Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 27, 2015

A Sad Goodbye

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:17 am


My sweet 10-year-old golden retriever Daphne passed away in her sleep early this morning.

I knew that my time with her would be limited but I never expected her to slip away as quickly as she did. She had started slowing down this year, and getting that “old dog” face as her fur began to turn white. Just last week, it appeared she was having difficulty walking, losing control of her back legs, especially on the tile floor in the kitchen. Goldens are known for having issues with their hips, I thought perhaps time was finally catching up with hers. I noticed a couple times that her breathing seemed a bit heavy but thought maybe a little doggy cold was creeping in. She still had her pleasant doggy-soulful personality and did not appear to be in any obvious pain. My husband took her to the vet on Tuesday to have her checked out. He came home with awful news. She had cancer. A massive tumor was impinging on her spine, causing those rear legs to collapse. When they did x-rays to confirm, cancer was also found throughout her lungs. She was not getting the oxygen her body needed to sustain her. She gave us a prescription of prednisone to ease her pain, and we took her home, uncertain of how much time she had left.

The girls came home for Thanksgiving break on Wednesday and knew something was wrong with our sweet girl right away. We had hoped we might be able to keep the bad news from them until they were finished with final exams at college, but it was becoming clear Daphne might not have that kind of time left. We comforted her as best we could, hand feeding her some meats and wet dog food, hugs and pets and a comfy pillow to lounge on.

This picture had been on my mind a lot in recent days:

That’s from our very first Christmas with Daphne in 2005. Before we left the house for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, I took this photo of Daphne and my girls:

And I’m glad I did. Early this morning, Teddy touched me several times with his nose. I could hear Daphne’s labored breathing in the hallway. Teddy kept touching me until I got up to check on Daphne. I did my best to comfort her one last time, but I knew the dog I loved was fading fast. She died in her sleep a couple hours later. Teddy gave me one last chance to say goodbye to her.

We buried her in the backyard as a family. The girls came outside and Teddy laid quietly near by as we did what had to be done. It was terribly sad, but it felt like the right and respectful goodbye.

It is amazing what dogs seem to know and understand. Daphne stayed with us long enough for the girls to come home and have their last moments with her. She made it through Thanksgiving day, and I was so very thankful for the 10 years she gave this family. We hand fed her some bites of turkey and patted her sweet head before we went to bed last night. Then this chapter of our lives met its end this morning, free from the burden of having to make that decision ourselves to end her suffering.

Goodbye my sweet fur baby.
Daphne, September 17, 2005 to November 27, 2015 RIP


  1. She really did wait for the girls. There’s no doubt about that and it’s absolutely amazing. Good bye sweet Daphne. Big hugs to you Karen, and the girls and Craig. And Teddy. xoxo

    Comment by Nae — November 27, 2015 @ 11:27 am | Reply

    • Thank you for the kind thoughts. xoxo

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2015 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  2. Oh gosh, it is so hard to watch these fur babies get old and sick and hurt. My Bailey is diminishing, with bad arthritic hips and elbows – she was 12 this past week, and it is getting harder and harder for her to get up and down and to maneuver a couple of steps off the deck – she is not so eager to play ball anymore, and would prefer laying around the house to spending time outside. I am hoping for the blessing of her going in her sleep though, because I don’t want to make the dreaded decision when the time comes. Hugs to you.

    Comment by Carol — November 27, 2015 @ 11:31 am | Reply

    • I was so dreading having to make the decision. It was a final kindess not to have to make it. Thanks Carol.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2015 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  3. What a great tribute to Daphne, this is so well written and from the heart, I’m not ashamed to say that it made me cry, fur babies are such a big part of our lives. Sending our love and hugs to all of you, It’s never easy to say goodbye….

    Comment by Sherry — November 27, 2015 @ 11:40 am | Reply

    • Thank you Sherry. She was a sweetheart who will be missed terribly.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2015 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

  4. Crying!!! Oh dear, our sweet golden passed away a year and a half ago, and my guy and I are still mourning. Henry was so much a part of our lives, as your Daphne was – and always will be. The heart of these dogs, who are true family members, are big enough to keep sending out love, long after they’re gone. I send you sympathy and great respect for loving Daphne, and receiving her love in return.

    Comment by roughwighting — November 27, 2015 @ 11:53 am | Reply

    • Thanks so much. She’s left a big hole in our hearts.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2015 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  5. Thank you for sharing your touching story of Daphne. I can relate as our golden retriever will be turning 10 this coming year. Our pets are so much a part of our lives…they are members of the family. Good bye Daphne and hugs to Karen and your family.

    Comment by Lisa — November 27, 2015 @ 11:55 am | Reply

    • Thank you for reading and leaving these kind words.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2015 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  6. Daphne was the sweetest dog.

    Comment by Jim — November 27, 2015 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

    • She was. Feeling her absence.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2015 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  7. So sorry for your loss Karen. It is never an easy thing to watch but it seems she went as peacefully, surrounded by those she loved. This is a beautiful tribute to Daphne!

    Comment by Mike — November 27, 2015 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  8. Karen..this is such a beautiful tribute to Daphne. So well written and full of love. I am sure poor Teddy feels the loss as well.
    We are thinking of you all and sending our love.

    Comment by trish49 — November 27, 2015 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

  9. Oh Karen, I’m so sorry to hear this news, it’s never easy to say goodbye, but you know what? It all happened as it was meant to, and as the days pass and you think back to this time, you will smile at how beautifully The Universe took care of things for you. And for Daphne. Thinking of you and sending love. ❤

    Comment by Joanne — November 27, 2015 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Joanne. It does feel as though the Universe did right by Daphne, and for that I am grateful.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2015 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

  10. I’m so sad for you and your family. Ten isn’t all that old, even for a big dog. And for it all to go so quickly. I’m thankful that the girls were home though, so they could get those last ear rubs in. What a sweet dog. I’m sure she was glad her entire family was home safe, and all together, so she could feel OK about leaving you. Hugs to all of you.

    Comment by Dawn — November 27, 2015 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Dawn – your sweet comment brought tears to my eyes once more.
      10 is unfortunately old for golden retrievers. The breed’s life expectancy is only 10-12 years. Cancer robbed us of any extra time at all.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2015 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  11. Sorry for your loss Karen, I cried as I read this and she’ll be missed.

    Comment by Nye — November 27, 2015 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Nye, kind of you to say.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2015 @ 10:01 pm | Reply

  12. Very heart touching. Good bye so sad! Im too emotional when it comes to pets and such good byes and thus don’t have a heart to keep them. Losing a sweet cat after many yrs was a terrible feeling, some years ago. But this is life. Cancer is horrible! 😦

    Comment by sonali — November 28, 2015 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Sonali. We are all feeling her absence.

      Comment by Karma — November 28, 2015 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

  13. Oh Karen, I am so sorry. Dogs become such a part of our lives and families. Daphne had a good death at home with the smells and her people and her doggie companion Teddy nearby. Consider yourself hugged.

    Comment by sybil — November 28, 2015 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Sybil. Hug appreciated.

      Comment by Karma — November 29, 2015 @ 8:02 am | Reply

  14. Oh non, c’est trop triste 😦 Je ressens ta/votre douleur Karen et t’envoie toute ma sympathie. Sybil a raison, Daphne est partie entourée de tous ceux qu’elle aimait et qui l’aimaient. Mais quel vide elle laisse ! Je pense à toi. Bisous.

    Comment by isathreadsoflife — December 28, 2015 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

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