Duke’s world upside down

Yesterday was a rough day at Duke’s House. Chris, Duke, and I said goodbye to one of our best friends. I still can’t really comprehend that Tacia is gone, it all happened so fast.

Tuesday night Chris and I suspected that Tacia was not eating her food, but we both thought that she was probably sneaking Duke’s food instead. After all, each dog seems to like the other dog’s food better.


On Wednesday, I was very careful to monitor who was eating which food and it became clear that Duke was eating all of the Duke food and Tacia’s food was left untouched. Chris immediately decided to feed her some chicken, just to be sure that she got something to eat, but she still seemed relatively normal. I did have to ask her to come to bed with me when I went, which was unusual, but I still did not think much of it.

Around five yesterday morning, as I was trying to round out a sixth hour of sleep, Chris woke me up asking me to feed Tacia more chicken as soon as I got up because he did not think that she was doing well. His grave tone and demeanor led me to immediately crawl out of bed. I found her lethargic on the floor with a bowl of chicken in front of her and Chris by her side. Chris and I sat, trying to feed her, until he had to leave for work.


When Chris left, I cried. I was scared. I was selfish. I was worried about being home with her alone if she didn’t make it through the day.

Eventually, she stood up. I felt so hopeful. She walked a few steps, then collapsed into a heap on the floor. My sudden burst of optimism immediately dissolved. I moved her food and water to her side and sat by her in the floor telling her that she was a good girl. Now and then I tried to feed her, but she refused to take any food after Chris left.


By the time it got light out, I was sure that her condition was only going to decline. The day proceeded in a similar fashion, with Chris making two trips home from work mid-day to try his hand at feeding her something. It was among the most heart wrenching days that I can recall.

When Chris finally came home from work, I felt so relieved that he made it in time and I was selfishly glad that he would be there with me when it happened. I am almost certain that Tacia was waiting for Chris.


Before the sun set, our friend Bryan brought over his backhoe so the he and Chris could prepare for the inevitable. As Chris left the house, he joked that Tacia would be around for another five years as soon as they got to work with the backhoe. I hoped that he was right, but several minutes later the time came.

Chris and I were both pretty upset, but I fear that it will be worst on Duke. She was his companion and the only constant in his life. They spend each day together and sleep side by side every night. When we left Duke at the kennel for nearly a month to go to Africa, Tacia was with him, sharing a stall. When we went to India, Tacia moved to New Jersey with him. She has always been there for him and it broke my heart to hear Duke cry as the guys took Tacia away.


I know that Chris and I will be ok, but I wish that we could explain to Duke that she was a lot older than him and that she had many wonderful adventures before he knew her. I hope he is not too lonely.

Duke, we will get you a puppy someday. For now, please do not chew on the baby like it is Tacia’s ear, Kai will not find it as endearing as Tacia did.

  1. Jena said:

    Oh Brit, I’m so very sorry to hear about Tacia! I know it was hard, but it’s nice that you were able to be with here during her last day! I’m sure she felt so loved!

    Chris & I always say that if anything happened to one of our dogs, the other one would be devastated. They love each other way more than they love us.

    So sorry, Brit & Chris!

  2. Kierstan said:

    So so sorry to hear this news! Like Jena said, I am sure Tacia felt super loved on her last day with both of you there. Uuugh, I am tearing – need to go cuddle my pets instead of being annoyed with them.

  3. Dana said:

    Brit I am so sorry! At least she went peacefully and you were there with her to the very end.

  4. katilh said:

    Oh Brit & Duke, this post gave me the big ugly cry and make me go pet my dogs a little more. I’m glad you got to be with her, as hard as it was on you, I know she felt super loved the entire days.

    Lots of healing thoughts to your family

  5. Lisa said:

    Such sad news; I am so sorry for all of you. She was a great dog and friend.

    Dogs really do bond with each other, so I’m sure it’s hard for Duke too. You’ll have to give him your extra TLC. Take care you guys, sendings Ts and Ps. I’m teary just reading this.

  6. I am so sorry for you, Chris and Duke.

  7. Lauren said:

    my heart is breaking reading this. I am so glad you were able to be with her & love on her during her last hours – prayers for your family.

  8. Brit, Bryan and I are so sorry about Tacia! She was a great dog!! We loved her too! She is what brought us all together as friends! If it wasn’t for her who knows how long it would have taken us to finally meet our neighbors! We are here for you guys if you need anything at all!

  9. I’m sorry Brit, it’s really hard to lose a pet.

  10. I’m so sorry for your loss. Pets just know sometimes. Our Charlie waited for both of us to be home and he passed away in the house last Thanksgiving morning. I hope you have supportive pet people around you who understand the sadness of this kind of loss-though it looks like from the comments you do.

  11. Jill said:

    oh no, so sorry brit! losing a pet is devastating.

  12. shelby said:

    I am so sorry. Thinking of you and Chris. Rest in peace, Tacia.

  13. Jen said:

    I am so sorry! That is one of the worst things to go through. She was a beautiful dog, and I’m sure she had an amazing life. I’m glad she didn’t suffer for very long.

  14. osulori said:

    Oh Brit I am so sorry…thinking of you, Chris, and Duke.

  15. Kathy said:

    I am so sorry. I can’t imagine losing a beloved dog. Thoughts and prayers…

  16. Kate said:

    Heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your (and Duke’s) loss.

  17. I am so sorry! I can only imagine how long your day was and seeing Duke confused and suffering must not be easy! So sorry!

  18. Brit said:

    Thank you all for such kind comments. We miss Tacia a ton. I wish I could explain to Duke. He looked for her each time he woke up from a nap yesterday. 😦

  19. jen said:

    😦 I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s horrible to lose a pet – I can only imagine the loss poor Duke is going through. Give him an extra big hug! So sad.

  20. Anonymous said:

    Brit, I am so sorry to hear about Tacia. Our dogs are truly a part of our family, and losing them is such a heartbreak. Especially for Duke. I hope that you guys will find peace in the upcoming days.

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