Many Thanks….

Before I was born, my family had a boxer dog named Butch.  He was the crown jewel of the family, or so I have been told.  My mother told me that Butch could do no wrong but eventually, time has that funny way of going a lot faster than it should and before long, they had to say goodbye to Butch.

My grandfather was the most outstanding man to ever come into my life. He loved all of us with all of his heart and was larger than life to me.  Tall, rugged, handsome is how I would describe him. Stoic to a fault but strong is a word I would use.  My grandpa loved Butch and when Butch died, my mother told me, he was inconsolable.  Torn apart at the lost of the beloved family dog.  He was so powerful to me, that the image of him crying made him more of a hero to me.

When I had to say goodbye to my dog, Lillie, on Sunday, I was the same way.  My shirt, soaked, because I sat in the room and cried for an hour and I couldn’t stop crying.  I think the wonderful staff at the vet’s office was worried I was going to pass out.  All the emotions of bringing her home, playing with the kids, loving on the kids, protecting the kids, playing with my mother before she got sick and on and on and on.

Sunday night, around 8, I sat on my coach, emotionally exhausted.  Drained.  Nothing left in me, emotionally, or physically.  I had posted on Facebook earlier about losing my dog and as I opened my laptop and went to my page, I got another lump in my throat.

I saw hundreds and hundreds of messages from friends, family, people I have known for years, people who I have never met and everything in between.  They were sharing stories about how they were when they lost their pets but not so much about the end; it was more on the absolute joy their dogs and cats had brought them through the years.

I read them all, every single message and tried to respond to just about every single note.  Posts on FB, tweets, Instagram, text messages and emails were coming in and the more I read, the more I understood how great people truly are.

There are still moments in the past few days I have found myself lost in thought of what Lillie meant to me and they are all great memories.

A friend of mine sent me this, and it is so true.  “Every dog that is born is looking for a hero, You were hers.”

Thank you, Lillie, and thank you, dear friends.



  1. Zach Clayton July 28, 2017 12:52 am  Reply

    It’s been about three weeks since we said good-bye to our 14 year old Boxer, Angel. I still catch myself looking for her when the other two Boxers (yes, I’m crazy) come in. I rest knowing that she had a great life and didn’t suffer.

    • Joe Dubin July 28, 2017 12:55 am  Reply

      But that moment you catch yourself drifting off thinking about all the great times you had with her, tears and more tears and hopefully over time, like mine,
      they become truly happy ones….

      Sorry for your loss, brother…

  2. Carol Whitmer July 28, 2017 1:50 am  Reply

    I always say it’s the hardest, but kindest thing we can do for our beloved pets who cannot speak for themselves…but they DO with their eyes; their look. I always know when “it’s time,” because of that look. It is our honor to give them their final rest, but never gets easier. Joe, you are one of my favorites because you are genuine, kind-hearted and love your kids and dogs…the best in my book! Hang in there , and know you will always keep Lilly in your heart, like your granddad did, Butch. Maybe you have a future in Rescue??? Sorry, I head up a rescue in my “spare” time, and am always looking for recruits. 😉 Take care and cherish your snifflekisses and pawhugs!

    • Joe Dubin August 3, 2017 12:19 am  Reply

      Carol, I appreciate those words very much….Thank you..


  3. mark riggan July 28, 2017 2:05 am  Reply

    it is very hard losing someone who had unconditional love for you and hopefully the day will come soon when your thoughts of Lillie will bring a smile to your face.

  4. Susan Dragotto McFarlin July 28, 2017 3:24 am  Reply

    I’ve had many pets over the years but the little girl I have now, Samantha “Cujo” McFarlin (all 9 pounds of her) has without a doubt been the closest to my heart. She spends a lot of time with me & doesn’t care if it’s a good Fibro day or a bad one. Even though she is only 8, she’s had seizures since she was 2 & it breaks my heart to see her going through one. But, she always comes out of them OK & I still start crying just thinking about losing her. In fact I’m crying as I write this because I feel so bad for you.

    • Joe Dubin August 3, 2017 12:12 am  Reply

      You are sweet, thank you!!

  5. Dolores Underhill July 28, 2017 6:30 pm  Reply

    So sorry for your loss–we have been there and know the heartache of letting go of a long time pet friend. It hurts like a dagger turning in your heart-true pain feeling. It has been 15 yrs ago lost our “Nickie”. and at times I still get tears when I think of how loyal a pet he was. Hang in there we need you keeping us informed–its almost “football time” in Middle TN–we have two grandsons (brothers) playing together this season at McGavock–I think you know where this is–focus on your sports–it will help you heal that broken-
    heart. We are proud of you and you keep us laughing during sports on TV. Heart hugs XOXOXO

    • Joe Dubin August 3, 2017 12:16 am  Reply

      Thank you so much! Joe

  6. pat woodward July 31, 2017 1:04 am  Reply

    so very sorry Joe for your loss, but be consoled that that sweet dog KNEW that she was loved as much as you loved her, Love you Joe, you are a special young Man!

    • Joe Dubin August 3, 2017 12:15 am  Reply

      I appreciate that very much. I asked Mike how you were doing the other day at the pool. I hope all is well….Joe

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