Goodbye, Aimee

This coming week marks the one-year anniversary of the loss of our dog Aimee. We still miss her very much. In memory of her, I am reposting this entry. 


Well, it happened. The moment we were dreading since we found out Aimee’s terrible diagnosis finally arrived this past Monday.

I came home around mid-morning from picking Dylan up from school and Bill met me in the garage. His eyes were red and the look on his face instantly alerted me that something awful had just happened.

“I think it’s time to put Aimee down,” he said.

I had been preparing myself to hear those words, but I was still taken by surprise. Aimee had seemed better over the weekend. She had barely bled and had even been chipper enough to play with Dylan a little bit. However, Bill informed me that things had taken a huge turn for the worse that morning. When he had come downstairs after I’d left, he’d found three big puddles of blood and some bloody vomit on the floor. Aimee was listless and weak. She wouldn’t eat or drink anything.

When I went inside the house, I found Aimee lying on the floor. When she stood up, her entire leg was covered in blood. Droplets of blood dribbled under her wherever she went.

I knew immediately that Bill was right. It was time to make the call.

Bill and I both wanted to be there, so we made an appointment for that evening. I called the family and let them know what was happening, and they asked if the could come over later and say their goodbyes to Aimee. Of course we agreed, and so the wait began. We got to spend a lot of time with her that day, giving her lots of love and thanking her for being such a wonderful pet and companion. It was truly one of the most difficult, heart-wrenching days of our lives.

At around 5 pm, my mother-in-law arrived to watch the boys, and shortly afterwards my brother-in-law, Mike, his wife Kathi, and our nephews Justin and Jack also arrived. That was such a bittersweet moment, because they were there to say goodbye, but I was very touched and happy that they wanted to come and do that. It showed me how loved Aimee was by everyone and how she had touched so many people’s lives. We all cried and hugged each other. All too soon, it was time for Aimee to go on her final car ride.

It was a sign of how ill she truly was that she didn’t even attempt to stick her head out the window.  She always loved going for car rides, but this time she just lay on us, her head on Bill’s arm, blood still dripping from her legs.

At the vet, we were quickly shown into a room and the doctor explained what was going to happen. They were going to take Aimee out back for just a minute and give her a shot that would make her extremely relaxed (like to the point where her tongue might loll out and she would probably not move at all), then they would bring her back to us.

When she was back, we laid her down on the table and said our final goodbyes. This was truly the most difficult moment I have ever experienced in my life, but I am so glad I was there with her during those last few minutes. The doctor came back after a little while and, after asking us if we were ready, administered one final shot. She was gone within a few seconds.

Except of course she really isn’t gone. She is still in our hearts and in our thoughts. We still feel her presence in the house, still look for her in the corner where her bed used to be and her food bowl sat. We still expect to hear her bark when the doorbell rings. We still ache for her, but we know she is in a much better place now and she is no longer in pain.

We sure are, though. I’m having a hard time sleeping and tears will just randomly fill my eyes at any given moment. Bill is grieving as well. Thankfully, Dylan doesn’t seem fazed at all. He knows that Aimee died and she won’t be coming back, but is not bothered by her absence. I think his concept of death is not very clear yet, and I am thankful that his little heart is not bearing the pain that ours is.

We miss her so very, very much.



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  • I understand how tough a time this is. I never realized how much a person could love a pet until we had our dog Sammy for 15 years. The circumstances were eerily similar to yours, he was listless, vomiting and then woke up one morning covered in blood. We rushed him to the vet and thankfully both my daughters were home from college. We did the same things, said our goodbyes (each of us alone in the room with him) and then he was gone.

    I wept for weeks. Everywhere I felt his presence. I still do.

    It's been almost 4 years now and we did rescue a dog 2 years ago from the humane society. It does help to have another one - just have to be ready to let another one in your heart. Best wishes to you as you go through this tough time - it most certainly is as devastating as losing a member of the family. I'm sure Aimee knew how much she was loved.

  • In reply to Teppi Jacobsen:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, Teppi. I am sorry for the loss of Sammi. Even though it's been a few years now, I am sure it's still sad to think about.

    I know we will eventually get another dog. I never grew up with them and feel it is important for my kids to grow up with pets. But not yet. We will probably take a few years, wait until the boys are a little bit older. As you said, we have to be ready to let another one in our hearts, and we are not there quite yet.

  • Khadine, I am so very sorry for your loss. Often I have felt it is worse to lose a pet animal than a human member (barring a child) of the family. The animals love you so unconditionally and trust you so implicitly - makes it all the harder when you feel you cannot explain to them what is going on with their bodies. But you do know when it is time to end their suffering, and you should feel comforted that you all got to say your goodbyes. Regardless, it is such a very hard thing - I still miss my two kitties. I wish you peace and comfort in the good memories.

  • In reply to jiyer:

    Thank you so much for your condolences. It has been a very difficult few weeks, but I think we are over the worst of it. I still think about her a lot, of course, but I do know that we made the right decision in the end and that it WAS the right time for her to go (which was my greatest fear, not knowing if it would be), so at least we have some comfort in that.

  • We have had Aimee and all of you in our thoughts since last Monday. She was a very good dog...part of the Family...and will be so missed. So hard....animals' lives seem so short. We love you all, K,M,J.C., & J.P.

  • In reply to kathikubal:

    Thank you, Kathi. I'm so glad you guys were able to be here to say goodbye to her. We love you too.

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. Loss is so difficult.
    I can't help but comment that "this is the hardest thing you've ever had to deal with in my life"; the month of May is particularly a difficult one for me. On May 6th 16yrs ago, I lost my Mom. I was with her when she passed, holding her hand, helping her to make her transition. It was painful but beautiful; what we hope for when someone we love passes. Safe, surrounded by love.
    On May 28th 18mos later, I lost my sister, unexpectedly. As a teacher, she was dedicated to her students; so dedicated that she ignored some physical symptoms that may have helped to save her. She died of a heart attack in the bathroom of her school; found hours after she excused herself from her class, on the floor, alone; just 40yrs old, just celebrated her 1st wedding anniversary.
    The years since then have been filled with grief beyond explanation; trying to define a new normal; trying to accept; trying to live.
    It's been a journey; every day brings new challenges; what will the future hold?
    I am here; I am strong; I am present. Although I've walked through fire, I have come out on the other side stronger, healthier and more appreciative of people in my life and my experiences.
    I wish you peace and acceptance.

  • In reply to Mary Jo Perlongo:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Mary Jo. I am so sorry for your terrible losses. It certainly put things in perspective for me. Here I was, boo-hoing about my dog, when you and countless other people have had so much more heartbreak. Just recently, my great-aunt lost her husband of 60 years. 60! She had spent most of her life with this man, and now she has to learn how to be independent again. Despite her pain, she is facing life head-on, strong and confident about her ability to overcome these hard times, just like you. I hope when I am faced with losses of your magnitudes that I will be able to do the same. You are to be admired.

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