In Memoriam.

Sometimes in the park or even around my neighborhood I’ve seen lost pet signs. I always stop and take down the contact information just in case, although I’ve never seen a loose dog running around our area. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to lose a pet like that and never know what happened to them. There was one time, not long after my wife and I were first married, that we accidentally left the gate open. We had three dogs. Two wandered out into the neighborhood. The third, the oldest, a tall skinny dog named Jacob who was also my wife’s first Dalmatian, stayed in the yard and barked to let us know what had happened. After we got Jacob inside we drove around the neighborhood and found the other two just one block over. They both seemed relieved to see us.

Of course losing any well-loved pet is hard, even if you’re with them at the end and get that chance to say goodbye. Because every pet is unique every loss is too, which is why they never get any easier. There are only two things I’ve found that help a little: time and being around others who know how it feels. Even years later talking to someone about a loss can help. It brings up the pain, but it brings up the love and the joy too.

I’ve never met Elizabeth but I hope sharing Buster helped her. I hope she knows it helped others.

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  1. mydangblog

    This is so beautiful and sad. Losing a dog, whether out the gate temporarily or out of our lives forever is horrible. I’ve been through both and it can still bring me to tears.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s never easy to let go of a dog, or, I’ve found, any pet, really–they become so much a part of our lives and I feel so completely responsible for all of them. I’m still just glad Buster got to love and be loved by someone.


    Thank you for all the beautiful feelings in this post, my friend.

  3. M.L. James

    This was heart-wrenching, Chris. When we lost Gizmo (I still grieve), I remember being told that while it would never replace our beloved pup, my husband and I had the opportunity to give a great home to another dog from the animal shelter who also needed a chance to love and be loved in return. There are so many out there who need good homes. So we did just that. We got Niblet. And she was just as beloved as Gizmo. I hope Buster’s human is able to do the same when she’s ready.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You’ve brought up something really important here: no dog can ever really be replaced. Our oldest dog is the son of one we lost a few years ago, and our middle dog is his grandson. And while I see a little of him in each of them they’re also very unique and special in their own ways too. I know we can never replace the ones we lose but I’m glad they leave us with the ability to love again.


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