simple is beautiful

Heartbroken

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Sunday evening Mattie Gray, our beloved 11 1/2 year old Weimaraner, fell ill.  Her stomach had been upset several times over the years and usually it was nothing.  So we decided to move her bed into our bedroom and close the door keeping her with us for observation until morning. Around midnight I awoke to go to the bathroom and found her under our bed swollen and moaning.  Her tummy was full of gas and I knew she needed immediate care.  My husband and I scooped her up and headed to the emergency care facility in town.  We were in our pajamas, frantic, but trying our best to save our dog.  An assistant brought out a cart to carry Mattie Gray when we arrived.  My husband and I agreed to x-rays, blood work, basically whatever it would take to save her.  We loved our girl with all our hearts.  Still do.  X-rays showed that her stomach had flipped requiring surgery or euthanasia and we opted for surgery.  We went home and waited for a call. I was certain that she would be fine and we would be able to bring her home in a couple of days. Sadly, we received a call around 4:00 Monday morning and were informed that her stomach was in bad shape and euthanasia was the most humane option.


Even though Mattie Gray was in her golden years, we still saw the playful puppy in her.  Sunday was like any other day.  We took her for a walk, she chased squirrels, and she still had her ridiculously funny ways that made us laugh.  Life was good.  In the back of my mind, I knew her days were numbered (the average life expectancy of a Weim is around 11-12), but I didn't think we would lose her that day.


We've had to put dogs to sleep before and know firsthand that it is never easy.  Whether sudden or slow, saying good-bye to a pet is one of the most painful experiences - even when it's "the right thing to do".  The only difference this time around was that Mattie Gray was the sister to our boys.  She was the dog our sons grew up with.  She was a friend when we needed one, the goober when we needed a good laugh, the watchdog who kept us safe because enemies where everywhere :), a friend to many and always, always our faithful companion.


The other thing that makes this so painful is that in the past we always had a dog to come home to. Mattie Gray was an "only dog".  So there's no one here to greet us when we come home.  There's no dog here to hug and devote all our attention to - she gave the best hugs by the way.


There's no dog here to bark to let us know someone is out there.  My heart is empty.  Everywhere I look I see signs of her. The nose prints on the windows, the toys she played with daily, her beds and blankie, treats on the kitchen counter.  I could go on and on.


I know time heals all wounds, but Mattie Gray was an important member of our family.  She taught us the true meaning of unconditional love - a great example for our sons.  There was nothing like being greeted by her after a 5 minute or 5 hour outing!  Both were equally enthusiastic greetings.  It's so incredibly hard to know that we will never see her again and that this chapter of our lives is over.  I'm sure in time we will reminisce and laugh about all the silly things she used to do.  As Mom said, she lived a colorful life.  And that she did.


Mattie Gray, may you have endless dog treats, long sniff walks, and turn down service every night. Thank you for being part of our family.  We miss you so much sweet girl.  There will never be another you.



81 comments:

  1. My heart is breaking for you. I know exactly how you are feeling. Great tribute to your sweet Maddie Gray.

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  2. I'm bawling, Rene. And i have to face 32 high schoolers in just a few minutes. I feel like I knew Mattie Gray. I love how she was a part of your blog because she was such a huge part of your life. I will be praying for you and all 3 of your men. You gave he a wonderful life. Much love to you.
    Mandy

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    1. She gave us a wonderful life as well. Good luck with those teenagers today Mandy.

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  3. I know this pain all to well. We went through this with our golden retriever. She was lucky to be part of your family. Hugs and prayers.

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  4. I am so sorry. I still grieve for my Gretchen, whom we had to let go 10/22/13. I will say that many years ago (different pet), I bought the children's book, _Dog Heaven_ for my kids after we lost another pup. I think it may have comforted me more than it did them! It is so very hard. I still have to constantly remind myself (loving on another senior dog right now) that I'm so blessed to have these creatures to love (and to love me!), even though it's so heartbreaking to let them go...

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    1. Children's books are the best sometimes and pets are a blessing.

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  5. Oh God Rene when I saw that on FB I had to pull over. I just couldn't believe it and was so sad for you. That is the same thing that happened to my poor Zipper only they were able to help him and perform the surgery [at 5 years old]. The only problem is her was never the same after that and delt with bloat all the time. I finally had to put him down because of it. I know you must be so lonely without her to keep you company. There is NOTHING like coming home to that cute face. My heart just breaks for you.

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    1. You've been through so much recently with your pups, but now you have sweet Cami to hug. We were worried about the outcome if she did survive, but when you have to make a life or death decision in a minute it's so hard to know what to do. Thankful she isn't hurting now.

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  6. So very sorry for this. I'm sure you already know though, how much Mattie Gray will live on in your family's hearts. She will never completely be out of your lives! I still am reminded of my former doggy best friend by little things that seem to happen so often--a scent, a similar looking dog, a story told. Your boys will always remember her and their love for her. Okay, now I have to go cry my eyes out!

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    1. You are right, there are so many great memories to cling to.

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  7. Our beloved Basset had the same thing with the same outcome. This is one time where I can say I know hoe you feel. Pets are just the greatest gift !!!

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    1. So tragic and happens so quickly. Gifts for sure!

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  8. rene, my heart is broken for you. i don't have words because i know how hard it is to lose a beloved dog. all i can say is i am sorry for your pain, but so happy that she lived a wonderful life with her people.

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    1. Thank you Cassie. Your words mean so much.

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  9. Rene, I have been thinking about you and your family non stop since yesterday when I saw the sad news on FB. I was telling my husband last night about Mattie Gray with tears in my eyes. I loved Mattie Gray the minute I discovered your blog many years ago. What a beautiful blessing Mattie Gray was to your family and You all to her. She was so so loved. Thinking of you all and sending love and big hugs,

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    1. Thank you so much Allison. You have always been a sweet member of MG's fan base. :) Hugs to you.

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  10. Sorry for your loss of Mattie Gray. When we open our hearts to pets they truly become part of the family!!

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    1. Thank you Darlene. Yes, they are a huge part of the family.

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  11. Rene, I am so very sorry for your loss. Mattie Gray was beautiful. I know the pain very well. We just said goodbye to our Gwen on Feb 23. Sometimes I wake at night thinking I heard her tag on the tile floor. Keeping you in my prayers.

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    1. So sad. It's so hard when you think you hear them and then realize it isn't so.

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  12. My heart goes out to you and your family because I know that you truly are heartbroken....you have lost a beloved member of your family, and it does feel as if your heart is broken. You gave Mattie Gray a wonderful life, full of love, which I know she felt...Hugs to you all xo

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    1. Thank you Patricia. I only wish that she didn't suffer that night.

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  13. I am sorry for your loss! Our fur babies bring such joy and are most certainly members of our families. Please know I am keeping you in my prayers and sending a hug!

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  14. I am so very sorry for your loss. You wrote a great tribute to Mattie Gray. Sending hugs! ;)

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  15. dear rene
    i am a new subscriber to your blog and deeply know your pain as my "soul dog" had to be put down 2 weeks ago. she had cancer and we tried everything then one night she was in horrible pain and we knew. i too "see" him everywhere and it is gut wrenching.
    i am so sorry all of you are going through this, particularly the dog your boys grew up with. it sounds like she was the perfect family member.
    it does get better and you all, will grieve, deeply, and will know what is right for you. hoping your "landing" is gentle
    debra

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    1. Thank you Debra. My husband, son, and I keep thinking we see or hear her and then realize. I'm sorry for your recent loss.

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  16. Saying goodbye to our beloved pet is one of life's hardest experiences & I'm heartbroken for you. Please take some comfort knowing she's happy with my Weimaraner Arlie (female) who sadly we said goodbye to on April 12th 2015. Just like Mattie Gray our pooch gave us years of happy times & if all it takes is love to keep them alive then our beloved buddies would never leave us.

    Barb (Canada)

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    1. If only love could do that. I'm sorry for your loss. Weims hold a very special place in my heart.

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  17. Oh this just made me cry...your sweet dog...I am so very sorry. Maybe someone else already gave you this (I haven't read other comments), but here is the link to The Rainbow Bridge...I hope it brings you comfort. https://rainbowsbridge.com/Poem.htm

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    1. Thank you for the link. I hope it's true :)

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  18. I'm so sorry that Mattie passed. I know the pain and heartache of losing a beloved dog. They are our friend and loyal companion. Always missed.

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  19. I to know how you feel. We lost our labradoodle, Kirby, on Friday. She was almost 12. It was an unexpected event. There was no time to prepare. My heart is broken too.

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    1. Oh no. Sending warm thoughts your way.

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  20. So very sorry for your loss! She was a beautiful pup!! I completely understand where you are coming from and it is truly the hardest thing. We have/had three fur babies. Two we adopted froth SPCA before our boys were born. They LOVED there baby brothers, 10 and 12, immensely and always helped to take care of the boys even though they were cats. I know people say cats do not have personalities like dogs but we have/had both and the kitties truly had just as strong of personalty as our beloved miniature doxie. Sadly back in August we had to say good bye to our Max. He was almost 14. We adopted him a year after we adopted his sister Sophie. It was hard to loose him. So very hard. Never in a million years did we ever think 6 months later we would have to say good bye to our Sophie kitty. She welcomed both our boys when we brought them home from the hospital by giving them kisses on the head. She truly was the mama kitty. It will be a month next week since we told her good bye and it still is tough even on our mini doxie Savannah who will be 4 in the summer. She walks around the house looking for her brother and sister from time to time. Truly heart breaking. Our Savannah makes things easier for our boys and us though. She always knows when we need an extra hug or kiss. Again sorry for your loss.

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    1. Pets complete a family, no matter the kind. I'm so sorry for your losses.

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  21. I am so sorry :(. I didn't want to read this because I knew I would be heartbroken for you and am sitting here with tears in my eyes. Will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. What a beautiful and sweet dog.

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    1. Thank you Amanda. She was the sweetest.

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  22. I'm so sorry to read this - a pet passing is heartbreaking. She was clearly a beautiful lady who was very loved <3

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  23. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our 13 year old sheltie 2 weeks ago and I still think I hear her coming around the corner. Any animal lover will tell you they are our children and a member of our family, but they are not on this earth long enough. They bring such joy, unconditional love and a warm hug whenever ones needed. I know our pups are playing above. Someone once told me that God created a heaven just for our loving pets. I like to think that's true. Wishing you peace.

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    1. I'm sorry for your loss. Yes, I know too well the sounds you are experiencing.

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  24. I'm so so sorry..... she's such a beautiful girl...

    I'm sitting here crying like a baby for it comes at a terrible time for me. My 4 1/2 year old aussiedoodle tested positive today for a tick borne disease. We're taking him in tomorrow morning for more testing and hopefully a round of antibiotics which will fix it. We have a friend who just recently lost his dog to the same disease and I'm terrified.... They are such a huge part of our families... maybe the most unconditional part of our families. Wishing comfort to your family right now....

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    1. Oh no. Best wishes for a full recovery for your sweet pup.

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  25. My heart goes out to you and your family, Rene. I am so sad for all of you. Losing a pet is so difficult. We lost one of our cats this past January so I understand your grief. Mattie Gray was deeply loved by your family and take comfort in the fact that she knew it.

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    1. Thank you Jane. I'm sorry for your loss.

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  26. I am so saddened by your news, and sorry for your loss. I am brought to tears with the memory of what it is to lose a sweet furry family member.
    Karen

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  27. Mattie Gray is a beautiful girl who was lucky enough to share a house with a family who loved her with all of their hearts. I know no words that can ease the pain of losing a beloved pet, they truly do take a piece of us with them when they leave. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  28. So sorry for your loss. We lost our beloved 15 year old beagle in January and it was such a shock, we were not ready to let her go, even though she had lived a good life. She still had quite a bit of life in her but had just been slowing down a bit. She passed away in her sleep while we were at school / work one day. We were not going to rush into it, but ended up adopting a sweet shelter dog a few weeks after we lost Molly, you can not replace in the same way but it is helping us all to heal by having a new loyal pup in the house

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  29. I am very sorry for the loss of your sweet dog.

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  30. Rene, I am so sorry for your loss. I couldn't hold back the tears reading your post. Those pictures are so endearing. I pray for you, your husband, your boys and your Mattie Gray! Love to all!!

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  31. I've lost two of my little senior dogs this year and it was so hard.
    The love of my life is my Great Dane and he's 10 1/2 and the thought terrifies me.
    There is nothing that can lessen the pain of losing such an important member of your family and I think it's even harder when it's so sudden.
    I couldn't help crying as I read this post but how wonderful that your Mattie was so greatly loved.
    I am so sorry for your loss, you have my deepest sympathies.
    xo

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  32. I'm so sorry! What a beautiful dog she was and I love her name! We have a 4 year old Golden Retriever and she's the dog growing up with my son. I pray every day that we have many more years with her. They become such a part of the family.

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  33. I am so sorry for your loss. You were both lucky to have each other. Our time with our pets is so short but knowing that never makes losing them any easier.

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  34. There is nothing like a dog's love or the love you have for your dog. I'm so sorry. Our Kipper's time is near, and the thought is unbearable. I pray for your hearts to be healed.

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  35. What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful, endearing Mattie. Though gone in body, I'm certain her spirit will live on with your family through your happy memories together.

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  36. I am so, so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. Losing a pet is so difficult because they are not just pets, they are part of the family. You gave her a beautiful tribute.
    Take care,
    Shelley

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  37. So, so sorry for your loss. I'm a cat person, but the impact is the same. I've said goodbye to three so far. What a beautiful tribute you wrote to Mattie. First time I had to say goodbye to one of my kitties, my vet sent me a letter with this quote: "Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears. But laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you. I loved you so-- Twas heaven here with you." It's from a poem by Isla Paschal Richardson. Hope it comforts you and your family.

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  38. I am so sorry and sad to hear this, René. Praying that your family feels peace during this difficult time. We all loved Mattie Gray through your writing, and I know that she was a wonderful part of your family. Take care of yourselves and God bless you all.

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  39. So so sorry for your loss. It's so hard.

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  40. My sweet friend, I've thought of you and your precious girl so many times since seeing this on IG (my Rio has had lots of extra hugs). You know she was one of my favorite blog dogs, you totally captured her fun personality and I'll so miss seeing her. xoxo

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  41. There is no other love like that of a dog. Everything you said is what we went through 6 months ago - the suddeness (is that a word?!), the empty house, the ripped open heart. Your boys were so lucky to have known her, learned from her and been loved by her. May God fill your wounded heart with lovely, happy memories.

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  42. I have three Weims so I know about how loving they are. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  43. They enter out lives and we finally understand what real love is, no matter if we are happy or sad they love us. If we are fat or skinny, rich or poor they love us. Dogs don't see color or race, they truly are the most perfect animal. My heart goes out to you and your family. Our family has said good bye to several doggie family members its never easy. You won't forget the turn of her head or the perk of her ears. She will remain in your hearts.

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  44. I believe there is a place where she now has endless dog treats, long sniff walks, and turn down service every night. I also believe that one day you will see her again. It's something that helps me get through difficult times. Hugs

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  45. Rene, I am so so sorry for you loss!! It's never easy.

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  46. Rene, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Pets are such a member of the family, and so many of us know exactly how you all are feeling. My prayers are with you!

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  47. Rene, I'm so sorry to read about your loss. I know your Mattie Gray was a special girl that will always have a piece of your heart. What joy she brought to your family and you to her!!

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  48. Sending lots of hugs and sympathy....Oh one of the hardest things to do.. Mattie Gray was such an important member of your family. But now she is in dog heaven running free with all of God's other beautiful creatures! I hope the kids are doing OK as I can only imagine their pain and feelings of loss... Blessings and prayers to all.

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  49. It's clear from your blog that you are a giving person. :) I am certain that your pup was on the receiving end of your generous spirit from not just you but everyone in your family. I am sure she knew how much she was loved and loved each of you back in the unspoken loyal ways only our beloved dogs can do. My heart sings for the the way she touched your lives and for the way you made her feel dearly special! May your Mattie Gray rest in peace and may your painful loss soon turn to sweet memories.

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  50. Oh man. I've been out of blogland for awhile, and I come back to read this. So, so sad. We lost our 14 year old Maddie Girl last spring and, as you know, it was excruciating. I had her before a husband and kids even. She was a big chapter in all our lives and is missed daily. I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your comments and read each and every one. Your questions will be answered here or you can email me at rene.cottageandvine@gmail.com

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