Rain on a new grave

Calyxa (Caly), my beloved 14-year old miniature Schnauzer, my first and only dog, died two weeks ago as of tomorrow, while I was out-of-town and my parents were watching her at my house. She had not been in good health for the past 9 months or so due to a heart condition, and she was showing her age, but death, when it came for her, was quick, and I hope, not painful.

She didn’t want to eat on the Wednesday morning before I went to work. In the afternoon when I got home, I got her to take her heart medicine (with effort), wrapped in the roast beef she normally loved. I had to go to the airport then, so rode out with my parents and her to Dulles. I kissed her goodbye on her head, and that was the last I ever saw her–I never expected that would be the final goodbye and am so upset I wasn’t there for her at the end. My mom said she still wasn’t eating much on Thursday, and if I had been home I would have taken her to the vet then. Early Friday morning (Friday the 13th), she was so weak, she couldn’t go back up the stairs after going out to pee one last time. My mom called me, and my parents were going to take her to my vet when they opened, but she passed away in their van before they got out of my driveway. They went anyways, just to make sure. My veterinarian examined her postmortem, and she had a large mass in her abdomen–possibly cancer. I had just had her in for an exam in late May, so it must have been quick growing and I never knew. My mom said her tongue was very pale just before she died, so my best guess is that she died of internal bleeding, possibly from a ruptured tumor such as a splenic hematoma. But I’ll never know. I am confident though that her heart medicine kept her alive the past seven months since she first started on it.

I had previous decided that my little girl would be buried in my yard if she died at home and would be cremated if she died anywhere else. So, my parents brought her back to my house and buried her in a little white box in my backyard, where she rests under the protection of Garth, my garden gargoyle, beneath a pine tree. I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever decide to move. The thought of leaving her behind, even in death, is painful.

My mom said that it rained that first evening after she was buried, and that her mom (my grandmother) had once said that it was a good portent when rain fell on a new grave. Some other people I have mentioned this to have said that they have heard the same thing, but no one I’ve talked to knows where this idea comes from, and I can’t find a reference on the Internet. I would really like to know the origin of this expression. I find it comforting, somehow.

Caly was the one constant in my life across multiple jobs, homes, and the coming and going of romantic partners and (human) friends. She was also an accomplished traveler, having visited 41 U.S. States and logging well over 100,000 car miles, as well as sleeping many dozens of nights in motels, hotels and campsites. Everyone that ever met her loved her. She was super sweet and super smart. My one friend said that she “was a wonderful dog, who never knew she was a dog, and was never treated like one. Her personality was as huge as her bark was loud .”

She was my rock and my best friend.

I don’t have anything to add, but if you click on my username and go to my profile, you might get a kick out of my profile picture. It’s a tattoo on my forearm.
I have two mini-schnauzers.

I have no ideas on the origin of the expression. I just wanted to tell you I am sorry for your loss. It’s hard to lose a long-time friend.

If you do ever have to move, don’t worry. She’s not in the yard, she’s in your heart. She will stay with you no matter where you have to go.

I’m so very sorry for your loss, ataraxy22; I lost my friend Pipsqueak at age 17 in May and she’d been w/ me through so much. I wish you growing peace in the coming weeks and months.
Never heard of the saying, sorry, but I hope it gives you comfort anyhow.

I have been told that the rain on a fresh grave is god crying with you. I’m not especially religious but it is comforting, somehow. Sorry for your loss.

That is awesome Joey P! I don’t have any tattoos, but if I did, a schnauzer would be appropriate for me too.

Obligatory link to The Rainbow Bridge Poem. If I’m wrong about the whole atheism thing, I hope to meet my former Feline Overlord there one day.

Thanks SnakesCatsLady, Nawth Chucka and ** keturah**. It’s been a tough couple of weeks.

My dog taught me so much about love. I will not go dog-less for long, and any pet I love in the future is really a tribute to her teachings.

Here she was a few months ago. She had lost some weight by this point, but still was perky, especially in the picture because she was going somewhere, which was her favorite thing to do.

I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your pup. You had a nice long time together.

I still miss my little dachshund, Brownie, who died of liver cancer a year and a half ago. She was only 8 years old.

I have two new (well, they were used) dachshunds, now. They are around 5 years old or so and as much as I enjoy them, I sometimes note how they are different from Brownie. I guess I still pine for her a little. She was an awesome great dog- definitely my favorite of several- and I wasn’t ready to let her go so soon.

Best wishes to you.

The truly great personalities we have known and loved alter us in subtle ways. Going forward, you will always be not just “you,” but “you as Caly changed you to be.” The childhood dog whom I loved almost forty years ago, now, still influences how I feel about and interact with new dogs I meet.

I have read a theory that humans and dogs almost literally “complete” each other – according to the writer, some ten to thirteen thousand years ago humans lost about ten percent of our brain size, and dogs lost some of the brain size wolves have. This author proposes that humans “farmed out” a lot of sensory wiring and alertness to dogs, and dogs let humans take over a lot of decision-making and problem-solving, allowing each to thrive with less effort and less investment in biologically “expensive” brain matter.

When you are ready for another dog, please consider rescuing a life. We humans should keep our end of the pact the dog made with us thousands of years ago.

I like that thought a lot. I’m still young enough that I may be alive in 40 years, and I know that even then I will still love my pup, and even after 40 years will miss her, and she will influence who I am even when I am very old.

That’s an interesting theory about parallel brain changes as humans and canines came together for mutual advantage, and one I had never heard before.

I’m so sorry for your loss; I know what that’s like—though I honestly wish I did not. :frowning:

I am sorry to hear your news. My little one totally owns my heart and it will really crush me when she goes. Sending supporting thoughts your way.

She sounded like a great dog. I feel your pain. I know how tough it is.

I am so sorry for the pain that you’re feeling, I remember well the sadness I felt when our family dog died when I was young, so much so that even though I totally love dogs, I’d never ever have another one as a pet because they just die too young.

She’s in a better place now.

My best feelings are with you.

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate that you took the time to post comforting responses to my OP.