Coping With the Loss of My Dog Marlee


One of the hardest moments we as pet owners must face is that fateful time when our beloved pets have come to the end of their loyal and faithful lives. Their lives are spent pleasing us, entertaining us, loving us, all without condition or expectation. Their love is pure, true, no strings attached.

How do you prepare yourself for that difficult day when the decision must be made to ease their suffering, to allow them to pass on with dignity and self-respect? When is the right time, how will we know?

My Dearest Marlee

This blog was inspired by the recent passing of my dearest canine friend and companion of 14 years…Marlee.

She was a beautiful black lab. Her loyalty knew no limits, her love knew no boundaries. She lived her life the way every dog should, with unconditional love. We could learn a lot from the love and loyalty of our faithful canine companions.

She never whimpered or complained even in her waning years. She lived to play fetch, chasing a stick, a ball anything that could be thrown with relentless pursuit. She would jump in the car or truck not caring where or how far we went as long as she was there. Happy to share any food or treat you were having, maybe even placing her muzzle on your knee if she thought you didn’t quite notice her.

Her morning routine was to walk the outskirts of the property to make sure everything smelt right to her, sometimes rolling in anything that had a particularly gruesome odor. She always came back, she was always there, she greeted you every time you came through the door with the same enthusiasm. Gone for 5 minutes or 5 days made no difference to her, she might bark at you a little bit if you were gone too long as if to say “what took you so long?”.

One look into her eyes revealed a depth of love and loyalty we as humans should seek to replicate. Even when she was suffering from Geriatric Vesitublar Syndrome one night in her latter days she still tried to get up and greet us. She lived her life for us and nothing else. A truer friend you will not find.

On her last fateful morning she obediently laid down on the perfectly positioned blanket at the veterinary’s office. Peacefully her eyelids closed, her breathing slowly faded away, never a whimper, never a complaint, just a quiet and peaceful transition into the afterlife. God Bless you Marlee, I will forever miss you until we meet again.

“What we have once enjoyed, We can never lose;

All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

Thinking of Them First

Commonly we find ourselves wanting to extend the lives of our pets because we are not ready to let them go. They quickly and profoundly impact our lives, why would we want to lose that? Unfortunately the length of their lives is much shorter than ours which means as lifelong pet lovers we are faced with the prospect of losing many pets over our lifetime.

It never gets any easier, no matter how many times we must face the impending death of our beloved pet. We selfishly hold on to the hope that they are doing okay, they have just slowed down a little. While the desire to keep them around is overwhelming, they will let us know when things are not going well. Somehow without words they will signal it is time.

Sad as it may be, putting their best interest first and thinking about them in the context of not suffering helps ease the decision. Focusing on what they may be going through for pain and suffering is more than enough to re-establish our priorities.

All Dogs Go To Heaven

While there is substantial religious debate about the presence of animals in the afterlife, my personal opinion and belief is that animals are in fact present in God’s kingdom. There are several bible verses that touch on the subject and lead me to believe that one day, given the fact that I accept Jesus into my life, open my heart and soul to his love and forgiveness, I will be reunited with my pets that have gone before me.

Much like our loved ones that pass away, knowing and believing that my beloved Marlee has gone to a better place gives me comfort to get through each day. One day I will see her again, she will be at her very best, running and jumping, playing and loving as she was born to do.


Live your life with the same love, loyalty and faithfulness that our canine companions do. If you believe as I do, rest assured that one day we will all be reunited with our lost pets. They have gone before us to live in God’s kingdom helping to prepare his eternal kingdom for the day we too come home.


14 thoughts on “Coping With the Loss of My Dog Marlee
  1. Very touching article. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story about Marlee and the love he gave you and those around you.

    As you might expect I have been through the circumstances although the name and story were a bit different.

    The common ground is the beauty of a dog and his love unconditional they share with us because of God’s Plan. It is my hope my buddies that have had on this earth will be running like a youngster again with maybe a little flight along the way.

    Blessings on you and Marlee. Have a blessed day!

    1. Thank you very much for the kind comments, she was a very special dog but then again aren’t they all in their unique and special ways. 

      Here’s hoping that one day you are reunited with your buddies in all their youthful glory. 

      God Bless!!

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. It is indeed not easy to lose a lifelong friend. But rest assured; Marlee is certainly in a better place now.
    I’m an animal lover. And it pains me to remember the fact that we will witness these pets pass before our eyes.
    Remember that you will reunite with her one day. Hopefully, this will ease your grief and pain.

    1. Thank you very much for the reply, it is indeed difficult but knowing that she is in a better place is what is important and helps me to keep things in perspective.  All the best to you!!

  3. My dog’s name was Princess and I cried for days, weeks, months when she passed. I still don’t think I’ve gotten over it completely. Your moving story reminds me of those times when I was a child.

    Be blessed and comforted and may your memories, as mine for my beloved pet, always be sweet.

    1. It is certainly one of the most difficult things to go through, remembering them in a positive life is very beneficial in easing the pain. If you have a chance to read the poem “The Rainbow Bridge” as referenced by Barb in one of the previous comments, it is also very helpful.

      Thank you for the kind comments and sharing. Hope you have a blessed day. All the best!!

  4. Hi! First of all, I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved Marlee. I know the pain all too well when I lost my cat, Pepper and then Thai.

    I do believe that animals go to heaven. I know this sounds crazy, but my cat Pepper always slept on top of my shoulder at night and the evening he passed, I felt him sitting there.

    When my cat Thai passed, I had a dream in which he came to me and showed me that he was okay and playing with other cats in a meadow.

    There is one poem that may give you some comfort. It is called “The Rainbow Bridge.” Have you ever heard of it before?

    1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful reply and for sharing your stories. I agree that they do let us know they are ok. Just a day or so after Marlee passed, I walked into one of the rooms in our house and I swore she was there but it wasn’t a sad feeling, it was a comforting feeling. I knew she was ok, she was resting peacefully. I didn’t need to worry anymore. 

      I had not heard of that poem but took a moment to read it. It is beautiful, thank you so much for sharing. I will be sure to share with all. May you one day walk across Rainbow Bridge with Pepper and Thai. Best wishes. 

  5. Hi
    Firstly sorry for the loss of marlee.
    I am an animal lover and can tell you that you have done the right thing, it is unfair to let them suffer.
    I can relate to this post as i also had my english springer jess put to sleep some years ago now but i still miss her dearly, the pain never goes away.
    We also have our other springer milly who recently has had an operation to remove a lump which has been a worrying time as she is 11 and a half and adorable.
    You are right in saying there love is pure and true, such a sad moment , when reading your post my heart skipped a beat because it was like reliving it all again:(
    The question is will you get another dog?
    Thanks and take care:)

    1. Thank you for the kind and thoughtful reply. Very sorry to hear about your loss. Wishing Milly all the best for a full and speedy recovery. Without question the love of an animal is such a necessary and powerful gift of love. 

      We most certainly will always have a dog or two. We had actually already gotten a new puppy a year ago. She gave Marlee a boost of life and in turn Marlee shared her wisdom and experience. They learned and shared together for just over a year. 

      Wishing you all the best. Thank you again!!

  6. I lost my dog, Lady, a little over a year ago. In the first few months, it was difficult to imagine that I would go home to an empty front door, no happy tail to greet me.

    As time passes, the lost was replaced by memories of her loving character and I’ve printed photos to remind me of that. There will be never be another dog like her and I feel blessed to have been her owner of more than 10 years.

  7. This is a really moving and beautiful tribute to your beloved dog Marlee. Thank you for sharing it. As a family we’ve had three dogs in the past and when the time comes to say goodbye and let go, like you say, it never gets any easier.

    We can only console ourselves with the thought that we gave them a happy life and did all we could for them just as they in turn brought happiness and love into our lives.

    1. Thank you for your reply and for sharing your thoughts and memories. They really are a blessing in our lives in so many ways. Have a great day. 

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