Saying Goodbye: Grieving the loss of a pet

On the afternoon of December 12th our family got smaller….

We said goodbye to our sweet Hermann.

Hermann Maier the handsomest dog Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Hermann-Maier Travis August 21, 2006 to December 12, 2016

I have trouble breathing just writing that. My chest is tight, my throat hurts and I’m fighting back the ugly tears. There have been a lot of those.

Our hearts are broken, and yet I know they will mend. We have over 10 years of amazing memories.

first meeting Hermann wirehaired pointing griffon

our first meeting: love at first sight

He was a gift. He was truly one in a million.

Every person who met Hermann loved Hermann. He was hard not to love. Affectionate, playful, and loving he had a personality even bigger than he was.

He (and his big personality) have left a giant Hermann sized hole in our hearts (and our home). His absence in our home was suffocating at first. We are filling the void with cherished memories and embracing all the joy he brought.

Family portrait with Hermann Maier wirehaired Pointing griffon

He lived with us in our first home and helped us make this one a home too. He is the reason we decided on bringing Eddie into the family. He was the heartbeat at my feet and I know we will miss him forever.

wirehaired pointing griffon Hermann and Griff puppy Eddie

For the first time in almost a decade I had a shower without his ‘supervision’ (he would take up the entire floor mat and wait for me, without fail every shower I ever took). When I would blow dry my hair, he would rise from wherever he was in the house to find me and stand behind me as I dried, enjoying the wind in his face. The sound of the popcorn jar opening would cause him to come running, knowing the strays from the air popper weren’t far behind and would make a nice snack. Those memories I cherish. Those are what I hold on to in those waves of sadness.

dogs on couch wirehaired pointing griffon

It warms my heart to see his beautiful face every morning and each night when we feed Eddie-Vedder. And I love knowing there are literally thousands of dogs all over North America who see his handsome mug each day too, and that his joy of life lives on.

Hermann-Maier-proud-Rayne-Canada-ambassador-Kangaroo-Dog-food-1024x768

I am ever grateful to Rayne and their amazing food for helping to make the last three years of Hermann’s life as healthy and active as his very first three. Without their food I am confident we would have had to say this goodbye earlier, for this extra time with him I am at a loss for words to express my gratitude. Rayne not only saved (and extended) Hermann’s life, but they also celebrated it by sharing his face and story on their packaging, through their social media, in video, and in person.

I am also grateful to them for this great family photo, taken this past summer while making this video.

Hermann, you were my baby and my best friend.

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”
Robert Munsch

Be well my sweet. I will see you again. Until then, you are in our hearts forever.

Updated to add: I just found this article in one of our FB Griff groups and found it very helpful. It speaks to why our grief for dogs is so intense and links to a whole host of other great resources around the relationship dogs and humans have.

8 Comments

  1. by Jane on December 20, 2016  11:27 am Reply

    Oh no Heather. I'm so sorry for your loss. You have such beautiful memories of Hermann. Lots of hugs to you and your family.

    • by Heather on December 20, 2016  11:34 am Reply

      thank you so much Jane:)

  2. by Becki on December 20, 2016  1:19 pm Reply

    Oh babe! I'm so sorry for your loss! ❤️

    • by Heather on December 20, 2016  3:32 pm Reply

      thank you so much:) he was such a special part of our family

  3. by arielgarneau on December 20, 2016  8:14 pm Reply

    Who's cutting onions in here?! I'm actually ugly crying in my office reading this. The loss of Hermann makes me think of losing Bruce - or boots or Toby- and I don't think I could handle it. They're such a big part of our life, and it's soul crushing to think that they won't be with us until our end (like a human child would be). Puppies truly are a "countdown to misery" because we know their time is limited, so it makes us enjoy what time we have with them even more.
    Just think though! You have the opportunity to give another dog the loving home and amazing life you gave Hermann.
    I'm going to go hug my Bruce and snuggle with him for a minute (he won't know what's happening) and I hope you do the same to Eddie!

    • by Heather on December 21, 2016  7:49 am Reply

      Totally soul crushing....but i feel so blessed to have his love for 10 years and to give him such love too:) he was such a joy. Hug all the fur babies forever:)

  4. by Elaine on December 21, 2016  12:11 am Reply

    Heather, we were all so sad to hear of Herrmann's passing. I wish I'd been able to meet him, he seemed like such a great companion. Your video brings me to tears everytime I watch it. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    • by Heather on December 21, 2016  7:50 am Reply

      Thank you so much Elaine:) he was a very loved boy:)

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