Knowing When It’s Time To Say Goodbye

No doubt about it: For those of us who love dogs, the joy of living with a special pet is unparalleled. And at the same time, the grief of losing that same dog is unbearable. Recently I had to say goodbye to my “heart dog” of nearly 13 years. I wrote about Denver’s last days in my blog, “Gratitude in My Grief.” My experience generated several emails from readers who wanted to know how I knew when it was time to say goodbye. The stories and emails I received were all variations of the question “How will I know?” It’s a question I have asked myself every time a dog I loved has neared the end of his life. It’s a question I asked my veterinarian several times in the past few months. It’s a question I recently had to answer for myself, and for Denver. I thought I would provide my thoughts on how I managed to answer this dreaded question about how to know when it’s time to say goodbye.

Gratitude in My Grief

A week ago I had to say goodbye to Denver, my Labrador Retriever. He was a special dog to me and my family. He and I had an amazing bond, forged over the nearly 13 years I had him. Some dogs are just like that. If you’re reading my blog, you probably already know these things and know exactly what it means to have a “heart dog.” In trying to work through my own grief over losing him, I thought it would help to write about some of the things I’m grateful for during Denver’s last days.

Canine Gym — in a Box!

I have been big proponents of FitPaws equipment and have also recommended The Klimb platform from Blue-9 Products. These are both great products to add some fun games and activities to your dog’s life. These are both great products that can help you promote your training services and/or add as upsell services to your training clients. Regardless of how you use them, I am a huge fan. 

Arousal and Aggression in Dogs

If you’ve spent any time around me you have heard me say something to the effect of, “Arousal and aggression are linked.” It seems to be a mantra that is one of my soap box issues and I say it at least once every time I give a seminar.

  • It’s the reason I don’t want to roughhouse with dogs too much.
  • It’s the reason I don’t want play at the dog park to go uninterrupted for too long.
  • It’s the reason I stress that daycare staff need to supervise the dogs.
  • It’s one thing I want everyone who deals with dogs to understand.

Arousal and aggression are linked! But what does it really mean?