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The Day After Our Family Pet Suddenly Died: A Lighter Look At Lessons Learned

Updated on April 22, 2012
Annie After Her First Haircut
Annie After Her First Haircut | Source

Our Cockapoo, Annie was only 6 months and died unexpectedly. I was shocked. For those who don’t know me well, my close friends make fun of me for my inability to cry. Some think I have defective tear ducts. I recognize when I should cry, I just don’t. After yesterday, I can assure you, these ducts work! And, I know why I don’t cry more often. It is exhausting!

So today, I will look back on my adventures yesterday with some humor in mind. I like to consider myself witty. Perhaps this is what I do to get thru tough times.

We Need 10 Shoes!

When you wake your children up at 4:30 in the morning, tell them that the family dog might be dying and demand that they put on shoes, don’t forget all the kids. I already had Annie in the car. Unfortunately, she was not going anywhere! The 7 and 5 year olds did exactly as I instructed. I got the 2 year old out of bed and right to the car. When I brought the kids into the 24 hour Animal Hospital, I realized the 2 year old was not even wearing shoes. Not only did I probably have some crazy hair and tired eyes, I had a barefoot toddler! Nice! At this point I could care less. But, next time I rush last minute out the door, I need to double check everyone’s feet! I need 10 shoes on my kid’s feet!

Annie Was Always Part Of The Group!

Annie was Always Part of the Group!
Annie was Always Part of the Group! | Source

Too Cold?

I went to the gym first this morning to work off some stress. Then I followed up with the breeder and vet. After discussions with both, I reconsidered getting an autopsy. She had been otherwise healthy up to this point. She did just have a spay surgery. I followed up with the 24 Hour Hospital to verify they had not already done a speedy cremation. They had not but she was in the freezer. I am not a cremation expert. I was afraid that she was on fire. Instead, she was freezing cold! They commented if she was too frozen, the autopsy results could be skewed. I asked them to take her out and put her on the counter while I decide. Apparently, you can’t let your dog freeze, nor can you let it sit at room temperature too long if you want an autopsy.

White Box Alert

When I got Annie from the 24 Hour Hospital, they put her in the back of my car in a white cardboard coffin. We needed to take her to the University Hospital for the autopsy. I walked in with 3 kids and 1 white cardboard box. This lobby was packed full of people and their dogs. Boy they did not enjoy looking at the white box of doom. I have never been whisked out of a crowded waiting room so quickly in my life. The white box alert must have gone off because I was taken to what appeared to be another bereavement room, 2nd one for the day. But, if you want quick service, carry a big white box!

Our Annie

Our Annie
Our Annie | Source

No More Brazil!

Our lop-eared rabbit passed away in early November 2011. I noticed the lifeless body in her cage. My husband was in Brazil. I texted him and he was shocked. I took care of the disposal. 3 of the kids were with me at the time. We talked about more when the older 2 came home from school.

We decided that our next pet would be a dog. Annie arrived at our house at the end of November 2011. In Mid April 2012, she passed away unexpectedly. My husband was in Brazil. I texted him and he was shocked.

We need to break this pattern! This is getting too tough for me to handle! Our next family pet is going to be on 24-7 watch next time my husband is in Brazil!

Looking Back

I share these less emotional thoughts a day after our Annie has passed. This time yesterday, I was still in a state of shock. We went thru our normal day, with a few extra ‘Annie’ errands and phone calls.

After prayers at dinner, we went around the table and said what we loved most about Annie. Then we decided on the name for our next dog. We will definitely get a new dog. Our kids loved Annie. Naming our next dog will give us a chance to talk about the new dog, instead of only being sad about Annie!

I look back at yesterday and I was so ready for it to be over.

Yesterday was physically tiring.

Yesterday was emotionally exhausting.

We are still sad. We will continue to miss Annie.We loved Annie!

But, there were a few times that I laughed on the inside.

There were times that yesterday was just plain crazy!

Maybe today we will laugh on the outside!


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    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Your rat visual made me laugh! Thanks, Narashalh! May your dogs live for years and years!

    • Natashalh profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      I once had a pet rat that only lasted 24 hours! I have no idea why she suddenly keeled over. It was like a cartoon - she was on her back with all four feet in the air! Obviously I was not as attached to her as one would be to a puppy. I know when I loose one of my current dogs, I will cry for days.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      You know what, denisemai, I think we will end up getting a new puppy right away. We definitely can never and do not intend to replace Annie. I think we are filling a hole in our hearts. Our new puppies' middle name will definitely be Annie! Thanks for reading!

    • denisemai profile image

      Denise Mai 

      6 years ago from Idaho

      I think looking at the lighter side of things always helps in practically any situation. That and going out and buying a new puppy. Immediately. When our beloved boxer, Sophie, died, we looked back at the goofy times with our overly gregarious dog. It helped to focus on the positive. We were thankful for our time with her and we miss her dearly but will never forget her clownish personality. Great hub. And I am sorry for your loss.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      But, TheLifeExperiment, I have edited my title to Lighter instead of Humorous. My intention is absolutely not to offend. I had hundreds of people tell me I made them cry yesterday. I was attempting to lightened the mood. Sorry if you were offended!

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      TheLifeExperiment, trust me, I am still grieving! And you are correct, people grieve in different ways. I do have a tendency to make light of a situation to help myself out. But, please know, I am very sad and will continue to be sad for our loss. I have thought about her constantly today as her physical absence is so noticeable. Please don't think I am unfeeling. Please know it is just my way of trying to not be so sad!

    • TheLifeExperiment profile image


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I'm sorry your pet died, I've gone through that twice and its one of the hardest things ever. Which is why I'm a little surprised at how quickly you seem to have gotten over it? I don't know how you grieve, I've never met you, but I do admit some stuff you said seemed a bit too humorous for 1 day after your pet died. Maybe I just don't understand, but personally I think family pets deserve more grieving time. I took me months to get over my cat dying...

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Peggy! We are hoping for many years with our new addition as well! But, we will always have Annie! :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I am so sorry to hear that your dear little Annie died so unexpectedly and at so young an age. Humor still edges in at the most unexpected times and nice that you were able to appreciate least on the inside. Here is to many happy years ahead with your next dog. You will always have your memories of your precious little Annie.


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