Janet trying not to be Wimpy and Failing

I've got to be honest here. I am having a really hard time with blogging this week.

I hate to be a whiner. I don't want to be that person whose words drip with sad and weepiness. I don't want to tell people about my pain because I want them to feel sorry for me. But the thing is...it's hard to focus on much else. I kind of am the pain right now. And as a writer I like to put things down on paper. Or a computer screen. So this is not to elicit sympathy but to help me heal.

I don't want to belittle or demean anyone else's loss. But here's the thing. I had this cute amazing little dog. She loved absolutely every single human being on the planet.  She quivered and vibrated with energy. She was the epitome of a new soul. A good soul. Happiness personified.

We didn't train her very well. She was so little, only about 5 pounds, so we thought, what harm could she do? And that's where we went wrong. In one of those horrible accidents where it's all what if and if only and a matter of a few seconds of really bad timing Meeko ran out on the street right in front of our house and was instantly killed by a car.

I saw it happen, and worse, so did my son. It wasn't pretty. There was a lot of blood and there was a lot of screeching and crying. On my part. On the part of the poor woman who hit her, and my poor little boy. I'm so worried for him, for the trauma of seeing his little two year old dog like that. She wasn't supposed to die yet. Not for many, many years. He is handling it as best he can, but no parent wants their child to have to see something like that.

He's just old enough that he's aware that death is something that happens. And scared because he saw first hand how it can happen so quickly and so tragically. It's a hard life lesson and parents, well we like to protect our kids don't we?

Meeko was a great dog. She didn't bark. She loved to play catch. She loved to run free and wild. She loved to snuggle up and curl into a ball with her her humans. She was just a dog. But she was so much more to us than just a dog. She was a GREAT dog.

I think it's hard to admit how much grief I feel over the sudden loss of Meeko, because I'm afraid that I'll look like a wimp or weak to people who don't have pets. I'm afraid of people who think, well, it was just a dog.  At least it wasn't a person. And no. It wasn't a person. And for that I am incredibly grateful. But I didn't want to lose her. I miss her so much. It seems wrong that a creature so good went in such a bad way.

One of my first thoughts after she was gone was that I would have to change my author profile because I mention her in it. And yes, I am aware of how weird that is. But all I could think of was that I talked about her in my book, and now she's gone and I don't want people to ask about this cute, untrained little doggy I mentioned as if she's still alive.

Janet Gurtler lives in Calgary, Canada, deliciously close to the Canadian Rockies with her husband, son and an untrained dog named Meeko. Janet does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says “eh” a lot.

Has now become this.
Janet Gurtler lives in Calgary, Canada, deliciously close to the Canadian Rockies, with her husband, son, and the memories of a sweet little dog named Meeko. Janet does not live in an igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says “eh” a lot.

Life goes on. Time will make things easier. I have to try to remember the joy she brought and not the horrible way she went. And I will.

We lost another beloved dog, Peppsy, a black Lab, only about 2 and a half years before Meeko. She was older and sick and the loss, while sad, did not feel as tragic.

However. I do have a fun little secret. I have a little tribute to both of them in my book, I'M NOT HER out in May.  There are two teachers who appear in the book. One is named Mr. Pepson, the other Mr. Meekers.  For Peppsy and for Meeko.

Thanks for the memories, Meeko. The unconditional love. You were deeply loved.  I miss you.



  1. Ugh. I can't imagine how I would have handled one of my kids seeing something like that, let alone how I would have handled seeing it happen myself! So sorry for your family's loss. =( *hugs*


  2. Well. We do seem to just react to life I suppose.

    I feel so sorry for my son. Wish I could take it away. We are talking to him lots and will keep an eye on him to make sure he is okay.

  3. Oh Janet, my heart goes out to you and especially to your poor son. I'm so sorry that you lost Meeko so suddenly and in such an awful manner. As a dog person, with three of the furry beasties who own me, heart and soul, I know how much they mean.

    Here's to hoping the pain fades and you're left with the best memories.

  4. My heart broke for you and your family as I read this post. I don't think a pet is ever "just an animal," so I can't imange what you must be going through! Don't even worry about being a whiner. Writing is working through emotions, and hopefully the love you'll get from your readers will make you feel a bit better as well!

    The tribute with the names is a nice touch. Very fitting. I hope you and your family begin to heal over the days and weeks to come!

    Erin @ Quitting My Day Job

  5. I'm so sorry, Janet. We love our cat so much every one of us in our family say she's our favorite person in the house. I hope that you and your family will think about Meeko and have the tears be replaced by smiles.

  6. I'm so sorry you lost Meeko, Janet. You're not a wimp and this isn't whining. It's your heart in pain and nothing fixes that except time. All the best to you and yours.

  7. I'm so sorry about Meeko, Janet. Our pets are really so much more than "just animals" and your grief is true, and you shouldn't have to feel bad *because* you feel bad. I hope time will help heal your pain.

  8. Oh, Janet, I'm so sorry for your loss.

  9. I'm in tears reading this post. Many years ago I lost a beloved 3-year-old dog the same way. The loss tore my heart out. My pets are beloved members of my family as Meeko was a member of yours. Never apologize for feeling love.

    My heart aches for you.

  10. Janet, I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. Years ago I lost a beloved cat who was hit by a car. I truly empathize.


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