Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tributes


Dave:
Second best dog on Earth, LOTM. The best dog, Sue, gave up custody of her little boy more than 50 years ago.

(Must be some pollen in the air. My eyes are getting a bit misty for some strange reason.)

Geoffrey Britain:
You have my and I’m sure many others sympathies, there may be no truer friend than a good dog.

Danl Watkins:
My condolences too, sir. My dog, Raymond, left us at 18 last Memorial Day. Maybe not the best Dog on earth, but she sure tried to be. Still waiting patiently for me to arrive, I’ll bet. (how can I have earned that?)

mac:
LOTM, you have my deepest sympathy. I still remember how I felt after our vet, at our home, finally sent our furry friend on to where he could finally run and chase tennis balls again. It was time, and probably past time, but we sure hated to see him go. I still miss him terribly.

You know, that’s not the least of the problems with Muslims–that they consider dogs unclean and hate them. If the burkhas and pork prohibition weren’t enough to make one think they’re all crazy/evil, their thoughts on dogs certainly would. Heck, if you look at all the fine things they foolishly avoid, it’s easy to see why they’re all so anxious to die.

PA Cat:
79 LOTM

Heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your beloved dog. I’ve never had a dog, always been a cat person, but I think anyone who has ever shared home and hearth with a furry (or feathered or finny) friend knows how deep the grief can cut when they leave us. May you find comfort in the knowledge that you gave your pet a good life, and that no true love is ever wasted.

Karen Yvonne:
LOTM, I’m sorry about your dog. I think I know how you feel because I’ve gone through it twice. The bond between a dog and its’ master is truly something miraculous – and, being miraculous, it must be immortal. It must be.

sgi:
I’m very sorry to hear that, LOTM. It’s so painful to lose a beloved dog. They are the best of friends, loving us just as we are.

Doug:
PA Cat said it better than I could Lifeof.
Time makes it bearable, perseverence furthers.

Mongoose:
LOTM:

Sorry to hear that. I have one pushing 15 and I fear I am not far behind you.

I can truly feel for you. My heart goes out to you.

Words do not help much here, but know that there are others who do understand. Folks who have never had a profoundly deep relationship with a wonderful animal may not understand, but those of us who have most certainly do. Cleave to them in your grief.

It may seem small consolation now, but do remember that you dog did have a wonderful life with you, was overjoyed to be with you and be loved by you. He (?) returned the love, I am sure, one thousand-fold.

That is all he ever wanted or needed. It could not have been a better life for him.

It is the best that can be; you could have done no better by the dog.

You were a blessing to him; he a blessing to you. It is a mysterious matter.

(I do not know your state of mind, but since you are a New Yorker, let me point out a local resource: the Animal Medical Center (AMC) up on 62nd over by the East River does have a reasonable counseling/support group for this sort of thing. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but I just mention it as a resource. I know someone they helped quite a bit.)

Trooper:
Sorry about your dog. I’ve lost a few good hounds and it always hurts.

RWE:
LifeofTheMind:

My condolences. I lost my 15 year old labrador retriever in 2006, and while I went right out and got another dog from an animal shelter and she has become just a precious, I still miss my lab.

I have loved dogs my whole life but with my lab I came to believe that dogs came to live with humans because sometime in the distant past humans had done something magnificant and God sent the dogs to us as a reward.

But I changed that view. I came to believe that it was the dogs that had done something God liked and He sent them to us so we could pray for them.

Marie Claude:
LOTM

Linda P:
LOTM:
My deepest sympathies. I’ve said goodbye to five of my best friends, still sharing my life with three. I know how you feel.

RWE:
Mongoose #107:

When I got my new dog I thought that while she was a precious animal to be cherished, I did not seek that spark of divinity in her that I saw in my labrador.

But almost 4 years later I see that same spark in her now.

So do we provide the spark of divinity or do they bring it to us?
Or is it like an electrical circuit that flows through both of us when we are together?

heyyoukidsgetoffmylawn:
Life of the Mind

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newfoundland_(dog)

Kindest regards

Mad Fiddler:
Dear LOTM,

When cataracts in both eyes caused my mother to lose her driving privileges, and the first attempted operation in 1980 nearly lost the eye, the extent of her life was shrinking to the confines of the house. No golf, no shopping, no visiting with friends, nothing. For an active and energetic woman, it was hard.

Our household had no pets since the last family dog had been crushed by a skidding garbage truck in front of my mom 15 years earlier.

While she was recovering from the first near-disaster cataract surgery, praying she would heal enough to try again, my sister and brother conspired to buy a palm-sized shih-tzu puppy. My sister brought it in a basket with bows and ribbons, rang the bell and hid in the bushes. We have a picture of our mom holding this little fluff with its black nose surrounded by a rosette of spiky fur hiding two sleepy eyes. Mom was grinning and crying for joy. That damn puppy really brought her out of her miseries.

Years later, when both parents were slowly wasting from terminal conditions, and my brother was recovering from a stroke, three dogs in the household made the difference every day between a home dominated by pain, frailty, and doom, instead bringing hours and hours of laughter, frolicking, and joy.

I’ve seen many miracles of people transcending their own self-absorption and despair, re-learning how to care unselfishly for another being, quickening to a grasp of what it means to nurture and clean and be patient without expectation of any reward but a gladness that you gave comfort and relief.

There’s a reason why programs pairing incorrigible teens and prison inmates with dogs and horses have so much success in changing their attitudes, and it is the love those animals give back to the humans.

Losing a companion like that is one of the hardest things next to losing a human family members. I pray you have healing from the happy memories, and from friends, and other such companions.

Knight1:
LOTM, I am sorry to hear about your dog. Dogs (and for me, cats) are what we hope for in our friends and we grieve long and hard when they pass.

bogie wheel:
LOTM – Am profoundly sorry to hear about your dear, dear friend. Though I consider “best dog ever” title to have been already taken by the unsurpassingly great German Shepherd my family had when I was a kid, I will concede that this may be an honor like Arthur’s Round Table, i.e., “first among equals.”

And forgive me for tacking into a theological wind here, my intentions are certainly not to aggravate but to comfort. Every time I consider the splendor of our beloved pets, I can’t help but think of the old catechism question and its answer:

Q: “What is the chief end of man?”
A: “To glorify God and to enjoy all His blessings.”

I had a pastor some years ago who said that he’d come to understand that the answer included the meaning, “To glorify God *by enjoying* all His blessings.”

I consider pets a unique blessing. The whole idea that we homo sapiens “shack up” (!!) with members of different species in a manner that goes so far beyond a utilitarian relationship and indeed touches upon the deepest emotional and quasi-spiritual aspects of our lives, is one of the great wonders of human existence as far as I’m concerned. And these kinds of great wonders (I second the “miraculous” description from above) are indeed touched by divinity IMHO. Not that our furry friends are divine (objection of CATS noted here) but that they are instruments through which the divine touches us. By delighting in them we glorify Him who made us all. Okay I’ll shutteth up now. Just know that your BC friends are sending condolences & thoughts of comfort your way.

GerryP:
LOTM @ 79

You have my full sympathy. You must feel the loss of your furry, faithful friend so very much right now. Please let the long and happy life he had with you be some comfort. It is hard to lose such a dear old friend.

jason gray:
LOTM. my condolences are offered as well.

Tcobb:
LOTM

I’m sorry. I know how it feels. When it comes to dogs, they ask so little and they give so much. I had to have my last dog put down. She was 13 years old. She had cancer of the liver. The vet said there was no treatment for her condition. And even so, I probably waited too long and prolonged her suffering. I just couldn’t let her go. She may have been just a “dog” but she was my baby, she was my child.

Take care LOTM.

twobyfour:
LotM,
My condolences. Been there several times. Dogs and cats.

Presbypoet:
LOTM
Sorry to hear of your loss. One advantage of knowing dogs & cats go to heaven is knowing my friend and yours await our arrival. Dean Koontz book about his dog Trixie, provides evidence at least some dogs are angels in disguise.
-------
Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog.
George Gordon, Lord Byron, Epitaph to a Dog.

We are never more human than when we care for those who are the least among us.
LoTM

5 comments:

Andrew said...

LOTM,

I post only occasionally on belmont but I wanted to pass on my condolences to you on your loss, I'm grieving the loss of the best dog I ever knew as well.

Doc was his name and he chose me from his cell at the Ottawa Humane Society. He caught my eye immediately but my wife (girlfriend at the time) only glanced at him-there was a big highlighted note on his cage saying "Caution: Does not like children". We didn't have any and I knew somehow that we could help him change his ways. I put my finger through his cage and he took it gently but firmly in his teeth and gave me a gentle pull, as if to urge me on. He was beautiful; all black, shaggy and just the right size for us, apartment dwellers that we are. We never really knew his story except that he had been picked up off of the streets and was housebroken and would sit etc. on command so somebody had owned him. Over the first few months we discovered that we has playful, happy and loving, except if we ever left him tied up somewhere when he would get aggressive, especially to kids. I guess maybe he had been abused or teased when tied up. Anyway, the longer we had him and the more he learned to trust and the less that behavior showed itself.

Eventually my girlfriend and I got married, went on honeymoon, had two kids and moved through four cities and six apartments/houses. Doc was there for all of it, even the child-births (we had our kids at home) and the honeymoon. Doc was a member of the family, sort of like an uncle or step brother or something.

Anyway the night of the 21st/morning of the 22nd I was doing my best to engage a friend respectfully in a email conversation about the "dreaded" industrial military complex of all things and when I was done I went upstairs to go to bed. I noticed right away that Doc was laying half under my daughters bed which was unusual but not so unusual as to cause immediate concern-he usually slept under her bed. It was the smell of feces that made my alarm bells ring. When I went to him I saw that he was dead. I was shocked, he had been failing a bit lately and had developed large lumps on his hip and shoulder but never showed any sign of pain or worry. In fact he had had a really great few weeks, I guess he was just ready to go.

Over the next few days we pieced together his last few moments. Often my five year old daughter will sleep with my wife and our one year old son in the "Big Bed". On this particular night as they were settling in for the night the night they heard Doc come in to the room and crawl under the bed as he usually did. That night he was panting a lot which was unusual and drew attention their attention to him. They talked to him through the bed and to each other about how much they loved him and what a great dog he was and how happy they were to have a dog like him. At some point during the conversation he came out from under the bed and walked slowly down the hall to my daughter's room in full view of the two of them. They watched him go and wished him goodnight and told him they loved him. He disappeared into her room, they heard a bit of scrambling as he went under the bed and then nothing. This was pretty normal and they thought nothing of it until I came in later that night and got my wife up to tell her the news.

I was heartbroken that I didn't get to be with him but was comforted that he was surrounded by loving thoughts and words until the end. I can't really imagine a better way to go, quickly, warm, and at home.

I'm sorry for this, I needed to tell someone else. We buried him at my parents house in the backyard. We put all his favorite toys in with him; his rubber chicken, his 10 year old rawhide bone he loved by never chewed, his leash and collar. We wrapped him up in his favorite blanket and buried him deep.

I miss him terribly and am not ashamed to admit I sobbed like a child. My only hope is that he knew how much he meant to me and that I was as good a keeper as he deserved. He was a damn fine dog.

Old Navy said...

LOTM, My German Shepherd is only 10, but in the fall he was diagnosed as having a 10CM non-invasive malignant "mass"in his belly, a degeneration of the sheath that protects his spinal column (it will soon destroy his ability to walk and relieve himself). The doctor was very sympathetic, but offered the folowing to my, "Well, what's the good news, Doc?" "Sorry to say, there isn't any good news - he is anemic, could not survive the operation and the loss of his back legs is irreversable."

I fought back the tears and all I could say was something stupid..."I trust you, Doctor."

(What?)

So I packed my 85 pound Buddy back to the car and said..."NO!" It is not going to be that easy for the reaper to steal him. I changed his diet to chicken breast and rice, three times a day and he ate like a horse, gaining the 20 pounds back (now 105 - his original weight) and the degeneration of the film around his nervous system seemed to be arrested.

Oh, I prayed too. I told God just in case He wasn't aware, that I was "open" to miracles. I am certain Max does not have alot of time left and I don't think it was just the food that helped his recent recovery.

After we went home I started talking to him like never before, letting him know what an important part of my life he truly was and how much I loved him. I asked him to stay for just a little longer, that we could very much enjoy whatever time he (or I) had left.

He now comes to me more than before, waits outside of my closed door, and "hugs" me whenever I greet him. (This is my previous "Achtung" Alpha Male!) He was my ex-wife's dog so long ago, and he was lost when she left - and left without him. But he's now made the turn...and we are the best of buddies.

I thank God that He is giving me a little more time with Max.

I also remember my 15 year old Golden female crossing Rainbow bridge on 21 October 1997, and as thoughts drift back to her my eyes well up almost immediately.

My prayers are with you and your very special friend.

Dick (RCM)

Old Navy said...

LOTM,

The Old Navy post should be from RCM.

I like the moniker Old Navy, but someone at Belmont Club beat me to it.

RCM

Old Navy said...

LOTM, My German Shepherd is only 10, but in the fall he was diagnosed as having a 10CM non-invasive malignant "mass"in his belly, a degeneration of the sheath that protects his spinal column (it will soon destroy his ability to walk and relieve himself). The doctor was very sympathetic, but offered the folowing to my, "Well, what's the good news, Doc?" "Sorry to say, there isn't any good news - he is anemic, could not survive the operation and the loss of his back legs is irreversable."

I fought back the tears and all I could say was something stupid..."I trust you, Doctor."

(What?)

So I packed my 85 pound Buddy back to the car and said..."NO!" It is not going to be that easy for the reaper to steal him. I changed his diet to chicken breast and rice, three times a day and he ate like a horse, gaining the 20 pounds back (now 105 - his original weight) and the degeneration of the film around his nervous system seemed to be arrested.

Oh, I prayed too. I told God just in case He wasn't aware, that I was "open" to miracles. I am certain Max does not have alot of time left and I don't think it was just the food that helped his recent recovery.

After we went home I started talking to him like never before, letting him know what an important part of my life he truly was and how much I loved him. I asked him to stay for just a little longer, that we could very much enjoy whatever time he (or I) had left.

He now comes to me more than before, waits outside of my closed door, and "hugs" me whenever I greet him. (This is my previous "Achtung" Alpha Male!) He was my ex-wife's dog so long ago, and he was lost when she left - and left without him. But he's now made the turn...and we are the best of buddies.

I thank God that He is giving me a little more time with Max.

I also remember my 15 year old Golden female crossing Rainbow bridge on 21 October 1997, and as thoughts drift back to her my eyes well up almost immediately.

My prayers are with you and your very special friend.

Dick (RCM)

Old Navy said...

LOTM,

The Old Navy post should be from RCM.

I like the moniker Old Navy, but someone at Belmont Club beat me to it.

RCM