In Loving Memory of Rhett

///In Loving Memory of Rhett

In Loving Memory of Rhett

I have a broken heart.

My dear, sweet 16 year-old dachshund Rhett died late last week after a several month health struggle related to old age.  His health problems had become overwhelming and unmanageable in the past few weeks and I had no choice but to put him down.  I struggled with the decision tremendously and finally making that decision was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  Last week he started showing a few more symptoms and started to seem like he was in pain.  It was no longer fair to him to NOT make the choice I did.  I know it was his time, but my heart literally broke.

I am hurting but I am also so grateful I had so many wonderful years with him… I know how much of a blessing it was to have him live to 16.  For all those years he was never more than a few feet away from me following me around the house. Rhett was literally my shadow and best friend.  He wanted nothing more in life than to be with me and protect me.  I honestly don’t remember life without him.

It’s taken me days to find the courage to type this post because it just makes it that much more real.  I had some posts scheduled while I was on vacation this past weekend, so I just let them publish so I could have a few days to process the news before letting you guys know.  Sometimes my way of coping is just to shut down. I hope you understand.  It did help to get out of the house for a few days but coming home has been even harder.

Remembering Rhett

I got Rhett right out of college.  My parents gave him to me as an early Christmas gift that fall after begging for a dog of my own for years.  At the time I was living in Georgia and was a little obsessed with all things Gone With the Wind, so he quickly got the name of my favorite character.  My Mom came up with the idea and as soon as she said it I knew that was the name that was going to stick.

I was so young and had NO idea what I was doing but I just loved that little pup with my whole heart.  It was the running family joke that he trained me… and they were right. I was living by myself for the first time and he ruled my little apartment.  Despite that, the two of us became a team.  He was a ladies man from the beginning and often a scoundrel… living up to his larger than life name.

He would get out of anything I’d put him in and I’d come home to him sitting on the couch (with nothing else in the apartment touched) no matter what gate or crate I tried to contain him with that day.  I joked that I should have named him Houdini.  He just wanted to be with me and was so determined and funny to make that happen.

As the years passed Rhett mellowed and we moved to Asheville.  We moved around the city many times and he always stayed close by my side.  When I’d get homesick for my family in Florida, we’d drive the 10 hours home together.  He was so good in the car.

Despite his small stature, he took his role as my protector and guard dog very seriously.  He never quite realized he was a small dog.

His big heart and love got me through some tough times.  If I was sitting on the couch not petting him he’d come up to me and put his little nose under my hand and not leave my side.  He would demand that I pay attention to him in the most endearing ways.

Rhett eventually gained a sister when I met the Hubs.  Reina and him were buddies for years until we lost her two years ago.  In the past year he got a new sister, Makena Rose… she might have just kept him young a little while longer.

Rhett will be remembered for his loyalty to me until the end, his Napoleonic delusions of grandeur…

and his comedic tendencies.  Boy, did he make me laugh….

He loved belly rubs (would roll over when you asked him to see his belly,) rawhide bones (he once tackled one twice as big as him), playing with tissues and empty water bottles, car rides and food.  His nickname was the Rhett-ster and I called him my buddy.

He was such charismatic dog who would do anything to make me happy… even putting up with me putting ridiculous outfits on him. He was also pretty amazing at posing for pictures.

I have a little peace knowing he is no longer in pain and that he’s in heaven with my Mom, who was his second favorite person in the world.

Rhett had a beautiful life and I’m so grateful that I got to be his girl.  I will miss him dearly…

By | 2017-08-22T22:14:16-04:00 August 23rd, 2017|Fun, Rhett|85 Comments


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  4. Meagan August 27, 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    You can really feel the love in the post. I’m so sorry you lost your best buddy, I know how much it hurts to lose the ones you love most!

  5. Kristy from Southern In Law August 27, 2017 at 5:21 am - Reply

    Oh, girl! Sending huge hugs! It is so hard to say goodbye to a pet – I totally understand your heartbreak ❤️

  6. Colan August 25, 2017 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Dear Julie, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Rhett was a really good looking boy, and very lucky to have had you as a mom. Your memorial to him is beautiful and so heartfelt. He is in no pain and will be waiting to see you again across the rainbow bridge.The “rainbow bridge” poem was given to me a few years back when I lost my prairie dog, and I’ve always turned to that with any losses since. It helps me feel so much better. RIP Rhett

  7. […] hope you’ve had a great week.   My week has been filled with highs and lows.  With Rhett passing late last week I spent several days just struggling to concentrate or get anything done. Yesterday I felt like I […]

  8. Sherri Bradley August 24, 2017 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry Julie. What a Blessing to have him so long. He surely had a wonderful life with you. Prayers for peace and beautiful memories.

  9. Shalini August 24, 2017 at 1:39 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear of this loss. It’s never easy to see that your loved one go. Hope some good memories from him will bring back smile on your face

  10. [email protected] August 23, 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Oh Julie, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know how much you love Rhett. Losing a beloved pet family member is so very hard. We have been through it and understand. Sending prayers and warm thoughts your way.

  11. Ann Gardner August 23, 2017 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Julie, so sorry for the loss of your beloved pet. We had to have our doxie Abby put to sleep 7 years ago, we stayed with her to the end and my husband and I were sobbing. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  12. Natalie August 23, 2017 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    So sorry for the loss of your sweet one. Praying for you.

  13. DEB August 23, 2017 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    SO sorry for the loss of your special family member. I lost my shepherd a year ago and still cry over him. You will be in my prayers

  14. So sorry for your loss Julie. Having been a regular reader of your blog the last few years it so obvious how much you loved him and I am sure he knew it well. xoxo

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Deborah. It’s crazy how these dogs become such a big part of our lives.

  15. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders August 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss! A couple of weeks ago we had to make the same tough decision with our baby, Dart, and it was seriously one of the hardest decisions and moments of our lives. I think that remembering all of the positive times and moments that you spent with him is the best way to keep his memory alive and to help you grieve and heal.

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:38 am - Reply

      So hard- I was tormented for weeks. Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way too. xoxo

  16. Libby Haire August 23, 2017 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    So very sorry, typed through tears of memory at the similar decision and the similar life so missed.

  17. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups August 23, 2017 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Oh Julie, my heart aches for you. It is so hard saying goodbye to a pet. We had to say good bye to our big dog this past January, she had been my husbands best friend for about 15 years and we still miss her every day. I will be thinking of you.

  18. Shelley Marcy August 23, 2017 at 11:53 am - Reply

    And you will cry after you read each of these posts and then cry again throughout the years because when God gifts us with one of His creatures to become part of our family, we actually see the unconditional love that He has for all of us and it is simply overwhelming and wonderful and exactly what we will experience in Heaven along with those who have gone on before us and for all who know Jesus as their personal savior. Praying you through….

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:37 am - Reply

      Yes… I think I cried 100 times the day this published. God is good… thank you for the prayers.

  19. Linda T Boone August 23, 2017 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Oh Julie, I am heart broken for you. I am so sorry to hear about your sweet baby. That is a very hard decision and i am thankful as well for the time you had with him. Love you, Linda

  20. Emily Swanson August 23, 2017 at 10:37 am - Reply

    My heart hurts so much, because death is never easy. <3 Rhett seemed like such a sweet, precious gift from God, and I'm so thankful you got 16 years with him. In a lot of ways, I don't want to think about my husky coming to that point; he's 1 right now, but I know I'll have to face it some day. However I know that with God's grace in Jesus I can make it through. So many hugs for you right now; Rhett had an AMAZING owner.

  21. [email protected] August 23, 2017 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Julie, so sorry to here about Rhett, just know that GOD has a place for all of us and someday we will l all be together again forever. GOD Bless keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    April Puglisi

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:36 am - Reply

      Thank you so much April! Your prayers mean the world to me.

  22. Sherry Riddle August 23, 2017 at 10:12 am - Reply

    I’m so sorry for your lose. I understand completely. I lost my doxie Happy he was a Black and Tan too. It has been 6 years and I have a new doxie Kokomo but I still miss my Happy. It does get easier but it is always there especially at certain times. Those little doxies have such a way of capturing our hearts. They are special dogs.

  23. Jenn August 23, 2017 at 10:03 am - Reply

    I am sorry for your loss. Rhett sounds like an awesome dog and buddy. He had a wonderful life.

  24. Laura Connell Stailey August 23, 2017 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Julie I share your pain and loss as I had to put down my dear sweet black Pomeranian, Fosse, just 2 days ago on the 21st.. He was 17 and like yours, the ravages of old age were just too much on him and for me to watch. It is comforting to know that they are both pain free now and running around beyond the Rainbow Bridge with their favorite passed friends. I found these lyrics from Bill Staines’ song “Old Dogs” quite apropos,

    “And when their time on earth is through; Old dogs are forever true; And around the bend they wait for you; Come some tomorrow morning.”

    Rhett was one loved dog and both of you were so lucky to have each other. Peace.

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Ohhh Laura! I’m so sorry! Hopefully they are helping each other out. Prayers your way as well.

  25. Lisa Whittemore August 23, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I know this pain too well right now. We had to suddenly put down our german shepherd 2 weeks ago. We were not prepared as he was only 10.5 yrs old but for a dog 114lbs that was considered old. He suddenly went into liver failure and was not eating and bleeding internally. We could have kept him alive a few weeks max but knew it would be unfair to him. I am crying as I type this to let you know it’s never easy. We miss him dearly and the yard seems so empty. We have two mini dachshunds still and Cody is 15.5 yrs old so I am scared to death to face how much time he may have left. I just wish they could live as long as people. My heart breaks for your loss.

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:34 am - Reply

      So hard! The same thing happened suddenly with our first boxer Reina. We were blindsided because she was only 10… but we didn’t’ realize how old that actually was for a boxer. Thank you so much for your kinds words and prayers. xoxo

  26. Jill K. August 23, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Julie I am so sorry. I know how much you adored your little Rhett. As a dachshund lover I always enjoyed seeing your posts about him. I have had two and they are such awesome dogs. Very soulful, devoted animals. I believe there is a spiritual connection with our pets that is hard to explain. I have lost two beloved dogs so I know how hard this is. Saying prayers for you today.

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

      They are such good dogs. Thanks so much for the kind words and prayers Jill!

  27. Susie @ Suzlyfe August 23, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

    I am so, so sorry, Julie. Losing a pet, particularly one that has been in your life for so long, is so much more than losing an animal–you are losing a family member. I wish I could say or do something to ease the hurt, but just know that I am sending you and Shon all the love right now.

  28. Lisa Ballantyne August 23, 2017 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Such a beautiful, heart-touching remembrance of your special friend, Julie. It must have been very healing for you to put this piece together. I know you will treasure every memory of your time together. Our furchildren add so much joy to our lives and I can tell that Rhett brought a lot of smiles and laughter into yours. (((((Hugs)))))

  29. Jan Jenkins August 23, 2017 at 8:37 am - Reply

    So sorry for your loss Julie. Glad he had such a wonderful life with so much love from you. I know your heart is broken. We love our animals like family because they are family and it is hard to lose them. Prayers for comfort for you.

  30. Paula August 23, 2017 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Prayers for comfort as you adjust to life now, it’s really hard to not be selfish when it comes to loosing our fur kids!! But when we do what we know was best for them it somehow helps a little, but knowing you will see them one day again is the best! MEMORIES are so sweet! MY little guy, Winston Thomas is almost 15…..

    Prayers as you work through this difficult time

  31. Christie August 23, 2017 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Losing a member of your family is so difficult and my prayers are with you as you grieve the loss of Rhett. Give yourself time and grace and embrace the love of Makena Rose.

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:23 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Christie. So glad to have her. xoxo

  32. Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real August 23, 2017 at 8:09 am - Reply

    I’m so sorry about Rhett. It seems like you two had some great times together. While hard, just try to focus on all the funny things he would do.

  33. Gail Bell August 23, 2017 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Julie I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your best friend who will always be in your heart. Thank you for sharing Rhett with us.

  34. John Payne August 23, 2017 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Words are hollow at times of loss, not seeming to soften the pain. When my Father passed away in 2004 I honestly can’t remember everyone’s condolences. I remember seeing faces, friends, and family. But the memories that came flowing back to me was what eased my broken heart. All the good times and even the bad ones were not so bad. I know your pain and want you to know that We Love You and we are here for you. Our Prayers are with you <3

  35. I’m so sorry about your loss. It’s so hard to say goodbye to our furry family members. After Cleo passed I was so heartbroken that I didn’t want to get another dog. My husband did, and now we have crazy Cocoa. The hardest part is knowing that as much as they steal your heart, it’s only for a short time. Rhett gave you so much, but I’m certain you gave him a wonderful life. Hugs.

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:22 am - Reply

      Ohhh I feel ya… I think I spent days saying I never want another dog. So glad to have Makena right now though. Thank you Wendy… xoxo.

  36. Robin Eubanks August 23, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

    So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the stories and photos. He was very special!

  37. Mary Beth Jackson August 23, 2017 at 7:16 am - Reply

    I am so sorry to hear of this loss. What a fun tribute to your best friend and I know he will always have a huge hunk of your heart! <3

  38. Tina Moore August 23, 2017 at 7:14 am - Reply

    Julie so sorry. It’s a deep pain that never quite leaves. Know you made the right choice and that your mom is getting to rub his belly now. I know my granny is doing the same for my sweet Harley Jane

  39. Carolyn August 23, 2017 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Oh my word! The tears are flowing. I am so sorry! It is so difficult to have to make that final decision. He had 16 wonderful years with you, and you with him. His little paw prints will forever be on your heart.

  40. Robert August 23, 2017 at 7:03 am - Reply

    Julie, so sorry for your loss! I had to put my precious loved one down last year of 17 years. Her name was 7! My companion (cat) whom I loved dearly. I feel your pain and loss but if it helps always remember the love and good times you had! Each day gets a little easier!

  41. Sommer August 23, 2017 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Awe, Julie! I’m so sorry you had to put him down. That is such a terrible decision to have to make. Rest peacefully Rhett, you will be greatly missed!!

  42. Martha August 23, 2017 at 5:58 am - Reply

    So very sorry for your loss, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures and story of your special years together, treasured memories.

  43. Debra August 23, 2017 at 5:49 am - Reply

    So sorry to read about Rhett. Praying for you.

  44. Robert Marotti August 23, 2017 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Oh Julie my heart breaks for you! Lost my cat of 17 years last May! Her name was 7. Had the same situation were her health was going bad for months. Still not over it but every day is a little better! Stay strong and remember the love and good times! ❤️

    • JulieWunder August 26, 2017 at 8:19 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Robert. My heart goes out to you too.

  45. Becky August 23, 2017 at 5:15 am - Reply

    Thinking of you and I am very sorry for your loss. Loved reading about Rhett, such a sweetheart, thank you for sharing your memories.

  46. Blane Sherer August 23, 2017 at 5:15 am - Reply

    Thoughts and prayers for you Julie. I know how dear
    Rhett was to you. You have known that this would be
    coming for some time now, but it’s still tough when it
    actually does happen. He certainly had a long and
    wonderful life with you.

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