It was time for Brandy to leave us

Brandy: Sunbathing in April 2004

Brandy: Sunbathing in April 2004

Brandyleft us just over a week ago. It was her time, she told me so in many ways. I could see it in her eyes, her behavior, her abilities, they all said to varying degrees that she was done. I’ll spare you the details of her declining health. She passed quietly in our home, with the kind and gentle assistance of our vet. Euthanizing Brandy at home helped to bring closure for our family and our pack. Bella, Hermes, and Lollie passed her one by one, sniffing her body curiously, knowing she was gone. Kristin and I wept as Ryan asked lots of questions. The vet and his assistant who made the house call were caring, compassionate, respectful, and professional – as they were when we put Sadie down five years prior.

I kept reading and hearing that when it was her time, I would know. And they were all right. The topic had been a frequent one in our home for months, increasingly so in the past several weeks as evidence mounted that Brandy’s time was near. I wavered as I took in the information she presented to me. I really wasn’t sure until I was sure, if that makes sense.  But once I knew I didn’t hesitate or look back – it was her time.

I miss her but oddly not as much as anticipated. I guess I had a long time to think about her decline and had come to terms with it gradually. These past months I spent more and more time sitting quietly next to her, gently petting and stroking her head, neck, and back the way she liked. As Brandy aged, she was very reactive to sudden moves or any kind of jostling so I moved slowly and deliberately. She would relax and slowly lick her front paws and occasionally my hand or arm as I pet her. It was in those moments too that I knew she was ready. On her final day I came home from work early to pet her like she likes. She was stoic, guarded, with a long stare that seemingly told me she’s ready. My timing was perfect.

Brandy is gone in body but not of course in memory. I loved this poem authored and read by – of all people – legendary actor Jimmy Stewart on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The poem is called Beau, the name of Stewart’s dog:

March 21, 2010 • Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , • Posted in: Brandy, dog ownership, story update

3 Responses to “It was time for Brandy to leave us”

  1. RJ - March 22nd, 2010

    I am so sorry for your loss. It tugs at my heart as you know, for Jubilee pack mate Shena is 14. It’s so hard when they get to this age. Having Jubilee really makes you remember just how active they use to be and makes you think….where did all that time go??

    Take Care

  2. Kristin - March 22nd, 2010

    Ah so sweet, that poem. Bye bye Brandy. What Mike didn’t say in his post was that I cried like a baby for a whole day – couldn’t be consoled. I missed her so much that first day. Then, it got easier. But Bella, last night, was looking for her and gave me the saddest look when she realized she was really gone.

  3. Barb - March 23rd, 2010

    I’m so sorry for your sadness. Having dogs in our families is such a joy, but it comes with the huge responsibility of making those tough decisions. Brandy was a blessing to your family, but you were also a blessing to her. You gave her the best gift of a peaceful, loving end to her long life.

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