And she left us…

There are two kinds of people in the world: dog people and not-dog-people.

Having a dog that I walk each day, I’m finding it easy to tell between the two. We take Bronte to a beach nearby that is leash-free. Anytime someone comes within shouting distance of us, Bronte in all her enthusiasm will make a beeline for them. Her whole body gets into this overwhelmed state of eagerness, she smiles, her tail wags with such intensity I fear it might fall off and if she could talk she’d say, “Hey new person. Play with me. New person. Play with me. Pat me. Hello new person.”

As I run to save the person from the puppy-enthusiasm I can tell the dog person from the not-dog-person. Dog lovers get all excited, “A puppy! So cute! What’s her name? How old is she?”  Non-dog lovers will keep on walking, as if they’ve never seen her.

Disclaimer: It’s OK to not be a dog person. Promise. I’m not a cat person. This probably makes me less of a person, somehow. But I just can’t bring myself to love them.

We’ve always been dog people. Always. Sometimes we had just one, others we had three. Our most precious is Tayla {above}.

My sister bought her one weekend, as an excitable 21 year old, and had her living in her apartment with her. She ate through countless shoes and destroyed many possessions before it was decided that she should live with us at home, where we had more room {and less fancy shoes}.

A dog is privy to the most private part of any family’s life. The details, the fights, the tears, the moments. Tayla was there when I moved out of home, reluctantly, and up into the City to work as a live-in nanny. She was there when I celebrated my 21st birthday with a party at home. She was there when I bought my boyfriend to meet the parents for the first time. And she was part of our family when I got engaged, got married, fell pregnant and had a baby. She was there for it all.

And we were part of hers. The way she’d run into the water with such glee. The time she escaped and ate scraps at our New Year’s party. She ate so much she didn’t eat for 4 days, basking in our backyard in a food coma unable to move.

And then yesterday, at 14 years of age, she left us.

Losing a dog is the pits. We always outlive them. The pain and heartache is inevitable, and never fun. We were teens when she came into our life, and now as adults we said goodbye. I fear death more than anything, even more than public speaking. I don’t understand it and it scares me. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t have a religion. Perhaps that’s why.

But there’s a small window of beauty in having someone you love pass on. Reliving the memories, and being grateful for having them in our lives, as well as being alive ourselves.

There’s a quote from Meet Joe Black I love, “If we lucky, maybe, we got some nice pictures to take with us.”

I think Tayla had lots of lovely pictures to take with her: running into the water, cuddles from Lacey, love from us and that one time she ate so much she couldn’t move.

  • http://twitter.com/nolagina nolagina

    tears from me. pets are family

  • Allison Miller

    14 years of love and memories to treasure. I’m a dog person , we have two and just can’t imagine a life without chewed up stuff and dog hair! Tayla looks like she was a beauty!. We have Labs, they are special no doubt about it. Will be thinking of you today….it’s tough, run into the waves with abandon just like she would have….it will make you feel a little better.
    Allison x

  • http://www.facebook.com/haley.veturis Haley Veturis

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Dogs give us this unconditional love that even humans have a hard time giving. I don’t think religion gives people hope but rather we draw hope from our faith that someone has already gone before us and a made a way for us to get to heaven and be reunited with our loved ones. All we have to do is recognize our creator and say Yes. That’s where my hope lies.

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      That unconditional love is so beautiful. There’s no guilt, no conditions on which their love is hung… just love.

  • Louisa

    Oh so much love to you. I am a dog person and a cat person and most recently we had a cat who was very much like a dog for almost 7 years. When he left us I was so very sad. I hope Lacey is OK – Bliss is still talking about Rumple and it’s been 6 months… xx

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I thought of you yesterday Louisa, and was reminded of how painful that must have been for you. xxx

  • Michele C.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My pets have always been equal members of our family, and it always hurts.

  • Lana (www.ivillage.com.au)

    So sorry to hear of your loss. What a beautiful life Tayla had xxxxx

  • kittykerri

    I’m so sorry for your loss. *Hugs*

  • http://www.facebook.com/TaraJo Tara Banks

    what a lovely remembrance, i have a senior dog that i love to pieces and i can’t imagine the day when she leaves us.

  • J.W. Owen

    Sending you much love and light as you deal with this loss.

  • Elaine – visual meringue

    Awh. RIP Tayla :( Such a pretty girl.

  • http://twitter.com/britty_mack BrittyMack

    So sorry you lost her! It’s so hard to lose a member of the family. Hugs from California, Chantelle!!!

  • Jo Tracey

    Dogs bring us the most wonderful gifts- and when they leave us, they leave us with heartfelt memories. We feel their loss so much because their love is unconditional. I’m shedding a few tears for you.

  • http://twitter.com/boergerwelt Daniela

    I’m sorry for your loss. Reading your post, tears welled up in my eyes and I was taken back to the day when I had to put my cat to sleep. His name was Momo and we had 11 wonderful years with him. Good times, bad times, everything. It almost broke my heart to watch him fade away. So I am a cat person, but when it comes to losing a housemate, it doesn’t matter. Keep the memories! I do!

  • Cheri Marks

    My little Skyler is 14 as well, and I dread… so, so dread the day she leaves us. Hugs to you. Pets are indeed part of the family.

  • lindaloo

    You were so lucky to have had her in your life for so long. She will always be there in your heart. Sad for you today.

  • Nat

    Please know that I feel your pain with you, Im sorry for the loss of your family member. She sounds like she was a wonderful companion who had quiet the doggy life.

  • therese hounsell

    solidarity my friend. we lost our jonas (a yellow lab) when he was just 9 and i was five months pregnant with our son. he died in my arms, our noses touching. his body stretched against my pregnant belly. the last words he heard were me telling him he was such a good boy and that we loved him over and over and over. oh we loved him so much. forever, in fact. my heart is with you and your family.

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      Oh tears. My heart aches for you. xx

  • Sara

    I really feel for you as I lost my gorgeous 12 year old boy last weekend and I’ve been heartbroken since then. They are more than dogs, they are a family member and as such they leave a massive hole when they pass away. At least we can take comfort in the fact that they had great lives with us and they were loved more than they could ever have imagined….xxx

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I’m so sorry Sara. x

  • Beth K

    I’m so so sorry for your family’s loss. We are pet people too & understand. Losing a pet is definitely like losing a family member, as they are one! I have a religion, but I still fear death and have a difficult time w/ it as well. Your Tayla sounds like she does have lots of wonderful pictures to take with her!

  • http://www.zenichka.com/ Zee Kleshchar

    I am a cat-dog person (as long as the dog is not smaller than a cat… then I perceive it as a rodent or something)… My cat is 18 years old now and considering I am 26, most of my conscious life has been spent with Liz. I dread the day when she will leave (and I know that day is closer and closer…)

    Sorry for your loss – but good that you had such a wonderful friend for 14 years. Dean Koontz, an avid dog lover and my favorite author, once wrote, “The opportunity to love a dog and to treat it with kindness is an opportunity for a lost and selfish heart to be redeemed. They are powerless and innocent, and it is how we treat the humblest among us that surely determines the fate of our souls.” (The Darkest Evening of the Year)

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      That’s powerful, that quote. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful. x

  • bootsystar

    oh, gosh. I’m so very sorry about tayla. I’m holding your family in my heart. my bucket list includes ‘hug every dog i see’. i wish i could have hugged tayla. xx

  • mandygirlie238

    I’m sorry for the piece of your heart that is now gone from you. Pets hold such a special spot in our hearts. I’m sorry that you have to feel the grief. Our Daisy was 10 years old and she passed away suddenly a year ago. She was truly a best friend. Many times she let me cry on her little head when we struggled 10 years to have a baby. She never once minded and always kissed the tears away. When we finally had a baby, she loved him like he was her very own pup. My son, and even I, still talk about her and are sad that she is gone….even after a year and a new puppy to fill the void. Hold on to the memories and let them make you smile. :-) Hugs!! I

  • http://www.mdkaos.blogspot.com/ Mummaducka

    Oh dear! I feel your pain, our 13 year old labbie left us in February and she looked just like your girl. I miss her dreadfully, but have 6 other dogs which helps. But there is just something irreplaceable about the soul and love of a Labrador. Just think that she will be there waiting for you when it’s your turn many, many years from now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001904694513 Emily Gray

    Wow. This is such a beautiful post, Chantelle, it makes me want to give blogging another crack… To share stories/memories like this, and be able to read back through and smile!

    Thank you for sharing this.
    It’s time to make new memories with that other cute puppy of yours.
    And of course, your beautiful daughter!

    Have a great day! x

  • Marilyn

    So sorry to hear about your loss. It is a very hard thing to go through. Our fur babies do become a very important part of our family. I am a dog person, I like cats, just prefer dogs.

  • Sonya

    What a beautiful picture…I’m so sorry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000056879446 Chris Paul

    I am so sorry to hear your sad news….I remember losing our family dog (lucky) we had taken him on from my uncle ,who could not handle him,he was a cheeky med size poodle, that loved going off on adventures and coming back dirty&smelly and borrowing toys!
    He lived to 17yrs and was my best friend growing up,when he went i was married and expecting my second child.
    I was so upset at losing him but have some beautiful memories of him.
    We have also been through this twice with our dogs, and what did we do…..go and get a
    rescue boxer dog! with so many hang ups its mad.
    just keep remembering the lovely memories
    chris x

  • Margieuk

    So very sad, I am so sorry

  • Gary

    So sad. I had a beautiful male Golden Labrador Retriever with a large broad head. His name was Staph. He was always a joy until he died at 12 years old. I miss him always.

  • BocaFrau

    So sorry to hear this. It is tough when a pet passes away. But like you, I am a dog person and I think will always have a dog around. They are just such great companions.

  • What_Sarah_Did_Next

    Oh I’m so sorry, Chantelle. Losing your beloved animals is never an easy thing to deal with. We have a dog and a cat in our house and they are a much-loved part of our family. *hugs*

  • Michele

    :( We lost our Golden Retriever, Jack, in January. We miss him terribly…… Hugs!

  • sarah

    We also have a 14 year old lab whose tail still waggs the way it did when he was younger. Your post bought tears to my eyes because I know we also have that coming. They are the best most amazing friends in the world. The love of a lab is very special. Sorry for your loss.

  • Simone

    Such a beautiful precious picture and huge memories of her that will last a lifetime for you all. Very sorry for your loss.

  • shelleyjnelson

    We lost our dog of 7 years a few months ago. I cried for days. A family’s not a family without a dog (well I think) so we’ve gone and got another lab puppy. She’s just like Bronte but hasn’t ate my iPad, yet….
    Hugs xo

  • Mother rucker
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=676204679 Michelle Leanne Barrington

    Sorry to hear that Chantelle. We have a golden retriever bronte who is part of our family too and undergoing a course of treatment at the vet at the moment. They way they love us unconditionally is so special. I am sure Tayla took many special pictures with her.

  • Notsuchayummymummy

    We lost our 16 year old dog, Sunny in June. We’re still devastated. One day we’ll get another one but it’s too soon just yet. It’s an awful feeling :( x

  • Elaine Clark

    Such a touching tribute to your Tayla! My sympathies to your family.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roger.tison Roger Tison

    I am so sorry for your loss. :( We lost our little Chihuahua, Peaches, back in June and it broke my heart to say good-bye.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marsha.bradley Marsha Bradley

    Oh what a lovely post. So sorry for your loss, what a beautiful dog Tayla was. We just got a dog 3 weeks ago, it’s been 10 years since I was a dog owner because it broke my heart so much when my little dog grew her wings. They really are family. I’m very much like you regarding being a “dog” person. xx

  • Georgie

    Oh no – that’s so sad – losing a pet is the worst thing. I feel for you and the family.

  • Bookfool, aka Nancy

    Lovely tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss. I love this, in particular: “there’s a small window of beauty in having someone you love pass on.” I have difficulty finding the beauty, myself. I need to memorize those words. Wishing your family many pictures to hold next to your hearts.

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      Thank you. x

  • sally906

    Have only ‘known’ you a short while – but being a dog person and having lost a fur friend I am sharing your grief.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000023254249 Isolated Existence

    Tayla was very fortunate to have your family as her family. She lived a wonderful life, I’m sure she’s running along the waves wherever she is. I am a cat and dog lover, but we have a cat. A family member couldn’t keep him any longer so it was either taking him in or send him to the ASPCA. I’m glad we did, he’s the baby of the house.:-)

  • Anon

    You don’t need manufactured religion, you got soul, girl!

  • Mary

    so sorry for your loss, I have tears in my eyes reading this ( I am a big dog lover) our dog is 14 years old and I dread the day he leaves us. Tayla sounds like she had lots of nice pictures to take with her and was blessed to be in a loving family
    Mary

  • Julie Birbeck

    Thank you for sharing your special memories with us about your wonderful dog Tayla. She will always have a place in your heart and the memories will help you to smile through the tears. I am so very sorry for the loss of your special friend. xxx

  • Sarah Albert

    My thoughts are with you…
    I have never lost a dog in that way before. But my first dog.. a Jack Russell Terrier named Gizmo was ‘taken away’ from me. Years ago I bought him with my ex-boyfriend we loved him a lot. But the love for the boy went away… so we had to do something with the dog. He said he did not want him anymore so I took Gizmo with me. He was always my best friend. Bringing sunshine to my days. When I left for foreign exchange I almost had to beg the ex to take in Gizmo for that time. He didn’t want the responsibility anymore but ended up doing it anyways. That is the one big thing I regret in my life… not taking Gizmo with me. When I came back the ex was very reluctant to give Gizmo back.. Since I had made plans to leave the country for good and live overseas. One day I called him to make arrangements for me to pick up the dog and he refused. He had moved to a different city with his new girlfriend. And decided that the dog should stay with him. I tried many many things to see Gizmo again.. even mediation… In the end I had to make the heart wrenching decision of spending my life without Gizmo. It broke my heart….

    Last April me and my boyfriend decided to get a puppy…. to mend the hole in my heart that once was called Gizmo. And now there is Balou… a chocolate lab x border collie. He eased my pain by being a wonderful pup.. I couldn’t begin to think about losing him. I am grateful that he is there for me… every day.. Loving me unconditionally… And letting me cry in his soft fur every now and then when I think about his lost ‘brother’.

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      Your story just touched my heart. I can’t even imagine how painful that must have been. x

  • http://twitter.com/jenseeya Jenny Clift

    I’m glad I haven’t put my eye makeup on yet cause I’m crying. I’m a dog person and I totally GET this. My dog is of the same vintage as yours and well into her retirement years. I’m dreading the day when she leaves us but know that she will leave us with some bloody good memories.

  • stinkb0mb

    I’m so sorry to hear of Tayla’s passing. I’ve lost both my dogs this year, my Pitbull went first and then less than two months later, our Staffy – his death was very unexpected and it hit us very very hard.

    We now have Ruby in our lives who we got two weeks before our Staffy passed and if we hadn’t of had her when he passed, I would have been completely lost.

    There are the people who completely understand how much the death of a pet affects you and those who don’t. Those who don’t never will, they just aren’t pet people and I actually feel a bit sorry for them because they will never know the feeling of being completely unconditionally loved by an animal that just wants to make you happy.

    x

  • mermaid28

    My thoughts are with you at this time, dogs are the most wonderful friends, Sadly we lost our beloved labrador, Holly she was 15 years old …… she was the most lovable, loyal dog! Just reading your blog has me with tears rolling down my cheeks as I miss her so much! Remember the good times, the grief you feel after so long rips your heart to shreds! I’m feeling for you! To add to these tears, is the fact we did get another labrador ‘JET’ he was 2 years old and unfortunately for us he looks as though he has been Stolen from our yard with not a trace of him to be found after 3 weeks I’m starting to give up hope …… I don’t know how I am going to tell my son on Friday when he comes home from being on an ‘exchange student’ trip! He will be devastated! xxx

  • Antonella

    We’ve had soooo many dogs during my life (we even had 8 at a time!) and, still, I’m a cat person.
    We currently live with two cats and a dog (Scooby). He has lived with us for 10 years and your post moved me and made me cry. It also made think about him and the moments we’ve spent together.
    I hope you remember the happy parts and smile to yourself each time you do. Thank you for sharing this :)

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I am. Thank you. x

  • http://www.facebook.com/clarebear2386 Stephanie Matthews

    This made me cry. Sorry for your loss Chantelle. What a beautiful post.

    Having moved from my parents farm to the city 7 years ago, I’m often surprised by just how much I miss their place. Not just the quietness and space, oh so much space, but the animals. All sorts of animals – cows, sheep, goats, chooks, cats, dogs and horses. The horses were and still are my favorite. All 3 of our main horses have died and my heart aches for them and I think it will for a long time yet. They’d been a part of my life since I was 5, so almost 20 years.

    I truly believe that whilst you can have a human best friend, an animal will be an even “truer” best friend. Humans judge. Animals simply love and appreciate.

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      “Humans judge. Animals simply love and appreciate.”

      Thank you. x

  • http://www.facebook.com/goodwingreene Gigi Greene

    What a lovely tribute to Tayla. Having just lost our 15.7 year old Weimaraner Chloe, on the heels of my Dad’s 13 year old coonhound, Gucci, I can too easily relate with the pain and loss of a much loved member of the family, as well as those wonderful pictures that flicker through the mind. 
    I envision her somehow, in my mind’s eye, happily romping through my dreams.
    She was always loved, my Chloe. My wonder dog. 

  • Kirsty Skilbeck

    Our dog is getting very old and the day we say goodbye is too soon, they are family, and leave a gaping hole when they go. Sounds like you have some great doggy tales to remember her by.

  • Laurie Z

    Oh *sniff*sniff*…My heart breaks for you all but wells at these beautiful words honoring your sweet Tayla. We are most def dog people and cannot imagine our lives without our four legged babies. Currently, we have three…our old man is 13 & we especially relish each day with him. At bedtime I never neglect to say to him “I’m so happy you found me!”.May your happy memories bring you joy & comfort that she lived well & was well loved. I can absolutely see the joy in Tayla’s smile in the photo in this post. Big hugs.

  • Jeanne

    so sorry for your loss. knowing that we almost always out-live them doesn’t help to make their departure less sorrowful. may the memories of Tayla comfort your aching heart. I am a dog person too and have she more tears for my pals than I have for some of the humans I’ve lost. There is something about a dog’s pure trust and forgiveness that makes loving them so easy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christie.h.eden Christie Haynes Eden

    This brought tears to my eyes. Our pets are family, and losing a loved one is never easy. It would be easier to just not have a pet and skip the heartache, but then we’d miss all the wonderful things they bring into our lives. Tayla will always be with you. Hugs from Missouri

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      Thank you. x

  • Robin

    Naaw, I feel for you. Part of your family has gone and you can never replace them, but you have some awesome memories, and lots of pictures too no doubt. I love the way you have put this tribute together….. Beautiful.!!

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      Thank you.

  • Karla

    I am so sorry for your loss :(
    My beautiful baby girl Maddi (Rotti x Lab) is 16 1/2 years old, I have had her with me since I was 14… literally the better part of my life.
    She has been there through it all, the teenage hormones – and broken hearts, the relationship failures, the interstate moves, the fights, the tears, the good times, meeting and marrying my husband….. She was the only one who was there waiting at home when I lost an unplanned pregnancy as a young single woman – she shared my tears and slept next to me, helped me to heal; and she was there waiting for me with her wagging tail when I came home from hospital with my 2 little bundles now as a married woman. She really is the best friend I have ever had.
    I have been so blessed to have such an amazing dog in my life, and I know it is only a matter of time til she leaves. And thinking about that day fills me with dread and great sadness….
    When that day comes I must remember this, especially the words ” there’s a small window of beauty in having someone you love pass on” so true and so poignant.
    Thankyou, and my deepest condolences to you and your family.

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      Thank you. x

  • Jasmine El-Rab

    I’m so sorry for your loss :’( as a dog person, I am truly upset right now. The thought of losing my dog or my boyfriend’s dog brings instant tears to my eyes, so I cannot begin to imagine how you must be feeling. Big cuddles, x

  • http://www.facebook.com/mandy191175 Amanda Roberts

    I have tears running down my face reading this beautiful post. Our pets are certainly a part of our family and I will be devistated when the time comes that we lose one of ours. We have a Labrador {Max} and a Labrador x {Rosie} who have just given birth to 6 adorable puppies. I have had pets my whole life, at times like a zoo, and each one has been special and so loved. I am so sorry for your loss. Times like these it’s good to remember to fun times and be thankful that we were lucky enough to have someone so special in our life. Xxx

  • Jessica Holoka

    It’s heartbreaking to lose a pet. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Cathi

    My heart breaks for you and your family Chantelle. I always taught my kids that pets are part of the family. We love them, care for them but … we also as you said, outlive them.
    My youngest son (he’ll be 31 next week) lost Butters, his little 2-year old best friend in January. I cried and grieved. Not for Butters but for Todd. I worried terribly about him. He loved that little boxer/pug mix puppy but she had severe health problems from the get go. Thousands and thousands of $$ and two years of an over the top loving dedicated friendship and she died of heart failure in his arms.
    Then we had Puff, a black cat that I sometime remember with bitterness. By no fault of Puff’s. She just happened to outlive my daughter and my mama mind sometimes get bitter. I know. Stupid. Britt was 17 when she died. Puff was 22. Like I said, stupid me.
    My thoughts, prayers and hugs go to you as you remember all the fun and good times with Tayla. xoxo

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I have tears. Cathi, I didn’t know about Britt – and I understand how you could feel that way about Puff. I am so sorry for your loss. xxx

  • Bronwyn K

    Sorry for you loss Chantelle, my dog, also fourteen, passed on Easter Sunday this year and I was devasted. I didn’t know how much I loved this dog until he was gone. I loved him so much much in fact that briefly considered naming my four month old after him (I didn’t, hubby would never go for it!)

  • http://twitter.com/Seana_Smith Seana Smith

    Ah, death is part of life, hard for us all but we don’t need to fear it. We need to cry though and I’m weepy thinking about Bob, the black lab we had at home when I was a child. He was a comfort and a lifeline, plus we used to lunge him over horse jumps we made for him in the garden. Not forgotten and this dog too will always be in your heart.

  • CeeEmm

    Chantelle I read you daily but have never posted…it’s just not my thing. But losing your precious friend I knew I had to reach out to you to share this piece written by Gene Hill that I love because he says it all so well.

    “He is my other eyes that can see above the
    clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me
    that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over
    that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by
    the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his
    hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with
    worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is
    delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I
    am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I
    succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am
    all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of
    devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has
    brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my
    knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection
    against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised
    to wait for me… whenever… wherever – in case I need him. And I
    expect I will – as I always have. He is just my dog.”

    – Gene Hill

    My heart is with you….

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      This is beautiful. Thank you. x

  • http://twitter.com/alexricia Alex

    Beautiful and heart breaking story Chantelle, I am sorry for your family’s loss but happy you’re able to relive the memories of a life obviously well lived. Goodbye Tayla. x

  • http://www.facebook.com/ggresch Gina Gresch

    I’m so sorry to read about the loss of your family member, I know how you feel and shared some tears with you. My dog is going through something as well and it’s just so hard to see them hurt. Prayers for you and your family. ((HUGS))

  • Lindsay

    This made me cry. I’m so sorry for your loss, I know how horrible it feels. ♥

  • http://www.facebook.com/jill.grace.31 Jill Grace

    sending you big hugs – losing a dog is one of life’s greatest tragedies.

  • Kelly Arndt.

    Personally, I’m torn between feeling sorry for people who aren’t ‘dog people’, and just not trusting them at all…! I remember a co-worker’s comment years ago, after I had come to work after having lost my old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel the night before and being unable to concentrate. “For God’s Sake!” She exclaimed. “It was just a dog!” I never had liked that person and that totally insensitive remark just confirmed those feelings. When you truly love an animal, any animal, just as with a person, the loss you feel at their passing deserves consideration and respect, if not empathy. I lost the canine love of my life, Golden Retriever, Patrick, two years ago at the age of almost 16. He was the truest friend I have ever had, or ever will have, and I will miss him forever. I own five dogs presently, 4 Chihuahuas and a French Bulldog, Ezmeralda, who was born on the day Patrick left me… All are very dear to me, but there is something about my Ezzie… I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • Leigh Blaikie

    ohhhhh *sob* RIP Tayla <3 any animal lover will tell you that they're not pets.. they are family and when you lose one it is devastating.. just remind yourself how blessed you and your family are to have had her in your life and smile at your wonderful memories through your tears :) hugs to you and all the family Chantelle <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashleighkate.campbell Ashleigh-Kate Campbell

    Awe, I’m so sorry, guys!! This post is beautiful. It made me cry. We had a dog (the big one in the photo below…) from when I was 2 years old. Her name was Karma & she was there until I was 17. We sadly had to put her down so that she didn’t have any suffering. I miss her & still think I see her sometimes when I pull into my Mum’s drive-way. Looking forward to sharing my life with a new furry friend when I move into a dog-friendly home!

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I was so excited about moving into a home too, because it meant we could have our own dog. Your Karma was beautiful. x

  • http://themummyautobiography.com/ Miss Pink

    Our 14 year old dog died yesterday too. It was the family pet from long before I had children or had met Mr Black, so she lived at my parents, but mum called me yesterday to say that she had died.
    I am sorry for your loss.

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I am so sorry. What a tough time for both of us. x

  • http://twitter.com/Pretty_Fluffy Serena Faber Nelson

    Tears Chantelle. I’m so sorry for your loss, and so glad you have such special memories to keep forever xx

  • Suzanne

    So sorry for your loss. You are so very eloquent in your post.

  • christine

    i’m so sorry to hear of your lose chantelle. losing the family dog is so gut wrenching. our family recently lost our beautiful dog “fletcher” after 14 years and my poor father is lost without his mate. it takes such a longtime to get used to not seeing their face when you visit the family home. the pain goes but the memories are never lost xxx

  • Tiia

    I’m so sorry for your and your family’s loss. Your words bring me great comfort, as they are true with any family member passing. Cherishing the memories and being grateful for having had them in our lives. I’m only now learning to see things that way, too. Even in your sorrow you write so beautifully, Chantelle. That comes from the love in your heart. Thank you!

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      Thank you. x

  • Samantha

    Nothing is worse than losing a beloved pet. I feel for you, I will hate it when my two go to Rainbow Bridge!

  • Jaki Morris

    What a lovely post about such a sad time.
    I’m sure she had the most wonderful life with you and your family.
    I am not a dog person but I know the sadness of losing a pet so, you take care

    Jakix

  • Michelle F

    RIP Talya! Chantelle, you’ve told her story beautifully. I’m sorry for you and your family’s loss. xxx

  • http://twitter.com/Zjizjipke Zjizjipke

    I’m sorry for your loss! Pets are a part of the family, doesn’t matter if it’s a cat or a dog or a hamster, you love them an when they’re gone, you miss them. But you can rest asure you gave her the best home a dog could wish for! Big hug from Belgium! PS: I’m more of a catperson myself, but love dogs too ;-) I think the biggest difference is between petpeople and non-petpeople, you can tell them apart in seconds ;-)

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I think you’re right. x

  • A Belle Abroad

    As someone who has loved many dogs, I am so so sorry for your loss.

  • samantha simmonds

    Dogs there only fault they don’t live long enough. A quote I once read in a dog book. The most truthful and meaningful comment I have ever read. I feel your pain (as a dog person)

  • http://becoming-mum.com/ Lisa

    I am so sorry for your loss

  • http://twitter.com/candyhi5 CandiceK

    I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I actually lost my childhood dog 9 years ago today. It was on my cousin’s brirthday so I always remember the date. I had her from when I was 5 years old and lost her one month before my 18th birthday. Since then I have had two other dogs (the first one is my Mum’s so lives with her) and although they cannout replace Noelle I am thankful to have them in my life and appreciate their unconditional love.

  • Sarah

    I am so so sorry. Dogs bring so much joy to our lives, it sucks that they can’t be here forever. My thoughts are with you xx

  • http://www.yorkesgirl.com/ Ali

    Beautifully honest post…am sorry for the loss of your Tayla. Such a gorgeous picture with Lacey, you will have fond memories.

  • http://awayfromhome25.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    I know i sent you a tweet yesterday, but i would like to say again that I’m so sorry for your loss. We are both a cat and dog family and growing up with dogs i know how hard it is to lose a member of your family.

  • Debbi

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I’ve been there, and – as a dog person – will most certainly be there again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kate.kunkel.750 Kate Kunkel

    Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss of Tayla. We recently lost our “Miss Piglet” and I my dear Timber and Kayla left me alone many years ago. They take a big piece of our heart with them, don’t they?

  • VNikol

    This post breaks my heart. I love dogs. I had many as children but somehow never understood the heartbreaking agony of losing one until I became an adult. I am so sorry for your loss. The pic of your pup with your little girl is lovely, she looks like she led a very happy life. We have something in common, I too fear death & I wonder if it is because of not having a religion even though I don’t exactly understand or believe in the rules of organized religion but that’s another thought altogether. Prayers for you & your family. It sucks, I know.

  • Sammi

    I can truly say how sorry I am for the loss of you dear dog. We lost ours Saturday and that coming after our prior dog a year and a half ago. It really is hard but love what you said about focusing on the good times had. Hugs to you all.

  • Alice

    Chantelle, I have a religion and death still scares me… It always has…I remember cowering behind a wall with my eyes shut tightly one morning on my way to school hiding from a funeral procession… Only when the coffin and every single person was inside the church did I make a run for it to school (I was late and got into trouble)… As a kid old people terrified me (my mum would be furious at me for hiding and not talking to an elderly person when spoken to, not realising that I was paralized by fear) because im my young mind they were close to death… Sad I know, I had to work (volunteer) at a nursing home during my teens to help get over that fear…. Our golden lab (Bella) is now 8 going on 9, I can see age is marking her…It kills me because I have always thought she would always be my (very hyper) puppy… I try not to think too much about it…I love that image of the food coma…Labs are such adorable greedy buggers….

    Is it possible to be a cat person and a dog person? I have both and love them both dearly though my cat is a bit younger than my dog they love each other immensly (or at least that is what it looks like)…RIP gorgeous Tayla…

  • geisslein

    oh my, this post made me tears in my eyes…I deeply know this, lost more than 1 animal in my life…and it always braked my heart again…greetings and a warm hug from germany, geisslein

  • http://twitter.com/beachbumchix beach bum chix

    Chantelle … so sorry for your loss. I understand too well. We lost our Bulldog, Gracie, recently. It is a heart wrenching separation, even knowing it must come when we open our heart to an animal, and even if you believe you’ll meet again “across the rainbow bridge.” I blogged about it too, here … http://beachbumchix.blogspot.com/2012/05/joy-deep-as-sorrow.html … thought it might help to know you’re understood. Give Bronte a big hug :)

  • Kim

    I’m so sorry. She sounds like she was an outstanding part of your family and your life! You’ll hold onto the memories of her you have for the rest of your life. I was 14 when we lost our German Shepherd, Ben. He was the most amazing dog I’ve ever met. My parents got him just before I was born. He put up with me in my younger years of wetting him, burying him in the sandpit, and I think even riding him! He comforted me and protected me from snakes and my brother from other dogs. He was just the most loyal and precious pup. I cried all day at school when he was gone. But, I still have the memories, treasured in my heart for ever. Big hugs xx
    http://www.happymummyinspired.blogspot.com

  • Kate

    Chantelle, the picture is beautiful…I hope it’s in a frame in a special place in your home. It will always be one of your best photos. You will never forget the joy you and your daughter experienced the day the photo was created. May the memories of this beloved family member warm your heart with every remembrance.

  • Jessica Webb

    my heart is sad for you. we have a 15 year old beagle and I know his days are numbered. I’m dreading the day he goes ={

  • Anon

    My heart goes out to you. I am also very much a dog person. My husband and I have a wonderful dog, and he just turned 6. His breed generally lives to around 13years. I dread the day that he will leave us. Just the other day, I read an article by the author Anne Pratchett- she also just lost her dog. I looked at my little sweetheart, and started bawling. I have to remember to take a step back, and live each day-enjoy each day. Your post is a great reminder to enjoy each precious day with our furry loved ones.

  • Carollynna123

    Love this story! My daughter says I’m dog crazy. Both of our dogs are supposedly hers, but I ended up being the dog mom. Everywhere we go I say hello to every dog who’s owner is willing. I’m like the dog in the movie “Up”, but instead of saying “squirrel”, I sauté “dog”! If I had my way, I’d livè near the beach and have 5 dogs!

  • Joneen

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I am very much a dog person and have seen a few come and go throughout my life so far and although the love and compassion they offer throughout their lives far outweighs the hurt from loosing them, I can’t help but fear the day I have to say goodbye that last time. I’ve done it too many times before and it’s the most painful feeling I could ever experience.
    My two labradors (Marley & Buddy) are my life, if I lost them I don’t know what I’d do. I simply cannot feel love for a human being quite like I share with my puppies.
    RIP Tayla.

  • http://www.lifestyleflash.com/ Becky | lifestyleflash.com

    I just shed a little tear for your loss.

    I lost my dog over 5 years ago and you’re right, it’s the pits. I still get sad when I think of him.

    Hope you’re all coping ok. It sounds like you gave her the perfect life. I bet she couldn’t have been happier.