You may or may not have suspected it but the fam and I have been gone for the past week on vacation.  It was a fabulous time!  I apologize for the past few posts being a bit odd, it was my first time scheduling posts and it was a rough ride let me tell you.  But I’ve learned from it. =0) 

We had such fun rv-ing in Arizona.  I’ll post more on it soon. 

We did have a sad return Saturday night though.  We arrived at about 7:30pm to find our beloved Doberman, McKee, dead in her favorite sleeping spot.  She loved to lay right up against the sliding glass door where she could keep an eye on us and all the goings on inside the house (she was an outdoor dog, except during extreme temps).  There she lay, looking like she was just taking a nap.  She was old, she would have been 12 come July.  We knew it was coming. 

We had close friends of ours checking on her during our absence.  They’d even contacted us earlier in the week because they were concerned about her.  But there just wasn’t much to be done.  So we just reassured them not to feel bad if anything did happen. Yeah right.  Like that really lessens the guilt for them!  That’s a pet-sitters nightmare! 

I’d love to go on and on about what a great dog and friend she was.  But the truth is, my heart just can’t take it right now.  But you can read about her here.  Poppett and Monkey are devastated, as can be expected.  Poor Poppett, Saturday night, just sat on the couch and sobbed.  She did manage to choke out, “I’d…give…almost…anything…to…have…McKee…back!” Aaaahh! My breaking heart!  Tiger and Lil Blue were a bit confused by it all.  Too young to understand.  The next morning, Lil Blue (who learned McKee’s name before mine mind you) ran to the sliding door like always, and started calling her name.  Over and over.  And over.  He about did me in folks.  It breaks my heart that he won’t remember her.  I’m glad I have the video and pictures to prove their early and immediate bond.

I do have to say, God is good.  In the midst of my sadness, I can praise Him.  See, I’ve been able to thank Him, in front of my children, for blessing us with such a great dog.  For all the years we had with her and how wonderful she was to us and for us. 

On top of that, my love for Hubby doubled Saturday night.   We’d gotten in Saturday nightat about 7:30pm.  And we still had to feed and bathe the kids before we could get them to bed.  So while I’m doing that (after sitting with Poppett and Monkey as they sobbed on the couch)  poor Hubby, after drivingus home ALL DAY LONG, now had McKee’s body to deal with. 

It’d been really hot that day (something that may have sped her death up a bit) and we couldn’t just leave her, even for the night.  But alas, Animal Control was closed until Monday (we’d hoped they’d be able to come pick her up for us).  So my wonderful husband set to work digging a hole, a very BIG hole mind you, in the dark.  He wouldn’t let me help at all.  I couldn’t even touch a shovel.  But I hated to see him work alone as tired as he was… so I stood there and we talked while he sweated it out like the true man that he is.  He dug about a foot down and hit granite or something because even when we tried soaking it, the water didn’t absorb, even after over an hour.  So, after a short debate on whether or not he could fit her in the shallow hole and just put big memorial rocks on top (um, there was no way that was going to happen), we went for plan C. (That should have been plan B)  And that was to take her in to the 24-hr vet for them to “handle”.  It was 12:30am by now so we really had no other options.  As much as I hated the thought of just disposingof her body, there just really wasn’t anything else we could do (Sunday morning the hole was still  full of water!).  So Hubby loaded her up, again not lettingme do a thing.  He didn’t want me to have to go through any of the process, even though it was all he could do to carry her to the truck and wrestle her in to the back of it as lovingly as possible (I could hear the thump of her body even in the house, she was a tad rigoredup).  He was amazing.  He was so strong for the kids and I.  Goodness knows, I was doing enough drama for both of us! 

It made me so thankful to God for a husband like him, who did what he knew he had to do, and spared me all that he could, when he was just as heartbroken on the inside as the rest of us.  It made me think about how other husbands would have acted in this situation.  Would a “weaker” husband willingly hand over the responsibility to me just because they were sad, or grossed out, or just didn’t want to deal with it?  It’s hard to believe it but I’m sure there are husbands who would.  Again, so thankful for my strong husband. 

So the Runningamuck household is doglessand heartbroken.  I’m sad I wasn’t here to comfort her myself.  To rub her ears and tell her what a great dog she was for us.  To thank her for loving my children so much, for being so trustworthy and protective.   But I’m happy she didn’t seem to suffer and that it was only a week long process instead of months.  I’m thankful for our friends who did their best in our absence, to cheer her up and keep her company.  And oh so thankful for all the years we had with her…

As soon as the weather cools off a bit, I plan on digging up a couple large rocks we have in the backyard and letting the kids decorate one while I put McK’s name on the other.  I thought we’d put them on the intended grave-site and plant a rose bush or something to decorate the area. 

I welcome any ideas or tips you all have either on her memorial or helping the kids deal with this loss.  What has helped you?  What was your experience?  I’d love to hear it all.  So please, share away!

There’ll be another dog in the future for sure but that poor dog sure has some mighty big paw-prints to fill…