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Thursday Thirteen Ed.# 82: Thirteen Stupid Things People Have Said to Me Since My Dog Died

February 28th, 2007

I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.
— August Strindberg

He’s wrong. I do bite. And yes, yes, I know. People can’t help that they’re stupid.

(PS — By the way, all of these stupid comments were made to my face or over the phone. Not on the blog. You all have been incredibly supportive and kind. Thank you. You would think, since we don’t know each other in “real” life — most of us, anyway — that that would mean license to be flip, or rude or whatever. Maybe we just save our best manners for the people we don’t know “face to face.” We should save our best manners for everyone, because you never know what someone’s deal is. I appreciate you guys, and thank you. You mean the world to me.)

(PSS — Thanks to Carol and Beth for keeping Thursday Thirteen going.)

For my Thursday Thirteen, here are…

Thirteen Stupid Things People Have Said to Me Since Wacky Dog Died

13. He was really old, right?

12. He was neurotic.

11. Your dog was really neurotic.

10. He would have drove me nuts.

9. All of that chewing would have drove me nuts.

8. You’d better find a way to deal with it, because he’s gone.

7. He’s still lost? (This from a friend who got my message saying, “We lost the dog.” Apparently my sobbing into her voicemail didn’t tip her off.)

6. Yeah, Labs have problems.

5. I’m glad we have a small dog. Small dogs live longer.

4. You’ll be glad not to pick up after him anymore, I bet.

3. At least he was old.

2. It just seems so… sudden.

1. Was he even sick?

Yeah, I know. I need to keep my mouth shut. More secrets = more better, right? Less information = less hurt. Yes, in some cases. But when you’re crying for a week solid, and you still have to do things like go out in public to get your kids to and from school, people ask questions. And what a lot of people don’t know, because 1) it’s none of their business and 2) I keep it guarded like the dark secret it is — people know that my Dad jumped. (I wrote about it here.) But what I never tell people is — he took our dog with him and killed her, too. (Because what? It wasn’t going to damage us enough, with the suicide? He had to throw a little more damage in there? Thanks, Dad.) She was a black dog, and really sweet, with a white blaze on her chest. She looked like a miniature version of Wacky Dog. And I was just a little older than my daughter when it happened. So analyze that in your spare time.

Also, Wacky Dog was our last dog, and some of my sorrow is because of that. I love dogs, even the crazy-kooky ones like Wacky Dog, and I’ve never not had a dog. But my husband and I decided this a long time ago. He’s not really a dog person, and I cannot deal with this kind of grief and sorrow again. Not when I can have a choice in the matter.

A lot of people have said the right things. Not everyone is stupid. So I give you:

13. I loved Wacky Dog.

12. He was a great dog.

11. You guys were a great family to him.

10. It’s good that he’s not in pain anymore.

9. My dog will miss him — they were good friends.

8. He was the best dog.

7. He ruled.

6. You’re going to keep hearing him — and looking for him — for a long time. I am sorry to tell you this, but for me it was (two months, six months, or just a pause, and then, “a long time”).

5. This must be tough for the kids.

4. This must be making you really sad.

3. I am sorry.

2. I wish there was something I could do.

1. He had a good home with you guys, and you did all you could.


  1. Tink says

    I AM sorry to hear your dog died. Been there and it hurts!~People often don’t know what to say, so they say something stupid. They don’t always mean bad, but still… To me they said: at least you’ve got other pets. Yeah, right.
    My TT shows pics of my two kittens.
    Happy T13!

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  2. Janet says

    I am so sorry to hear about your Dog. People don’t realize how much our dogs and cats mean to us. I’d be devastated…I’ve said all along, get the padded room ready and I’m not joking!

    I’m even more sorry to hear about your Dad & that dog…what a horrible, horrible thing.


    February 28th, 2007 | #

  3. Chelle Y. says

    Some people have no tact! :(

    Sorry about your dog. Losing a dog is a sad thing because they are part of the family.


    February 28th, 2007 | #

  4. Crystal says

    Awe, that is aweful! We had to give ours away last summer and that was horrible – but at least we know she is alive and happy!!! People suck.

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  5. Stacy says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. I dread the day we have to face that with Vader (our black lab).

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  6. ChupieandJsmama says

    I’m sorry about Wacky Dog. I’m sorry too that some people say dumb things. Sometimes you just want to wack them with a 2 x 4. Dogs are like a part of the family, and I don’t know why people can’t understand that. ((HUGS)) to you.

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  7. DK Raymer says

    I am SO SORRY you’ve lost Wacky Dog. My hubby and I don’t have kids and we are very much dog people, so our 2 are members of the family – that simple. I will be thinking of you…

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  8. Rose DesRochers says

    My condolences to your loss. What makes people say such heartless things?

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  9. The Gal Herself says

    People who aren’t animal lovers simply don’t get it, and they never will. While your first impulse may have been to want to strangle these incredibly insensitive people, after that passes I guess you should feel sorry for them. If they can’t understand the joy Wacky Dog brought you, and the wonderful life lessons you taught your children by opening your heart and family to Wacky Dog, then they are missing a lot.

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  10. elementaryhistoryteacher says

    My childhood dog was a collie mix named Lady. She was with me from 3rd grade through my second year of college. She was so old that final year….blind and arthritic. She made every step I did and was my best friend. Over 25 years later she is still my dog and I miss her everyday. I’ve had many dogs since, but there has never been a dog to take her place. I’m sorry for your loss. There are people who know what you going through.:)

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  11. Bellezza says

    I once took a graduate class on grief at Wheaton College; the professor said that often the worse thing you can say is, “I know exactly how you feel.” Because often, we don’t. But, I do hug you and hope for your comfort.

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  12. Gattina says

    Some people cannot understand that you can grieve more about an animal death than for an old uncle or aunt you saw twice in your life. I experienced it 3 times in my life and I can tell you I cried more for my cats then for my parents and I am not ashamed to say it. They are still in my heart and always will although I have 4 cats who are such a joy in my life. For me the worst thing people could say was : “it was ONLY a cat” I could have killed them ! So I really know what you are going through and wh

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  13. Gattina says

    Some people just cannot understand that you grieve about an animal’s death. I had this awful moments 3 times in my life and I can tell you I was more sad about the death of my cat then I was when my parents died. And I am not ashamed to say so. Why should I grive for a family member whom I saw maybe twice in my life ?? My cats lived with me for 20 years and this is a long part of my life. The last one died in 2005 and I still am unable to write about him. They will always be in my heart and for you it will be the same. At least I have pictures of them and so nice souvenirs !

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  14. John says

    I’m sorry for your loss. When my dog before Buffy died it was terrible. I was living in Florida at the time. I had just moved there for work. I was alone and didn’t know anyone really well yet. Basil was the only friend I had there at the time. I remember when I called my parents to tell them. I was fine when I started the conversation but as I was telling them Basil had died I just starting crying and couldn’t stop. Even now I get teary eyed thinking about him. He was with me for years and one of my best friends.

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  15. thebluestbutterfly says

    *virtually hugs you*

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  16. Jane says

    I work with people who say the most insensitive things, I completely understand how annoying it is. On the one hand I think I should just never share my personal life, but on the other hand, my goodness should I have to hide what matters?

    We lost (meaning she died!!) my kitty gosh maybe six years ago now. I still go through waves of grief. The thing about pets is that you bond more deeply with them than most humans. They give such unconditional love. I have heard real psych. tell that losing a pet is harder than losing a person. I believe it.

    Hang in there!

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  17. Mitchypoo says

    I’m sorry for your loss and I understand it I think. I just lost my beloved Simba in January and it can be so painful sometimes. Your list made me think. And I’m grateful that I haven’t had as many stupid comments as you because I’d have a hard time keeping my mouth shut…

    February 28th, 2007 | #

  18. Jon Tillman says

    I too know how stupid and cruel people who have never had a four legged friend can be. I am fond of telling the idiots who can’t keep their motuhs closed:

    “To you, she’s a dog. To me, she’s an adopted daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak clearly.”

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  19. Jenny says

    iuno i think “I’m sorry” is all anyone could ever say. but that’s just me. i never know what to say so i really never say anything at all.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  20. Fence says

    Sorry to hear about your dog.

    And about the stupid things people say, but that’s people for you.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  21. Victoria Krain says

    I’ve had my dog for 12 years and she is my first dog, but I imagine that if someone says something stupid to me when (knock on wood) she dies, I think I would smack them back to another time! :) I’m with you on the list. Nothing worse than someone that should just keep their traps closed! :)

    Happy TT!

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  22. Ash says

    I am sorry.
    Words are pathetic, so I’ll just send good thoughts.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  23. Meg - Badhomeschoolmom says

    Some people just don’t get it! I am sorry for the loss of your pet and I am very peeved at the people who made such rude comments!!! People are stupid!

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  24. Terrific Teens says

    I am so sorry about your dog and the rude things people say. We had a a black lab for 13 years and when she died it was really hard. FOr 6 months when I got up at night I would forget and try to “step over her”. I can feel your pain. We also feel a little free cause we didn’t have to find a home for her to visit when we went out of town. (trying to help ourselves feel better) But it took about 15 months before we got a chocolate lab followed by 2 chihuahuas! Yikes I am as busy cleaning up after them as I was when the kids were little (well as much as I can remember. We all know kids are busier than that) I loved the GOOD comments. So sorry about your Dad and that Dog too!

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  25. The Shrone says

    The loss of a pet is no different than any other loss of a loved one. My condolences on losing Wacky Dog.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  26. BeckyD says

    I’m sorry to hear about Wacky Dog. I know dogs can be just like people, and mean as much to us, b/c well, they’re family.

    My youngest daughter asked me when our dog died, “Uh, dad buried Possum last night, right?


    Ok, so he’s in Heaven now, right?


    So, uh, Heaven is underground?


    March 1st, 2007 | #

  27. Carrie says

    People can be so darn insensitive. I’m so sorry you lost your doggy. My heart goes out to you! (((HUGS)))

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  28. Starla says

    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your family member. Sometimes people just don’t think.

    Hopefully your days will get a little less sad as time goes on.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  29. Jennifer says

    My heart goes out to you. I have two dogs of my own and I know I’ll have a breakdown if something ever happens to them. Sometimes I feel like this chick that’s quoted in Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog…

    “Why did you go and let this wonderful creature steal your heart like this?”

    Take comfort in knowing you were a good dog-mommy. I’m sure you gave wacky dog a wonderful life.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  30. qtpies7 says

    Oh, I’m sorry. I’m sure none of them really were trying to be rude, they probably have not had something like that happen. We still get moved by our dogs passing 8 years later. And we only had her a couple of years.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  31. Mama Duck says

    *hugs* Some people just don’t think!!

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  32. It's Me... Maven says

    How insensitive! However, I can believe it! I mean, my own mother told me, not quite two months after I left my exhusband, “Look, if all you’re going to do when you’re here is cry, I’d assume you not visit us. All you’re doing is upsetting your father.”

    Whether it’s a dog’s death or divorce, some folks “don’t get it” unless/until they go through it themselves.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  33. Jen says


    March 1st, 2007 | #

  34. David says

    Bummer. Losing a pooch can be rough. (And yeh, we’re preparing ourselves for our son’s oldest dog to wander off to “doggie heaven” *sigh* While The Son’s been away at college, The Boys have adopted me, and I do NOT look forward to Buttons’ eventual demise… )

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  35. Jenny says

    It’s always amazing how insensitive people can be in times of grief, whether its grief over a loved one or a pet. I’m sorry for your loss and just know there’s hugs being sent your way from Charleston, SC. :)

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  36. Sue says

    Oh geez. First – I’m so sorry about your dog. Pets are hard to lose.

    Second – how dense and rude can be people be? Talk about insensitive.

    I hope your TT13 helped you vent!

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  37. Jen says

    And you know what really bites? Is that you were probably too polite to give them the “are you stupid look?” I find that a long pause in the conversation sometimes gives somewhat intelligent people the time to reflect and realize how insensitive they are. But a lot of people are clueless.
    I loved both my dogs and with the stories of my first, he is now a saint! Your TT 13 said it all, thank you for including the good things that people said.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  38. Julee Huy says

    I’m always surprised at what people willl say. I always think, and why do I always have to be nice to you??!!

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  39. Carol says

    Wow! That is quite a post. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dog. I think people usually don’t intend to be rude and insensitive – they just don’t know what to say at a time like that. At least I HOPE that’s why some people say such things.

    March 1st, 2007 | #

  40. Christine says

    I am sorry for the loss of your beloved pet. People have a hard time knowing what to say during such a time – so often they end up saying some really insensitive things. At the same time, it seems like you have a great support network. Thanks for sharing.

    March 2nd, 2007 | #

  41. Katia says

    I am so sorry about your dog. People can be so insensitive and ignorant when others grieve. *hug*

    March 2nd, 2007 | #

  42. Sophisticated Writer says

    Some people are just downright insensitive.

    I’m sorry for your loss. Take care.

    March 2nd, 2007 | #

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