Pugs, death & grief

Barry W. Enderwick
10 min readMar 25, 2016

1/ Heads up, normally I write about brand, business, startups, etc. But this post is about my grief around my dog dying yesterday. If you’re someone who thinks “get over it” or “it was only a dog” when you hear someone talk about losing their pet, move on. This is not for you.

To be fair, I don’t know if it’s for anyone but me. I keep replaying things in my head. My hope is that by documenting it, I can stop the mind tape loop that’s causing anxiety, depression, and crying. I know time is the only true way through and it is important to grieve. This is not an attempt to short circuit that.

2/I writing and publishing it without proofing. It is just a mind dump. Might be full of typos, grammatical errors, or whatever. I don’t really care.

I’d been sitting with Zu Zu watching her struggle to breathe. She didn’t look like Zu Zu. No personality, just fear. No matter how much I pet or held her head, not matter how often I kissed her on the head and told her I loved her there was no real response. She was alive but not Zu Zu. She was nestled in the heated bed we’d gotten for her a few months ago. She loved that bed. Unfortunately it turned out to be her death bed. I told her I loved her and not to go anywhere as went to the bathroom quickly.

In the bathroom I became overcome with sadness and started crying again. What would have been a quick trip to the bathroom turned into a slightly longer trip. When I got back to the bed Zu Zu wasn’t breathing. She had died. No movement. Lifeless. I’d never seen anyone die, let alone someone I love.

I lost my shit.

Back in 2003, my girlfriend Christine, who lived in a different city at the time, got Zu Zu for me from just outside Seattle. I was two years into my 12 year stint at Netflix. We were still very much a startup which meant long hours and lots of stress. Christine thought it would nice for me to come home to unconditional love every night.

And it was. But it was also taxing. After all, a puppy needs a lot of attention and Zu Zu was no exception. Plus, her personality was a demanding one. So I would get home from work around 8pm and she would want to play until 1am. Given that I was at work by 6:30am every day that wasn’t going to work.

Barry W. Enderwick

Brand/marketing executive, Kaizen (ex Netflix). I write on startups, strategy, business, culture & design. Also Sandwiches Of History on Insta/TikTok/YouTube