Saying Goodbye to Abbie

Lauren and Abbie

The pain is so raw; worse than I ever imagined it would be. She is nowhere when she was everywhere just two days ago. Laying behind my chair as I work, sniffing under my feet in the kitchen and certainly begging for every bite of food that I prepared. My precious Abbie, given to my daughter Lauren as a Christmas gift over 15 years ago but once Lauren left for college it was just Abbie and I. Lauren even conceded just this week that yes, Abbie was MY dog. Although I would probably call her my youngest daughter, we love our dogs that way.

As I often did with my girls once they became teens; Christmas typically included some sort of homemade gift certificate, preferring with some requests to let them make choices and circumvent me spending a lot of time making a big decision that might not be exactly what they wanted. The time I put into making a certificate and trying to package it creatively always felt more special than just handing them money. Lauren had been begging for a puppy; we had an older rescue dog but she had never had a new puppy so I decided to surprise her for Christmas but wanted her to be able to choose her own pup. Enter the decorated gift certificate; that year it was for a dollar amount, enough for the fees for a Denver Dumb Friends rescue puppy, food, bed, dishes and whatever other accoutrements I thought necessary to get us started.

Lauren and Abbie

We were both excited and started looking at the Dumb Friends website immediately. None of the available dogs were in line with what either of us wanted; many were just too big or breeds I did not want to take a risk on. So, two weeks after Christmas I made an executive decision to let her look through the Classified Ads in the paper for a puppy. I had to up the ante to cover most that were listed but she found a family that had some Cocker Spaniel pups for sale within my price guidelines. I called to make an appointment, hoping to find a female was available and was a bit crushed that their only female was spoken for but the owner convinced me the boys were adorable and there was Lauren, with her beautiful sweet face saying, ‘Please Mom?’ Hey if she was OK with a boy, how could I refuse?

We drove across town and found their home in a comfortable neighborhood with tree lined streets and bungalow houses; this was no breeding facility but instead a family with two Cockers; one I think they ‘thought’ had been fixed so this litter was a surprise. We walked into the living room where the puppies were contained within a mesh enclosure and were greeted with a tumble of three tan puppies anxious for our attention. Sleeping across the way a bit was a grayish colored dog that I have to admit we didn’t pay much attention to.

abbie-broncos-puppieI’m sure I must have lamented at some point that we had hoped for a female but that the boys were cute and I’m sure we would find one to connect with. It was then that I was told that the female wasn’t going to be taken after all and she was available; that little gray dog we hadn’t really seen who was snoozing through her brother’s mayhem. The color was a turnoff but before I could object, the lady of the house said, ‘Before you decide you just have to see her face.’ She went and picked up the tiny bundle and brought her over to us and what can I say? She was right, it was love at first sight and watching her wake and snuggle into Lauren’s arms did not hurt her chances one tiny bit. The deed was done; we had our dog and the rest was history. Oh, except for one tiny thing of note. We decided to give her a bath when we got her home and I’m not even sure why but what a revelation. Seems the newsprint the family had shredded for bedding had worn off on her beautiful white coat. The gray washed down the drain and our duckling instantly turned into a swan. A gorgeous white Cocker Spaniel pup with some brown spots, brown ears and those big beautiful eyes.

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Abbie always loved people far more than other dogs; she didn’t dislike dogs or get into tussles with them, she was just clearly more fond of people. I’m recalling how Lauren and I socialized Abbie. We discovered all the places we could take her inside and she accompanied us to them whenever we ventured out for errands. Home Depot was a favorite; I’ve always been a fixer upper and Abbie was a constant in our cart. Container Store too and of course PetSmart. Everyone had to stop and pet the adorable white cocker pup and she ate up all of that attention. Summer found us making a weekly run to Dairy Queen drive-thru; the girls and I for an ice cream but I think mostly because they always had dog cookies at the counter for Abbie. She knew it too and soon every drive-thru elicited the same measure of excitement. Amazing how many people were swayed by her sweet face and even if not prepared, on more than one occasion we were presented with a couple of French fries or a kids hamburger just for the dog. Lauren made a special trip to get her a last treat from Good Times; a Pawbender sundae with vanilla custard, doggie biscuits and peanut butter that made Abbie especially happy.

Abbie did not have terminal cancer or a stroke or any type of medical emergency that had brought pain into her sweet life. No, she simply was reaching the end and the signs were numerous. Deaf and half blind, she was recently diagnosed with dementia and it was obvious to everyone that Abbie was different; that she was somehow not quite with us. What brought me to tears was her losing bearing of her surroundings. She got loose a couple of weeks ago in the middle of a bone chilling night when the temperature was -15 and she woke me to let her out. She started to just amble off; seemingly unaware of the dangers around us or the bitter cold. Ice and snow were just a small part of it; there were houses in various stages of construction and I was scared to death she would go inside one without stairs built to the basement and slip and fall. I was frantic but luckily had a good flashlight and an hour later I found her walking in a daze coming out of an open home. Grateful yes but even more aware of how much she was declining. She was freezing cold and yet had not made one move to come back home; I’m not sure she could have found home if she had wanted to.

She no longer let me know she had to go outside and I was trying to circumvent problems by taking her out every fifteen minutes, all day long. That was exhausting for both of us but I was somehow managing that effort and the mishaps that came with it. What I just could no longer bear for her was the fear she felt every time she woke up in her kennel; obviously not sure where she was. The cries were heart wrenching and I’ve described it as sounding as if wolves were at her heels. She might not have been in pain from a medical condition more evident, but I had always vowed that I would do the right thing and that I would NEVER let her suffer and my girl was suffering. She was not going to get better; we could only anticipate it getting worse and I’m most grateful for the counsel of our long time vet who agreed the time had come and urged me not to wait for a more catastrophic event which was surely bound to happen soon. Even Lauren agreed and we made peace with our decision and Abbie left this earth in our arms with a cookie being the very last thing she would remember. Even our vet cried; he knew she was a very special little dog.

abbie-new-house

Making the right decision for your dog is hard; I’ve known too many people who keep dogs going because they can not let go. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I’m so grateful that she and I got to spend some time together again, just us, in our new home. She was happier and more settled in these surroundings; she just knew we were home again. I’ve cried a river of tears and though our last days had become increasingly difficult; those aren’t the days you remember. You remember parks and tennis balls and that sweet, sweet face that was always happy to greet you or ANYONE who came to the door. I always said instead of guarding our home, Abbie would help a burglar get in if it meant her head would be patted or her belly rubbed. Have cookies? She would give you a set of keys. She was everything you could hope for in a dog. A companion, a clown, a baby to snuggle with and just a constant source of love and joy. When she would be gone to the groomers I would miss her being underfoot even if it annoyed me when she was here. I will always miss her. But I know this. She left this earth peaceful, without pain and in the arms of people who loved her so very much. Safe travels Abbie; I hope you are surrounded by squirrels you can’t catch and tennis balls you can. That would be dog heaven for sure. We will love you forever.

I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything without a recipe and today I thought would be a first. Abbie loved all human food so of course I could have found a way to tie in anything from a salad to burgers to cake; heck she once ate a whole, RAW jalapeno so obviously was not too fussy but I was not in the mood to think or make something and doing so would have been so contrived. So I decided to just write this post because I needed to and accept that a recipe was not going to happen. Then I remembered the homemade dog cookies Abbie loved and how appropriate it would be for me to include a dog cookie on a post about our Abbie. We used to take her on outings to a place on Downing Street called Remingtons and buy her the best homemade dog cookies but one day I thought to make our own and these were a favorite. I don’t have a photo because this post was really about Abs; but make them for your dog. They so deserve it.

Lauren and Abbie
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Snickerpoodles

Author: Creative Culinary

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ¾ cups white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Mix vegetable oil, shortening , honey and eggs. Beat well.
  • Add flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Knead dough until mixed well.
  • Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls.
  • Mix the cornmeal and cinnamon together in a bowl and roll the balls in mixture.
  • Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Press the balls down with a fork.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes; cool on a rack. Store in airtight container

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66 Comments

  1. That. Face.

    They give so much love and expect so little in return. And that first moment when they’re gone, is the worst ever. The sadness, so unforgiving. And yours is so recent. Hugs to you, Barb!!

    1. I know…I need to find this photo of the two of them when we just got her; it was heart wrenchingly beautiful when she was alive but now I can barely look at it. I have to be honest though; her dying came on the heels of seeing my daughter through breast cancer and just months after my dad died. It was not a great year and her going sort of was the straw on my camel’s back. I’m strong but losing her when I really needed my little buddy around was doubly hard. Still; we made the choice and I never let her get to a place where she was suffering or dealing with further deterioration and I’m glad for that. It’s hard to do but it was the right thing to do. I have a friend who is sadly keeping a little dog alive that is just done and exhausted; his quality of life includes far too many medical procedures because they can’t let go; I feel sorry for him, not Abbie. You take care too and big hugs back!

  2. A beautiful tribute for your beautiful Abbie, Barb. I’m very sorry for your loss. I too had to make that difficult, painful and haunting decision last month also. My Dockers was 15 years/2 months. There are good days and bad days…times I’ll just start bawling. They fill so much of our life with unconditional love and happiness that when they leave us they leave such a hole and empty place. I hope you are finding some peace, comfort and enjoying happy memories of your little angel, Abbie. My thoughts are with you…

    1. Oh Cristina; every single thing you said to me I could say to you too. They were SO close in age; Abbie was born in October so to make it easy we just considered Halloween to be her birthday so she was just a bit older it sounds like. It’s a bit better now but the strangest things set me off and like you I just start bawling like a baby…writing those words for example. In four months both of my girls have moved out of state with their dogs that I also love and I lost Abbie. From 6 to zero almost overnight. Whew. I wish you all the same peace, comfort and having those happy memories start to take the place of sad ones. Thanks so much for sharing; simply one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through and you know EXACTLY how I’m feeling. Take care…Barb

  3. I have just finished reading your story about Abbie. I have cried through many of our Cockers deaths and once again, today, have cried through yours. Your heart will heal at some point and maybe a new puppy will enter your life to help fill the hole Abbie left. But nothing will ever replace your beloved Abbie. We now have a new puppy after having to put our last cocker down because of an enlarged heart 2 years ago. Although I love Heidi she will never replace Britney (my first Cocker), Sara (my second Cocker), Sebastian (my third Cocker) or Sadie (my last Cocker). I was raised with a Cocker so have a special place in my heart for the breed. Heidi is a German Shorthaired Pointer and so full of vim & vigor in comparison with a Cocker. Although I’m learning to love her, she will never replace my Cockers. My heart aches for you, but believe me when I tell you ” it will get better in time”. RIP beautiful little Abbie. She is now running with my Cockers in heaven waiting for her human “mom” to join her at some point. Personally, I can hardly wait for the licks awaiting me!

    1. Now you’ve made me tear up Suzanne; it’s been a month and I’m not crying all day or every day but I get teary when I think of her being gone forever. She was just the sweetest dog. She loved everyone and they loved her back and except for the occasional ‘accident’ in the house, she just never did anything wrong. Oh, wait…there was that pair of shoes once. 🙂 They are great dogs; I personally think they have the cutest faces of any dog but I probably thought that of the Irish Setter I loved equally that was my first dog on my own many, many years ago.

      I will miss her forever but I won’t be replacing her either. I have had someone to care for since I was a young girl; I’m going to see how it feels to have freedom from that and come and go as I please. A cat is so much more independent and allows that. No where near as fun either but I guess that’s the tradeoff huh?

    1. Thanks Anne-Marie; 2 weeks today and I still shed some tears every day but hey…she was worth it. It does get easier and I knew it was time. Doing the best for your dog doesn’t always feel like the best; I sure would love to kiss her head one more time! 🙂

  4. Barb, I am SO very sorry for your loss. I have also experienced the grief and pain of losing a pet. They are truly members of the family and not just a furry animal living in your home and their absence is heartbreaking once they’re gone. I loved reading about Abbie and thank you for sharing her with us. I’m definitely going to make Murphy a batch of these cookies in memory of Abbie. My thoughts are with you and your family. xoxo

    1. Thanks Kate; I knew I would miss her but will ill prepared for how much. Even if she slept most of the day I am so used to having her at my feet and sad each time I realize she no longer is. Just glad I had such a sweet dog that made such a long lasting great companion; we were lucky.

  5. My heart aches for you. It seems as though I could have written this myself. My beloved 14 year old chocolate cocker is going through the exact same thing. We know it is getting time to let him go. I remember the day my husband decided I could get him. Well Nash became his buddy. Many times I came home and found the two of them and the two cockatiels (birds) all together watching t.v. He has given us many many hours and days of enjoyment. Please remember, ” Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory no one can steal”

    1. It has been much harder than I expected; I miss her every single moment! Still; I know it was time and am glad we made a decision to end her suffering before it got bad; she deserved that even if I wish she were still here. It is never an easy decision Rochelle; I wish you the best as you find it ahead of you.

  6. Can’t imagine- So sad about Abbie. What a sad loss. You have had quite the year. Spring is coming and good things are just around the corner.
    xxx

  7. Barb, I am so sorry for your loss. Although I never had the privilege of meeting Abbie, I loved hearing about and seeing her in your posts here and on social media. Thank you so much for sharing the dog cookie recipe as well; I plan to make them this week for my dogs in Abbie’s honor.

    1. Thank you Hima. Not sure why I never posted any of the cookies before but I have a couple of recipes and I’ll fit them in occasionally; they are so much better than store bought treats although it’s not like Abbie cared. A cookie was a cookie and she loved them all!

  8. I am so sorry, Barb. I just wanted to stop and send you a {Hug}. I’ve been through this with several of my cats over the years, and it’s never easy- they’re just so much a part of you. I know how much you love Abbie and will always miss her. xox

    1. Thanks so much Renee; all of us who love our ‘fur’ babies like family know how hard it is; not quite sure I was prepared for how hard but I know it will get better. Hey…she deserved some tears and I’m making sure she is not disappointed! 🙂

  9. I’m so sorry for you loss. But you loving words were heard loud and clear over here. I am struggling with many of these same issues with my beautiful little muttster right now. He has good days and bad days and I wonder what’s right… I appreciate your insight and sharing. GREG

    1. You’ll know when it’s right for you Greg but in truth I’ve seen far too many people keep their pups around too long because they can not let go. Having them suffer any physical pain in hopes they’ll get better is one thing when they are young but we have to be realistic once they are aged; it’s only going to get worse! I miss her so much; I would love to kiss the top of her sweet little head just one more time but I did what I did for Abbie, not for me. Years ago I had neighbors that could not give up their aging and ailing dog. She was deaf and blind and had sores along her back and a problem with her back legs. It literally hurt to see her struggle. I know they loved her but they simply could not let go and that poor dog suffered far too long. I made a promise then to Abbie that I would never do that to her and keeping my word seriously one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Her decline the last few weeks was pretty rapid and I will be forever grateful we made the decision we did and that she never suffered a heart attack or cancer or a stroke or something that many would have to have to qualify such a tough decision. Dementia is as difficult in dogs as humans to understand but the reality of dealing with it as serious as other illnesses except she was not in physical pain. Thankfully. If you ever feel the need to talk; let me know.

  10. Barb–

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl. We have had the honor of being the forever home for some truly wonderful boys and I miss them every day. My husband and I read somewhere years ago that owning a dog ( or perhaps he or she owning you) allows you to see another color that others just don’t see. I think that is true. I hope each day gets easier for you and that you know she was just as lucky to have you and your family as you were to have her.
    –Page

  11. I had to write to you. I just began following ro your blog a few months ago. With tears in my eyes, I decided to read some emails today . . . just hours after putting our precious Abbie to sleep today, April 10th. I don’t know how to put it in words, I am so sorry for your loss, yet, am also trying to deal with the loss of our own beautiful 10 year-old Golden Retriever who had throat cancer. I also have a daughter named Lauren, although Abbie was the family dog and not only Lauren’s dog. I don’t know who “Raz” is in your blog post, but my name is “Roz”. I am always amazed at these kinds of serendipitous happenings in life. I hope that both of our hearts heal, and that our hearts and memories will always cherish our beautiful “Abbies”. May they both run in joyful health and happiness over the Rainbow Bridge.

    Amore’,
    Roz
    La Bella Vita Cucina

    1. Roz,

      I read your comment with tears in my eyes; you SO know what I’m feeling and that we have so many commonalities is amazing. I am so sorry for your loss too; and such a huge loss it is. Not a moment goes by that I’m not reminded of Abbie; she was a part of every part of my life and I miss her so much and yet I have no regrets even if I long for one more kiss on the top of her sweet head.

      It took Lauren a long time to admit that even though given to her as a gift, Abbie was the family dog and certainly my dog once they graduated from college and moved on! Still they had a special bond and I’ve got such sweeet memories of the two of them. Lauren is the one who taught her to retrieve the tennis balls she loved and place them on a tennis racket to be hit again. No dog slobber on hands during that play time? Priceless!

      Take good care; it will get better. It has to right? XOXO

  12. I am so sorry and know the pain you are going through as I sit here in tears. I had to make the decision for my dog that I had for 18 years 2 years ago and it was the hardest thing I every did. I still cry for her and dream about her many times a week. I truly know how much Abbie was loved. Abbie was a beautiful member of your family. Hugs to you and your family.

  13. Oh I am writing this comment through tears for you. I know how much you loved Abbie and what a sweet and special part of your life she was. My heart is breaking for you. Love and hugs from Kansas.

    1. Thanks Kristen; I knew this would be hard but I had no idea how deep the loss would run. When we love our dogs like family, well, it is just like losing a family member and the pain we’re suffering is overwhelming. I appreciate your kindness and now I’ll have to live vicariously through other pets…and yours is one that is so adorable I love doing that!

  14. Oy don’t I just know how you feel…. We have had to put two dogs to sleep, one only 7 years old. And now Marty has kept us on a roller coaster for a year and a half and each time we think it is nearing the end, we sit and try and work through the arguments and the emotions to make that final decision. But we aren’t there yet. We’ve talked about Abbie and about you and we know it was the best decision for both of you. That said, knowing it is right, never makes it easier, less painful and heartbreaking. An empty home is so hard to get used to. xoxo

  15. Gosh I’m so sorry Barb. Such sad news. Abbie looked such a sweet dog and was obviously very well loved. She was lucky to have you. Take care.

  16. Barb.
    My deepest condolences for your loss. The loss of a beloved dog is in my mind no less painful than the loss of a child. The pain is deep. The emptiness is all consuming. The helplessness is complete. Treasure the moments that you had with Abbie and know that she knew that she was loved as deeply as she loved you.

    I lost my little boy Oliver, a miniature Schnauzer, my first dog and my first child just over 2 years ago. Not a day goes by without a thought of that little guy who gave so much and demanded so little. The pain was so acute that I couldn’t bring myself to finding another four-legged friend until the pain of loss had numbed. The pain is slowly beginning to be replaced by fond memories. Someday soon I will find another little friend to share my bed, my dinner and my leisure time.

    Two things helped me cope. First were two beautiful poems which are below. Second some animal lover folklore, which I hope comes true for all that treasure the memories of a best four legged friend and hope to someday be reunited. Stay strong Barb. The pain will eventually be replaced by fond memories.

    I’M STILL HERE

    Friend, please don’t mourn for me,
    I’m still here, though you don’t see.
    I’m right by your side each night and day,
    And within your heart I long to stay.

    My body is gone but I’m always near,
    I’m everything you feel, see or hear.
    My spirit is free, but I’ll never depart,
    As long as you keep me alive in your heart.

    I’ll never wander out of your sight.
    I’m the brightest star on a summer night.
    I’ll never be beyond your reach.
    I’m the warm moist sand when you’re at the beach.

    I’m the colorful leaves when fall comes around,
    And the pure white snow that blankets the ground.
    I’m the beautiful flowers of which you’re so fond,
    The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

    I’m the first bright blossom you’ll see in the spring,
    The first warm raindrop that April will bring.
    I’m the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
    And you’ll see that the face in the moon is mine.

    When you start thinking there’s no one to love you,
    You can talk to me through the Lord above you.
    I’ll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,
    And you’ll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.

    I’m the hot salty tears that flow when you weep,
    And the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.
    I’m the smile you see on a baby’s face.
    Just look for me, friend, I’m everyplace!

    Author Unknown

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…
    —-
    “I stood by your bed last night,
    I came to have a peep.
    I could see that you were crying,
    You found it hard to sleep.

    I whined this to you softly
    As you brushed away a tear,
    “It’s me, I haven’t left you,
    I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

    I was close to you at breakfast,
    I watched you pour the tea,
    You were thinking of the many times,
    Your hands reached down to me.

    I was with you at the shops today,
    Your arms were getting sore.
    I longed to take your parcels,
    I wish I could do more.

    I was with you at my grave today,
    You tend it with such care.
    I want to reassure you,
    That I am not lying there.

    I walked with you towards the house,
    As you fumbled for your key.
    I gently put my paw on you,
    I smiled and said “It’s me.”

    You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
    I tried so hard to let you know
    That I was standing there.

    It’s possible for me to be so near you every day.
    To say to you with certainty
    “I never went away.”

    You sat there very quietly,
    Then smiled, I think you knew
    That in the stillness of that evening,
    I was very close to you.

    The day is over.
    I smile and watch you yawning and say
    “Goodnight, God bless,
    I’ll see you in the morning.”

    And when the time is right for you
    To cross the brief divide,
    I’ll rush across to greet you
    And we’ll stand, side by side.

    I have so many things to show you,
    There is so much for you to see.
    Be patient, live your journey out.
    Then come home to be with me.”

  17. I know how much you Loved Abbie and how hard this decision was for you. Abbie was a very sweet and beautiful dog. And she did better than you Barb at eating my spicy food. She loved food. I will miss her sweet face. Praying she is resting peacefully . Hugs to you.

  18. Barb, I’m so sorry. I loved seeing Abby in your posts. I lost my 13-year-old lab mix to a sudden ailment in November that required the same wrenching decision. My heart still aches for my loyal companion. You have my deepest sympathy.

    I wish you peace in the knowledge that you did what was best for Abby and the solace of your memories of her life with you.

  19. Please accept my deepest condolences. Your loss is very real and my heart breaks for you. Losing our dear Lady was one of the hardest days of my life. She blessed our lives for over 15 years. I can still hear her scurrying across the floor to grab a piece of food I drop; even nearly 10 years later. May time heal your pain, as it surely will, and may you smile from your memories for an eternity.

  20. I am so sorry. I just recently started reading your IG posts and very much looked forward to seeing Abbie (and Peyton) in them. You and your daughter are incredibly strong and I am sure Abbie is grateful for your strength. Thank you for sharing some memories of Abbie with us!

  21. I always love your blog, but today’s article about your beloved Abbie was wonderful. We had a wonderful all mixed up big dog , Lulu until last June and I still expect to se her sweet face and hear her tail thumping when I get home from work each day. Her constant companion, Daisy the beagle, still goes looking for her at some point each day. Dogs are the furry members of our family and they make life better just by their presence and unconditional love. My deepest condolences on Abbie’s passing. Perhaps she has met up with Lulu and they will become fast friends.

  22. My heart goes out to you Barb, oh how I know how difficult this is. There will never be another Abbie, and you have been a kind and wonderful Mom to her. Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you.

  23. It’s a lovely story and sad news to hear about Abbie. They become part of your family and when they leave forever, I think they go to a nice garden and play another friends. I know how you feel, I have gone thru the same situation several times. But they remain alive in our hearts.

  24. A lovely post and a wonderful memorial to your much-loved lady, barb.
    Letting go of pets is so very hard – and I write this as I look at a photo on my shelf of one of my sweet dogs who left us 21 years ago and knowing that we still have the ashes of another that died 8 years ago in a cupboard in the garage where she slept.
    I still miss them both every day, but would not have been without them for the world.
    I’m so glad you now have that fine cat in your life. He’s no replacement for Abbie and I know you weren’t expecting to get a cat, but clearly you both were meant to be together.

  25. Such a beautiful tribute to a wonderful dog Barb. As I said, it takes great love to do what you did. Abbie could not have had a better or more loving home – the angels were truly looking out for her !!!

  26. Such a heartbreaking beautiful tribute to your beloved Abbie. I’m so sorry. Thinking of you and sending you many warm hugs across the miles.

  27. Warm hugs to you, B. I am so sorry to hear that Abbie has left us here on Earth. I loved knowing how much you loved her. There is nothing like a strong connection and deep love given and received from a sweet, adorable pet. I love my little girl Bombay cat as if I gave birth to her. I gather you felt the same about Abs. My heart is with you during this difficult time. xo

  28. Barbara, so sorry to hear that you’ve lost your best canine friend. I know it hurts so much! It was lovely to read all about Abbie and her life with you. She had such a loving home! This is the first time in my life that I am without a dog and I really miss it, I still cry about my last dog, Libby, who died in 2009. RIP Abbie.

  29. Oh Barb. You know my thoughts are with you. There is going to be a hole in your heart for a long while but hopefully soon it will be filled with happy memories. And now Peyton might step up to the plate. Love these snickerpoodles. And do you know that my mom and grandma call me Abs? so if you want another, I am here. Take care and hugs. My condolences to your daughters also.

  30. Thinking of you, Barb. I’m very sorry to hear you’ve lost your sweet dog, Abbie. She was part of your family and it was nice to read through some of your happy memories of her.

  31. What a treasure to have for such a very long time! I know she will live on in your hearts forever. May your grief be short and your memories be long.

  32. Barb, so sorry you lost Abbie. I know we’ve always been attached to our pets, so I can identify with you about how you felt about Abbie. Hard as it is to give them up, you did the right thing. Doesn’t make you feel any better right now, I know. I’ll be feeling for you.

  33. So sorry for your loss. Just remember that Abbie is waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge. ♥

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

  34. Barb – I don’t even know what to say – your post brought tears to my eyes. You really thought of Abbie first and I’m glad you and she were able to spend time together at the new home. I’m sure that Abbie is up at the bridge romping playing and happy, pain free, plus chattering away about all things food and the benefits of being a sous pup with my SousPug, Wiggs. My heart goes out to you and your family. *hugs*

  35. Through my tears, bless you for taking such good care of Abbie. Go snuggle that big orange cat. It won’t be the same but it will help. My thoughts are with you.

  36. Oh, Barb….I am crying a river of tears right now, having (as you well know) gone through the same thing almost 5 months ago.
    “She is nowhere when she was everywhere…” is the most perfect way to describe exactly what you’re going through right now.
    Abbie was a wonderful dog, and you & your girls gave her a wonderful life. Respecting our animals and knowing when it’s time to say goodbye is the greatest and most difficult gift we can give them.
    Sending you sopping wet hugs.

  37. Barb, you’ve been in my thoughts since last weekend when you shared with me your decision. I know it has been tough and I understand what you are going through. When I lost my Chessie girl at 16+ it was difficult and I still wake up at night thinking she is lying on the floor next to me, or she is walking around the house with one of the birds on her back.

    Abbie was definitely a people dog and loved human food. I remember how she would sit so patiently waiting for someone to give her a morsel of the delicious food at our bloggers meetings. I think she even tried Ansh’s school chicken…rather spicy for a dog…but not too spicy for the spicy personality (or is it dogality) Abbie.
    Please know that your friends are also hurting for you and your daughters during this difficult time.

    Here is a virtual HUG for you!!

    1. Thanks Jane; I’ve loved hearing from people who actually knew my girl; she was part pain for sure with her begging but I always thought there could be so many worse things that it made me laugh more than anything. She was such an expert at it! Thanks for the hug…I needed that!

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