Death of a Dog- Saying Good-Bye to a Beloved Family Pet

Beffy's Pet Shop--Dealing with the grief of losing your beloved pet...

Anyone who has lost a beloved pet knows how hard it is to say good-bye. A pet can become like a child to many people, and losing them can cause a heart-wrenching ache, deep down inside that never completely goes away.

It eases with time, and life becomes bearable again…until something reminds you of your loss, and brings the pain back as if it had never really been gone.

We lost our dog, Beffy, in 2008. She was a part of our family for eight wonderful years, making us laugh everyday at her silly antics. Beffy was a mutt by birth, but a purebred at heart. Her love for us was unfailing, as ours was for her. She knew our moods well, and was always there to give comfort to any member of our family who needed it.

Our own experience with our dog, Beffy

Beffy died on a mid-November day…the sun was shining brightly and the temperature was mild. It didn’t seem possible that such a beautiful day could bring such a tragedy into our lives. But it did. We decided to bury her at my father’s house, since we live in the city, and he has a large backyard that backs up to a cornfield, with the perfect spot for her where berry bushes were growing wild.

As we were leaving our home for the 40 mile trip to my dad’s, clouds started gathering in the sky, and snowflakes began to fall. The sight of the late day sun struggling to peak through the clouds was the most beautiful thing we’d ever seen.

By the time we reached my dad’s house, darkness had arrived and the snow was falling heavily. We carried Beffy, wrapped up in her favorite quilt, to the spot my dad had waiting. Dad, my husband Tom, and our sons, Dustin and Larkin, took turns digging her grave. The snow was falling so fast that we were all covered with it within minutes, but we hardly even noticed.

The following spring...Beffy's spot

Dad planted sod over her grave the following spring-it's now beautiful and green, and is surrounded by wild berry bushes...
Dad planted sod over her grave the following spring-it's now beautiful and green, and is surrounded by wild berry bushes...

Laying her to rest...

Beffy was laid to rest in her quilt, and also her leash. How excited she used to get when we got it out to take her for a walk—she couldn’t sit still long enough for us to snap it on her most times. So we thought it was only right that she should have it with her always.

My dad made a wooden cross with her name on it…he knew we were hurting, and his thoughtfulness meant so much to all of us. I don’t think he even realizes just how touched we were by this loving gesture of his.

A fitting good-bye...the snow fell heavily.

As we all walked away from Beffy’s grave, it was snowing so hard that we could barely see where we were walking. But that in itself was fitting, we all agreed. Beffy loved snow, and loved to bury her nose in it as she played…so it was a comfort to all of us to know that we said good-bye to her on her favorite kind of day.

Beffy at her happiest...playing in the snow...

This was taken during the last winter that she was with us...she had a ball that day, playing with our sons in the snow.
This was taken during the last winter that she was with us...she had a ball that day, playing with our sons in the snow.

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Comments 29 comments

Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 6 years ago from Ohio

Wonderful tribute to a wonderful dog. It is amazing how much we still miss her.

Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

A beautiful dog and a tugging-at-the-heart hub. Thank you for sharing.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Tom--Thank you, Sweetie--We do miss her a lot, don't we? ~hugs~ :)

Pamela--You're welcome, and thank you for your compliments, I really appreciate them. :)

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Having lost my Cinnamon just a few weeks ago, I read your words with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. What a wonderful tribute you wrote to such a beautiful dog.

The last picture I took of Cin before she died was during our last blizzard. Like your Beffy, Cin was a real snowdog! Beffy's picture made me think of her, and I must imagine the two of them are off in doggie heaven having a ball in the snow.

When thoughts of Cin come to mind these days, I am greatly saddened, but I also feel a comfort...although she is not here in the way she was, she still does make her spirit known. Little by little, the sadness is giving way to a peaceful thankfulness for having had her in my life and for the strong feelings now and again that there is still a connection between us.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Sally's Trove--I am so very sorry about the loss of your dog, Cinnamon, I know how hard it is to let go...

I agree about the connection-I don't think it ever leaves...and do we really want it to? I love the picture in my mind that I got when you mentioned the two of them in doggie heaven, having a ball in the snow-thank you! :)

And thank you for the kind words about the hub--this one was an emotional one for me to write...


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky


Buffy was adorable. Your hub made me cry so much that I could hardly write. I'm still choked up. I'm an animal lover and I absolutely am crazy about dogs. I'm one of the few B&Bs in town that allow guests to bring their dogs cause I have to have my dog "fix" every so often

My dog, Samantha, died 5 years ago and I still haven't gotten over it. She was such an angel and only eight when she died. Haven't gotten another one because I want to rescue one and you can't be sure what their emotional issues are. So having them in the B&B posts somewhat of a risk; they just might hate or fear men, or women, because of abuse.

As you probably know, I've sold my B&B and my home and will be moving to Austin, TX soon. I can hardly wait to get another dog or maybe two. It will definitely be a Golden Retriever, like Sam was...or maybe a Border Collie. But, whatever it is, I will probably go to a rescue agency.

Thanks for a lovely Hub.

Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Losing a pet is one of the hardest things in the world. You know it will happen one day, but when it does you're never really prepared. It's hard to adjust to life again for a very long time, routines change, coming home changes, going out changes.... years later, you still cry, even if he or she always found a way to get into the trash and find a way out of the yard to poop in someone else's yard when you were in your pajamas in the middle of the afternoon. They're like no other friend in the world.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Nancy--It sounds like you had your Samantha the same amount of time that we had our Beffy...eight years. It's amazing how attached you can become, and how used to having them around that you get, after that many years, isn't it?

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, but happy to see that you are going to give another dog just as wonderful of a life as I'm sure that your Samantha had!

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

F.B.--I agree that it's the change in routine that is one of the hardest things to deal with. Beffy knew, that everytime we came home, that she would get a hot dog, her favorite snack. So she was always skittering around the frig when we would walk in the door, just waiting for her treat, lol...

We still think about that a lot when we come home now--we took it so much for granted, while she was alive, you know?

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

This was such a heartwarming tribute to Beffy. Losing a family pet seems to be something we never forget, it is such a sad time. Thanks for sharing.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

sheila--Thank you so much for your comment...and for understanding...:)

singlmomat52 profile image

singlmomat52 6 years ago

Beautiful Hub TamCor!!! I know how you felt, I lost my Tippy Boy last month and still can't talk about it. He was 13 1/2. It is so hard losing such wonderful friends. I am sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing!

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Oh, I am sooo sorry, singlmom...your loss is so recent, so I can understand how hard it is to talk about. I wrote this hub weeks ago, on paper--it took me this long to make myself publish it on here...

Again--I'm sorry for the loss of your Tippy Boy...


Juliette Morgan profile image

Juliette Morgan 6 years ago

You have done the right thing and you'll never forget the good times with your beloved doggie - my westie is 8 and I treasure every moment with him and want to start taking some more photos now...I feel for you, Juliette.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thank you, Juliette--you're right, you never do forget the good times.

Thanks for visiting this hub! :)

stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Dear TamCor : It is always hard to lose a pet that you love, but Beffy enjoyed a lot of love from you and your family. GBY Dear Heart.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

sars439--Thank you so much for your sweet means a lot! :)


Candie V profile image

Candie V 6 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

It appears this struck the heart of many.. myself included lost a dog a 18 months ago. I don't think any of us with a beloved pet like Beffy "get over it" any time soon. Thank you Tammy! Beffy needs her own hub! Hahaha!

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Candie--Sounds like you lost your dog about the same time we lost Beffy. We still talk about her--just last night we were talking about how finicky she could be when it came to her "treats", lol...

Her own hub??? lol :D

Candie V profile image

Candie V 6 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

My dog was a black and white golden retriever/border collie mix and when she'd lay in the hall in the dark I'd trip over her. Caught myself 2 nights ago looking around the corner so I'd miss her and it's been 18 mo since we had to put her to sleep. Odd habits are hard to break and I miss her every day.

Yep.. her own hub with all these articles.. would be fantastic!

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Awww, your dog sounds beautiful, Candie--and I agree about the old habits...I still catch myself thinking about going down the dog food aisle in the grocery, lol.

A hub from Beffy's point of view--is that what you mean? In her own words, so to "speak"?lol Hmmm--I don't know if I could pull that off--maybe I should sweet-talk my hubby into helping me there, hahaha...Thanks for the idea!!! :)

Candie V profile image

Candie V 6 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

I'm just stocked full of great ideas for everyone else.. but can't think of any for me.. maybe there's a hub in that? Hahaha! *sounds of scraping the bottom of the barrel*

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

lol Candie--I just know you'll be coming up with something soon--you'll have that proverbial lightbulb going off over your head anytime now! :)

jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 5 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

Beffy was a beautiful dog and I bet you feel blessed that you shared your life with her. This was a very moving hub with I could relate to. I lost my cat Cookie in November 2007 after spending 15 wonderful years with him. It still hurts but I have many fond memories of him. Voted up and beautiful.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 5 years ago from Ohio Author

Thank you jacqui2011,and I'm sorry that you've had to experience the loss of your Cookie, too. You're right--we still miss our pets, but the wonderful memories we have help us to keep them alive in our hearts forever! :)

Vampsdes profile image

Vampsdes 4 years ago from Missouri, US

What a very touching tribute. I fully agree losing a pet is so very hard. They are a part of your family and love you unconditionally. Both of my dogs got cancer and I had to have them put to sleep. Though I know it was the best thing for them as they had already suffered, not being able to convey that to them was hard. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.

These were two separate incidents of course, but both were very difficult. I too buried them in the backyard. Both by the bamboo groves with wooden crosses for each, much like your Beffy's resting place. And I think they are all happy and healthy now, including your Beffy. I mean All Dogs Go To Heaven right? :)

TamCor profile image

TamCor 4 years ago from Ohio Author

Thanks Vampsdes, for your thoughtful comments.

And I DO agree...all of our beloved pets are no longer suffering, and are happy and healthy again. :) Also, You're right...All Dogs DO Go to Heaven... :)

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

Oh, my gosh, how sad. How well I know this sadness. I have experienced it all too many times in my life. I won't recount all the assorted animals from my childhood, but the one that hurt the very worst of all was in 2008, when our beloved beautiful black cat, Soot passed from a mystery illness at only 4 years of age. Even the vet could not determine why she had died after doing a necropsy free of charge out of "professional curiosity" to see why poor Sootsie had spent the last year having mystery fevers, and no test was showing anything wrong.

She is buried in our yard, under the big tree, next to our dog who preceded her to the Rainbow Bridge in 2004. This was a beautiful piece, and an excellent description of the hurt. How fitting, indeed, was the weather on that day for your dear Beffy.

Voted up, awesome and beautiful.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 2 years ago from Ohio Author

DzyMsLizzy--Thanks for your comment, and so glad you found this hub. All of us who have lost pets know that sadness, and have probably dealt with it more often than is fair. The worst part about having a pet is the shortness of their lives compared to ours, isn't it? And when you lose them after only a few years, that is even harder to deal with.

I'm so sorry to hear about your losses, but I thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

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