This One's Gonna Hurt

How else can you describe the loss of the woman that you’ve shared your bed with for more than a decade? No, Al is fine, but Sissy is gone. Al took her to the vet a couple of weeks ago for a routine checkup and discovered a Grade 4 heart murmur. The vet told us there was nothing we could do about it, and who knows how long she’ll last. I certainly thought it would be longer than 2 weeks.

I don’t understand people who don’t love dogs, and I’m not going to make some impassioned speech to try and convince them otherwise. I just feel sorry for them. I really do.

I come by this love for animals naturally. When talking to my dad and brother about Sissy, you can quickly see their eyes glaze over, reminiscing about those great ones from the past. It doesn’t take more than a couple of stories, a few strong memories, before everything gets misty and you have to immediately start talking about why the Cowboys missed the playoffs.

We drove to Longview last Thursday night, and at one point, both girls were asleep, and the car was quiet. Al leans over and asks, “Thinking about Sissy?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you haven’t said a word in over an hour. And your sunglasses aren’t really helping much in the dark.”

We talked for a minute about all the memories, and it was really kind of eerie. Out of all the memories, the one we both couldn’t shake was the picture below.

Coming home from the hospital with Little Miss CB, we were utterly clueless, and terrified. But as we came up, there was Sissy waiting on us. Excited to meet the newest member of the family, and for the next five and a half years they were inseparable.

CB learned a lesson throughout all this, we all did. It’s something about love. I can’t explain it, and won’t even try. I’ll leave that to someone a lot better than myself.

“‘Men,’ said Mr. Kyle, ‘people have been trying to understand dogs ever since the beginning of time. One never knows what they’ll do. You can read every day where a dog saved the life of a drowning child, or lay down his life for his master. Some people call this loyalty. I don’t. I may be wrong, but I call it love–the deepest kind of love.'”
– Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows

6 thoughts on “This One's Gonna Hurt”

  1. Well said Mark…at least I don’t have mascara on yet or it would be running down my face. We love you Sissy! My watchdog, my kitchen vacuum, diaper bag snooper(man, you loved finding anything to eat in there), professional sunbather, and lap warmer/destresser.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss! I lost my Reagan a year ago this month, and I still think about him once or twice a week. They are members of the family and the most loyal friends all in one. We are truly fortunate to have had them in our lives.

  3. I’m really so, so sorry to hear about Sissy.

    We have two chihuahuas in our lives, not ours, but they are our “nephews,” and it breaks my heart to think about this day coming with either of them. (And Angus will be 13 years old this year.)

    Hugs to the Havens family.

  4. Hey Havens,

    So sorry to hear about Sissy. I know it is rough, but it does get better with time. We were so heartbroken when we lost Brutus and still talk about him often. It is such a special and unique bond…I’m sure she will always hold a place in your hearts. This is something someone sent to me that made it a little better I thought I would pass along:

    Take Care,

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about Sissy. I can’t imagine life without my little Quince, so I know your hearts must be broken. I totally cried, btw. Hugs to all of you.

    Amy K.

  6. Well unlike Alison, I did have my mascara on but now it’s streaming down my cheeks. I am so glad ya’ll drove to Longview the day you lost “Sissy”. I know how much it hurt for all of you. She was such a special little dog. I remember how she always wanted in anyone’s lap that would hold her. I remember her being on my lap just this past Christmas. I also remember all of our “pet funerals” we had when you were growing up. We all shed tears every time but life does go on even though you do miss them. On a brighter note, I know “Seve” is enjoying all the extra attention he is getting.

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