Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Pearl.......

I said goodbye to my beloved Pearl  this Saturday.   It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I will most likely regret it for the rest of my life,  but that is my own pain that I will have to deal with and come to terms with one day.  I think I made the right decision,  but I'll never know for sure.
 She was a most complicated dog.  she kind of started out in life being a dog that no one wanted.   The only white dog in the litter,  she was the last Jack Russell left when I came to get her,  and I knew she was the one for me.
She had a fiery personality from day one,  but that's the way those dogs are.  I had a Jack Russell before,  so I knew what I was getting into.  They are incredibly smart, tenacious and wild dogs meant for working.  Terriers don't mess around.  they have a JOB to do.  Her job was to be with our family
and that's how it was.    She instantly bonded to my kids.  and was incredibly tolerant.

                                    Always by my Fiona's side in every picture I have.......
Dealing with Fiona's goofball style,  the dog was pretty darn patient.

She was even patient when we brought a new tiny dog into the house.  
When you bring a squirrel sized dog into a home with a terrier,  you KNOW that terrier has some serious self control.
    She would come to the studio with me on occasion,  but honestly,  even though she was patient for the most part,  she was incredibly un predictable from day one.    SHe liked just about everyone she met,  except for cat people.   she could smell them from a mile around,  and out of no where she would go into attack mode....so having her at the shop no longer was an option.   She was only allowed there after hours.  but that was o.k.,  I loved the company.   She was always good company........curling up with us in the bed in the evening,  never wanting to be away from her people.

     The most LOYAL dog EVER.      she slept by my side every night without fail.

  She inspired Art work because she was a clown.

      She had her serious side too........always seemed to be thinking about something,  but would let you hug her no matter how deep in thought she was.

You'd talk to her and you'd SWEAR she understood every darn thing you said,  however  if you called for her to "COME"  she'd pretend you we're speaking Chinese,  and never ever would.  
Unless of course you said "cheese",  then she'd be there on the dime.

She had some serious OCD issues when it came to her ball.
you couldn't even take a shower in peace,  or have people over to the house without her barking RELENTLESSLY for you to throw it for her.   it seriously was insane at times.

             She was the most loving and loyal dog,  but she was also very,  very fierce.    She was aggressive and grouchy from day one........
   The face of an angel,
                                                                  with the heart of a lion.

but even though she was kind of shitty at times...o.k.,  aLOT of the times,   she was always there for you when YOU felt crappy, dog spooning was her specialty.

or sitting on laps...she was the best late night studio companion,  and gardening buddy.......never ever once dug holes in the yard,  a TRUE miracle coming from a terrier.

  She used to like to tuck herself in between my legs for no apparent reason.
and would sit on Fiona's lap every time she sat on the floor to tie her shoes.

She was a faithful companion and buddy who we will always remember, and love.
It was an incredibly hard decision for me to make to let her go.  but in the end,  after 9 years of living with her quirks........ the biting,  the barking.....  well  the naughty behavior had started to escalate.
She was no longer herself.
Maybe it was going from a home to a tiny downtown apartment that had her frustrated,  or maybe something else.  I'll never know.    BUt I do know that she had changed.
she was no longer the naughty dog that we forever excused for her transgressions but had become a very scary and unpredictable dog that was attacking out of the blue.
She was posturing in ways that weren't normal.   she had attacked Tank on NUMEROUS occasions,  one week it was every day.    biting my kids, and me out of the blue had become a regular thing.    She had a large tumor growing on her chest,  and most days had the tremors,  so in my heart of hearts  I think there was something neurological going on,  and what I did by putting her to sleep was the most humane thing to do.
At least that's what the vet,  the humane society,  and all of the rescue groups told me.  I had so many friends tell me to try and talk to behaviorists and explore other options,  but honestly,  I couldn't afford that,  and the risk of having her bite my kids was now very real.  I would never have felt good about having her go to another home because she loved US,  and that would have broken her heart,  not to mention expose a new family to a dog with a long history of problems that only we understood and forgave.  
   I only hope that she forgives me, 
 My hope is that she is sitting somewhere peaceful looking out the window,  or running free in some field chasing a ball and having the time of her life.
I will miss her forever.
I loved her beyond measure.
and that is the true story.
you will forever be my girl


  1. She is still with you Dear Catherine and always will be ... brave so brave you are. xo's

  2. I sort of just want to throw my arms around you, Catherine. I'm terribly sorry for your loss and the circumstances leading up to it. You did the best for her and she felt your deep love. She clearly had something wrong going on.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss, Catherine. I know it is devastating to have to make that decision for a pet, but it sure sounds like you knew your pup and were wise about what she needed in this season. That's a really good dog mom. xxoo

  4. I so know how you are feeling. It is gutting beyond words. So sad for you Catherine. I hope you can smile through the tears soon, when you remember your precious friend.

  5. What you wrote was a beautiful tribute to her. xoxo

  6. That's a great way to say goodbye to her! She was not herself and maybe in her own way, was saying, yelling it was time to let her go. We are never good at this cause our hearts are too big and those decisions are far too painful but you did it! You did the best thing a dog owner could do---loved her all her life and let her go when the time was right. You're a good owner and Pearl knows it. I have not one doubt in my mind for you and I hope with time, you feel the very same. Lots of love headed your way. Becky

  7. We had a dachshund go similarly several years back. Not the same dog in his final year. Hugs.

  8. What a beautiful tribute! Having just lost a pet to cancer reading this brought tears to my eyes again. Losing a pet is losing a member of the family. So sorry for your loss.......

  9. Thinking of you. Sound like you made the best decision for your pup.

    A good friend had to put her dog down last week. Beneful dog food is toxic (moldy corn) and she found out too late to help her pup. I want to get the word out to other puppy parents.

  10. i am SO sorry. you sweet girl... you gave pearl the happiest life. wish i could give you a big hug... sending some big ol' xoxoxoxo

  11. Oh the tears are flowing and its been over a year since I said goodbye to my dear old boy. Making that decision is never easy but we are there to do our best for them and not let them suffer like us humans so often do. Take comfort in the wonderful life she has had with you and your family, your photos are evidence of how much she was loved. A poem I got given when my boy left us brings me comfort, I hope you find it in there to. Big Hugs.

    If it should Be.

    If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
    And pain should keep me from my sleep,
    Then you must do what must be done,
    For this battle can't be won.

    You will be sad, I understand,
    Dont let your grief then stay your hand,
    For this day, more than all the rest,
    Your love and friendship stands the test.

    We've had so many happy years
    What is to come can hold no fears,
    Would you want me suffer? so,
    When the time comes, please let me go.

    Take me where my needs they'll tend,
    only stay with me to the end,
    And hold me firm and speak to me,
    Until my eyes no longer see.

    I know in time that you will see,
    it was kindness that you do to me,
    Although my tail its last has waved,
    From pain and suffering I have been saved.

    Don't grieve it should be you,
    who must decide this thing to do,
    We've been close, we two these years,
    Don't let your heart hold any tears.

  12. Putting a dog down is probably one of the hardest decisions to make, but reading your story I think you made the correct choice - even though I'm sure that does nothing to ease your grief.

  13. So sorry for your loss but I feel like you did the best thing for Pearl and you and your kids. Just remember you gave her a great life while she was here and she will always be remembered in your hearts. Deana

  14. Thank you all so much for your kind words
    Means soo much

  15. I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet baby, Pearl. <3 Cherish your wonderful memories of her. She loved you and knew that she was very loved by all of you. She was a lucky dog to have you as a mom.

  16. Oh dear, I am so so sorry. What a loss. It sounds like she was suffering terribly. you did all you could, then made the most difficult, and most compassionate choice. And though you will always miss her, you will not always feel as wretched as you do now. this pain will eventually ease up.


  17. It's been a long time since I posted on your blog….but I understand your angst and wanted to add to the reassurances. You HAD to do what you did. When I was a nurse at UM I took care of a girl who was attacked by her perfectly lovely and gentle Golden. A dog that had never shown aggression. He bit her face all up. You had a dog- and I agree with you something neurological was going on; either that or severe pain- that was showing uncharacteristic, escalating and dangerous aggression. On top of that, the dog was ill so any money spent with behaviorists would have been a waste. No matter what, money or not, you couldn't expose your kids, yourself, your other pets to a dangerous dog. You had the courage to do what needed to be done for everyone, including a sick dog who couldn't speak for himself in so many words but was telling you in his way that something very bad was going on and it was time.

    It's funny how I found my way to your post. Like I said it has been a long time. Then I saw some pillows on Amy Powers Blog that I knew had to be yours especially since I know of her connection to Mary Englebreit . I even showed my daughter. A few days later Amy had a post that confirmed my suspicions. Then today I was on a Pinterest board of someone else's and saw a piece of work that I instantly knew was yours, clicked on it and Bam…Catherine. So I felt like fate was telling me it was time to leave you a message.

  18. My heart goes out to you. Big BIG hug.

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  20. It's been a long time hasn't it, I saw your blog on another blog and thought I'd come over and say hello then I got caught up in your stories especially about your Pearl.
    I'm very sorry for your loss ,my "Jake " is a Jack Russell too and you are describing him to a T , the part about the cheese is so much like what my Jake does. Losing anyone you love makes a hole in our heart too big to ever fill, wishing you and yours better days.

  21. You did the right thing. For Pearl, your children and yourself. Dogs love their people and if they aren't showing that love anymore, that is their way of saying they are suffering. I have no doubt she is happy and thanks you for being the kind and insightful soul to recognize that she needed your help. Peace be with you.