Warning. This is not a jovial post.  For those that are not wanting to read all the emotional details, it’s ok.  You don’t have to read this insight (I promise my feelings won’t be hurt) and I will give you the story in brevity – I had to put down my dog, Dave.

Dave 2006-2017

I hate that I am actually having to write this post.  I do feel it will help me to express my feelings about a matter that’s taken another piece of my heart.  I know, I’m the goofy TV guy that some have a hard time taking seriously. That persona that has afforded me a nice living and I’m thankful to those that have given me an opportunity to “do what I do” for a living. I offer this as a precursor as to an understanding of projecting out one face while masking another. (I hope that makes sense to you)

The past 12 months have been the probably the worst of my life. It’s also been a year of self-discovery, building/rebuilding intra-family relationships, and defining my career. Some choices have been made for me while others were decisions I had to make.

The latest tough decision I had to make was to end the pain and suffering my dog Dave was in. This was a big surprise for me. Dave had not been eating lately and acting very lethargic. In the past, it was because of something he ate, because he licked a frog (true story), or the usual/normal canine sickness. All in all, for a majority of his life, Dave was a healthy Jack Russell Terrier. But this past week it was worse than usual. My thinking was he had eaten something crazy like in the past and it was causing some kind of blockage.  Raquel, my now ex-wife, was their Alpha and she had a terrific talent of getting Dave better using essential oils.  It always worked.  We would remedy any sickness he or her dog had by putting oils in the water or allow them to go outside and eat grass (something dogs do naturally to induce self-vomiting.) This time, Dave wouldn’t do either. He was obviously losing weight and I worked to get him to drink some Pedialite, to get his electrolytes up and easy to eat baby food. Dave wouldn’t take either. It was time to take him to the Vet.

My son Sawyer and his girlfriend with Dave. This is the last picture I took of him.

It really was on my mind all night. I literally went to bed at 5:30 am Sunday morning. My girlfriend, Denise, told me about a Neel Veterinary Hospital that is open 24 hours here in Oklahoma City.  I had to take him in.  I feel selfish now, but I made the decision that I would take him up there after I get a few hours sleep and maybe he would eat or drink something in the interim.  I got up at 8:00 am and checked on Dave and since he didn’t eat or drink, I took him up to the Vet.

The doctor examined Dave and asked the normal questions.. she felt his stomach, pausing then moving her hands in different positions.  She went quiet for a few seconds and then looked at me with a look I don’t think I’ll ever forget when she told me that Dave had a massive tumor in his stomach. She probably saw the blood exit my face.  She explained what would need to happen but also explained that based on the size of the tumor, it COULD be cancerous.  With Dave’s age, it would be a lot on his body to handle, and there was still no guarantee he would fully recover.  They left the room to allow me to make a decision.  As you can imagine, I was tore up.  I called my kids, my sister, and Denise.  All said that I would make the right decision and to remember that he was in pain.  I just told my kids I would really need their support no matter what I decided on and they all agreed that they would.

If you want more of an insight about Dave, here is the first blogpost I wrote about him back in 2006.

As this was truly a shock and surprise, I made the decision that I would take Dave home so the kids could spend a few more hours with him.  We would be able to take pictures and each of us have our own time to say goodbye to this little guy that is a part of our family.  We did so.  I think it was the right decision.

The last picture of me and Dave together

We took Dave back and went through with the procedure.  The entire time I was thinking as I looked at my daughter holding him that he wouldn’t be breathing or alive within a few minutes of the doctor taking him out of his arms.  The staff at Neel were so compassionate and understanding.  Something that could be lost considering how many times they would have to do this.  I asked if we could all pet and comfort Dave as they administered the drugs that would take away his pain.  She obliged and even allowed me to say a few things in Dave.  He was looking directly in my eyes as the sedative worked through his body. That meant the world to me as I wanted him to know what he meant to me and that I was the last thing he ever saw.  Then… he was gone. It was peaceful, surreal and heartbreaking all at the same time.  I watched as the life went away in his eyes and slowly, yet quickly, he stopped breathing.

While I understand that I am not the first person in history that had to put down a loved pet, it was an experience that I never wanted to face. I wanted Dave to go naturally as every pet owner would want. I missed seeing him on the couch this morning as I left to work.  He would pop his head up as if to check on me as I meddled around in the kitchen in the early AM.  I really miss that.

Here’s where I will miss Dave the most.  As you may or may not know, I divorced a year ago.  I have custody of the kids as my now ex-wife lives in Florida and has remarried.  While this time was extremely confusing, devastating and hurtful to me, there were days that I would come home from a day of putting on a smile on in front of the cameras, and plop down on the couch and just sit.  Alone.  I would be the only human in the house.  Dave would jump up and sit next to me.  I feel he could sense that I needed a friend… and he was right. I literally would have conversations with him about what’s going on and it became very therapeutic.  He’s helped me make sense of it all and to at least start to rebuild a life without animosity.  It’s amazing that an animal can offer you that.  I believe I am going to miss that a lot when I encounter my next challenge.

Well, there it is. This blog post that was really for me but I appreciate you taking the time to read all of it to this point.   It’s true that writing things out really helps you feel better.   I’ve had so many people give me their condolences and I really appreciate it.  I really do.

Rock forth Dave.


Rock forth, Mitch

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49 Comments on Dave

  1. This was beautiful Mitch, thank you for sharing! Our dogs are more than pets they are family members and are always the for us no matter what. Dave sounded like a wonderful family member. My thoughts and prayers are with you! ????

  2. Mitch,I am so sorry to hear about Dave. Your blog made me cry as we went through something similar not too long ago with our German Shepherd Buddy. Animals are such special creatures! Hugs to you and your family! Love, Sonja

  3. Beautiful Mitch!! I relived the times I’ve lost beloved pets, the last being Pepper (Chihuahua) almost 2 yrs ago. Your words came from your heart & I’m sire will help many people who read them. Thank you for sharing this with us all!! Much love & (((hugs))) to you & the kids. R.I.P. DAVE. You knew you were loved & will forever be missed. God Bless You All.

      • Mitch, I am so sorry about Dave. I know what a hard decision it was for you to make and how heart wrenching it is. We had to do this for our sweet, 15 1/2 year old shih tzu, Tater Tot a few years ago and now we are facing the same possibility with our 15 year old silky terrier, Otis, who is blind, deaf, arthritic and diabetic. He seems to struggle more and more each day and we are losing the battle in controlling his blood sugar. My husband mentioned to me this past week a very sad observation…….Otis never wags his tail anymore. We know we are coming to the end of our time with our sweet boy. How I wish it were not true.

        I think the young boy who lost his dog to cancer had it right when he explained why they don’t live as long as humans. He said, “People are born so that they learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

        Dave lived a good life with you by his side.

  4. Oh Mitch. I do not envy you but I know that it won’t be long before I may have to be in your shoes. I have a 14 1/2 year old Shih Tzu, who has been to me what Dave was to you. I sit here (at work mind you) in tears reading your post, thinking about my Stormy girl. I believe with my whole soul that pets are gifts from God to show us a glimpse of what His love is for us. And I also believe one day we will be reunited with them. Prayers of peace and comfort for you and your family during this time.

  5. My sympathy to you. I have had to do this 4 times, 3 little yorkies and 1 cat. My other cat passed naturally but truthfully, it wasn’t any easier. I always promised myself that I would never cross the line between being selfish and being kind. Much as we want to keep them longer, that is the line we can’t cross. It is so hard to let them go, but the kindest thing to do. You did the most difficult thing we ever do with our pets, but keep the wonderful memories. Thoughts with you.

    • Kay, Four times had to be heartbreaking. I’m sorry. I guess that’s why I have reservations on ever getting another pet after having such a great one in Dave. Thank you so much for your words. Rock forth – Mitch

  6. You have put into words what so many of us have experienced…yet we could only manage to utter the few words: “I had to put my dog/cat down”.
    I cried as I read your blog post, in sympathy and empathy. It brought back my recent experience of 2 months ago when I lost one of my cats to heart failure. Taking him to the vet and fully expecting a recovery…but leaving without him, crying my eyes out. He was my best bud, my pal.
    I know from experience that the loss of a dear pet is compounded when having to make a decision like you did.
    My heart goes out to you and your kids, Mitch. I know how you feel and I am certain that the love you had for Dave was reciprocated in spades. I thank God that we are able to have non-judgemental, intuitive, loving pets in our lives. I pray you will have comfort.

    • Hey Jan! Thank you for your post. I think that we can all really learn more from our pets. That unconditional love sure would make the world a better place. Thank you so much for your words. Rock forth – Mitch

  7. Mitch this was very moving. So many people can relate to what you’re going through. My sister who has been having health issues had to put her beloved Boxer down a couple days ago. That dog literally had been by her side through her recovery, which isn’t over. This dog was the most gentle, loving soul. Our entire family was touched by her. My sister is devastated. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers for strength to move forward one day at a time. Hugs. Maria

    • Maria, Thanks so much. Its weird that dogs can sense when you’re sick, but we can’t pick up on it until they start acting that way. Thank you so much for your words. Rock forth – Mitch

  8. The tears flowed reading this. It’s so touching. He was not a pet but a Family member that I get. My Condolences and Prayers go out to you and your Family at this hard time. God Bless you.

  9. Very touching post Mitch! I can relate on many levels to it! I had a Lab for right around 17 years or so. He lived a long life and then one day in a freak event he was hit by the neighbors car while he was out chasing it at his old age. Guess he wanted to go out his way. I remember it was one of the hardest things in my life ever to deal with.

    I think it was a great send off for Dave with each of you getting to say good bye and have pictures with him. Rip Dave!

  10. Mitch, Very touching post. It was only a year ago that we went through the same thing with one of our fur babies, Dixie and one year before that yet we lost our little Sophie. It’s the hardest thing to do or go through. They are a special part of our family and never cease to wind their way into our hearts. I feel your pain. I always say we are done and will never get another but after some time and healing of course we found another little girl puppy that fills our heart with joy. I guess in some way our pets are here to remind us that love is unconditional and we should be grateful for every moment we have. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family for healing.

  11. Dear Mitch,
    You are not alone in the sharing of your feelings. I admire your honesty and emotion behind these tough circumstances.
    I too went through a horrific divorce after 23 years of marriage and an only child, daughter, about to start her first year of college. (My ex decided he liked his girlfriends better) I had an aging 15 year old Yorkie and a 4 year old Schnauzer. They were my only real source of unconditional love. My family meant well but would often not understand why I couldn’t just ” toughen up”. My dogs would lay, sit or walk with me and would allow me to cry, talk, sleep or just not feel so alone. During the duration of this divorce, my Yorkie became very ill from old age. I called my daughter home from school and she seemed to perk up. The following Monday, after my daughter had left to return to school, my sweet Precious took a much worse turn. I was left with having to make that same heart wrenching decision.
    I stayed with her till the end. On my way home I thought about how much Precious had witnessed in her life, through ours. My daughter was three years old when we got her. They grew up with each other and almost every memory I had of my daughter, included her. The tears began to fall even harder. I felt like yet another piece of my history was yanked out from under me. Her loyal love and companship gone. My sweet Lucy, the Schnauzer, was depressed and lost as well.
    However, time keeps ticking, and life has brought many more changes for me, including remarriage and the loss of my mother.(I might add that Precious helped me with decisions I had to make for my mother.) For me, I still have my Lucy, who has continued to be a blessing from God, but I often find myself still wishing for my other little fur baby. Lucy, who is now herself approaching 15, causes me to worry every time she has the slightest problem.
    I share all of this, only to reiterate that you are justified and not alone. Our precious pets become our family in every way imaginable. We love them and they love us!
    I am so sorry for your loss and pray for you to find comfort in knowing you did the right thing. He was a cutie. God bless.
    Terri Carroll

    • Terri, wow. It sounds like we have very similar stories concerning our personal lives and our pets. I appreciate you taking the time to write them out. You’re right, those dogs just seem to know what to give us when we need it. I just feel bad for not catching the tumor earlier. Thank you so much for your words. Rock forth – Mitch

  12. Sounds like Dave had an amazing life with you. Losing our furry friends really is like losing a family member. Dave taught you many things and will continue to live on in your heart and soul. Thank you for your therapeutic sharing.


  13. Hey my friend that was a great post and therapeutic for us who read it. I was shocked about your divorce and sorry to hear that. Keep your chin up and remember our Brooksville days. Tell the kids hi from me and Geri

  14. I am facing the same thing here my dog will be 14 this coming presidents day,he is diabetic and has been blind since last summer and wasting away slowly .its heart breaking knowing my best friend is dying with nothing that I can do to stop it .

  15. Xoxos, had to put my cat down a week ago. No matter what kind, animals are part of the family. So sorry for your loss 🙁

  16. Mitch…man, I’m sitting here at my office typing this and trying to see through the tears brother!! We just went through this end of October with our little Maltese Kip who we had since 2004. He was about the same age as Dave. He developed prostate cancer and was in pain and we hung on as long as we could. I’m still not over that little guy and I miss him so dang much. I told Kim last night I need another Kip. I feel your pain…my heart hurts for you and the kids. It’s cool that you and the kids got to be with him as he left his earthly home. We did the same with our Kip except it was just Kim and I as the kids were all away at school and such. You are in my prayers and I pray for comfort for you guys and peace that Dave is no longer in pain and up there running around. Hope he finds my Kip up there and they have some fun chasing each other around and getting endless dog treats! Love you man!!

  17. Mitch – your words are poetic. Even though you are no longer televised in Texas, I continue to follow you on FB and live OK newscasts. Over the past year, I could not believe how after all you’ve been through, you still appear to be this happy go lucky guy, full of energy and always making people laugh. I took my cat to the hospital one night and the vet was kind enough to have a rocking chair where I could sit with her for hours and days, talking to her and telling her how much she would be missed. Eventually, she gave in. People that have kids (like you) know that the worst thing that you could ever experience is losing a child. But people that have pets also know it may not be near the same, but it is painful. Growing up, we had a dog for 11 years and that dog was there while I was going through my teens. I would come home from school sobbing because of some teen drama and my dog would wiggle under my blanket with me and lick all over my face as if to say “It’s ok, I love you”. She knew all my secrets. Pets are a necessity, especially when you go through such life-defining moments like you have lately. God bless you Mitch for staying strong, continuing to make us laugh and for sharing your pain. You continue to surprise me with your honesty. You are an amazing person. Dave was blessed to have your family in his life.

    • Kitty, thank you for being a fan and for following me around through these years. I wanted to just get my emotions out and I appreciate the fact that read through them. Thank you so much for your words. Rock forth – Mitch

  18. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved Dave. I was in your same position two years ago when I had to make the same decision with my best friend Brooklyn. I read a post recently that said. “Pets will give you some of the best days of your life, and one of the worst” I think that summed it up perfectly. Just try to remember all the good memories until you have the opportunity to see Dave again.

  19. Mitch, I went through the loss of my dog Lucky March 4th 2017. I am divorced/single, and he was my best Bud for 16 years. Thank God he died at home, but I broke my heart, and I will never fully get over the loss. I cried just reading your post. I know how bad it hurt you. Hang in there, and remember the Good Times you had together. Thanks for the post. I helps to know you are not the only one.

  20. Our pets bring joy into our lives. They love us unconditionally.They accept our quirks and moods. They become our companions and confidants. Although we know they have a shorter lifespan we become caught up in sharing our lives and tend to gloss over those thoughts. When we lose them, whatever the the mechanism we are devastated and saddened without their special love. Adopting another pet is the way we honor their place in our lives that is so empty without them. The new friend does not replace the old, but fills the void and we again fall in love and experience the joy. So sorry for your loss. May your heart heal and open itself to a new friend. God Bless.

  21. I am late to the party – just read about your Dave. I am an animal person all th way and it brought tears to my eyes. All our dogs and cats have been rescues and dearly loved family members. When that time comes, I stay with them til they are gone. It’s so hard. You did good.

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