected, but not really because she had been sick for a few weeks before leaving us. But I say unexpected because when our pets leave us, it is always a shock, always too soon, and never something you plan for.

Losing a pet is the most difficult aspect of having one because they are never here for long enough.

I’ve written about Tinky here and there over the last seven years, and even though I never lived with her, she’s the dog in my life I’ve felt the most connected to (besides Buddy) for a variety of reasons, but mostly because she was the most loving dog they’d ever owned. Not to say the dogs I grew up with weren’t loving; they were in their own ways, but Tinky, she just loved my little family like we were a part of her life every day.

Tink, dog, love, rainbow bridge, saying goodbye

Dogs in tutu's are fun


She was fortunate to have my parents as her parents; they prioritized her needs over their own, treated her as if she were truly family, and loved her unconditionally.

For 11 years, she was the best companion to my parents. Helping them cope with my grandmother’s death, my mother’s cancer, and two major moves.

Thank you for taking such good care of my mom and dad for so many years, sister dog. I will always love you and be eternally grateful to you. Rest well, sweet puppy.

A Dog’s Purpose According to a Six-Year-Old 

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ‘I know why.’

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, ‘People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?’

The six-year-old continued, ‘Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.’

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Author, anonymous

18 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye”

  1. Oh, Kari. I am so sorry. It seems we have this in common, too. My parents had just such a dog (who we also referred to as my sister). Like your Tink, I think of her as the best dog I’ve known. She left us a few years ago, but I still miss her when we go to visit. All of which is to say, I get it. It’s a big loss. Stupid life, making our greatest joys the source of our greatest hurts. Sending you love.


  2. Well, shiiiit.

    Every good dog makes our world exponentially better. And saying goodbye is the absolute worst of the worst. I’m sorry you had to bid adieu to this sweet girl. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet her. I’m glad she was in your world.

    And no, I’m not crying. You’re crying. Sniff.


  3. I’m so sorry Kari. It is truly like losing a member of the family 😦 This was such a touching post and the story from the Vet about made me cry. Take care my sweet friend.


  4. I’m so sorry, Kari. It’s just awful to lose a pet loved one. They’re so genuine and loving and it never feels right or fair. Hugs to you guys ❤


  5. The pics of Tink in the tutu are still my favorites I will always have in my mind of her. She was a great dog and my heart goes out to you and your sweet parents. She gave love and was so loved in return.


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