A letter to my dog, who is dying


Sorry for the eyes- the 'fix animal red eye' function of Picmonkey leaves much to be desired

Dear Fudge,

Thank you for eating today’s hot dog. You’ve bought us all twelve more hours until the inevitable. And maybe twelve more after that, if you’ll let me feed you another. This morning, when it took two of us to guide you to the door, and still your legs splayed out four times, I thought we had run out of time. But you revived. Found your footing. Ate the hot dog. The walking, at least, would be simpler if you stayed on the carpet or your bed.

You are old. Eleven. You have dysplasia in front and back. And yet, you will sleep on the hardwood.

Every morning still, you tack down the hall, asking to go to the bathroom at three or five, your bladder still waking you before dawn. The sound rattles down my spine. And yet I will miss it. And the tick of your walking is nothing to the thunder of silence that will be your absence. I will tear a hole in this green earth asking why. Why the thunder? Why the thunder? Why the thunder?

But there is no question I can ask, no song I can sing, no food I can feed you that will reverse this . And the thunder echoes so loudly here. I can barely hear you for the silence.


As you can see, the computer dudes at Office Depot have gotten the motherfucking Pink Slip virus OFF MY machine. The computer is better. The dog is … not. This has been coming, and Scott and I are looking at things pretty clear eyed. The time will come soon, very soon, when we have to admit that we can be kinder to our pets than to each other. (Those are my mother’s words, by the way). The kids are sad. We’re sad. The dog is…flipping hilarious. Is it OK if I admit he made me laugh out loud twice today?

Like when he took the hot dog. He’d been rejecting things. Dog food’s been off his menu for a week. But he turned down Lunch meat. Plain broth. Everything. And then, I wandered through the room eating MY lunch, and suddenly the dog was scrambling up to standing, and he devoured it and half of another in two giant ‘Jesus, there’s the dog I knew’ gulps. Even though he rejected the hot dogs as beneath him just yesterday. Whatever appeals dude.

Then heading out, he was in a hurry, didn’t want to wait for me to support his legs, and so he kept going faster like maybe speed would fix the sliding. And for reasons I cannot fathom, it worked. And when I got to the door to open it, he looked back at me like, “See, I got this Mom.” But then it failed colossally the next time he tried it, and he looked so damned apologetic.

Anyway, this is my extremely weird and metaphorical thunder for Trifecta.


About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


A letter to my dog, who is dying — 34 Comments

  1. Oh, JQ, I’ve been there. I’m sorry you’re going through this, but happy that you can still find little bits of joy with him.

    I feel I ought to say something about the writing, too. This completely broke me: “I will tear a hole in this green earth asking why. Why the thunder? Why the thunder? Why the thunder?”
    Hop over and visit Christine’s recent post Before the ThunderMy Profile

    • Thank you so very much. I’m sorry I didn’t respond right away. We’ve been in chaos mode here talking to the vet and making preparations and getting the kids ready.

  2. JQ, your letter is just heartwrenching, and your anecdote is touching. I understand the fleeting joy of seeing his old self. (I’m a dog person, clearly.) Glad to see you’re back online 😀
    Hop over and visit Tamyka Bell’s recent post RefugeeMy Profile

    • Thanks Annabelle. Dogs worm into our hearts so completely. He’s so wrapped up in some memories that it will be hard to do the same things without him another time.

  3. I have never had pets but I can understand that it must be heartbreaking to see him slipping away. Sorry to hear about him. And this is a post full of love.
    Hop over and visit Ruby Manchanda’s recent post The ThunderMy Profile

  4. Great use of the word this week, although it is terribly sad and I’m sorry you are having to go through this. I haven’t lost a dog in many years, but when I lost my kitties I was devastated. I hope you’re able to enjoy the time you have left with your pup.

    • We’re having a fine last weekend with him. He’s been accepting random treats from everyone in the family, which is good.

  5. Oh Jessie, these posts break my heart. Watching someone we love die is so hard, even when we all have a sense of humor about it. Here’s a big hug for you.
    Hop over and visit Andra Watkins’s recent post Pearls Ain’t FreeMy Profile

  6. Ohhhh!!! JQ, this hits so close to home for me. I have an almost 14 year old Lab here that I am trying to keep moving, literally, until my kids get home from school tomorrow…because, I promised I would and I don’t usually make promises. I understand the task at hand and the clip, clip, clip of the nails on the hardwood and sleeping there and lifting to get up (cancer in the hips). And the “yelping”. It hurts. I’m sorry you’re there.
    Hop over and visit Gina’s recent post Impending Chaos But I’m So Ready For It!My Profile

    • Oh Gina, I’m so sorry. I hope he hung in there for his kids. Those final goodbyes are so important. When I was fifteen, I was getting ready to spend a week with grandparents halfway across the country, and a horse kicked my cat. We took him to the vet, but it was pretty clear it was hopeless. I BEGGED, “Don’t let him put my cat to sleep while I’m gone”. And god love him, that vet did everything he could to keep Trooper with us a few more days so I could get back home to say goodbye, but the cat was suffering, and Mom had to call me for permission to let him go midweek. It was so hard, and made worse by (these were my paternal, not my beloved maternal grandparents) a set of grandparents who kept saying “well don’t let a cat wreck your vacation”. (And I didn’t, but I still wanted to bop both of them for saying it.)

  7. Hey Jessie, Sorry to hear about your dog. It’s hard when the hurt you see in them becomes the biggest part of what you see. I hope that the memories are stronger than the silence after the thunder has faded.
    Hop over and visit k~’s recent post Stormy (Trifecta WK25)My Profile

    • I think they will be, and I think we’re making a few new ones this weekend, but it’s hard. Even just responding to comments here is difficult because they make me think about what’s coming. But it’s cathartic, too, because it’s so touching to know so many people care.

  8. Beautiful letter, but sad story. They just get in there under our skin and wend their way into our hearts, where they stay long after they are physically gone. There’s nothing like the unconditional love a dog bestows.

    • Yes they should. I’ve had pets all my life, except for a few years in grad school and just after Caroline was born. We’re all going to mourn this guy.

  9. I need a tissue. This is so sad. I’m glad Fudge still has some good moments and yes, it’s okay that you have laughed twice. I believe your dog would rather see you laughing than crying.
    Hop over and visit jannatwrites’s recent post Other PlansMy Profile

    • That’s very true. He is a good old guy, and he likes it best when we’re happy. He doesn’t understand what’s happening to him or why we keep crying at him.

  10. Thank you for linking up to Trifecta this week. I’m so sorry that your old friend is struggling. This is an amazing tribute to the very real bond that can happen between people and their pets. Thank you for that.
    Hop over and visit trifecta’s recent post Trifecta: Week Twenty-fiveMy Profile

    • Thanks guys. I had something else written (oddly, it will work for this weekend with only a little revision) but this suddenly overtood it.

  11. I just had to go over and hug my furbabies. We’ve only had them a little over a month but I love them so much and dread they day they are gone. i’m sure he felt all of your love each and every day.
    Hop over and visit Melinda@LookWhatMomFoundandDadtoo!’s recent post On to Week 2My Profile

  12. {{{{hugs}}}} Letting go is so, so hard. I’m pretty sure, though, that they let us know when it’s time. The last one we had was kitty, which prompted the acquisition of little dog. We still miss him…….
    Hop over and visit TikkTok’s recent post Mother- Trifextra Week(end) 16My Profile