Saying Goodbye

Deb D’Andrea, Nederland.  Over the past couple of weeks, many friends and clients have said goodbye to their canine and feline companions due to various issues. It’s been a whirlwind of sadness and emotion.  What always surprises me is how some people say, ‘well, it’s just a dog or just a cat’ as if you aren’t supposed to feel the loss of their presence in your life.  For many, the pain and loss is greater than losing a human loved one.  You are losing a loved one, a family member, a part of your pack.

Everyone has a different grieving process, with some going through the grieving process quickly and others experiencing years of remorse; asking themselves, did they try hard enough to save them? How could they have changed the outcome? All the unanswered why’s can be overwhelming.  Then working through the empty space they leave in your heart, the sadness when you see a toy or remember walking a trail with them by your side.  Even if your companion’s passing was a positive thing due to old age, health issues or other issues, it’s never easy to say goodbye.

Our positive memories of time spent with our companions, our brief history and the fun shared with them, and remembering the lovely times together can help to work through the grief.  Grief is a very personal emotion, and for children, losing a pet may be their first experience with death.

When I was a kid we had to put a kitty to sleep because it was beyond rehabilitation by the time it was left on the front door of my house. We had saved so many, but this poor kitty was just too far gone. To this day, I understand we did the right thing, my parents explained to me what was going on and that we had to do the humane thing and put the kitty to sleep.  At a very young age I understood that sometimes you’re just too sick, your body has failed, that it’s time to say goodbye, and I thank my parents for explaining to me what was going on.  I feel that experience has helped me deal with the death of companions I’ve had throughout my life.

With that said, I also know it’s a very hard topic, as several of my friends never understood and never had their parents explain these difficult topics to them.  It’s not easy, even if it is the decision that makes the most logical sense.  I have several who call me, ask me to come over, and ask if it’s time.

A big hug goes out to all who have had to put their beloved companion to rest, who are now at Rainbow Bridge.  While a difficult decision moving forward, every time I add to my pack I know one day I’ll be making that decision again, but I wouldn’t change a thing, as I love having these wonderful, loving beings in my life.

Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and will visit your home or Vet’s office to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2017 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order.  For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email:

Deb D'Andrea

Deb D’Andrea a columnist for The Mountain-Ear. She is the founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz which provides mobile Canine Massage, Canine Agility and Petz Nanny Services. Her home-made dog treats are sold at local stores, and 4TheLuvOfDogz K9Birthday Cakes are available direct. Deb Petz Nanny’s for dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, etc. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email. Online: 4TheLuvOfDogz