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My Best Friend

I just want to say thank you to all of you who have reached out and sent so much love and support my way for the loss of my dear Henry.  For those of you who didn’t know or those who have written asking about him, I am so incredibly sad to say that we lost him last Wednesday.  I apologize for not posting something sooner it has honestly just been too hard.  He loved happy and kind people more than anything (except maybe a ball) and I know he would have loved all of you for the kindness you’ve shown.  Thank you for that.

I had hoped with every stitch of myself that the chemo would battle Hen’s cancer but, sadly the past week or so he went downhill very quickly.  He could no longer walk, ate only once in a while (McDonald’s or croutons with parmesan cheese) and even when we brought him to the beach, all he could do was lay down and look sad to not be able to play in the water.  Last Sunday, on our way home we stopped by the boatyard and Henry had a burst of his old playful self.  We played fetch and he swam a little, it was a good day. Wednesday morning he was laying next to me and suffered a seizure.  It was absolutely awful to watch him go through.  We rushed him to the vet but, I knew there was nothing left to be done.  He died with us peacefully and happily, being pet and loved just like always.

Losing a loved one is so painful, something I truly wish none of us had to endure.  For me, Hen had been my best friend since the moment I laid eyes on him.  For a moment I thought being this upset over a dog-or for that matter calling a dog my best friend was a little crazy, too obsessive.  It’s not.  It was such an honor to have someone so special in my life, as a best friend, and now as my very own angel.

Not much is helping these days but, I did receive one poem that made me smile and gives me something to work toward.  I hope if any of you are going through a loss, it might bring you some happiness.  If there’s one thing I can be sure of, it’s that Henry would want me to smile everyday, breathe in the beautiful air, love and be loved just like the love he and I shared.

Maggie

“It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them and every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog and I will be as generous and loving as they are.” – Anonymous

I'm going to bring Hen's ashes to his favorite place on earth, the cottage, where he can play ball and chase geese until the end of time.

Words can’t describe how much I will miss you.  I’ll think of you everyday until I see you again.

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi Maggie,
    I read your post with tears in my eyes, my heart breaks for you, Alex and your other doggies. One of my dogs has just finished his course of chemotherapy for a carcinoma and I haven’t been able to bring myself to think that we might lose him because it’s just too horrible to contemplate.

    Our dogs hold a special place in our families. Hopefully the arrival of your bub soon will help to take away some of the pain.

    Take care
    Liz xx

    November 7, 2011
  2. Jodi #

    So sorry for your loss. Know how much it hurts, I still cry when I remember losing my Barney, can’t imagine losing the two that do me the honor of sharing their lives with me now. You have lost a member of your family. As time passes you will hopefully be able to take comfort in knowing what a wonderful life he had because of you and how much he was truly loved and cherished. I also take comfort in the fact that one day we will see our beloved furbabies again.

    September 30, 2011
  3. Lori #

    I’m so sorry, Maggie. Since I’m already crying…

    “Beau”
    by Jimmy Stewart
    He never came to me when I would call
    Unless I had a tennis ball,
    Or he felt like it,
    But mostly he didn’t come at all.

    When he was young
    He never learned to heel
    Or sit or stay,
    He did things his way.

    Discipline was not his bag
    But when you were with him things sure didn’t drag.
    He’d dig up a rosebush just to spite me,
    And when I’d grab him, he’d turn and bite me.

    He bit lots of folks from day to day,
    The delivery boy was his favorite prey.
    The gas man wouldn’t read our meter,
    He said we owned a real man-eater.

    He set the house on fire
    But the story’s long to tell.
    Suffice it to say that he survived
    And the house survived as well.

    On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,
    He was always first out the door.
    The Old One and I brought up the rear
    Because our bones were sore.

    He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,
    What a beautiful pair they were!
    And if it was still light and the tourists were out,
    They created a bit of a stir.

    But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks
    And with a frown on his face look around.
    It was just to make sure that the Old One was there
    And would follow him where he was bound.

    We are early-to-bedders at our house–
    I guess I’m the first to retire.
    And as I’d leave the room he’d look at me
    And get up from his place by the fire.

    He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,
    And I’d give him one for a while.
    He would push it under the bed with his nose
    And I’d fish it out with a smile.

    And before very long
    He’d tire of the ball
    And be asleep in his corner
    In no time at all.

    And there were nights when I’d feel him
    Climb upon our bed
    And lie between us,
    And I’d pat his head.

    And there were nights when I’d feel this stare
    And I’d wake up and he’d be sitting there
    And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.
    And sometimes I’d feel him sigh
    and I think I know the reason why.

    He would wake up at night
    And he would have this fear
    Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,
    And he’d be glad to have me near.

    And now he’s dead.
    And there are nights when I think I feel him
    Climb upon our bed and lie between us,
    And I pat his head.

    And there are nights when I think
    I feel that stare
    And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,
    But he’s not there.

    Oh, how I wish that wasn’t so,
    I’ll always love a dog named Beau.

    September 30, 2011
  4. Susan #

    Dear Maggie:

    I was so very sorry to hear about the loss of Henry. He was very lucky to have your love and support and he felt that overwhelming love right to the end. Take care.

    Susan

    September 26, 2011
  5. Sandy Nelson #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I too consider my dogs my best friends. May peace be with you as Henry watches you from across the rainbow bridge.

    September 26, 2011
  6. Maggie and Family,

    So sorry for your loss of Hen. Thankfully you have Alex, Bea and Al to help ease the pain.

    Kathy

    September 26, 2011
  7. Wow, Maggie. Wow. In tears over here reading about Henry’s final days….. I am so, so, so incredibly sorry that he lost his battle. May he have brought you hundreds and hundreds of precious moments you can hold near and dear to you. He knew you loved him, I’m sure of that much. There isn’t a thing wrong in calling your dog your best friend. My two boys are the best friends in the world and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Better than people, is what I say most often.
    Sending you love, well wishes and much support during this hard time. Don’t forget that he’s always, always with you Maggie, even if not physically but in spirit and in your heart.

    xox

    September 26, 2011
  8. Christine #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have the ashes of Jim (Labrador Retriever, cream colored) close by in a cedar box, who left this world 7 years ago, and still tear up when I hear Mabel Mercer singing Cole Porter’s Looking at You…”Looking at you, I’m filled with the essence of, the quintessence of joy…” We were lucky enough to have a vet come to our house and I was able to hold Jim, talking to him of our life together while the vet gently did what needed to be done.

    We have Gus now but we will always treasure the memory of Jim.

    September 26, 2011
  9. Bonnie #

    Hen and you have been on my mind. I prayed for a better outcome and I am truly sorry for your loss. Based on my own experience I have some inkling of your pain. I hesitate to give advice, but…. last October my sister and I found ourselves in a similar state of grief over the loss of Elvis. The pain was so physically raw we made a pact to share with one another a pleasant memory of Elvis every morning. It reminded us of all of the good we gave to him and how happy he made us feel. We found we replaced some of the tears with laughter. The sense of loss is inescapable and will be reconciled to some degree over time. The shared memories helped us focus on the joy and fun we shared with Elvis for 10 wonderful years. Best wishes to you and your family. How fortunate we are to have family, including the furry members, to comfort us along the way.

    September 25, 2011
  10. Oh I am so sorry for your loss. I couldn’t imagine losing my Stella, and someday that will happen too. But he was SO lucky to have such loving parents, and siblings, and able to have you with him when he went. Maybe some of his playful spirit will come through in your new little one (as silly as that sounds…). I’m sure things will get better 🙂

    September 25, 2011
  11. Susie #

    Hi Maggie,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Would like to make a donation in memory of Henry. I know you have several worthy causes to choose from, is there one that you would prefer for this? When our precious boy passed we had friends (and the vet) who did that for us and whenever I look at the certificates it warms my heart.
    Susie

    September 25, 2011
  12. I had a wee moment at work reading this post. It brought back memories of when I lost by dog a few years ago. You will always miss her but with time the loss gets easier and it won’t hurt as much. Adjusting to life without Hen will be hard but give yourself time. Grief is such a hard part of this thing we call life. Dogs are put on this earth to love us, if only they lived to 100. Xxx

    September 25, 2011
  13. Denise Lew #

    Hi Maggie,

    I’m sending you a poem that was read at the memorial of me friend’s doggy, Benjamin.

    Big, warm hugs to you and your family,
    Denise
    ===
    I Stood By Your Bed Last Night

    I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep. I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.

    I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear, “It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

    I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea, You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.

    I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore. I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

    I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care. I want to reassure you, that I’m not lying there.

    I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key. I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said “it’s me.”

    You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair. I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

    It’s possible for me to be so near you everyday. To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”

    You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew, in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

    The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning and say “good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”

    And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide, I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.

    I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see. Be patient, live your journey out … then come home to be with me.

    – Author unknown

    September 25, 2011

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