The Loneliness of An Empty Dog Bowl

The Loneliness of an Empty Dog Bowl

This weekend, we said goodbye to the first of our three old dogs after our miniature pinscher went from frail to significantly impaired in less than 24 hours. My vet did an awesome job with an emergency appointment on Friday and again on Saturday.

He had a good life for the last 13 years and was much loved.

He loved us back fiercely too. I was protected from anyone who walked by the house. They might have thought it was comical to see a 5 pound dog menacing them, but he was quite serious in defending me. I was his mission in life, his reason for existing.

He was the first to greet me each morning when I came down the stairs. He waited impatiently for me to close the gate, bowing and crossing his little legs, then pawing at my shoe laces as I tied them up. When I went to feed them, he raced ahead, then scratched at my leg to hurry up and get the food done!

He loved his cuddles, particularly enjoying a snooze on my lap as I read. Each night, he waited eagerly for me to get done with supper so he could herd me back to the family room for his turn.

He didn’t sleep in a tiny bed – he had to have the same big bed that the big dogs had. After the beagle was stuck once too often in a tiny bed, we caved in and got them each a big bed.

Of course, it wasn’t enough to have his own big bed. He also needed a blanket to roll up in. The beagle was jealous of that, so I ended up having to give them each a blanket at night. It was pretty funny that part of the bedtime ritual included going from dog to dog to cover them up.

The problem with any pet is they do grow old. He was 16+ years old. The other two are close behind. I wrote years ago about how we learn that despite losing our pets, we realize we can love again (here). I’d rather love them and grieve their loss, than to not have them at all.

No, it’s not all perfect. He was expensive – we had to replace flooring and rugs because he wouldn’t stop peeing inside the house. He required dental extractions each year until finally he lost all his teeth. And old dogs require a lot of medications to stay healthy and pain free.

But I wouldn’t trade it away. I miss my little man. He was a good dog.

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

18 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Oh, Nancy.
    I am heartbroken at your sad news. He was such a big part of the family and I know how you will miss him.
    These good souls are in our lives for such a short time – but oh how they make those years count. The photo of him wrapped in the blanket in his big bed is just about the cutest and funniest thing I have seen. He really was a big dog.
    Sending hugs to you, my friend. And pats to the beagle boy too

    • Thank you! It’s nice to hear from you :)

      They sure do make those years count. He had quite the personality. I have so many pictures of him wrapped up! They were all hilarious.

      The beagle is doing good but slowing down a lot. I can tell old age is catching up with him also.

      Hugs and kisses back to you also.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear this. I remember you talking about your min-pin many years ago. He brought such joy. I echo your sentiment about loving & losing is better than not having known them at all. He had a great life having you as his mama!

    • Thanks for the note! I’m so behind writing you (I’d done it a while back but had a bad e-mail address and didn’t get it done – sorry). While he could be a real pain in the butt (peeing, barking), he was so full of personality. We are really missing him.

  3. Charlee: “We’re very sorry to hear that your little man had to go away.”
    Chaplin: “Run free over the Rainbow Bridge, little man, and be sure to stop by and say hello to Dennis and get something tasty at Tucker’s Everlasting Rainbow Bridge Buffet.”
    Charlee: “We send all of you purrs at this difficult time.”
    Lulu: “And I send tail wags!”

    • Thank you – all of you. I will remind him to check in with Dennis and Tucker. He’s likely to think Dennis is his brother, who was fully as wild as Dennis in his younger years.

  4. I was so sorry to hear this but I guess it is inevitable. He’s so cute and just wanted to be like the big boys. In fact, he probably thought he was one of the big guys. May he rest in puppy heaven, knowing he did a good job of keeping you happy and safe. Sending hugs. xo

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