First 30 Days Blog

10 dec

Loss of a Friend

I lost one of my closest friends recently.

Simon and I were together since October 2003 when I salvaged him from a shelter in Montana. He had been abandoned early in the summer that year and because a previous accident left him with an injured right front leg, no one wanted to adopt him.

When I walked through the kennels that fall, he was the only one of 60 dogs not jumping up and down and barking like mad. We immediately connected and I knew he had to come with me to his forever home.

His health recently declined to the point where moving on from this life was the best thing to do.

Davis, my 9 year old nephew, knows about dogs and knows about life. He and his family came by that day to visit one last time before we went to the clinic.

Upon learning that this was Simon’s last day with us, Davis cheerfully stated, with no hesitation, “Oh, then he will go meet Sale’ and Pepe’ and be friends with them.” Those were the dogs who left his family several years ago.

I would like to think that all three are together at this moment doing what Dalmatians do best.

I am sad, but that too will pass with time. Not completely, but for the most part. The sting and subsequent numbness will fade and eventually only the pleasant memories will remain.

These last five years have been a delight. He was already 6 years old when I found him but we made the most of the time we had been given.

Dean Koontz is an author who has made a living telling stories that can be un-nerving at times. He is also a lover of dogs. One of his more recent novels includes several golden retrievers and in it one of the human characters says the following:

“Dogs lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you’re going to lose a dog, and there’s going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with them, never failing to share in their joy or delight in their innocence, because you can’t support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There’s such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and for the mistakes we make because of those illusions.”

My life is a bit empty as I move forward from here, but I can’t complain. I enjoyed the companionship of one who looked at me as his hero.

I only hope that in the future I am capable of actually behaving like the person he thought I was.

Shared by glennmagyar.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 10th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 4 comments

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  • Dear spatterson40, Do you know with certainty what became of your beloved Pearl? All you really know is you provided her with love like she never had before. Don’t make the assumption she endured a painful demise, it may not be the case at all. Explore your sorrow and when you are done exploring, take what you have learned and allow the pain to drift away. Just remember, it is you who decides when this too shall pass.

    Shared by glennmagyar.

    — Added by First30Days on August 28th, 2009
  • I rescued a beautiful Tonkinese cat a year and half ago. I recently moved to a country club where there happens to be a coyote problem. Well, Pearl snuck out one night and hasn’t returned. Its been 2 months now. I was devasted knowing that I will never see her again. She too looked at me like I was her hero, and I was to take care of her always. And sometimes I think of the pain she must of endured, dying like I believe she did. 
But I am trying to just remember the good times with her, and the absolute joy she brought to me. And as we do this, in time, we will be healed.

    Shared by spatterson40.

    — Added by First30Days on August 28th, 2009
  • Dogs are such a joy. Unconditional love. That’s a great picture of Simon. He looks like a real sweetheart. I love what your very wise 9 year old nephew said… Simon’s in doggie heaven now, running and barking.

    Shared by VictoriaB.

    — Added by First30Days on August 28th, 2009
  • What a sweet story. I’m sorry for your loss but am glad that you can see the bigger picture in it—that you gave Simon a wonderful home and received companionship in return. What a great relationship you had! Very lucky.

    Shared by kristen.

    — Added by First30Days on August 28th, 2009

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