It’s So Hard To Let You Go. Rest In Peace Old Friend.

A Phone Call At Work

Yesterday was a hard day. I had to say goodbye to a very good friend, one of the best that I’ve ever had.

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It all started when I got a phone call from my mom around 3 in the afternoon while I was at work. When she calls me at work it usually isn’t good news. The last time she called me in the middle of the day, my grandmother had passed away. I braced myself for whatever she might have to say.

<em>My "best friend"</em>

My "best friend"

My mother told me that my border collie Buddy, who lives with my parents, wasn’t doing very good. For the last 5 days he hadn’t really been eating. He was having trouble standing, and getting up and down stairs was near impossible. He was in a lot of pain. The vet was gently suggesting that Buddy’s time had come, and that we may want to consider putting him to sleep.

Getting On In Years

We knew that Buddy was getting old. He was 14 1/2 years old, which is a pretty long life for a big 75lb dog like he was.  However losing a pet is never something you expect or really prepare yourself for. I know I hadn’t.

After talking with my mom and hearing about all the problems Buddy had, and how much pain he was in, I agreed that the most humane thing to do would be to let him pass away peacefully at the vet’s office.  He has already had so much pain, so we felt that it was our responsibility as loving pet owners to let Buddy go.

Looking Back At A Life Well Lived

I got Buddy way back in 1996.   I was in college at the time, and living at home. I had never had a dog before, and had always wanted one.   So one day I went to the Humane Society with the intention of finding the perfect dog.  Did I ever!

When I walked into the area where the dogs were kept,  one dog stood out.  That dog was jumping about 3 feet straight up in the air in his dog run, trying to get our attention.  He did, and we took him out to get acquainted.  We fell in love with him, and ended up taking him home that evening.

Buddy was such a beautiful dog

Buddy was such a beautiful dog, but he was in a lot of pain.

Buddy was one of the most affectionate dogs you’ll ever meet, putting his head in your lap when you would sit down next to him, or brushing your hand with his head so that you would pet him.  He loved to play fetch in his earlier years with the tennis ball in the backyard, although the ball always ended up a slobbery mess.

Buddy was a border collie, and sometimes his herding instincts would shine through. I remember at times how he would try to herd small children by running circles around them. He wasn’t always successful, but he loved to try!

Above all, Buddy was always a good friend. He was always happy to see you, and his tail always wagged when you came into the room. He was a blessing sent from God.

Time To Say Goodbye

My parents picked me up at work since I had carpooled to work. I got into their minivan and scooted into the back seat next to Buddy. He didn’t move.  He was in pain, and was tired.  He was showing it.  He panted heavily and acknowledged that I was there.  I put my arm around him and stroked his fur.  I told him that he was a goooood boy, and that I loved him.  He seemed glad that I was there.   I was glad to be there, and I didn’t want this goodbye to end

My wife was coming to meet us at the veterinary clinic because she wanted to say goodbye to Buddy as well, and be there for me as I went through this tough time.  We hugged Buddy, kissed him, told him how much we loved him, and then took a few pictures, including the one below.

Saying goodbye

Saying goodbye one last time.

Finally after sitting with Buddy for quite a while, we decided that it was time.  We urged Buddy to get up and out of the van.  He didn’t have the strength,  so I picked him up to lift him out.  He squealed in pain.  At that time I knew we were doing the right thing. Buddy was in so much pain, and it wasn’t fair for us to allow him to go through that any longer.

We brought Buddy into a room in the clinic, and the doctor came in.  After we had finished saying our goodbyes, she injected him.  He was a good dog all the way til the end, he never flinched, and just peacefully put his head down and went to sleep.  I wept.

We’ll miss you Buddy, you were a good boy.

Last Edited: 16th June 2009

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  1. says

    It can be so hard to lose a pet. I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve lived with dogs all of my life, and never for a second have I regretted it. The only downside to having a dog is the fact that their lives are so much shorter. Remember the good times.

  2. says

    I’m so sorry you lost Buddy, but you were a good friend to him. I do dog rescue and I can’t tell you how many times people will bring me a dog that just needs to be given a humane end because of some debilitating disease, but they just can’t bring themselves to do it. Even worse are the ones who just let the animal suffer until it dies on it’s own. Thank you for being there for Buddy — I know it meant a lot to him.


  3. says


    I know how hard it is… I’ve had to have two beloved dogs put down, and one that went down right after surgery to remove a tumor on his spleen. They all hurt, every single one, and there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think of them all.

    You can even see in the photos, Buddy loved you to pieces. And he’s up there chasing sheep and all the babies in heaven!

  4. says

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I had an old English sheepdog as a kid and later a golden retriever. It stung a lot when each of their times came. They were both the best in their own way and loyal and friendly till the end.

  5. says

    What a beautiful post. Buddy was very blessed to have such a loving family.

    And it sounds like it was his time, so your family made the kind decision.

  6. says

    Sorry to hear of your loss.

    I bet Buddy was too smart for his own good, wasn’t he?

    We have a 13 year-old Black Labrador Retriever and a 13 year-old Lab-Border Collie mix. While the Lab is very smart, she still acts like a puppy. The Border Collie on the other hand acts like he is too smart, like that relative who has the P.H.D., and looks down the noses of everyone else.

    When someone gives a command, he looks annoyed that he has to move, the cock of his head almost saying. “who me? You’re talking to the lab, right?”

    Both my dogs are getting up there in age. The border collie has a paralyzed right front leg and the lab has cancer, so I know that their time is short. I’ve promised to not let them suffer just for my sake, but know that it will be a sad day.

    I’m glad you have all the good memories of Buddy.

  7. says

    @ Christopher – yeah, Buddy was an extremely smart dog who was sometimes too smart for his own good. I’ve heard that most border collies are like that, but being biased I think buddy was the best :)

    @ Mrs Micah – We think we made the right decision, Buddy wasn’t feeling good, and HE was ready to go. It would have been unkind to not give him his dignity in the end.

    @ everyone else – thanks for your kind comments!

  8. says

    Peter, sorry to hear that. It is such a bummer, we had to put our dog down a couple years ago and I still don’t like thinking about it…

    I will be praying for you…

  9. says

    Sorry for your loss Peter. We also have a border collie named Daisy. She is 10 years old this year and is just starting to slow down. But, I know the day will come when we will have to say good by.

  10. says

    I hear you Pete – it’s tough. I lost my best buddy in 2001. Someone put poisoned meat out on our neighborhood as dogs were able to run around and this guy apparently didn’t like them on his yard. 8 dogs died in our neighborhood thanks to that guy, but it was in the middle of the winter and it would freeze at night.

    I knew that when I didn’t see my dog come home that night something was wrong – the next morning I got a call from a guy that found my dog in his front yard, barely alive but very frozen and I took him into the vet as soon as I could but it was too late.

    I feel for you man, and I wish you the best!

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  11. says

    I am so sorry but you know, you gave him a life he would have never had otherwise. You were as good for him as he was for you. I am sure you know, Buddy taught you a lot of things.

    Your advernture with Buddy was beautifully written. It made me weep too. My dog is also a recue dog and his name is Buddy. And he is the sweetest, most loving dog ever. I know exactly how you feel in the way you loved him.

    Our Buddy is about 2 and he is only going to leave home like your Buddy did. He won’t grow up and go away like our children have. He will always be our little boy….giving love unconditionally and expecting nothing more than a meal and some love in return. I am SURE that your Buddy has brought you more joy than you can even remember.

    Write a book. You have that gift. You should share Buddy with the world.

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  12. Jessie says

    I had a Buddy too, a Golden who left me at 14 years old. God bless you and heal you and your family…it’s just as bad as losing a person but you did the right thing for him.

  13. says

    Man..I was in the office while reading your post and the next thing I knew upon reaching the end it, I ended up with teary eyes.

    Great post, beautifully written and well illustrated.I hope you find a new buddy!


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  14. says

    I am so sorry for your loss…I had a very similar circumstance last September with my Sophie. I still miss her, but know the decision was best for her…she too was in pain! May the Lord continue to comfort you! God Bless!

  15. Josh says

    I’ve been in the same situation, and although it stopped making me cry a very very long time ago, the memory of having my dog put to sleep well over a decade ago still makes me sad, and probably always will.

    It did teach me a lesson about making the most of a dog’s life while it’s alive, though. I look back at my time with that dog, and realize I kind of took her for granted – which makes me want to avoid that with my current dogs. Sometimes, even when I’m not really in the mood, I get down on the floor and play with my dogs, because I know that someday, I’ll regret all the times that I didn’t.

  16. says

    So sorry to hear about the loss, Pete. I have two dogs that I got when I moved away from home and they are aging so I dread the day I am faced with this. The dog my family got when I was 10 lived 15 years and actually lived with me and hubby and my daughter when we had to decide to put her down. It was so hard on all of us. They really are like another family member.

  17. Gringo says

    I am so sorry for your loss. It was a hard decision, but you did right for your friend. It’s unfortunate that dogs do not live as long as humans.

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