Aufweidersehen little old man…

I know it’s been so long since I’ve written… so much has been going on and the thing that I need to post before anything else is the thing I’ve been avoiding…

Most of you know already through Facebook but I need to write about it anyhow…

We lost Yoda on October 7th, just three months after we lost Gandalf. 

He was just shy of his 14th birthday and he’d been with us for almost 11 years.


I can still remember the first time I saw him…  Ryan and I went to the pound six months before our wedding to pick out a dog…  We wanted to have a dog together and just couldn’t wait.  It turned out to be destiny.




We walked down all the aisles and looked at the small dogs because we knew we would be living in an apartment for at least that first year.   And then I saw him.  He was so shaggy and dirty.  His hair literally dragged the ground all over his body and his fur was brown with dirt.  He was way too skinny and you couldn’t even see his face.  Honestly, you couldn’t even tell he was a pure bred schnauzer, but I knew.  I walked over to him and said,


“Ryan this is the one!  It’s a miniature Schnauzer.” 


Ryan looked at me like I was crazy and said


“No it’s a poop brown sheepdog!  I don’t want that!” 


I told Ryan to look closer and as he approached the cage Yoda stuck his little nose as far through the chain link as he could, so far that he couldn’t open his mouth and licked Ryan’s hand and whined…




That was it.  Boy and dog bonded for life.




We went and asked about him and found out that he would not be released for adoption until Wednesday and I would have to come when they opened and if anyone else wanted him there would be a drawing.  On Wednesday I showed up and there was one other lady who wanted him… I was crushed, I never win anything… I put my name in the drawing and ….. I WON!  The other lady was so mad at me that she actually got in my face and said that some little teenager didn’t deserve to win against her.. I probably wouldn’t take care of him anyway and she stomped out!  I didn’t care I was so happy!




They led me back and let me hold him and then told me his story.




He was approximately three years old.  He had been abused they said, probably hit by a car at one point.  He had a bad hip and coward away from men….  They also informed me that the level of his abuse was unknown however they could tell me that I could take him home today since he did not need to be neutered.  He had already been neutered with a hot pair of scissors.  I can still remember the look on the guys face when he told me this. 


Who could do that to this baby?




Over the first few months he was in and out of the vet a lot.  He was sick and malnourished and just plain beaten down…. But in the years since that time he became the most amazing dog!


Sweet and smart… playful and loving.  He was Ryan’s best friend, my baby, and big brother to a dog that was 90 pounds bigger than him.  He was king of our castle… a precious little life that changed ours forever.




Getting Gandalf made him young again… He was five at the time his ‘little’ brother entered our lives and already slowing down.  Gandalf put new life in him.


They went everywhere together…


Did everything the same…


Our home was filled with images of the casual companionship that just defined these two…


Their world was constant play…


Gandalf’s twilight was the beginning of Yoda’s…  His world was just not the same without his brother…


 …and with a new baby in the house Mommy and Daddy were busy… 


We did our best to include him but it was just too much change…  I think he just wanted to go home and be with his brother again… where they could run together through all the grass they could handle.  No pain in Gandalf’s legs and no sick feeling for Yoda. 


I miss his shaggy eyebrows…


Finding him sunbathing on a cold winter’s day…



I grieve that I will never see him prance again through snow…


Or watch him burst with joy at the first signs of spring after a long winter…  



Look at my funny bunny old man…


My heart aches with the thought that I’ll never again cuddle up to my old man and fall asleep…


Or hear his grumpy old man voice talking back to me…


We woke up in the middle of the night to him wheezing and vomiting… 

(Let me take a moment to say that he got sick right after we lost Gandalf.  We chalked to up to the stress and the change… but it got progressivly worse…)

As the day went on he just got worse and so we took him into the vet…  They did some testing and he had super high liver enzymes and a few other things wrong with him… so much so that they couldn’t pinpoint what exactly was the problem.  He was so sick… They kept him overnight pumped fluids and meds into him and saw an improvement.  So they sent him home the next day…  That very night he was sick again and declining… He couldn’t keep down food, water, or any of his meds…


Ryan and I knew it was time.  We talked to the vet and the consensus was that without hundreds of dollars of testing there was nothing else they could do and with his age and how sick he was they didn’t know if he would recover… 13 was just so old and he was so sick.  So we made, again, an impossible choice to not let him suffer. 

We said goodbye… 


I had hoped over my 11 years of dog ownership to never have to make that choice.  I had hoped they would go in their sleep happy and old. 

We had to make the decision twice in three months. 

And we came home to a home without dogs for the first time in our marriage. 

I said goodbye to my first two sons…  Because that’s what they were to me for 10 years… my babies.


I’ll never forget you Yodaman.  I don’t believe we’ll ever have dogs quite as special as you were to us ever again… 

You can believe what you want but I know in my heart that my babies will be waiting for me in heaven… they’re just wearing tracks in my mansion’s yard and keeping the hearth rug warm…

And frolicking with the angels.


Goodnight sweet prince… We’ll see you again someday… 

One last time…

“Go get your brother!”

Your mommy and daddy


11 thoughts on “Aufweidersehen little old man…

  1. Courtney this article is so beautifully written. I know I told you on facebook that I was sorry for your loss because we too started off our marriage with a four legged son and would be so destroyed if we lost him. Im sure as much as Ryan and you were sad to see him go so soon after Gandolf, Im sure your happy to know he is not in pain. May it get easier each day to deal with the loss of your two wonderful furry children.

  2. I’m tearing up…you have such a way with words.  I’m so happy you had him, and Gandalf, they saw you through to the birth of your son…then whisked away.  It seems somehow poetic.  Nothing can replace them.  I’m so glad they were part of your life! 

  3. I never met them and I miss them! You have such a big heart and I know they both were so very loved and happy! I’m so sorry they couldn’t live forever. I think they stayed as long as they did until you were able to have a baby and they saw how happy you were. I think they had a purpose and it was to be there for you through all the struggles and pain, and when God blessed you with a child, they knew you would be ok and their purpose was fulfilled. I know they are in heaven playing and having fun! They are up there with my baby Bart and he’s able to run, climb stairs and howl at the sirens again =)

  4. I’m sitting here crying as I type!!!  I’m so so sorry for your loss.  I know how dogs become part of the family.  I bawled for 3 days straight when my 14 year old shih-tzu, Jasmine, who I grew up with died a few years ago.  :`(  It’s so hard!!  One day at a time…. ❤ 

  5. Ok, so this is too heart-rending for my hormones. . . *SOB*I’m sorry for the losses of both your boys but I am praising God for the TIMING of those losses with your miracle, at the same time. I’m so glad God kept them for you until you had your arms full of baby. It would have been too much. . . Love you

  6. I am so, so sorry for the loss of both your lil’men – I can’t imagine the pain y’all felt. I do agree though that they’re up there in Heaven, waiting 🙂 I tell my husband all the time it wouldn’t be heaven without the furbabies up there too.

  7. I am loudly sobbing at my desk at work. My heart just aches. Such a beautiful tribute, but man this physically hurts me.I firmly believe that your sweet baby boys are waiting in your mansion in Heaven. I know they are, just like my Leo is waiting in mine.Love you, friend.

  8. Oh my!  I remember so many pictures of your boys and so many stories.  I don’t even know these dogs, but I too will miss them, their pictures, and their stories.  I truly believe that they will be waiting in heaven for you, too.  When the dog of some of the kiddos we babysit died, the littlest girl was just 2.  When they pulled into the garage one day, the little one asked where Tucker was.  Their mom said, “Remember, Tucker is in Heaven.”  The little one asked, “Well, can I go to Heaven to play with him?”  That made me cry.

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