Goodbye: When I Knew It Was Time To Walk Away

A goodbye is usually one of the hardest things to come to terms with. Whether it is the death of a loved one, or the demise of a relationship, saying goodbye can be incredibly painful. While a death is something that is forced upon us, facing a situation where you choose to say goodbye can be even more gut-wrenching. Unfortunately, as painful as it can be, sometimes it is necessary to maintain your self-respect and dignity. I faced this dilemma just this week. I made the choice to say a very difficult goodbye.

time to say goodbye

A couple of months ago, I wrote about my amazing best friend and how much that relationship meant to me. As of yesterday, that friendship has come to an end. It was one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. So, what could lead to such a drastic change in just a couple of months?


The Beginning of the Goodbye

The evening of September 30th, I picked up a dog that I thought was going to be mine. A family that I tutored for was looking to re-home a dog that I thought was going to be a great fit. I bought all the necessary supplies and everything. My friend was super excited for me. However, from the moment I picked up the dog, I knew that this was not the dog for me. If you remember the story I wrote recently, I had been incredibly meticulous about finding the right dog for me. When I found out about this dog and the very unfortunate situation he was in, all that went out the window. Clearly, that was my first mistake. I wanted to get him a better situation and that is all I thought about.


By the next morning, I realized that I needed to find an alternative. I called several rescue organizations, including one that a friend of mine runs over an hour and a half away from my house. I took the dog to her. Instantly, as soon as she met him, one of the first things she said was that he was NOT a dog for a first time dog owner (me). He needed an experienced dog owner to work with him and get him ready for a home. She has twelve personal dogs, horses, and goats on her own personal farm. Her husband is a vet and she runs her rescue out of his clinic. As I said goodbye to him, I knew the dog couldn’t be in a better place and I completely trust her judgment. Unfortunately, my friend disagreed. He thought I overreacted and should have tried harder.


“Betrayed My Greatest Passion” 

After a week of text message silence and a couple of polite “are you okay” messages during the Hurricane Matthew  may-lay, he send me a text asking me if I would dog sit his dogs on a Friday night so he could go to a concert. I thought, “Great!” That had to mean he had forgiven me, right? I went to bed that night thinking just that. Unfortunately, the next day, he blew me off for an event we had been planning for MONTHS. We have always had our own language, so to speak, and by him doing that, I knew things were NOT right between us.


So, I finally asked him outright. He told me he was angry because I had “betrayed his greatest passion” (rescuing dogs). So, what it came down to was this: I was okay to spend my Friday night watching his dogs, but not to hang out with anymore. That didn’t sit right with me.The next day, he sent a text asking if we could forget the day before because it had been “a BAD day.” Our conversation ended up with:


Me: “To be honest, I know you. You judge and hang on to things. I feel like I am now on your list and things won’t be the same going forward.”
Him: “You’re probably right.”
Me: “So maybe it is best to cut ties…just on more amicable terms.”


The End…

I returned his key via his mailbox that evening and that was that. That was my goodbye. There was a suggestion that I should have been the bigger person and just accepted his “can we just forget about yesterday.” In my heart I knew it was just so he could have a dog sitter again. If he was still refusing to hang out with me, especially for an event we had been planning since March, he was not interested in being friends with me again. Why should I settle for being someone’s dog sitter?


I don’t feel that I did anything wrong. It would have been a disservice to the dog to keep him and not be the type of dog owner he needed me to be. I was simply the layover between his old (bad) situation and his new (good) situation. Why is that such a bad thing? Do I really want to be “friends” with someone who doesn’t see that? “It’s not like you kicked the puppy or threw it out in the street,” commented another friend. Precisely.



I had to realize our friendship would never be the same. For whatever reason, he would always judge me. Certainly, I had to stand up for myself and demand more respect that just being his dog sitter (regardless of how much I love his dogs). It is incredibly sad and painful that such a beautiful friendship came down to this. I will always cherish the memories the made and everything we were able to do for each other during the time we were friends. There are no ill feelings towards him. I have only sadness that, in the end, he wasn’t able to 1) see my perspective on what happened and 2) forgive me for the betrayal he feels I committed. Now, I guess I have to find a way to move on.


Have you ever had to say goodbye to a relationship that was an integral part of your life? 


14 thoughts on “Goodbye: When I Knew It Was Time To Walk Away

  1. That’s truly the worst. Friends should be honest with each other about how they’re feeling, but they should never judge you for your decisions. It sucks that it has to end this way, but I think in the end you will be better off! I know what this feeling is like…

  2. A true friend would have talked to you about why he was angry. Called being an adult. Good for you that you stood up for yourself and didn’t settle for being just a dog sitter.

  3. I’m so sorry that happened. It can be as painful as a break up from a committed relationship-because in many ways that is what it is. I had to do this once from someone that I thought was a true friend and confidant-only to discover she did not have my best interest at heart and was just using me. It really hurt and sucked that I couldn’t really explain to our mutual friends why we didn’t hang out anymore. At least with a break up people can acknowledge that you will no longer hang out with that person or invest in them. It’s harder for outsiders to understand that from a friendship perspective. Best of luck in your recovery and I am sorry it worked out the way it did.

    1. You are so right. It is often hard to explain to outsiders. I guess that is where a blog can come in handy. I have a way to articulate my experiences and feelings in a way that people can hopefully understand.

    1. Wow! My heart goes out to you. I have never struggled with that level of change, but as a child of divorce, I have seen how emotionally draining it is. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. These situations make our heart sick, don’t they. I have had a couple of similar occurences in the past couple of years but in my case I don’t even know what precipitated it.

    Take good care of you and use the newfound energy to invest in others who support your decisions no matter what.

    1. It really does. One of my freelance clients was mentioning about how tricky friendships can be to navigate these days- especially since some people have “triggers.” Clearly this was his. And, thank you so much for your kind advice!

    1. I can’t lie. Part of me hopes that this situation will open his eyes and we will be able to reconcile. I’m just not betting the farm on it.

  5. Wow, just wow. I went through this a couple of months ago. One of the puppies my parents’ dog had had been rejected by the initial buyer. There’s a long story here, but I’ll spare everyone. Essentially I was pushed to come get this puppy because my parents felt I needed the puppy. I didn’t last 3 days. Luckily, another buyer stepped up (one who wanted him in the first place and should have been called when the initial buyer dropped out) and it all worked out.

    There are times still I think my parents are giving me looks whenever the puppy comes up. They didn’t seem to be able to accept that it wasn’t the best situation for either of us. I’m sorry your former friend couldn’t understand that. I’m glad you were able to rehome this dog.

    1. Sorry to hear you are going through the same thing! I know it my heart that the dog is an amazing place and, in the end, that is what matters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *