Losing A Dog (The Real Truth About Dog Bereavement)


 Losing A Dog

(The Real Truth About Dog Bereavement)

It’s been almost three months since I lost Alfie and the first time I’ve been able to talk about losing him. I don’t think there is any coincidence that I started this blog soon after Alfie died, it was his gift me. Whilst I was walking around looking for feathers and robins as a sign that he was ok, the answer was right under my nose.


Alfie was a nine-year-old King Charles Cavalier crossed with a Shihtzu and a really gentle, loyal boy. He developed a cough, no other symptoms, and the vet wasn’t concerned at all. We carried on giving him the prescribed linctus but the cough wouldn’t go. The vet suggested a dental, maybe an infection was irritating his throat, we weren’t too worried.

Alfie went off for his dental on 5th April a happy, alert and trusting boy.

He never came home.

Alfie1 Losing A Dog

The vet rang to say that he had advanced lung cancer and needed to be euthanised that day. I never saw my boy again. My husband held him in his favorite blanket and he quietly passed away.

I was distraught, shocked and inconsolable. This was how I was feeling when I wrote Alfie’s poem. I refer to how brilliant he was with the foster dogs, how he sneezed when you kissed him, how he would ruffle all the cushions. I refer to Holly his soulmate who he shared every minute of his life with and how he helped me with my insomnia. This is the unedited version of the poem, a less personal version is in my book but I wanted to share the original.

Alfie’s Poem

your toys, your bed
‘Such a softy’ was often said
And when they left
for pastures new
You picked me up
and helped me through
Your little soul mate
looks so sad
She ll always miss
the love you had
Your partner in crime
looks at the door
the one where you met him
with an open paw
That tiny puppy
you taught to play
she’d nibble your ears
then run away
The one who was sick
hurt and betrayed
You taught him to trust you
and great friends were made
Then there’s the pal
who visits each year
On hot sunny days
and with Christmas cheer
with a wag of your tail
and your welcoming face
the fun you’d have!
the birds you’d chase
When the days were dark
with sadness and pain
You gave me a reason
to get up again.
And now
too soon
its come to an end
And your work is needed
in heaven my friend.
They needed an angel to stand at the gate
to welcome the others
who’d wait and wait
for their family to join them
so alone and so sad
But you’ll comfort their sorrow
and soothe pain
that they had
Now the house is so quiet
the cushions are neat
There’s no sneezy kisses
or pattering of feet
The summer-house
won’t be the same
without my boy
hiding again
And the cold lonely nights
when I cannot sleep
We drank warm milk
and to bed, we’d creep
So for now
we bid you goodbye
My angel in heaven
a new star in the sky.

So Alfie’s gift was for me to start this blog. It filled the hours, endless reading other people’s stories and sharing mine, putting my feelings into words and healing with each day that passed.

15 thoughts on “Losing A Dog (The Real Truth About Dog Bereavement)”

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your post brought tears to my eyes. It’s been almost 5 months since I lost Brady, my beloved Cavalier. He’s always with me in my heart as Alfie will always be with you.

  2. It’s been almost 6 years since my Oreo died (he lived to 14, 2 yrs after he should have), and posts like this bring it all back as if it just happened. I may have already shared with you that I wasn’t there when he died. The vet was able to “keep” his body so we could bury Oreo in our backyard under his favorite pine tree. It just seems their passing continues to bring tears. Alfie indeed provided you a gift, as well as to your readers! I LOVE the poem, so perfect for any dog so well-loved. They bring gifts with them into their short stay on Earth, then happily wait at the Rainbow Bridge, content in God’s Eternity.

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. Alfie was a cutie. I love the poem; it made me cry. I think about my Echo (almost-15-year-old Sheltie) every day. I hope that soon the happy memories will help you through the pain.

  4. Thank you for sharing Alfie’s story, I’m so sorry for your loss. I had to say goodbye to my beloved Buddy on January 30 this year. He was a beautiful Queensland Heeler and a kind, gentle soul. I too look for signs of his return. May your heart heal and fond memories of Alfie comfort and make you smile.

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