A life cut short

by imsomony
(SF Bay Area, California)

time for a bath

time for a bath

time for a bath
belly rubs
favorite place to sleep
any space possible, as long as it's with us

Click each photo to enlarge

I've always been an animal lover, and dogs more than anything else. Show me pictures of human babies and I cringe, but show me pictures of dogs and I coo and laugh and light up with warmth. I've thought countless times about volunteering at a local shelter, but I know I'd just want to take all of them home and while I have the heart, I just don't have the space or finances to handle all the 4-legged furry friends.

My BF and I decided to adopt a dog after a few months of discussing it at length. We looked at a few dogs at a local rescue, but our hearts were stolen by a puppy, a SharPei mix who lounged around in the sunshine on our first meeting. We didn't want a puppy but couldn't resist this sweet young man with the wrinkly face and the lazy demeanor. We took him home and left him in the living room for about half an hour to go buy a crate for him. When we came home and found he had destroyed our house, we decided to name him "Scrambles the Death Dealer" (a fitting name considering, but also a reference to a goofy show called Metalocalypse).

Scrambles was our first dog as adults, and we spoiled our new son (Cesar Millan would just shake his head at us if he only knew). He had toys scattered throughout the home, treats available in every room, and got belly rubs and hugs on demand. We took care to talk to dog trainers when we went to classes, chatted with other dog owners and friends and family, watched shows, and read all the books we could get our hands on... we wanted to do as best we could raising our "firstborn" and be the best parents possible for our young pup.

He had typical doggie behavior in some ways - he grinned with a cute underbite, he'd spaz out and tear around the house in circles after going potty in the yard, and he let out farts that could clear a room without a bit of shame. He was such a character, like no dog I've ever known. We called him our Gumby dog; he would curl up with us watching a movie, then roll over halfway on his back and contort himself into awkward positions. Have you ever seen ferrets at a pet store and how they can bend backwards in circles or twist into impossible shapes? Our Scrambles did that and then would rest his face on my chest and go to sleep. He was a momma's boy for sure. He would follow me room to room just to be with me, and would lay down outside the bathroom while I was getting ready for work. He would run to greet me at the door when I came home, wagging his tail and squirming with happiness. He would stretch out with me on the bed in the morning while I rubbed his belly and hugged and kissed him awake to go for a walk. When my BF and I would come home at the same time, he would ignore his father completely and run straight to me, stretching as a greeting and winding around my legs. He loved my BF too, don't get me wrong, but the sun rose and set for his momma and I loved my little guy just as much.

I don't want to go into all the terrible details again, but I was out walking him and I left him tied to a chair for a few minutes while I went inside a shop. He sat in the doorway calmly, just watching me the whole time, and I told him what a good boy he was sitting and waiting for momma. As I was walking back out towards him, only a few feet away, he got spooked by someone walking up next to him unexpectedly and bolted into the street, dragging the chair with him. I was screaming and running after him but it didn't penetrate his panic at all, and he was hit by a car on the other side of the road. He couldn't walk (I think his back was broken) so I picked him up and ran him to the vet down the street, but it was too late. He passed within a few minutes, before they could even euthanize him.

I don't know if dates show on these posts. This happened on 12/16/2010, yesterday. I feel so horribly guilty - I know the "woulda coulda shouldas don't make any difference, but I can't help thinking of how things could have been different if I had only changed one small thing that morning. My boy was only 10 months old. His life was only just beginning and I feel like it's my fault my furry baby isn't here for the rest of it. I would have given my life for him and I couldn't save him. My BF and I are completely lost without him already. We just wander from room to room not knowing what to do without him there to show us what comes next anymore. We've hardly slept at all in the past 36 hours, and I can't stop crying for my little man.

RIP my sweet Scrambles - Scramblonius, Scrammalammles, Scrambulance, my silly puppy boy
2/15/10 - 12/16/10

Comments for A life cut short

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Mar 14, 2011
by: Anonymous

I lost my 6 year old best friend in October 2010. I cried myself to sleep for the next month every night. I slept with her collar too. It is March, I recently got a puppy, and I still cry about her loss to this day. It's hard. It is nice to know that there are others out there that love their furry friends as much as I do. The grief will subside. Never forget your friend though, I'm sure you won't. I made a video of her pictures, which helped a lot. I visit her grave often and pray that she knows I still love her and think about her. Take care of yourself and your friend. You will make it through it, but it will be hard.

Dec 26, 2010
by: Bandit's mom

I am so so sorry for your loss. I loved the beginning, when you mentioned about babies and you cringe; puppies you go crazy... I feel the same way. I lost my lab in June and the hurt doesn't really ever go away.. They're our family and you don't just recover or 'get stronger' over night. Your story is a sad sad one. You poor thing having to go thru that with Scrambles..

Uhhh my heart hurts for you, your BF and that beautiful boy. There's no advice, you just need love right now. I'm so so sorry. Nothing consoles but this web site has a lot of love for you - we've all lost our loves so keep talking to release some of that hurt. Hugs, warmly, Pam

Dec 25, 2010
I know exactly how you feel
by: George

Earlier this month we lost our beautiful Golden Retriever. Please see my story about Bolt. I too felt guilty and beat myself up with the coulda shoulda wouda. If we had left him at home that afternoon on December 4th instead of taking him to the pet store, he would still be alive. But my family and friends told me I shouldn't think that way, because it could happen to any dog owner. I feel sorry for your loss. It's been 3 weeks since our Bolt was killed by a car and the house still doesn't seem the same. We may get another dog later on, but it won't ever replace our beautiful Bolt.

Dec 18, 2010
RIP little guy
by: Scrambles' Grandma

Sweetie, you gave Scrambles the best life he could possibly have had and you and Jon gave him more love than he could ever ask for - if he could have vocalized it! He touched your lives in a way only compassionate, loving dog-people know and his legacy will be that your next dog will have a wonderful life too, based on all you learned with and from Scrambles. He's having a great time with other dogs on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, I just know it! XOXOXO

Dec 18, 2010
So sorry.....
by: Karen McKenzie Lobell

So sorry for your loss Patti.....just know that it was not your fault.....it hurts too much to know that right now.....remember the good times and the fun times.....remember it is what it is and there is nothing you could have done different about that day.....the hurt does get easier even though it doesn't seem like that now.....and in time you will most likely want to have another 4 pawed companion.....they give us such unconditional love and they also break our hearts!.....don't keep blaming yourself because things just happen that are beyond our control.

Hugs to you and your BF! Hang in there! I spoke with your Mom the other day and told her you, your BF and Scrambles are in our thoughts and prayers.....I'll keep in touch! You take care!
xo's Karen

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