The Empty Bed.

If you remember when Ian hit our area, I was in GA with my girlfriend Melissa, Lillie, my MIL Sue and her girlfriend. We arrived home the Sunday after Ian.

Our house had been kind of crazy that week with the impending hurricane. Lauren and Nathan were working around the clock, so we took in their dogs Max and Mattis, then the storm hit, we had no power, the house was hot, things were in disarray.

I didn’t take Callie to GA with me as she was having many ‘wobbly’ moments and our GA driveway/yard is steep and hard for her to navigate; plus I drove UP and was flying back. She would not be happy about air travel.

I arrived home as our friends were unpacking the contents of our flooded condo into Coach’s various garages. (this is the day I finally approved of all those oversized garages) Our friends came into the house to wash up before heading across the state (our power was restored that morning-so we had running water!) My girlfriend Marcia, who I’ve known since 10th grade, said I’m gonna say goodbye to Callie because it could be my last time to see her. I laughed because Marcia has been saying the same thing for three years.

Well, indeed it was the last time. Within two hours after I arrived home, the Coach and I rushed her to the emergency vet; it was to be her last day.

“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs your heart is very big.”  – Erica Jong

A few of you might remember when we adopted her in 2015. She was a bonafide Cow Herder who needed to retire because of health concerns. Well, it turns out that all her health concerns were taken care of almost immediately by us; heart worms, hook worms and an ear infection.

When she came to us she had never visited a Veternarian, lived in a house, had a bath….worker dogs aren’t taken care of like house dogs. It took her a minute, but she settled in nicely and enjoyed a temperpedic bed in every room just like an expensive designer dog.

She was so easy and the only thing she did wrong was dig into my area rugs the last few years. (I think she was trying to file her nails!)

I will miss seeing her fit her 60lb self into small beds.

Callie thought the Coach hung both the sun and the moon, but she and I shared sweet moments

Callie, like me was a big fan of bedtime. She followed me into our room every night and settled in her bed. Sometimes, she settled in too early; like if I went in our bathroom at 7pm to wash my face, she thought it was bedtime. She would follow me, settle in her bed and then when I departed, she looked confused, would drag herself out of her bed and follow me back into the family room or kitchen. She had this look on her face, like, lady, are we going to bed or not?

This usually happened a few times in an evening. She’d settle down in the family room on one of her comfy beds and patiently wait for me to head to bed for the final time so she could as well; it really wasn’t bedtime until The Mama went to bed.

The empty bed.

That first week I would wake up and look for her in her bed; she slept next to me every night for the last seven years.


Her first 8 years she lived outside and worked all day. Her last seven years she really enjoyed her retirement with our family; she traveled to the beach, to the mountains and had every thing she needed especially unconditional love.

To quote our family: She was the GOODEST girl!


46 thoughts on “The Empty Bed.

  1. So very, very sorry. I know how much you love your furry children and how hard it is to lose one. I can say all the right things… about the wonderful life you gave her and the love you surrounded her with… but it will never be enough to stop the tears at the sight of that empty bed. My eyes are leaking just looking at the picture.
    Please know this animal lover shares your grief.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sweet, sweet Callie. Oh how entertaining the photo of the big dog in the small bed is. Looks like that sums her up perfectly – accomodating and easy-going. I’m so sorry. Even though she was aging, it must be so hard. That empty bed photo tugs at my heart strings. RIP, Callie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are correct; she was always easygoing and accommodating to all. We will miss her.
      I’ve since moved the empty bed from our room….I just couldn’t take it any longer.


  3. Bijoux

    Well, that just sucks . . . and the timing really stinks, too. I’m so sorry you lost your sweet Callie, but you guys gave her a great ‘second’ life. How is Lillie doing without her friend?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend.

      Lillie, well, she’s got some other stuff going on, so it’s hard to tell how she’s dealing. I’ll share soon.

      I believe Lillie is happy to be the ‘only dog’ in our home as she wasn’t the most friendly towards other dogs. That being said, she and Callie were good roommates; they gave each other space and were respectful regarding meal times, which made life easy.


  4. M

    Oh, no….I’m so sorry to hear this! It’s such a heartbreak to lose a beloved pet. I love that photo of her on the tiny bed! Ahhh…I’d have had a lot of fun with that teasing her about it!! Callie knows how lucky she was to have been yours for the last half of her life. I know you will miss the sweet girl; every day that you wake up and see that empty bed (or think of it) will be hard. Hugs to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was so funny. She loved a tiny bed just as much as her big ole comfy ‘big dog’ bed!

      I did remove the big bed from our room…it was too much to see daily.

      Thank you for your kind words.


  5. You and your family have suffered trauma with the hurricane damage and now the loss of your beloved companion. She was a great dog! My heart hurts for your family and alot of Florida. Take care of each other (as I know you will) and I pray for better days.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bless her dear, sweet heart. How very much she deserved her last, best years in your family’s care. Knowing that you gave her a truly wonderful and loving life must give you a great deal of comfort, especially now.

    I love the photos of her determinedly occupying Lillie’s teeny beds. It’s like her own quiet Protest.

    Our pets remind us that there is truly Unconditional Love, and that it isn’t so terribly difficult after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. nicoleboyhouse

    Oh gosh, Suz, I am so very sorry. What a sweet, lovely dog she was and how blessed were you to welcome her to your home in 2015! I know she was a member of your family, and such a sweet one too. She will be so much missed. I am heartbroken for you. RIP Callie.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pat Birnie

    Oh Suz, I’m so sorry to hear about Callie. I’m sure she has left a big void in your life. I’ve never had a dog (allergic) but ALL of my kids got dogs as soon as they moved out. My one son has a 14 year old pitbull mix that he rescued 8 years ago and trained. He is now a gentle ‘old man’ covered in lumps and skin tags, who sits on his owner’s bed at 7 p.m. waiting patiently for bedtime. I dread when that old fella goes. That’s the life of a dog owner isn’t it – they just don’t stay long enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pat.
      Yes, the downsize of falling in love with them is that we generally outlive them.
      How lovely that your Son has a sweet old man; bless him for rescuing as well.


  9. Losing our fur babies is just hard. I was lost after Annabelle passed. I would start to do her med routine or go to feed her or think I saw in in a dark corner etc and it just took a lot for my brain and heart to catch up with each other. I know Callie was so loved and you are the dream home that I wish all kitties and puppies who’ve had hard knock life could find. Hugs, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Callie the Cowherder – – that sounds like a title for a book – – either about a dog – – – or even a female heroine!
    Callie was fully able to appreciate her retirement home because of her previous life. If she had lived that way from birth, it would have just been normal. God blessed that dog with the Cadillac plan of Hospice care when you came into her life!
    We have enjoyed reading about your shared adventures. She will be missed by many besides your family. Thank you for sharing her with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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