The Moment I Knew

This morning we said our final goodbyes to Meg.

It was terribly hard. But it was finally time to let the old girl go.

The image at left was shared here before, in a post from July 2013, where I said, “Meg’s health is slowly failing. She’s deaf, has arthritis, some strange problem with her biliary tract, which we keep under control with a strict low-fat diet, and her muscles are weakening. She could be with us for years still. Or something catastrophic could happen and take her sooner. I hate to think of that day.”

I’m actually quite surprised that she was able to stay with us as long as she did. Her health really has been declining slowly over the last few years. She’s had a couple of really close calls, the most recent few episodes involved her biliary tract, and were sort of like pancreatitis, which is very painful and life-threatening.

After the last episode late last year, we resigned ourselves to the fact that Meg was getting old. We told each other that, as long as she was relatively pain-free and enjoying life, she would stay with us.

I guess it was earlier this year that she really started losing muscle tone and weight. It became harder and harder for her to navigate the steps. And she was getting slower and slower on our daily walks. I guess it was a month or so ago when I decided she was too slow to walk with the younguns, so I did two dog walks each evening.

Meg hated being left behind, but she enjoyed her solo walks with me. I let her go at her own pace and sniff stuff for much longer than I would’ve if the younguns were with us.

I always told myself that when her bad moments outweighed the good, it would be time to let her go.

Earlier this week, the scales started tipping for her. There’s a cold front coming through and I think it really affected her. She was sleeping even more than usual, seemed much weaker, and had even more difficulty than usual on the steps.

It really became clear yesterday. I was in the front yard with her, waiting for her to poo. She found a spot, squatted on her weak, wobbly legs, and pooed. I could tell she hadn’t quite finished, but her legs gave out on her and she collapsed onto the pile she’d just made. I hurried over and helped her up. Then I had to clean a matted pile of poo off of her rear-end and tail. She was not pleased.

I couldn’t get her to stay inside, though. So we went back out into the yard. She just stood there, all wobbly-like, looking really pathetic.

I had my phone in my pocket and took this short video so you can see what I mean.

She was weak. And she looked frightened. That special light had gone from her eyes.

That’s when I knew.

I dreaded walk time. I couldn’t bear making the decision for her, so I hooked her up as usual and told her, “This is your last walk, Meg. Let’s make it a good one.”

Much to my surprise, she wanted to walk. And there was more pep in her step than there’d been in days. She was sniffing everything. Even more than usual. And every now and then she’d just stop and look around.

She was tired, but moving well and did not want to turn around until she was ready.

I’m glad there weren’t many people out and about to see me sobbing along beside my sweet, old girl.

She had an even more restless night than usual. And this morning, I could tell she was very uncomfortable. As much as I would’ve liked to deny it, I knew it was really time.

So we took her to the vet and stayed by her side as she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.


She was a special dog. Stubborn as all get-out, even to the very end. She never stopped eating. She never stopped looking forward to her special treats. And she especially never stopped wanting to be with her people.

We will always remember Meg for the laughter she brought into our lives. And for her absolute, unabashed joy that was so obvious when she was running, something she hadn’t been able to do for quite some time.

Here’s a pic from April 2006. She was young (not quite 7) and her face was still orange.


She always liked to make a game of running at me at fast as she could and racing by. I called it Buzzing Mama.

I imagine Meg is buzzing around at the Rainbow Bridge right now. With CeCe, our first dog, at her side.

We will certainly miss our Crazy Girl.

Meg and Me, Christmas 2010

Goodbye for now, baby girl.

21 Replies to “The Moment I Knew”

  1. I’m sobbing for you and Meg after watching the little video. I know how sad you are. So wonderful to see her amazing photo in 2006. What a great girl. You know she’s waiting for you over the Rainbow Bridge. God bless, Kathy.

  2. i don’t know what to say except i DO understand and crying as i am typing. i know the feeling as it was hard and sad to put sassy, our first britt down. 🙁 i so wish i could give you a real hug and i am sure in time it will get easier and think of the great memories and that she is not in peace and not in pain….thinking of you and yours! oxxooxox
    rip meg

  3. It is always hardest on those of us they leave behind. The things we are left with are those silly brittany moments and lots of wonderful memories UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!!!!

  4. Those of us who know this feeling are crying with you. We also must rejoice because we can give love and a great life to these beautiful beings. My grandson was sad about his dog one evening because knew that she was going to die one day. We decided that it was a good thing that we lived longer than they did. We would never want them to be left alone. Remember the joy and the gift that you gave to Meg.

  5. Kathy, I read your blog about your beloved Meg with a heavy heart She was such a sweet girl and will be greatly missed. Although it doesn’t give much comfort know that she is happy, comfortable and running freely once again at the Rainbow Bridge. You have our sincerest sympathies and we hope your heart will soon mend. Xo

  6. Dammit, Toadmama, this entry really teared me up.

    At such times I’m usually tempted say something trite, like “Losing friends never gets easy”. Many are so tempted, and I believe that such comments are made in innocence, out of helplessness in the face of inexplicable, seemingly absurd circumstances of inscrutable life.

    Yes, losing friends never gets easy. And it shouldn’t. Perish the thought indeed. Such easiness would only serve to confirm one’s callousness; one’s irretrievable, lost humanity; one’s certain inaccessibility to invaluable, though often blasted painful, life experiences.

    I am truly sad for you and yours, but more than that, more importantly, I am happy that y’all were able to share joyful times and collect great memories with your irreplaceable friend Meg.

  7. Kathy

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard and deep the pain of losing one of our furry loved ones. Sending you hugs.

    1. I can’t respond to everyone individually, but please know that I appreciate the love and support. It’ll get easier over time, I know, but her absence on this first morning after her passing is palpable.

      I’ll be away for a few days on a planned trip with a friend, so don’t worry if you don’t hear anything for days. We are all okay.

  8. It was such a blessing that Pam and I got know Meg and her pals. She was such a sweet and gentle spirit. I’m trying very hard to turn these tears of sadness into tears of joy, knowing that Meg is whole again and running around like a puppy. God bless you, Meg. We will meet again! And much love to your whole family.

  9. We knew the day was coming – I know you worried about knowing when and I mentioned how I knew when for my special guy and that you would know when as well. Meg’s last day was bittersweet and her last walk was so special. She knew she was saying goodbye and seeing everything one last time…. Like you told me she is know running free and without pain – she is smiling down at you now and letting you know she is OK

  10. Reading your tribute to your sweet Meg brought tears to my eyes. It is so hard to say goodbye
    to our dear pets. They are a large part of our families, and bring us such joy.
    Hold memories of her and all the love she gave you in your heart.
    Bless dear Meg.


  11. Looks like Meg was telling you it was time in her own way on that last walk – she knew. She had a wonderful life and she knew it was because of your love and care for her.

  12. I can hardly type for the tears. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard losing a furry member of the family. At least you know she is no longer in pain. Big hugs.

  13. Thanks again to everyone for all the kind words. It was hard coming home to a greeting committee of only two dogs, but I know she’s at peace and, most important, pain-free. But I do miss my old girl.

  14. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Almost didn’t read the post. I don’t cry over anything, except dogs. I don’t know why that is but I suspect I recognize some unbelievably powerful energy that they possess in embracing life as it’s delivered to them. Probably a lesson I need more work in.

    I’ve suffered the loss of a handful of dogs and all I can share is that, for me, the pain dulls and the memories brighten the world.

  15. It took me a bit to finally come here.
    And I’m so glad I did. Your tribute to your sweet girl of course has me bawling.
    She was so loved and happy.
    How lucky Meg was you and Mike chose her.
    Love you girlfriend.

    P.s I just loved sharing vitamins with her..

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