web analytics
dog, daughter, kindergarten, back-to-school, first day of school, letting go

Eventually, All Dogs Go To Heaven & All Kids Go to Kindergarten

by Deborah Cruz

The first day of kindergarten and a sick dog. This week is emotionally chaotic. Too much change at once. This week is supposed to be hard. It’s the first week of school for my girls. Gabs is starting kindergarten, so obviously I am all verklempt. I am trying to hold my shit together because there is nothing worse than a 5 year old seeing her Mommy act like she’s sending her baby off to war. Oh, but my mommy heart. It hurts.

dog, daughter, kindergarten, back-to-school, first day of school, letting go

Meet the Kindergarten Teacher Day

I’m trying to be proactive and make it easier. Yesterday, I took her to school to meet the teacher and showed her around the room and the school.  We investigated every nook and cranny of that Kindergarten class. She was a bit overwhelmed but I kept telling her how awesome it was going to be and her big sister was there to reassure her. I just kept swallowing the lump in my throat. Pushing it down, down, down; where it will stay until I am safely outside the building on the first day of school this Thursday. THEN, I will collapse in a heaving, hyperventilating  pool of snot and tears.Yes, my heart is going to break. I know this. I’ve been here before with my first but this is different, this is my last baby.

My sweet little shy girl who embarrasses easily and who wears her heart on her sleeve. But like her sister before her, she will suck it up and make that funny little smile that tells me that she is feeling unsure and a little bit scared inside but she won’t let anyone else know, just her and I, it’s our secret. I’ll want to make it all better but the only way to make it better is to let her experience it and know that it is okay. This is one thing the girls have definitely inherited from me, they need to feel their feelings and survive them to know they can. We are “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger girls” and we are firmly set in our beliefs that, “Failure is not an option” even when it may seem like the only choice there is. We keep on trying. Both my girls are like that; stoic to the bitter end, almost to a fault. I wish she could just cry and get it all out but she’s too much like me. We do cry but first we push stuff down, way down and we carry on no matter how much it eats at us on the inside and necrotizes that spot we push it down to.

But the crap just keeps piling on. The same week that my baby starts kindergarten and my Bella has moved up to 2nd grade, my oldest and furriest girl (our 13 year old boxer, Saffaron) is sick. She’s old and we know that every day is a gift with this girl. Saffaron was the first baby the Big Guy and I had together. We brought her home in September, 4 months after we were married and she has been by our side since. I love this dog like only a Mommy can. My girls adore her. I’ve been trying to explain that sometimes people and animals get REALLY old (I’m trying to convince them that me being 39 is NOT really old) or sick and they go to sleep and then they go to be with God and wait for us. This is what I told them about their baby and now I am telling them this about their dog.

kindergarten, dog, letting go, growing up, getting old

This is how the dog marked meet the kindergarten teacher day

Today, the dog was really not feeling well. She was lying around not moving (she was breathing, I checked) but she just seemed done. Yes, I’ve seen this look before and we had a conversation last year. She owes me 5 more years, because my heart is not ready to say good-bye again so soon. I just had to say good-bye in May and I think there should be at least a year in between good-byes to people and things you love. Last year, she almost died from an acute case of pancreatitis. My grandmother died from pancreatic cancer about a month before my dog was afflicted. No, I am not saying that my Grandma gave my dog pancreatitis but my year in between good-byes rule came to mind this morning.

I grabbed my girls; sleepy (because she’s trying to adjust to the school sleep schedule), nervous (because she has been sporting her nervous “Help me mom” smile since she realized that this was the week she started BIG school) and Grandma Moses (because my once spry puppy is now an elderly 91) and off to the veterinarian hospital we went. As I looked in the rearview, I saw both of my daughters sporting the “Oh Jesus, please don’t today be the day our dog dies!”  TO my right, the dog is giving me the,”Please don’t hit any bumps. Dear Jesus, take me quick!” Me, I am torn. On one selfish hand, I don’t ever want that beautiful bitch to die. I just love her too damn much and our family will be incomplete without her walking around looking at us all like we are all a bunch of assholes before giving us lots of love out of pity for our stupidity. She thinks we are big dumb animals; it’s obvious to us.  But on the other hand, I don’t want her living in pain. Her body is not what it used to be. Her arthritis is awful in the mornings, she’s got glaucoma, and benign tumors pop up all over her body at random times for no apparent reason. She’s tired and I’m pretty sure that soon she will be ready to go and we will have to let her go.

The letting go sucks. I just hope it’s not this week. This week, I have that beautiful and sweet bitch pumped full of antibiotics and pain pills. We are all giving her a little more love and attention than usual. I’m hoping she will grace us with her big heart and floppy ears for at least another year. This week I have to start the letting go of my 5 year old and I just don’t think that my Mommy heart can handle losing my furry daughter. I don’t think any of us can, least of all the 5 year old. Please don’t turn the first week of kindergarten at my house into a country song.

How did you mark the first day of kindergarten?

kindergarten, dog, letting go, back-to-school

Kindergarten has got nothing on this dog

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Jennifer 2012/08/14 - 4:26 pm

The first day of kindergarten just about killed me, and I did not think it would. I was an emotional mess. My advice is to just roll with it. Accept all of that bittersweetness and move forward. Because really? That’s all we can do anyway.

Allie 2012/08/14 - 5:08 pm

Oh! And I thought I was having a bad month. My oldest just started High School and I feel so old now. I went to Lake Tahoe last weekend with my friends and it is so hard to swallow that we are not youthful like those pretty bitches on the dance floor, even us old bitches are watching them. I feel old. 🙁 And I’m not.

Don’t cry for your daughter, be happy that she is growing up to be a beautiful little girl and some day a woman. My daughter is 11 and we are just beginning our friendship as “chicks” (in between telling her to clean her room, brush her teeth and do her homework.) I feel she is starting to understand the “sisterhood” and I love it! You will get there too. 🙂
I feel for you and your sweet doggie. My Maggy is just 7 but the vet says she is “elderly”. What? She has 7 more to go, right? Having a dog is one of the joys in life but is very painful too.
We both need to get through this week and everything will be better, right? If you lived near me I’d take ya out for a beer or margarita or whatever helps for just a few hours.
Cheers to life! And motherhood!

Deborah Cruz 2012/08/21 - 2:16 pm

High school? No way you are old enough to have a kid in high school!

Don;t tell me about old, I’m turning 40 next month and I am shaking my ass on the dance floor just like I did when I was 21. Well,t hat’s the plan. I;ll probably throw my back out and hurt myself. Have you ever read the 38th birthday post? I woke up with a black eye. Face meet toilet. Toilet meet face. #8 is too old for me to be doing tequila shots, lesson learned.
I know I should be happy Gabs is growing up and becoming such an independent little girl. B y my heart doesn’t agree with my head.
And unfortunately , our dog passed on Friday. THe week just went from bad to worse.
How I wish we lived near one another:) A drink sounds magnificent, my friend.


Megan 2012/08/15 - 6:41 am

Here’s to hoping you all make it through this week.

This post made me cry because my oldest starts kindergarten in 2 weeks. And I’m so not ready. I can only imagine how it will be when my youngest goes…I cried on friday when she turned 9 months!

Deborah Cruz 2012/08/21 - 2:11 pm

We are never ready. Why should we have to be? It sucks. We have these beautiful babies, fall completely in love with them and just when they are old enough to be interesting and be able to carry on an entertaining conversation, they leave us for kindergarten and we have to start the letting go process. Cuddle those babies. They grow up too damn quickly.Hugs! If you need cheering up after kindergarten drop off, I;ll be on Twitter @TruthfulMommy 🙂

Starle 2012/08/17 - 7:41 am

I am hoping for a good week for all of you. I am sorry that your mummy-heart is hurting. There are no words that can make any of this easier for you. I feel that way about my youngest. It never seems to stop. On her birthday I was suddenly astonished (!) that she was seven. Seven! No! My baby! waaaaaaaa

Deborah Cruz 2012/08/21 - 2:09 pm

Oh I know, I have a 7 year old and why is it that they go from 7 to 13 as soon as they get around other kids. DAmn it. I was trying to keep mine innocent and naive. Then she goes to school and people tell her they get to stay up til 9 and she feels like a baby. Gah! WAAAAA!Hugs mama

First Day of Kindergarten Hurts Like A Motherfucker - The TRUTH About Motherhood 2012/08/17 - 2:17 pm

[…] I am not ready for this. UGH! I am dreading it now. I’ve been breaking down all day because my dog’s very sick and we’re not sure if she’s going to make it and now, I am sure tomorrow the crying will be of inappropriate proportions. As I sit here typing, […]

Our Hearts Are Breaking - The TRUTH About Motherhood 2012/08/20 - 12:13 am

[…] still too soon for any of us to suffer another loss. It’s all too fresh, couple that with the first week of kindergarten and my 5-year-old is a complete […]

The Last Day of my 30's - The TRUTH About Motherhood 2012/10/09 - 1:14 pm

[…] more fulfilled. I’ve been married to my best friend for 13 years. We’ve gone through beginnings and endings together; we’ve grown up, grown out and grown closer. I am blessed. We’ve […]


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More