I Lost My Best Friend Yesterday

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The hardest part of owning a pet is knowing that one day you may have to have them put to sleep.
This just happened to us with Oliver yesterday.
Oliver lived a long life and without wanting to go into details, his quality of life declined significantly in the last few months.  Close friends and family are the only people who knew.
We were there with him yesterday morning when he was put to sleep and I’m glad that I was.  Even though he had become blind and deaf we made sure that by holding his head the way we used to he knew that we were there with him.
The pain is awful.  Michael and me have cried so much.  I feel like I lost my best friend and that I lost someone in my family because he was family.
We made peace with the decision weeks before knowing that it would happen one day soon but that doesn’t make it any easier.   I wasn’t going to write this post because this is so personal to me but I know that Ollie has been on this site over the years so I feel that I should tell you what just happened in case I am asked one random day: “Where is Sir Oliver?”
I read somewhere that the pain you feel is testimony to just how great they were.  I know that we were blessed by Oliver and I never thought that I would be by a dog of all things.  He taught me what unconditional love is.  For me to open the front door and to have him right there.  No matter how bad I was feeling that day he would be there to greet me wagging his tail just happy that I was home.  He greeted each of us with the equal amount of excitement.  I remember that it became our ritual for me to place shopping bags on the floor so that he could sniff inside them to  ‘pass his inspection.’
This is a horrible time and I just want the pain to go away.   I don’t think I have been crying because it wasn’t the right time. I am crying because Oliver has gone.

72 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I understand whole-heartedly..I had to put one of my beloved cats down recently. I had her for 13yrs. I found out 1.2.5 she had a growth of cancer in her intestines…2.3 I put her to sleep. My other cat still looks for her sometimes.We gave her tuna for breakfast until we put her to sleep. We were also there when she went. I didn’t want her to be alone, or think she did something wrong ..My eyes are welling up..thinking of your loss and mine..I feel you Lindsey via Vegas

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      You understand what has happened. I am sorry for your loss too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I feel so sorry for you…We lost our Friend few years ago and I know how painfull it is. Bear up

  3. Katie says:

    Oh I’m so sorry for you both, this brought tears to my eyes, you are right it is the hardest part of having pets that we have to let them go and we know it will happen but it doesn’t make it any easier when this terrible time comes around. Try to remember you did the right thing by him though, and gave him a good and happy life xxx

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thats our only consolation. What he gave us and what we gave to him. Thank you for these words….

  4. Anonymous says:

    I,m very sorry, my condolences

  5. Ruby Sterland says:

    I’m so so sorry Karen 🙁 It’s something that my family and I went through this time last year and it’s so tough. It’s an awful cliche but time is a great healer, just let those tears out! Ruby x

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      You know what we are going through. I’m sorry that this happened in your life too. Time is I know and one day in time, we will meet them again.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am so sorry. It is so hard to bear the loss of a beloved family member who brought such joy and love. Watching a pet get old it is difficult know when to say goodbye. You did the right thing by sharing Sir Oliver’s final moments. Although your post makes me very sad, thank you for sharing it because there are many dog lovers out there who know “that day” is coming for our beloved friends.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Yes I was hoping that by writing this it would help others who have are about to go through the same thing. They are not alone.

  7. Ede says:

    Karen, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending all my love and condolences to you and Michael. x

  8. Sara says:

    This is so sad, I’m really sorry to hear about Oliver. The sadness and pain are the unfortunate flip side of all the joy his life has given you. I’m sure he wouldn’t want you to be too sad for him but to be consoled by remembering the good times. I know it’s hard when you miss him so much!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Im very sorry for you. I just had to cry after reading your post, but I am thankful you shared it with us. All the best from your reader in Switzerland

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thank you reader in Switzerland. I realize that the words have touched many myself included.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sorry bout your loss. A pet is a part of the family. Here is a free site if you need additional assistance to help you cope with your loss. New York ASPCA National Pet Loss Hotline (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Address: 424 East 92nd St., New York, NY 10128. Phone: (212) 876-7700, ext. 4355. Fax: (212) 860-3435. Email: StephanieL@ASPCA.org Contact: Stephanie LaFarge, Ph.D The ASPCA Counseling Department offers a full range of pet loss and bereavement services. The National Pet Loss Hotline offers free nationwide consultation to bereaved owners on a 24-hour basis. Call 1-800-946-4646, use keypad to punch in pin number 140-7211 and then your own phone number. The call will be returned immediately. New York City residents may be seen in person at the ASPCA headquarters. My prayers are with you.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thank you sharing this information for me and for anyone else who needs it.

  11. Caroline, No. says:

    So sorry Karen. You know what’s weird : I remember you getting Oliver as a puppy, I was an MUAer and remember you posting about it there! And that WAS a long time ago. He must’ve had a long and happy life! x

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Wow I told Michael about this comment from you. He remembers me logging onto MUA daily. Yes, it was someone from MUA that suggested the name Oliver to me.

  12. Leila F. says:

    I’m sorry to hear about Oliver. Though it was painful, it was best that you stayed until the end. He needed you the most then. I also lost my best friend; he was 15. It was years ago but I still cry when I think about him. Reading this post brought it all back. But you’re right: The pain you feel is a testament to how great they were. Years later, if you still cry, just proves that. I wish you the best.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Yes I’m really glad we stayed with him till the end. Yes you are right he needed that and he deserved that. I too have had friends say that they still cry over their dog losses from years before too.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry for your loss Karen. Cherish the memories. RIP Oliver.

  14. Malu Swartjes says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss! It’s really hard i know:( xx The Stylish Confessions | Fashion & Beauty blog

  15. Sinead says:

    Karen and Michael, I am SO very sorry to hear this. I have been blessed with three wonderful Westies in my life (RIP, Kodak, Nikon, and Leica…) and I know all too well the pain of saying goodbye. The first time I had to put a dog down, I was 16. Kodak was my eighth birthday present — along with the camera that changed my life. When it was time to let her go, my mother told me to always remember that the hardest part of owning a pet was knowing when it was time to say goodbye. Oh how right she was! All these years later, I can still see my pretty little white dog, and I still grieve her loss. As with all deaths, you have to let time do its work with your heart.. There’s really not much more that I can add, except to say that I send my love to you both.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      The names of your pets are amazing and sound very you. Thank you for always being there Sinead. Your like a friend I’ve not met yet. Thank you for the kind words – again.

  16. LimePalmtree says:

    I am so sorry for your loss of Sir Oliver. Always cherish the memories and rest in knowing that his pain is no more and he it at peace.- Blessings to you.

  17. Snora says:

    Hi Karen- I’ve been (silently) following your blog for years. As a fellow dog owner and lover (I worked with dogs for 7 years), I want to extend my deepest condolences. I’ll be making a donation to my local shelter in honor of Oliver. Try to take solace in knowing that you gave a great life to a beautiful friend. Take Care. XOXO

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thank you for finally commenting. I do wonder who sees or even looks at my blog. Thank you for doing that donation. I just told Michael and we are thinking of doing the same.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hi Karen – I share my life with a 6 year old golden retriever mix. I really feel with you… All the best!!!

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      I love golden retrievers. Cherish every day.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do! And I hope for many more to come… Just read your latest post. You will see more dogs who look a bit like Sir Oliver to you over the next weeks; I guess… experienced the same many years ago. Felt weird: a mix of heartbreak and joy.

  19. Laura Ward says:

    Awk Karen, i’m so sorry to hear this. I’m fully aware of how stifling the loss of a pet can be. It’s clear what a huge part of yours and Michaels lives Sir Oliver was, and I hope you can both find comfort in each other and in knowing that you were great parents to him. All my love, Laura x x x

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Yes thankfully we can comfort each other. I can’t imagine for those who lived alone with their pet…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Losing a pet is very hard. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. So sorry to hear of Oliver’s passing.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thank you. It’s harder than I thought. I’ve had cats all my life but Oliver’s loss is so different

  21. PinkCheetahVintage says:

    I’m so sorry! It’s so hard 🙁

  22. Brandi Barton says:

    Hello Karen, I read your blog everyday but don’t ever comment. However, when I read this I felt compelled to write. What? I don’t know. You don’t know me from Adam but I hope you can feel the sincerity in my words. I was in tears after reading this. Tears because I know too well the pain that you and Michael are feeling and because of the memories it stirred up inside me from my beloved babies that are no longer with me. Please believe me when I say that I am truly sorry for loss. I can only hope that one day another animal friend finds you and you can experience that love again. But in the meantime honor Sir Oliver’s beautiful soul and love that he gave to you for so many years. Once again, I am truly sorry. –Brandi

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thank you for commenting all be it under these circumstances. You’ve been there so understand what we’re going through. Yes will are planning to honor him in as many ways as we can.

  23. Chybuz Babe says:

    Awwww,sorry for your loss.

  24. leesicam says:

    Karen and Michael, I’m so sad that you’ve lost Sir Oliver. The pain at the loss of not just a pet but a family member is indescribable. I feel like ‘my heart is with you during this difficult time’ doesn’t adequately express my condolences. Rest In Peace Sir Oliver.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      It is indescribable. Never thought I would feel as bad as we have. Thank you

  25. Anonymous says:

    So, so sorry. Losing a pet is one of the worst things. You are strong, with a very brave heart. You are what the world needs more of. Oliver had the best life because of you. ♡

  26. Anonymous says:

    Karen, I am a pet owner and currently at work while reading this post. I had to fight my tears back for sure just now. You and Michael did the right thing, there’s always a light at the end of every tunnel Cry as much as you need and thank you for sharing! XO. Warmly, Emily

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thanks Emily we have cried whenever we’ve felt like it. Sometimes via reading these comments under this post.

  27. Bison Blanc says:

    so sorry. I do understand . I lost my childhood best friend, Corazon was her name. I still have wet eyes when i think of her, even if she is gone for 14 years now. so sad. I am with both of you Oli will be missed- Neyra

  28. Carelia Moran says:

    OMG Karen! I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I completely understand your feelings right now. Brad and I had to let go to Adobe (16 years old) a few months ago. Now Elvis his partner is alone and missing Adobe terrible, but we’re making sure he has our company and love. I know it’s going to be tough for you and your husband for several days or weeks, but then you will move to a peaceful stage where you will have a smile in your face every time you think of him. Just think about how great you were with him and how lucky he was having you as owner. I’m sure he had the best life he could ever had. (((hugs))) Carelia Moran

  29. Loulou says:

    Oh no. This is so sad. I’m sorry you lost your best friend.