The Saddest Story I Ever Told

I did it. I told the story about the day we said goodbye to Tabatha. I cried, but worked through it and created this two-page scrapbook layout:

I'm so thankful for the support from family and friends, especially those in the Layout a Day community, who have had to see my daily Tabby layouts. I'm not looking for sympathy. I just wanted to tell my story. Maybe it will help someone out there who has or is going through the same thing: the loss of a beloved pet.

I'm sharing the journaling below. Don't read it without tissues. Don't read it at all. It's up to you. No matter what you choose, thanks for taking a moment to say goodbye to Tabatha with me. ~Danielle

It was New Year’s Day. The girls were still at Nana & Papa’s house. Daddy & I slept in since we were up past midnight. When I woke up, you were lying in your usual spot next to the oven. Something wasn’t right. Your stomach was overly bloated & you weren’t moving. I got down on the floor next to you & you made eye contact with me. Your breathing was slow. There were mucousy vomit spots all around the kitchen floor. My poor baby. I’m sorry I didn’t wake up earlier. I wish I would have went downstairs to check on you when I woke up in the middle of the night. I ran to wake up your Daddy. “I think Tabby’s dying,” I cried. He screams out & rushes to check on you. I called your vet, but they were closed for the holiday.

I looked up the emergency vet’s phone number & called. I knew it was bloat & told the lady on the other end. I found out the location of the animal hospital & said we were on our way. We frantically hurried to get ready to take you. There were several inches of snow on the ground. Daddy carried you & put you in the back of the SUV. We rushed through slippery, snow-covered roads & made our way across town, hoping you were still okay & wondering if we’d bring you back home that day. I rushed through the front door & couldn’t even say anything. I just stood there & cried. They knew I was the one they just talked to on the phone. The nurses pushed a cart out, lifted you up & took you inside. We were directed to a waiting room. I filled out paperwork while Daddy & I cried.

A short time later, the vet walked in. I knew the way she was talking, it wasn’t good. She explained what has & was happening to you. Bloat. Shock. Stomach twisting. You were hooked up to an IV. Surgery was an option, but not guaranteed, especially at your age. We knew you would leave us one day & at 12 years old, you had lived longer than many other German Shepherds. We weren’t ready to say goodbye. The girls were over 100 miles away & couldn’t say goodbye. Daddy was so upset. I’ve never seen him like this. We asked to see you. You were in a cage, somewhat alert when we talked to you, raising your head at one point. We caressed you & hugged you, having such a hard time figuring out the best thing for you.

We went back & forth on whether or not to try the surgery, even having the paperwork in hand to apply for financing to help us pay the thousands of dollars for a surgery that may or may not work. When Daddy said he didn’t want you in pain anymore, we knew what we had to do. You were brought back to us on a table, covered with a blanket. We held onto you for a long time. Tears. Sadness. Your paws were cold. Eventually, the vet came in with medication that would put you to sleep forever. We were right by your side as you left us. It happened so fast. We made the decision for a private cremation with your ashes to be returned to us in a cherry wood box. We left with only your paw print. It was the saddest New Year’s Day. Our home was empty. No more dog. No more Tabby girl. You were gone.


Pet Memorial Scrapbook: The First & Last Pages
Just a Little Scrapbook Therapy
Introduction to the Pet Tribute Album