Pet Loss, the Inspirational Story of My Dog Companions

Pet Loss, the Inspirational Story of My Dog Companions

By Connie Bowen

There I was, standing in the veterinarian’s office looking at the X-Rays she had placed up on the lighted wall, hearing news that every pet owner dreads. “Do you see this tumor right here?” she said. “It’s what’s taking up all the protein in his blood and causing him to vomit and have the diarrhea. It’s inoperable, too large. There’s nothing to be done.” My beloved 11 year old yellow lab, Simon, was not going to be going home with me that day. He wagged his tail and whined to go home. “You can take him with you if you want, but the tumor could burst at any time and he’s not going to be getting any better like we’d hoped.”

After I left her office alone, crying and talking to myself all the way home, I shook my head. I’d held him for those last few minutes while she administered the shot that put him to sleep. “He wanted to go home, but he couldn’t,” I told myself. The guilt crept in, but I pushed it aside. I thought back to a time 12 years earlier, and I knew the grief that was starting to seep in would be manageable this time, for I remembered the song of life told to me by my aged German Shepherd who had faced the same prognosis 12 years earlier.

But that time so long ago had been different. That time I had felt uncontrollable grief setting in. My German Shepherd had been my constant companion, especially after my divorce. And living alone out on my farm, I trusted him, depended on him for company and the love I needed so desperately. He went with me everywhere and stayed by my side up until the end. When my German Shepherd died, I cried for days, relentlessly, feeling so torn wide open, I didn’t know what to do. I was unprepared for the onslaught of anguish that left me feeling empty, not wanting to go through another day.

Then it happened, the most incredible dream I have ever had. I awoke from the dream in a cold sweat, for I had seen my Shepherd and he had looked into my eyes and right through to my soul. In my dream, I came out into the living room and saw him sitting serenely on the front lawn. I said to myself, “Ohhh, he’s not dead.” Then those eyes, they bore the look of a regal king, a wise, sentient being. He stared at me for a long time, never wavering in his gaze. His eyes told me of his new life, his greater life and then he began to fade. Slowly, completely he faded from view.

The grief left me just as suddenly as it had begun. My Shepherd was truly all right. He had told me so in a way that I would never question. And now today, with my heart so sad and aching, I know I’m going to make it through this time until I see my beloved Simon and the rest of my animal family again. My Shepherd told me so.

This article may be re-published freely as long as the following resource box is included at the end of the article and as long as you link to the URL mentioned in the resource box:

Pet Portrait Artist and Professional Illustrator Connie Bowen creates stunning pet portrait paintings on canvas from photos. Specializing in capturing the spiritual nature of dogs, cats, horses and other animals in a realistic fashion with impressionistic backgrounds as seen on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s TV show, Art Beat. Over 200 pet portraits completed and counting!

~ A lasting treasure and your happiness are my goals ~
View beautiful samples of her work, prices and FAQs by visiting her web site at

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  1. John W
    | Reply

    My wife and I understand exactly how you feel, we just lost shakespeare last week tonight, under very similar circumstances. he was 18, all of those with us and all with my wife. She spent more time with him than with the kids or me because he was always here and she was also. Losing him was very hard for her and also for our 2 cats who lived with him for 3 years. There is a blog about Shakespeare nad my wife at our site, feel free to visit us and read it.

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