Don’t Want that Bad Good-bye

by Doranna

rena.1062.SMPeople have lately been asking me about Rena Beagle.  How she is, why I’ve not said much about her.

I’ve been bound to leave you, we’ve known that for awhile…

I’ve told them that she’s on hiatus from agility (where we finished her Open and Excellent titles last year) and she’s been playing rally when she feels well enough.  In fact she earned her Rally Advanced a month ago and even got her first Excellent leg, very close to the year-anniversary of her arrival here.  I danced about it here on the blog, too.

I’m sure it’s something I can’t do if I can’t leave you with a smile…

But the blog isn’t real life.  There are a lot of things that go unsaid, because they’re complicated.  Like the fact that Rena’s journey from her past mom to her now mom (me) triggered  hidden health issues, and I’ve been dealing with them since the day she got here–just over a year ago, now.

 I don’t know how far I’ll have to go ’til I’m sure those eyes won’t cry…

At first we thought a change of thyroid meds protocol would sort her out.  And it did, for a couple of months.  But then the rhinitis broke through.  And the spay incontinence.  And the chronic dehydration, and the painful pottying, and and AND.  After another seven months of exacting and expensive efforts, we thought we’d gotten all that sorted out, too.

And in my mind I’ve left enough to know that I can’t leave you
With a bad goodbye.

And then I found a way  to get her fully hydrated, and I put her on Transfer Factors, and within a week I was getting glimpses of the dog I knew Rena had once been.  Cheerful and silly and fun.  What a delight!


But there was another side of that coin: It told me exactly how unhappy and uncomfortable she’d been.

And a third side of that coin: I was excruciatingly aware of the delicate balance of keeping her healthy, happy, and comfortable.  I knew that at some point, we would learn whether we’d caught and stopped the various processes at work in her body, or simply bought a little time.

So I’ve been watching.  But it still took me by surprise when the change of season…mattered.

Apparently, it matters a lot.

Oh, there are details.  And developments. Things that came up suddenly over the weekend, bringing tears and denial and slow acceptance.

In truth, there’s no single thing going on with Rena Beagle that it isn’t possible to overcome, either for me or for her.  But in aggregate, they are an enlarging mountain.  And meanwhile I’m watching her fall apart, piece by piece, right before my eyes.

It’s the other side of the coin again.

And in my mind I’ve left enough to know that I can’t leave you
With a bad goodbye.

A bad goodbye, for me and mine, is one that comes too late.  One that drags on.  One that would rather watch a little princess dog fall apart piece by piece than do the necessary thing.

And any way I look, I've only seen that I can't leave you With a bad goodbye.

And any way I look, I’ve only seen that I can’t leave you
With a bad goodbye.

Today I do the necessary thing.

(“A Bad Goodbye,” Clint Black)

About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
This entry was posted in Behind the Scenes, Rena Beagle and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Don’t Want that Bad Good-bye

  1. Mona Karel says:

    call me if you need to vent

    • Doranna says:

      Not so much with the venting, just lots of crying. This is just breaking my heart. She tried so hard and we tried so hard, and yet here we are.

      • Kada says:

        Oh god, that broke my heart. Kiddlywink’s wondering why ‘m crying, I explained that Connery’s sister had to go to the vet like Scruffy did.
        “Poor Connery, he must be so sad. I bet he misses his sister.”
        “Yes he does.”
        “we’re they best friends?”
        “Yes they were.”
        “Oh, poor Connery.”
        And the she hugged me while I cried.
        So, big hugs to you all from the Maccas Down Under.

        • Kada says:

          SHe wants to tell Connery,


          {Sigh} Don’t worry, ‘Cause you might have another sister one day. {hugs}
          Don’t worry because I’m going to be your next sister, (crawls on floor on all fours whimpering)

          Isn’t that a nice suggestion for COnnery?
          Now, someone else is looking after your sister. And you know what, her name is SCruffy.”

          • Doranna says:

            Tell that Kiddlywink thank you from me and Connery! She might like to know that he’s getting special bones yesterday and today. It won’t change anything but it’s nice to get a special treat when you’re upset.

  2. Susan Holmes says:

    I’m so very sorry for you both. Know that many of us are with you in spirit today.

  3. My heart is just breaking for you. I am so, so sorry.

  4. Patty says:

    ooooh. I’m so sorry.

  5. vicky wright says:

    Oh donna i’m so sorry. We will miss renabeagle very much. Layla and i are thinking of you today.

  6. B. Ross Ashley says:


  7. Ilona Fenton says:

    🙁 I’m so sorry.

  8. Marilyn says:

    “I have sent you on a journey to a land free from pain. Not because I do not love you, but because I love you too much to ask you to stay.” Farewell, Rena! May you find peace and joy and many wonderful things to do, until, in the fullness of time, you are reunited with those you love and who love you.

  9. Colleen Crandall says:

    I’m so very sorry

  10. Doranna says:

    Having this much understanding is the only way I get through days like this. I appreciate it so much–you all have no idea what it means to me.

  11. Barb Wiesmann says:

    God bless you. I know how absolutely devastating it is to make that decision. <3

  12. Michele Fowler says:

    Sometimes, doing the right thing is the worst thing you have to do. So sorry, hateful time for you.

    • Doranna says:

      That’s sure a good way to put it. It still feels right and it still feels worst!

  13. AlexB says:

    Dammit. I’m so sorry, Doranna.

  14. Suzan Morrow Farrell says:

    I’m crying like a baby—I’m so sorry for both of you. Hugs to you all.

  15. Morgan says:

    Tears pouring down my face. So many hugs for all of you. I am so sorry.

  16. Ellen says:

    Oh no! I’m so terribly sorry for your struggle and loss. Hugs to you. It is such a terrible thing to have to make the choice, to do the right thing. It felt like a kick in the gut when I realized what you were saying. I can’t imagine how you must feel. Run free now Rena Beagle to the rainbow bridge. Peace to you Doranna.

    • Doranna says:

      The hard part about this is that because things were so complicated and emotionally painful and I didn’t share all of that, I know this is sort of coming out of nowhere. (The clues are there if you look for them, but they’re not obvious.) On my end, I’ve been dealing with this for over a year, one thing after another and slowly withdrawing her from the fun stuff while trying to pinpoint what she could still enjoy. Outwardly, it must just seem…very sudden. I hate the way that must look.

      • Ellen says:

        This is the worst decision to have to make and it’s only natural to think one minute it was the right decision and the next that it was wrong… The first time I faced this decision, I waited too long. She was my heart dog and I knew she still had fight left, but she was in pain and terrible shape and would never fully beat the cancer that attacked her twice to that point. She would only eat and drink for me but her eyes lit up when I came to her… My husband helped me make the right choice for her, not for me and I finally did the right thing and let her go, but I still wonder, sometimes in the dark of night, if I really did the right thing… Know you did make the right choice for her. The doubts will come but they fade in time.

        • Doranna says:

          I appreciate the reassurance. Today is starting out very hard.

  17. Michelle Crean says:

    Doranna — just..hugs.

  18. Doranna says:

    I hope this gets easier. I’ve just never done this before. Not with a 6yo dog, and not without a specific, singular disaster that simply couldn’t be overcome.

    I wasn’t certain of the exact problem until the vet visit, but now I know that Rena had a back injury that expressed through pain on the use of her back leg, though involvement was spreading and so was the pain (in spite of being on appropriate meds over the weekend). Could have been treated and I’ve done it before, successfully–just not with a dog who was otherwise also steadily falling apart.

    Right now in one moment I feel absolutely certain this was the right choice, and in the next as though I’m a monstrous failure.

    • maura frankman says:

      Doranna, it never gets easier, but you do what you have to because it is the right thing for the dog. Sending you hugs and sympathy.

  19. Peggy says:

    Poor Rena, I am heartbroken for you. You have been thru so much.

  20. Doranna says:

    I wish this interface let me do “likes” so I could like all the supportive comments here. There’s a lot of collective wisdom and it all helps. I didn’t anticipate that this decision would be so hard in the aftermath–I thought making it would be the hard part, if you know what I mean.

  21. Laura Shannon Balanko says:

    I’m so sorry to read this Doranna. So many of us have been in this terrible place and it never gets easier. Big hugs from another dog lover.

  22. Louise Edwards says:

    so terribly sorry to hear this, Doranna… and wish there was something I could say that would make some small difference. Please know that anyone who has been following ConneryBeagle’s journey would NEVER doubt that you love these animals with all your heart. Please take good care of yourself xoxo

    • Doranna says:

      Awww, thank you. The kind responses of people here and elsewhere are helping me to come to terms with a decision that’s turned out to have been easier to make than to live with.

  23. Anthea says:

    I’m so sorry… Safe journey, Rena Beagle, to whatever comes next.

    • Doranna says:

      Thank you–that’s a sweet thought. I’m still hunting ways to deal with this and keeping this wish in mind when things get hard will help.

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