Celebrating the Doodle

I am so sorry to do this to you all, but I have to take a sharp left turn off of gerbil babies (whom I am henceforth referring to as Gerblets—like giblets, but alive).

So, you know about Cassidy. (Also known as “The Doodle.”)

She is our awesome dog.


Cassidy is 13 years old and has been having health problems for a while. She has on and off liver and kidney issues and has chronic joint issues as well as incontinence and lots of itchiness. She seems confused a lot of the time. Sometimes I have to carry her up and down stairs. She takes a lot of medicine.

We’ve known for a while that she didn’t have a long time, but she has deteriorated a lot over the past couple of weeks. Just this evening, she took a nose dive. She is hunched and limping and breathing really hard.

Saturday (tomorrow) afternoon the vet is coming to put her to sleep.

I know it’s the right thing to do. I know it. But tomorrow is going to be horrible. We are going to miss her a lot.

The kids are ready—as ready as they can be. We’ve been talking about her being sick for a while. When we saw how quickly she was starting to not feel well, we started preparing them for this happening. And now we’ve told them that tomorrow afternoon they’re going to go over to a friend’s house and the vet is going to come to our house and help Cassidy die.

Quinn decided that he wanted to have a party for Cassidy today. So we had a party to celebrate her. We gave her a can of dog food (and we ate cake and bone-shaped graham crackers), took photos with her, and we made her a poster to show her how much we love her.


We’re going to miss her. I have spent 13 years with her following me around virtually all day, every day. The house is going to be very different without her.

66 thoughts on “Celebrating the Doodle

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about Cassidy. I had to put my 14 year old furchild to sleep last year and there is still not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. I’m glad you got to celebrate her life as a family before letting her go. You will be in many of our thoughts tomorrow.

  2. I’m so sorry. Pets will break your heart every time. It sounds like she’s a good dog and she’s lucky she has a family like you that loves her so much. Also Jack likes it when she licks his mouth and that’s sort of gross but also sweet. Hugs to you my friend.

  3. That poster just brought tears to my eyes. Good luck with Cassidy’s journey tomorrow. She was blessed to be a part of your family and I know she will be missed.

  4. Dogs are not really animals; they are family members. They give unconditional love and ask for so little in return. What a wonderful idea to have a party for Cassidy today. Perhaps the gerbil surprise was uncanny timing for a family that will have a void to fill. Methinks the wrinkled red clan will bring some joy and wonder even though their initial appearance was a classic WTF moment. Hugs and much love to all. <3 Cassidy <3

  5. Oh, Jean. I am so very very sorry. I love that you are having the vet come to Cassidy and that you will be with her. It is so important that you are with her at the end, just like she was with you her whole life. I really think it makes all the difference. It’s so hard, but you will not regret it.

    Much love to you. And Cassidy. And the boys.

  6. I’m so sorry. We had to put our dog down right near his 15th birthday, so my kids decided to have one last birthday party for him the night before. Let me tell you, it was the best thing we could have done. It’s been over a year now, and when the kids talk about him they always smile and talk about his party. I hope those happy last memories of her will bring yours the same comfort.
    (I came here via Mir for the gerbil babies yesterday…but I will be thinking of you tomorrow as you say goodbye to Cassidy.)

  7. Gah. The tears. For the party. For the vet. For the sick pup. For the empty place at your heels… I am so sorry for you and yours.

  8. I’m so sorry. ((Hugs)) it’s so hard to let go of a beloved pet. But the wake you are holding in the last day of your doggie’s life is absolutely beautiful and a wonderful way to celebrate the 13 years you’ve had together.

  9. Everything about his moved me to tears. Having just done this a few months ago after 15 years…I love how your family celebrates every member of it, furry or not, in their own amazing way. You are one incredible group Team Stimey. Our thoughts are with you tomorrow.

  10. Jean, that is the hardest and I’m so sorry. I really liked Dawn’s comment about how much having a party was a comfort to her family later. I hope that you find that same comfort. We will be thinking about you all tomorrow.

  11. Oh Jean, I’m in tears. I am so very sorry for your family. Even though you know this is the right thing to do, it doesn’t make it any less sad :( How wonderful your vet is willing to perform this act of compassion in your home so as to not stress out Cassidy.

  12. Oh my gosh, I’m so, so sorry to hear this. You and your family will be in my thoughts tomorrow.

  13. Even though it’s the right thing to do, it’s still just awful. I’m so sorry. This week has been an emotional roller coaster. Much love.

  14. My heart is breaking for all of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending hugs and love your way.

  15. Cassidy looks like a wonderful dog. A real loss for all of you.
    Isn’t it funny how the beginning and the end of life are so often intertwined – babies and a death just hours apart?

  16. Our lovely Greyhound was diagnosed with bone cancer two weeks ago so I know we’ll soon be where you are today.
    Maybe we’ll have a party too. That’s a great idea.
    Thinking about you all today.

  17. It is so hard letting our pet babies go but you are doing the right thing.
    Been through it twice and am thinking of rescuing another cat.
    I keep saying no but my alter ego says yes.

    Remember all the love…

  18. I’m so sorry to hear this Cassidy. Our pets are our furry babies and important members of our families. What a lovely way to celebrate her life. We lost our first cat with our girls two years ago and have another geriatric, declining cat that we a expecting to cross the rainbow bridge soon. A friend recommended a great book from the library that helped us all heal during our grief, it’s a children’s book called The 10 Good Things about Barney. It might help you or the kids. Hugs and healing to all of you on this difficult day. Warmly, MaryLea

  19. I’m so sorry. Losing a pet is the same as losing a member of your family. Only most of the world doesn’t recognize it as such. Sending many good thoughts your family’s way.

  20. Oh this is so sad, I’m so sorry for you guys. I love the way you celebrated her life as part of your family, she sure picked a great bunch of humans to hang with. Love and hugs to you.

  21. I’m so sorry. This is making me cry, too. I know how hard it is to go through this. I think they way your family has celebrated Cassidy is beautiful.

  22. Oh Stimey. I am so, so sorry. Pets do become a part of our lives and are family members. I’m sorry you are going through this as I know it is not easy at all. Hugs and kisses to you. I’ll be thinking of you this afternoon.

  23. I know I say that I hate my dogs, but this makes me cry. I’m so sorry. Good-bye Miss Cassidy. You will be missed.

  24. I’m so sorry.
    [Incidentally, I hate to break it to you but she isn’t actually a doodle. Those look much different.]
    *** HOWEVER, the way you’re handling this seems like a very thoughtful way to help your kids deal with the loss of a loved pet. Making a poster in particular. If I were a child psychologist – and I’m not – I would recommend this to my clients. ***
    Sorry if this is a double post! If so, it’s b/c I closed the browser window. :)

  25. Tears falling as I read of your beautiful tribute to your much beloved Cassidy. Sending hugs across the moat…

  26. Oh, I am so sorry. It is not easy, even when we know it is time. We had to say goodbye to our 12-year-old lab last July. So hard. Thinking of you all on this day of goodbye.

  27. Oh Jean, I’m so very, very sorry. I’ve been through this and it is simply awful.

    I’m glad you have so many happy memories with Cassidy to comfort you, but this is going to be hard.


  28. Oh Jean, I’m so, so sorry. I think the idea of having the party and making the poster of all the things you all love about Cassidy was just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever read and I’m in tears. Much love and strength to you and your family. xo

  29. Very heartbreaking… Sorry. We’ve been to with a lot of dogs when I was at my parent’s house.. and every dog we owned is very special and really touches our heart.. I know what you and your family feels right now… They will be remembered… ALWAYS.

  30. I am so sorry to hear this. It is so hard to put “your first child down”. We had to do this a few years ago. It is so important that your children had time to say goodbye. Hugs

  31. Oh no, I’m so sorry :-( We thought we were going to lose our family dog, Willow, a couple of weeks ago, but it looks like we have a couple more months with her – but just the thought of her going was heartbreaking. I think the party was a beautiful idea. I hope you’re all doing okay.

  32. Oh Jean, I just read this and it was like a sock in the gut – we just had to put down our 13-year-old dog a week ago today. He had been slowing down, and then suddenly just got super weak and frail, and the vet diagnosed him on Thurs the 7th with acute leukemia, with “weeks” left to live. He was doing so badly over the weekend – like you said, we were having to carry him across the house, and he would get bouts of disorientation where he would walk into walls when he was trying to find the dog door. So we made the decision to end it. I don’t regret it, because it was such a peaceful way for him to go, and we were able to be with him (I was terrified he’d die while we were at work one day), but it’s a huge adjustment…the little things, like having to put away the dog dishes, are what hurt most. Hang in there. Sorry for the novel, just wanted you to know that I totally feel your pain.

  33. Dammit I’m so sorry. (Can I say dammit in your comments? – If not, I’m also a different kind of much more shallow sorry for saying it.)

    My heart is with you – that’s all I know to feel and say. Hugs from far away.

  34. I am so sorry for your loss. Cassidy sounds like a really great dog. I’m glad that your vet would make a house call so her time could be spent comfortably at home.

  35. Since I can’t seem to comment on Wheaton Patch: I love Alex’s dream about Cassidy. It made me smile through my tears.

  36. Oh Jean, I only just saw this… I am so so sorry for your loss! :( The party sounds like a lovely idea, I’m glad you guys got to give her a nice goodbye… I hope it’s not too lonely without her. **hugs**

  37. We only know each other through mutual friends, but I came to check on the Gerbils and saw the posts about your dog. It is so hard to say goodbye but you did it so well my heart simultaneously aches for and celebrates with you.

  38. Pingback: Last of the OG Pets | Stimeyland

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