RIP Diesel, my beautiful big beasty, you will be missed every day

Mar 29 2016
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I do not want to write this blog post. I don’t want to tell anyone that I lost my Diesel on Easter night. But I have to because you all need to know that I may not be around for a little while. This grief has me so buried that I can barely breathe, or write, or do much of anything. Only days after I had the chance to introduce my beautiful adopted boy to you here, he died in my arms. It was not what anyone could call “expected” Diesel was an older dog at 8 but certainly not an “old” dog. Neither was he terribly sick or unwell, though he was not fully healthy. My big beasty was diagnosed with cushings about 6 months ago and I had already started on the draft to tell you all how I was dealing with it so that anyone who saw pictures of him here would understand his condition – would understand his pot belly and not just think of him as fat. Cushings is far more common in old and small dogs. Diesel was neither. When they diagnosed him he was so happy and wanting to go for a walk so badly I had a real hard time believing that he was not just, in fact, an over weight dog (though inexplicably so). I read that most dogs do not live even a year after the diagnosis and I just had a real hard time believing all of it.

The day my big boy died I got home from Easter dinner with my family and I took him for a very long walk on the golf course. (I should say that actually HE took me for a very long walk as I have always had to force him back to the house, he never wanted to end a walk no matter how pooped he was and I let him go as long as possible.) He was a little shaky when I got back initially but he ate dinner and we had an absolutely normal happy evening together. I cuddled him and brushed him and he gave me no sign that he didn’t feel just as good as always. I went to bed at 10 and Diesel was outside in his kennel, sitting under his oak tree, enjoying the warm night. An hour and a half later I woke to Diesel struggling upstairs, only able to do a few steps at a time before having to rest. When he finally got up I grabbed his big blanket and put it on the floor beside my side of the bed, right by me. He immediately went to it and collapsed. He couldn’t get comfortable and his hind legs weren’t working right. He was panting when he came upstairs but as I was with him and he stretched into my arms and lap his panting became extremely shallow. He stretched out and then he quit breathing and I totally lost my mind. I did CPR on him, I cleared his air way, pulled his tongue out of his mouth, made sure he wasn’t choking on anything. He never took another breath and I just sat there in shock.

I feel as though I am still sitting there in shock.

We buried him that night, taking turns with a pick ax under his oak tree. It was an arduous dig as the ground is still frozen here but we had to take care of my big beasty. We wrapped him in his favorite blanket and with a couple of toys that he loved.

What does anyone do when they lose their best friend?

Diesel must have known and I am so so thankful he came upstairs so that he could die in my arms.

RIP Diesel, you will be missed every day.

RIP Diesel my big beautiful gray adopted Mastiff.

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    March 29, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    RIP Beautiful Diesel – so sorry (tears in my eyes will not stop) to hear about your fur-baby. We have Mastiffs and have lost several so understand your pain. My heart goes out to you all.

    • March 30, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you so much Renee, I don’t think we ever get over losing a pet, I’m just so glad he was with me when he passed.

  2. jan
    March 29, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Oh no!! I’m so sorry for your loss. I KNOW how HUGE it is. He’s in heaven now healthy and running near the Rainbow Bridge waiting for the day you will see him again.

    • March 30, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Jan, thank you so much, what a wonderful thought of him running and healthy again.

  3. Collier Austin
    March 29, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Oh, my heart is breaking for you both. I am so very sorry that your sweet boy has gone on to the bridge. I started following your blog, not only because I loved everything you were doing with “Grandma’s” house, but also because I would see your big monster dog in so many pictures. The fact that he wanted to be with you in the end was a true testimony to the love that the two of you shared. You are in my thoughts.

    • March 30, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Collier, thank you so much, he will be so missed in our home.

  4. Kim
    March 29, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Oh, honey. I about came out of my chair when I saw your title. I have been crying so hard for you I almost cannot breathe. Take your time. We’ll be here when you come back.

  5. March 30, 2016 at 3:45 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss! It’s so hard to loose a beloved pet, and my heart goes out to you.

  6. March 30, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Oh, Tarah, I am so very sorry. Your beautiful Diesel will always be in your heart and memories, never far away. My heart goes out to you and Joe. You never “get over” a loss like this, you just get through it. I am so glad he was able to take his last breath in your arms – he knew how much you loved him, just as you know how much he loved you. Hugs and prayers.

    • March 30, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Susan, thank you so much for your wonderful words.

  7. Scottie Mitchell
    March 30, 2016 at 1:17 pm


    My heart breaks for you and your hubby! I gasped when I read the subject line of this post.

    I wanted to share my recent experience with an Old Boy, a rescue who rescued me … but I got busy and thought that there is always time … time for this or that … but the message is: there is no time like right now.

    Just know that my heart is broken for the loss of that beautiful boy! I am so so sorry that this happened to you and to him. Because my heart is still a little raw, and I know the agony you are going through.

    The only comfort I still fall back on is knowing that I made Zeke’s life bearable in the last few weeks of his life, that I was with him until the very end and he knew that … and that I will never forget him!

    Bless you, child! This sucks ….

    • March 30, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Scottie, knowing we saved him and he had happy days before he passed is the thing I am drawing the most comfort from. He got to do what made him the happiest with the people he wanted to do it with on his last day and then he died very quickly in the arms of someone who loved him entirely. I think often that, when I go, that would be the end I would want to have. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  8. March 31, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I can’t even tell you how much my heart breaks for you. I feel that you were blessed to have him with you when he passed. I am so, so sorry.

    • March 31, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Regina, thank you so so much, I was truly blessed to have him.

  9. Lisa
    April 3, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I can’t stop crying. I have no words that have not already been said here. Keep his memory alive in your heart. I’ll keep you in my prayers

    • April 4, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you so much Lisa. We are trying hard to heal here but the house is so incredibly empty and quiet.

  10. Valerie H
    April 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I just found your blog through Hometalk. We lost our Malamute Stitch on June 1, 2011, very unexpectedly, but my daughter and I were home at the time and he came to each of us to say goodbye. Reading your post made me cry just as hard as I did that day. I am so sorry for your loss. He’ll always be in your heart and mind, but it does get easier. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • April 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      I am so so glad that Diesel came to be with us when he knew it was his time, that is something I will always be grateful for. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, not everyone understands what it is like to lose a pet, they are such an incredible joy to a family and it is so heart breaking. Thank you so much for your words.

  11. April 6, 2016 at 9:09 am

    hello, i found you through Roadkill Rescue and have been reading your posts for over an hour. Was excited to tell you how great the blog is and how proud I feel of you and hubby. I became excited and motivated to attack some of my projects using the great diy’s you’ve shared. Been in a slump lately. THEN i read this post and tears are flowing. I feel so sad for you both. We are ‘suckers’ for strays and our pets are like family. I well remember how your heart is aching with the loss. Its horrible, it hurts, it chokes you. Just know there will be a day when remembering Diesel will cause you to smile without the tears. How lucky he was to have such a loving home.
    Blessings and wishing you years of happiness together.

    • April 6, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Lesa, thank you so much, I’m glad you liked some of our projects 🙂 Its all a big labor of love for us though, I’ll admit, the inspiration can be hard some days. With Diesel gone now I lost so much of my motivation to do anything, the house is just too quiet and empty now but, I know it will get better. Thank you again for your kind words.

  12. April 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Tarahlynn, I’m so sorry for this sad loss… I totally know what you’re going through. I had a huge American Bulldog that died a couple years ago, and I can still cry if I think about it… He was such an amazing special dog.

    On a brighter note, thanks for stopping by my blog, it’s been fun to track you back and see your story… fun! 🙂

    Hope you have a blessed weekend.

    • April 28, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Liz, thank you so much it has been REALLY hard without him! Have a good weekend too and thank you for stopping by!

  13. Adrienne
    May 28, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Tara, So sorry for your loss. My friends just lost their small dog to Cushing’s Disease and are heart broken. When their dog was diagnosed about 9 months ago I read all I could on the disease in dogs and I watched their dog go through all of the symptoms and outcomes described in the articles. I loved their dog too so my heart is aching along with them. Anytime a pet dies we grieve, as they are family. But in my heart I know their little dog, who was rescued from an abusive home, was so happy with them and had a wonderful life in their arms. Your dog and my friend’s dog lives on the heart and memories of the owners. I have lost pets and it does take a long time to go through the steps needed with grief. I will be thinking of you in this loss. Thank you for the blog as I find it so interesting.

    • May 30, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Hey Adrienne, thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply about my big beasty. I miss him every day. Cushings was not a disease I had heard of until he was diagnosed and he was still so happy all of the time that I really wasn’t prepared for him going so fast. But I guess that is the way the disease commonly manifests. The vet wanted to put him on a human chemotherapy drug but I just didn’t have the heart to do that, knowing the terrible side effects I might be putting him through. I’ve always had a couple of big dogs in my life but after I lost Diesel it has been a longer harder climb to wanting another dog for me then ever before. I know we will be adopting again someday but, admittedly, after going through that with Diesel I think its going to be awhile before I’m willing again. Thank you again for your kind reply, have a great week!

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