Sunday, August 19, 2007

A great dog story; in honour of our dog.


Our dear 11 year old dog has passed away. We have great memories of him. So, I thought I would post this link in honour of all dogs, including Duke.

This story was written in 1909 by Alaskan explorer John Muir. John travelled with a friend's dog, Stickeen. This is his adventure.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sawsee,
I am truly sorry to hear about your dog passing way. What a great companion he must have been. Very sorry.
JDH

Sawsee said...

Thanks JDH!

He was a very special dog! Everything he did, he did with great joy. He loved food, toys, walks, chasing the ever elusive bunny and just hanging out.

He was a great teacher, showing how to enjoy life from morning to night.

Canine Ridge said...

Thanks JDH. (Sawsee's wife here)
He was a great dog, the best ever. He was loyal and affectionate, but only to us... and he loved Sawsee. He showed us how to be happy, to appreciate life, food, walks. Waking up to a new day was a celebration for him, and that was his gift to us.

Greybishop said...

My deepest condolences to you both.
As a new pet owner (one who never before had a pet) I'm amazed how deeply I've grown attatched in such a short time.

I can't imagine how I'll feel years from now when I'm in your situation, and to be honest, I don't want to. My best to you both.

While the timing isn't the most pleasant, it is nice to finally make your aquaintance, Canine Ridge. Please forgive me if I forget your handle at some point and call you "Mrs. Sawsee"...

Lady-in-Gray said...

Hi, Sawsee and Canine Ridge.

Please accept my sincerest condolences for your loss of Duke.

I'm ashamed to confess that I bolted from your blog when I read this post yesterday. I felt your pain because I've been there many times. Saying goodbye to a beloved four-legged friend leaves a big, empty space in your heart and soul. It's hard to get through it and you never really forget it.

You may question if you ever want to put yourself through this kind of pain again. Only you can decide what's right for you. In my experience, you can never replace a friend but you can find new friends that bring their own fine qualities and wonderful memories into your life.

If you want to talk or just cry together, I'm here. OK?

Oh, Canine Ridge, it's good to finally meet you. Hopefully, we'll talk again.

Lady

LOSTbean said...

sawsee and canine ridge,

pets are the best. to me, they ARE my family. i have had ~12 years with my kitties and i hope to get 4+ more years of purrs and snuggles and meows and desperation attempts to get me out of bed in the morning (at 4:30 am) to feed them and hairballs and full litterboxes.

celebrate duke's life. laugh at all the crazy stuff he did and how excited he probably was to see you whenever you came home. laugh at all the stuff he may have chewed up. laugh at all the "land mines" you got to pick up after he did his "business." laugh at how his big tail inevitably broke something in the house.

and smile, knowing how much he loved you.

and some day, when you are ready, you can start the whole process over again: you love a dog and the dog loves you back-more.

and come to us for cyber hugs all you need. in fact, i am happy to "recruite" some cat hair and tape it to a piece of paper and mail it your way if you need it...

Canine Ridge said...

Hi all, thank you for all your condolences. We were able to bury him on our property, so that was very cathartic, to put him to rest. He had a ruptured gall bladder, and there was no way to know - except for the pain he was showing. We had blood tests earlier in the week, as he was a bit sick, and x rays and it did not show anything wrong - so we opted for emergency surgery, and that is when the vet found the problem, and called us to let us know his prognosiis - grave - and so we had him euthanized. We picked him up on Sunday to bring him home. The good news is we still have another dog, and a cat, and so they are providing us with some comfort. However, Duke was very special, our genius kid, and we miss him terribly. And yes, we are reminiscing about him, and all the things that made him smile. He was a talking lab, so would make these funny howling/moaning noises when he was really excited, especially when we drove to the river, he would recognize the road when we were a couple blocks away, and could barely contain himself til we parked, then leap out of the car, barking a "HURRY UP!" to us. So, here's to Duke, and to all your pets, past and present, and future, may they have long healthy lives.

Greybishop said...

A MUCH better picture! Duke looks like a dog that loved life. Best kind.

Thanks to the thoughts that your loss put in my thinker tonight, my own pets are having a very happy "New toy, new flavour of treats, lots of hugs and petting" kind of night.

I think that's the best way I can honour your friend.

Anonymous said...

Sawsee and Canine Ridge,
Duke looks like he was a charismatic doll! That perpetual joy of life is a beautiful legacy to leave behind. Pets most definitely own a special piece of our hearts, so know that your grief is shared. Cheers to Duke for a life well-lived, and wishes for a Doggie heaven filled with rivers and treats and elusive wabbits! Love, newbie

Canine Ridge said...

Thanks everyone - JDH, Lady, Lostbean, newbie and GB - for all your thoughts. We appreciate you so much for taking the time to offer comfort, it has definitely helped us.

Lady-in-Gray said...

Hi, Canine Ridge and Sawsee!

Two days later and I still feel weepy when I come here. I'm just a big cry baby, I guess. But I can see the contentment in Duke's face, so I know that the joy and happiness that you all brought each other flowed in all directions. You gave him a really good life.

Somehow, cyber hugs and words just don't seem to be enough. I wish I could do more. Have you heard of the poem "The Rainbow Bridge" by Unknown Author? I'm sure that it can be found on the net. That poem gave me some measure of comfort. Perhaps it will for you, too.

Take care,
Lady

Jess said...

Sawsee and Canine Ridge,

I read your sad news at GB's blog, and thought I'd come over here to offer my sympathies for Duke. Reading the posts brought tears to my eyes. I've had my beloved dog for 9+ years, longer than I've had most of my kids. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer. The vet was able to remove most, but not all of it. So we are living on borrowed time with her, and loving her all the more for it. We know that there will probably come a time when the cancer causes her pain and suffering, and we will euthanize her. I'm crying now, just thinking about it. But I'm so glad that you chose to end Duke's misery, and remember him as being healthy and robust. My dog is my constant companion, and extension of myself. I hope that, when the time inevitably comes that she is no longer with me, I'll still have all of these great cyber friends to support me through the darkest days, just as we are here for you now. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Canine Ridge said...

Thanks Lady, and Jess for your thoughts. I have read Rainbow Bridge before, but have hesitated to go read it, and so putting that off.... Jess, that is great that you still have your pet, that you can take the time to really appreciate her, and ease her pain when the time comes. I am the kind of person (sawsee too) that when we are watching a movie that has a dog in it, I know that the dog is usually going to die at the hands of the villain, and so avoid watching it. In other movies, when characters are fleeing a dangerous situation, I am always yelling at them, "Don't forget the dog! Go get the dog!" and it isn't until later after rescue, that the dog is revealed for a snippet, to assure the viewers that yes, we got the dog. Like Vincent on Lost, I always worry if he is eating enough... and wonder if he survives from episode to episode. He is absent for a few shows, then, to appease us, a short scene that includes the dog. I suppose I am one of those people that believe animals have emotions (some people actually don't believe it! http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/best4.htm) , and I know animals don't choose their fate - we humans choose how they live, and not all humans are deserving. I volunteer at the spca here, and know of some terribly inhumane occurences. We are trying slowly to change the cruelty to animal laws, but it is a long hard road.

anyway, thanks again to you all for your kind thoughts. Each time we read something, we grieve a bit more, remember a bit more, and carry on.

Lady-in-Gray said...

Gee, Canine Ridge, it never once occurred to me that animals DIDN'T have feelings and emotions. I tried calling up the web site that you gave. It does take me to the UTA Site, but I get a "Error: Page not found" message (even after adding an "l" at the end of htm). But, if the article is going to make me angry, it's probably best that I didn't find it....

I'm a crazy animal lover too. I even brake for birds (ask Sawsee if he remembers my "lift, Lift LIFT" story) and I say a little prayer for roadkill, too. Weird, I know.

LOSTbean said...

i am with lady...i don't care what the animal is and if it's wild or domesticated, i never want to see it hurt. so, i can appreciate her comment re. road kill. i posted over at the purple hatch a few days ago that i had this problem with ants all of the sudden and since "catch and release" was not an option, and having to "hoover" them (suck them up in the vacuum and let it run awhile) made me feel horrible inside. some of us are big softies which is good cuz animals need a voice. i can't watch movies/shows where an animal dies (even cartoons). kill all the people you want (well, you know what i mean), but don't touch that kitty or doggy or rabid raccoon or whatever...

sawsee and canine ridge-talk about it as much or as little as you want, for as long as you want. we are here for you.

(hey guys...maybe we could find the phone number to their local spca/shelter and pick 'em out a new bundle of joy...one big enough that the terminator kitty won't hunt it...)

Jess said...

Animals not have feelings? That's just bizarre. I can tell what my dog is thinking or feeling just by the look on her face and the tilt of her head. And she may as well shout "yippee!" when I tell her she can get in the car with me. And the way her whole body, not just her tail, wags when I come home. Whoever said animals don't have feelings is OBVIOUSLY not a pet lover.

Canine Ridge said...

Yes, Lady, LB and Jess, I totally agree about animals having feelings--try the website again: http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/best4.htm
it is an interesting article. and Jess, Duke would do that too -- if I grabbed my hat or keys or purse, he would know I was going out, and would get up, and give me the look "I get to come, right?". Sometimes when we were packing up the car with luggage, he would get in the back seat and sit there for an hour, certain we were going on a road trip and determined not to get left behind! Today I filled in all his holes that he dug, under shrubs and shady spots, where he would sleep - he had about seven that I found. It was hard to do, but harder to see them empty...
thanks again for letting me ramble on, and, no, we aren't going to replace him yet, we are going to focus all our affection on our other dog (also 11 1/2) and kitty.

Greybishop said...

That must have been hard. Like you say, better to deal with them than the empty spots.

Give your other dog and terminator kitty a good scritch around the ears from all us blog-folk good measure.

Jess said...

Canine Ridge, it made me sad to think of you filling in all the holes. When my neighbor's dog died, the hardest thing for her was wiping the nose prints off the glass door for the last time. I cried as she told me about it.

On a happy note, I laughed about Duke jumping in the car when you were loading up with luggage. That is SO my dog! She'll run out there and jump in the back seat, determined that she's going wherever we are. I'd never leave without her, so I don't know why she worries. She sure has been getting extra cuddles these past few days. She's loving it!

Greybishop said...

Jess -
My cats have had extra attention too, thanks to Duke.

I'd like to think that's the best legacy a good doggy can leave behind.

LOSTbean said...

i know it's a little weird, but one of my kitties, dakota, LOVES the car. in fact, when i get out her kitty carrier, she saunters right in. i get her in the car and she is headbutting the door of the carrier because she wants out. i let her out and she goes nuts! runs from window to window, jumps up on the dash (usually RIGHT in front of me), jumps down, jumps in the back window, etc. you get the picture. getting her back into the carrier when we get home is the hardest part-she'd just rather hang out in the beanermobile. now my orange kitty, austin, on the other hand...sigh...

isn't it fun how pets can have such diversified personalities? the really are just little people, but furrier. i guess that's just why we love them so much.

Jess said...

I don't know about that, Beaner. I mean, my brother is pretty furry! Seriously, he's practically bald, but he has the harriest body I've ever seen on a human. I know this only because we've been helping him to build a house, and he took his shirt off the other day. I was like, "Dude! Put that back on!" I felt very Hurley....in more ways than one!

Canine Ridge said...

you both made me laugh this morning, thanks! Our kitty pooped in her carrier last time we had to take her to the vet... a bit embarassing... and smelly. Update on her huntress ways... last week she brought in a dead bat! Not sure how she caught a bat?!?!

Lady-in-Gray said...

Hey, Sawsee and Canine Ridge! I'm just checking in to see how you guys are doing today.

I did finally get to that UTA site. Interesting article. Have you read the book that it references?

Speaking of luggage and pets who like to go with us, I was reminded of my cat, Max (my very best Bud), who was always thinking up creative ways to be with me. I guess he understood that the luggage went where I went so, for years, every time the suitcase came out, he unrelentlessly tried to pack himself in my bags!

Oh, I love/loved all of my little guys, but Max was.... well... special. Max was my Duke. It's been seven years and I still miss him but I do have 18 years worth of wonderful memories of him that still make me smile.

Take care,
Lady

LOSTbean said...

c.r.-a bat?!?!?!? holy hunting! terminator kitty has a gift. i mean, robins and other birdies hop around the yard, so i can totally see a kitty sneaking up on them, but i've never seen a bat hanging out on the turf. i've only seen them in flight, or hanging off a rafter or a branch. think terminatory kitty got smart and was just hanging upside down until a bat joined him?

oh, and jess? ew. that's a visual i didn't need. feel like i am gonna yak up a hairball.

lady, dakota always gets in my suitcase when i am packing! i think she knows i am usually going to visit my family, also cat owners, so her scent will be on all my clothes and drive the other cats nuts. or, maybe she loves me so much and wants to come with???

Canine Ridge said...

Yes, LB, not sure how she got the bat... but last month she got a hummingbird, so maybe she can fly?!?!?
and Lady, I am about halfway through his book When Elephants Weep, it is a bit technical so I put it down awhile ago, but he has another book, Dogs never Lie about love, that is interesting for a pet owner to read.

GB - and all - about Duke's legacy - yes, hug your pet / friend / kids, and realize how lucky we are for the days we have and the joys of every day. It is so easy to forget. A work friend's dog is also dying of cancer, and he is getting some extra love today too.

Greybishop said...

Canine Ridge -
Agreed and will do!

Sawsee said...

Thanks everybody for your support! You guys are the greatest!

Talking about bats...we had guests over last week and their 10 year old boy wanted to go look at the well. I keep it locked and had not gone in the 'pumphouse' for at least 4 months. I opened the door and there was a pile of over 100 little poop pellets. I first thought it was from a mouse but was quite perplexed why it was concentrated within a 12" diameter. A few days ago we went in, armed with bleach, facemasks, gloves and garbage bags. I cleaned up the debris and put metal mesh around all the openings to ensure the little critter would stay out. I was about finished, when I looked up at the ceiling...there was a black thing hanging there, and it began to move. It was a bat! We improvised a bat catching unit and I went in for the re-location project. I managed to capture the bat and got it outside where it spread it's wing and soared around to the eaves. I'll need to construct a 'bathouse' to replace it's cozy one.

Anonymous said...

You all ARE the greatest! Absolutely! I come here and I really FEEL the warmth of friendship. It's a wonderful feeling. You make me smile. Thank you!
JDH

LOSTbean said...

sawsee, i KNOW the bat is gonna love his new digs!

JDH-GROUP HUG!!!!!!!!! ;o)

Jess said...

Sawsee, we are helping my brother to build a new house. Meanwhile, he's not spent much time at his current one. He went home the other night, after a long day of working on the new house, to find not one, not two, but SIX bats making themselves quite at home! He managed to get them all out, but still doesn't know how they got in!

Sawsee said...

I forgot to say 'welcome' Jess! Thank you for everything!

I'm not sure how he would removed 6 bats!? I was lucky (?) that our pumphouse is so small, to easily catch it. It's the first time I was literally 'face-to-face' with a bat.

Greybishop said...

I was never afraid of bats. I'm a Batman fan after all.

Then I played a gig in North Bay, Ontario.

At around 3 in the morning I was out of cigarettes (a pack a day in those days) and decided to walk to the store.

For whatever reason, North Bay in July (and probably most of the year for all I know) supports THOUSANDS of bats. They sleep in the eaves of the entire main street and swarm en masse all night long. We had even had one in the club that night. Poor thing was messed up pretty badly by our music.

Anyhow, by the time I ran the 6 block guantlet to and from the store, I'd been buzzed by dozens of bats. While still a Batman fan, I am no longer unafraid of the creatures themselves. It was traumatizing. Anyone who tells you "they're more afraid of you...blah, blah, blah" has never had to duck and cover while being strafed by the things.

Heebie-jeebie time.

Sawsee said...

Gb's Heebie-Jeebie time!

Years ago, we lived near an area that had large, water-filled ditches. My parents had warned not to buy in the area as rats would be prevalent. Soon after moving in, I was in the box-filled garage when I spotted a LARGE rat. It quickly leaped off the ground, from box to box until it was about 12 feet above me. I did not hang around to see where it went.

Major 'Heeebie-jeebies'!

In the 7 years we lived there, I had MANY rodent encounters, some so gross I will not explain here... (heebie-jeebies).

LOSTbean said...

sawsee, is that where terminatory kitty learned her hunting skills, as a matter of survival? i can't believe you endured that for 7 years!

and GB, i totally hear ya on the "they're more scared of you than them" hooey. i haven't encountered any bats (not even batman in batman movies!), but bumble bees/wasps/hornets and fish are not more scared of you than you are of them-THAT much i know!

Sawsee said...

Hi lostbean!

Unfortunately, we did not have the little kitty at the 'Rodent Rave'.

Kitty was found abandoned, living on the streets, partially paralyzed. We are not sure how long she was 'on the streets' but, for a little kitty with physical challenges, she sure knows how to scoop up the critters. Luckily, the deer can't jump over our fence...

Greybishop said...

Your terminator kitty is partially paralysed???

I'm impressed!

Sawsee said...

Yes, when we adopted her she had no feeling or muscle activity in her tail and back end.

The vet advised to have her tail removed, primarily for hygenic reasons. She has no feeling partway up her spine. She can still run okay, especially now that she doesn't have to drag her tail behind her.

She's a great cat. Her dewclaws are located near her front paws, which makes them monster size.

Canine Ridge said...

Yes, I actually call her our Pez cat, because early on, especially when she still had the immobile tail, we had to pick her up and lift her tail to get the last little #%*! to fall out from the rear end... it is better now, I guess she regained some feeling in that area.. thank goodness! but occasionally we get some pez drops around the house, if the dog doesn't find them first... yummy protein!

Greybishop said...

Oh...please save me from Pez kitties!

Scooping the box is enough of that stuff for one day!

LOSTbean said...

dingleberry flavored pez...hmmm

Lady-in-Gray said...

Hey, Sawsee and Canine Ridge, just checking in to see how you guys are doing today. A little better, I hope.

Sawsee, if you are interested in info on the Modano wedding, put up a Tabula Rasa. Thanks.

Sawsee said...

GB & lb! lol!

Thanks for checking in, Lady! We are doing a lot better, although there are memories that grab hold, unexpectedly. The 'routine' that chokes me up, is going to the front and picking up the newspaper. I would spy the newspaper first, and he would always look up at me to see whether I would say, "Dukie; the newspaper!" He would literally run and pounce and grab the paper in his mouth and parade back to me, with his tail wagging vigourously. He was so proud to bring the paper back to the house.

Lady-in-Gray said...

Yes, it's those sweet little everyday rituals that are the hardest to get past. Life doesn't seem quite right without them. Even reading the paper doesn't seem the same, does it?

In time, we get a new "normal", but it takes a while. Quite a while, sometimes...

LOSTbean said...

i'm thinking terminator kitty, with her skills, surely could hunt down the paper for you. i am always asking my kitties if they'll fetch the paper for me, and then, i look them in the eyes, and i think what's left unsaid by them pretty much answers my question... "no worries, kitties. mama can go get the paper. after i feed you and scoop the box of course..."

Sawsee said...

Lady! So true! New memories are needed and a new sense of normality.

Lostbean! Yes, the kitties are busy and need to focus on important stuff. I'm sure Kity would get the newspaper if it came with a tail, rather than headlines.

Greybishop said...

Sawsee -
Maybe "tail-lines"?