Today I realized something I had always suspected but never actually had to confront:
It is hard to be funny when your heart is breaking.

Our sweet, wonderful dog Riley, who was the subject of many of my columns, my constant companion, and the only one of my children who bathed regularly, put away his toys, and was potty trained before he was three, passed away on friday.

It happened suddenly and unexpectedly and I am still reeling from the loss.

I promise to come back here in a couple of days and share some of the joys this beautiful animal brought into our lives, but for today, I am just going to have to sit this one out.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and support!


  • DeAnne

    Oh, I am so sorry. Our dogs are so, so precious… My sympathy is with you. You will never “get over” his loss, but it will get better. I speak from experience. I still miss my Scout, but Rose now lights up my days.

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      Thank you so much. I have been crying for three days straight. Everything reminds me of him. Cannot believe what a big part of my life he was. I appreciate your thoughts!!

      • DeAnne

        I cried more when Scout died than when my father-in-law did. My f-i-l was a nice enough man, but in terms of adding to my every day life? No contest. My kids didn’t remember life without him. We were all devastated. Give yourself time and don’t worry about “snapping out of it”. And if someone says “it was just a dog”, you should feel free to punch that person. Seriously, holding on to the good memories and acknowledging the loss will help.

  • A Side of Rice

    We lost our beloved family dog just two weeks ago. She was 14 and had been with us over 12 years. We had her longer than we’ve had kids. Dogs are family….and they hold a special place in our hearts. My sympathies.

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      I am so sorry for your loss, too. I think it is the way that they love so unconditionally and get so much joy from such little things. He certainly taught me a lot about both those things!

  • Wanda

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I lost my dear cocker spaniel Sam a few years ago. He had been a big part of my life for over 12 years. Still when I see a cocker spaniel, I always see Sam. Take your time, Tracy. That’s the only thing that will make all the memories good.

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      Thank you so much Wanda. It’s a pretty sucky time right now. The amazing thing is, there are no bad memories of Riley. I just need to get past the sadness of losing him to get in touch with the joy we had in having him!

  • Ted

    Very sorry to hear about Riley. We all know what an integral part of your family he was. Time heals all wounds. The smell goes away sooner, if that’s any consolation. 😉

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      🙂 Good to know!

  • annieboreson

    So sorry to hear about Riley. Dogs are the most amazing creatures. They join a family with such warmth and unconditional love. I hope in time you can smile at what a gift he was. Hope you feel better.

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      Thank you! Little smiles are sneaking in around the tears!

  • Kristen McClusky (@motherloadblog)

    No one expects you to bring the funny every day, Tracy. Even *you* are human. And we are all so sorry for your sudden loss.

    I’d love to read some past posts on Riley if you can bear digging them up. Maybe if you don’t have it in your to write this week you can re-post some of those as a tribute?

    And what up with him wearing the boxer shorts?

    • Tracy Baron Beckerman

      Riley had some infection in his nether regions and he kept licking the medication off. The vet said he could either wear one of those lampshade things around his head to keep him from reaching back there, or a pair of my son’s boxer shorts. We went with the shorts and HE LOVED THEM! I guess he thought he looked kind of bad-ass in them. Of course it was insanely gross when he would escape outside and go potty without us getting to pull them off him, but it was cute when they were clean! It was a great memory and that’s why I posted the pic… I need all the smiles I can get right now!

  • Melanie

    I am sorry for the loss of your child. My 19 year old child named Bob (to non-pet lovers, a cat) passed away exactly 2 years ago this weekend. I have 2 other children (yes cats) but not a day goes by I do not miss my little boy Bob. I joke I had him for 19 years, more than some people are married. So I feel that I have a right and you have a right to grieve for your child. Peace and Best wishes to you.

    • Tracy Baron Beckerman

      Thanks so much for your thoughts and for understanding! We have two other pets.. a chinchilla and a lizard.. but neither of them have the hold on my heart the way the dog did! 🙁

  • Lorraine


Leave a reply