I’m no good at goodbyes

Yesterday, I said goodbye to my best friend.

Daft isn’t it? A dog – my best friend? But he is, or he was.

He was there when we found out we were having William, curled up crying with us. He was there when we joked how it would be nice if he brought us Bacardi and Cokes as we sat sunbathing in the garden. He was there when he had a leap of faith, literally, and pounced off the edge of a tall ledge and plunged into the water below. He was there when he made a mad dash for the park, across the street from our old house. He was there as I threw-up, pregnant and bewildered, and yet he sat by me and licked my hand. He was there as my bump grew, placing two delicate paws onto my stomach. He greeted our son with a curious lick. Happy to observe this new, tiny creature. He was there when my son first laughed – he wasn’t just there, he was the cause of that laugh.

He’s always been there.

Saying goodbye was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

The last I saw of him was his little trot and waggy tail as he trotted behind a corner, off for a walk.

I stood, tears running freely, holding the penny I found on the floor outside my parents’ house, as we dropped William off at the start of our journey. “Charlotte – look.” My mum found it and I picked it up. Pressed it firmly into my palm and kept it there.

I collapsed into a heap in the car. I sobbed. I couldn’t breathe.

I would never see him again.

He’s not a human. He’s not much to some. But if you’ve ever loved an animal, you’ll know. And if you don’t know – get yourself an animal to love. It’s worth any heartache you could feel at goodbye.

Our house is empty now. It smells different. Feels different. For such a tiny thing he brought so much life and noise. Seeing the empty spot where his bed used to sit made me feel lost. I didn’t want to go home, opening the door and not bracing yourself for an excited terrier is going to get some getting used to. I even put my plate down on the kitchen floor tonight – a default move after one of my mum’s meat and potato pies. I felt so stupid. Picking it up, letting it splash into the sink and the leaning over it, watching my own tears splash down too.

I want to race back. Drive into the night. And bring him home.

But that would be selfish.

Because someday soon, he’ll find a family he truly deserves. And I hope he forgets about me. Writing that is hard, because I’ll never forget him.

Thank you for indulging me. Forgiving me for writing tens of posts about my dog.

He was such a big part of my life. I just wish I knew how to fill it. There’s a big Max-shaped hole. A big guilt-shaped hole for having to chose, for letting what happened happen, for feeling like a poor mother.

But I did the right thing.

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  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:47 am

    Thank you Lauren. You're always there for me and I appreciate it so much. Have to hope that someone snaps him up soon. He's wonderful. xxx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:48 am

    Oh Beckie this made me cry. Thank you so much for reading about Max. He's so special to me. I feel like I've lost a huge part of my life but I'm glad I documented my time with him on my blog too. Thanks for being so supportive – you are right, he's a huge gift to a new family. xxx

  • Reply
    15th October 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Sending my love as always Charlotte. He wasn't just a dog, he was part of the family. x

  • Reply
    Hannah Jeeves
    15th October 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Oh gosh Charlotte, I'm so so sorry πŸ™

    I had to give up my house rabbits after a relationship break up as I couldn't take them with me (and he didn't want them) – it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and like you, I felt my heart break. I sobbed and sobbed for weeks. It does get easier and you will always have your memories.

    Once again I'm so sorry πŸ™ xxx

  • Reply
    16th October 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Oh it's so sad, I'm so sorry you had to give him up but it really does sound like it's the best for him and you. Must be so difficult x

  • Reply
    Eilidh T
    16th October 2013 at 4:34 pm

    *massive hugs* xo

  • Reply
    21st October 2013 at 9:30 am

    Charlotte….I felt compelled to write something quickly while my 8month old daughter is happy in her jumparoo. I came across your blog looking for reviews on the Magicbed, and couldn't help but have a little read of your other posts.
    I too, recently, have had to say goodbye to my first "baby"… rescue Greyhound Basil who had lived with us for five years before Erin came along. He was quite literally my saviour as my dad was dying of a brain tumour when he came to us and was my reason to get up in the morning and be happy about something. He was the soppiest and most gentle of dogs, and was brilliant with kids….so imagine my shock when it turned out that he was PETRIFIED of our new little bundle!

    After six months of trying to integrate him back into our family he was just becoming more and more withdrawn and I had to make the decision to let our lovely friends at the Greyhound Rescue find him a new home as it was obvious he just couldn't cope. And as we know, frightened dogs are anything but predictable.

    We both need to remind ourselves that we had no choice…that the priority is to ensure the safety of our little people AND ensure that our furry friends are happy and safe. It's just so sad that it can't always work out as we'd like.

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    21st October 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you Katie. You're always there for me and better yet, you understand too. xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    21st October 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you Hannah, I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to your babies too. It's heartbreaking and I've never felt so silly for how I feel, but I miss him so much. xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    21st October 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you Hayley. I'm so lucky everyone has been so supportive. It's made it a lot easier to cope with. xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    21st October 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you chum. As always. xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    21st October 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Catrin – I wasn't expecting such a wonderful comment today, so when I read this it made me well-up. Thank you so much for staying on my blog and getting to Max's posts and leaving this comment. It made me feel like I had found someone who really understands. Letting go of Max was the hardest thing I've ever done – even more so now I hear he's struggling – and I take some comfort in knowing that I'm not on my own. Have you heard much about Basil since? I still can't believe Max isn't here anymore. I miss him so much. xxx

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