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Lynda Loveland: Death of a family pet

Posted August 21, 2013
Updated August 23, 2013

Lynda Loveland

I knew the time was drawing near, but it arrived sooner than I anticipated.

When I came back from Alaska, Halee, my 14-year-old Doberman, just wasn’t the same. She was having more trouble than usual getting around. I thought maybe, when we all get back to our routine, she’d perk back up. She didn’t.

She wasn’t sick, but she was very frail. I knew I had to make one of the hardest decisions that I’ve ever had to make. I burst into tears mid-call to the vet’s office. It ended up being a one-sided conversation because I couldn’t speak. Thankfully, Laura knew what I was calling about and set up everything. 

The next hurdle was telling the kids. Euthanizing a family pet was a first for all of us. I told them one of the most important lessons that I learned growing up was never let an animal suffer. We couldn’t let Halee be miserable and in pain. They cried and said their goodbyes.

I chose to stay with Halee till the end. I felt I owed her that. I sobbed, kissed her on the cheek and said goodbye. It was absolutely gut wrenching. Lynda Loveland with Halee

I keep thinking about her and then the tears come. The kids are dealing with it much differently. They think of her in heaven, running and playing, with all the other dogs we know that have passed.

They think of her in a happy place. I’m trying to do the same.

Lynda is a mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's The Mix Morning Show. Find her here on Thursdays. Click here to see her Facebook page.



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  • julieyoga Aug 23, 2013

    Dearest Lynda . . . I am Tom Suiter's wife and we want you to know you are not alone in your grief. Our 17-year-old kitty Chloe died last week. She was a precious love, an amazing character, and the best part of our lives. There are no words to express how awful it is.

    We cannot change the facts of Nature and life, so we have to be comforted by helping each other along with kindness and understanding and knowing that our sweet animals were LOVED. I wish all animals could be so loved and cared for.

    Bless your heart. We are sending love to you and your family and wishing for you some rest and peace. ♥ Julie Suiter

  • hfbonura2 Aug 23, 2013

    hsiflee: That was a cruel statement and if you can be that hurtful to a fellow human being I can only imagine how thoughtless you are towards pets or animals in general. I feel Linda's pain and can epmpathize with the sorrow and loss she is experiencing. I too have help my dying pet in my arms as the vet administers the fateful injection and the rapidity of the outcome almost takes your breath away before the wave of anguish overtakes you. But rest assured Linda as hard as it may have been for you to be present at the end, the final moments for your pet in the presence of a trusted and loved companion and caretaker made all the difference. Imagine them passing with only the sterile florescent lighting overhead in an unfamiliar setting surrounded by strangers. You did a good thing.

  • Scubagirl Aug 22, 2013

    This poem made me feel better with having to let go of my furkids :

  • spunkyisbackagain Aug 22, 2013

    I have had to have pets put to sleep, and it's never been easy. The worst was the first: a stray that I'd had to work hard with to get him to trust me. Stopped at the vet's to have him checked out and found out that he had feline HIV as well as feline leukemia (the results of having too many fights as a stray) and was probably unable to eat as his teeth were falling out. The vet recommended euthanasia and I agreed but was so upset that I did not stay with him. It upsets me more now that I didn't. I have never again allowed a pet to be put to sleep without me being there. :(

  • hsiflee Aug 22, 2013

    George Carlin said in one of his comedy routines that he doesn't waste time shopping for a replacement dog. He just brings the dead dog to the pet shop, lay's it on the counter and says "I want one just like that"

  • buster Aug 22, 2013

    You will see your sweet dog again at the "Rainbow bridge", it is never easy doing this. I too just went through this recently with my last boxer and held him until he passed. We also used the book "Dog Heaven", really sweet story for kids that lose a pet. Sorry for your loss Linda.

  • PAINFREE Aug 22, 2013

    Having had to help my wonderful pets over the years to cross the rainbow Bridge, I can sympathize, and empathize, as well. It is easier to live with, knowing you did the right thing. There is a wonderful book called "Dog Heaven" and one called "Car Heaven" that I highly recommend for children, and also for people my age (77). Get a copy and read it to your children. I found it helped me a lot.

  • nashville Aug 22, 2013

    You did the right thing, had to make that call a couple of times myself.Just remember you stopped his suffering.

  • kimsstressed Aug 22, 2013

    Our family had to make that decision 2 weeks ago. "Miss Kitty" adopted us 11 years ago when she was a young adult. Neither of my younger children remember their lives before she adopted us. I cried like a baby when the time came, but like you said, we can not allow an animal to suffer. I know that she had a great life and was dearly loved. Seems so odd not to have her around. I truly feel sorry for people that don't understand the depth of the loss of a family pet. What empty lives they must lead. Remember the good times, the love, the bond. Know that she felt love and comfort and peace.

  • trainloadr Aug 22, 2013

    Thanks for this story. It helped because yesterday 21 August, my black lab died. He was 11 years and 10 months old but he was with me 100% of the time when I was not working. I would always ride him and say to him, my best friend in the whole wide world. He was undoubtedly my best friend and I miss him so much. Thanks for the story. This is a hurt that is not describable and I have never had before. It is not natural for a 61 year old man to cry as much as I. After reading this I sound a little more normal, thanks.