Half Chewed Rawhide 

This afternoon I lost my only “child”. Clark was a big white Great Pyrenees. July 25th marks his 1 year anniversary with my husband and I. Our pup has been with us for almost our whole marriage and I have not lived in my current home without him. I am haunted by his death and I needed to get it out. This prose is my attempt to get it all out and start to heal.

Half Chewed Rawhide 

Rays of westward sun illuminate stands of soft white fur against the vibrant area rug; a comforting oasis from the hardwoods floor.

A frosty breeze from the air conditioner vent gives the fur a slight loft and the stands billow and dance.

As I take a step back, my heel is greeted by a fresh wet patch of your drool and the sharp edges of a half gnawed rawhide.

I fall to the ground and hear the farmhouse creek from years of age, but still I turn my head over my shoulder hoping to see you.

I am haunted by false appearance of life. I know you are gone but my mind, a broken mirror, causes the fragmented memories to cut and dig into my soul and I am left with a distorted memory. 

I recall a warm friendly greeting as I returned home from lunch. Your fluffy tail audibly thumping against the dishwasher; to an eerie light knock on my back door.

I am back sitting at my computer desk desperately trying to finish as assignment. My back turned away from the highway a mere 200 feet away from the highway.

I see your great big happy paws pounce down the stairs and your cow-like hind end frolicking out the back door to a bit of sunshine. The image now overshadowed by your lifeless body in a pool of blood partially curdled by the hot July sun. And the jarring tire mark across your snow like fur.

My guilt and sorrow keeps me company through the night and I watch the sun pour in my living room from the east.

The half started rawhide has dried up over night and the wet patch on the rug is gone. Pretty soon the reminders of your life will start to dwindle and the patches of sadness will become further away. 

Till then, I will live with a hole in my heart. 

8 thoughts on “Half Chewed Rawhide 

  1. Losing a dog is heartbreaking. I have a shelf, a shrine really, where I keep the but ashes and pictures of the three I have lost. Although it will always have an unfilled hole, I hope your heart will heal enough to forgive yourself.


  2. Krissy, I am so sorry to hear of your loss.  We love our pets so much and it is very painful when they are gone. 

    The hole,in your heart you spoke of, will never go away but in time the sorrow you feel is replaced with joyous memories. I have found it amazing how a second or two flashback can leave me in tears for a long time and when least expected these short, sweet thoughts show themselves. I want to say something else, my precious grand child, forgive yourself. You will never know how the leash finally came apart.  He may have seen something that caused him to lunge and break a weakened spot.  It is very difficult to teach a young dog to stop at a roads edge and not to set a foot on the road. Clark was a beautiful boy and greatly loved. He loved you for your strengths and your weaknesses, just as you cherished him for the great personality he had.  Please know this, he can’t be replaced.  You will fall in love with other dogs and have a great time with them, but they can’t and won’t replace Clark. We have made a tribute of sorts for out dogs that are gone.  Maybe you can create a photo album with notes about him that you can always enjoy.  I am happy you have Sam to help you with this .We love you two so very much.                                                                                                                                                        


  3. So sorry for your loss. Pets are such important family members and to lose him too soon makes it even more poignant. Your images of the half chewed rawhide, drool and snowy fur stick with me.


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