Animal Rights

Chris Wallace on the Passing of His Dog

This was so touching I had to share:

You have to love dogs. And there's something profoundly cruel about the universe that their lives are so relatively short -- these absolutely wonderful sentient companions who only want to please us and make us smile, yet are only here for what seems like the blink of an eye. May we all have a Winston in our lives.

  • mrbrink

    We’ve got two dogs and five cats.

    We’re family.

  • D_C_Wilson

    We had to put our Bichon, Roise, down three years ago. She was thirteen. She had a long history of epilepsy and one day, she had the final seizure and never fully recovered. Her brain was damaged and she could no longer eat or walk. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I ever had to do, even though it was clearly the merciful and loving thing to do.

    The other day, one of the guys who works at my gym brought his dog to work: A chocolate-colored pit bull named Reggie. Everyone knows that breed has a reputation for aggressiveness, but Reggie had one of the sweetest dispositions I’ve ever seen. After I pet him for a few minutes, he ran behind the desk and then returned with his rope toy, obviously wanting me to play with him.

    Reggie was a rescue dog. His owner told me they found him tied to a stop sign downtown. He’d been tied there for a while and was emaciated from hunger. Fortunately, Reggie had been adopted by someone who nursed him back to health. It break my heart to see this dog from a so-called “dangerous breed” who had been so cruelly abandoned and instead of lashing out, all he wanted to do was play tug-of-war with me.

    Cats tolerate us. Horses obey us. All other domesticated animals are at best, indifferent towards us. But dogs are the only animal that we’ve successfully bred to love us. Even when we don’t deserve it.

  • michael della pia

    If you had a dog ,you understand how we are so heartbroken.They are helpless
    creatures .But i think we need them as much as they need us.We had two little
    dogs Bonnie and Clyde,Bonnie passed on 9/21,at 13&1/2 years.Clyde has always been the sick one.He looks all over the house and the yard for her,
    He looks in to the glass doors thinking he may see her.The hardest is when
    he looks in to my eyes,and ask daddy where has she gone.
    Mike Della Pia

    • bphoon

      Some years ago, we had a Brittany mix we named Lady–because she was truly a Lady in every sense of the word. She was a puppy we found on the street during a Halloween block party. She had purple paint on her and it was obvious she’d been badly abused. When we took her home, it took three weeks before she made a sound and would furtively dart to her food bowl, snatch one piece and retreat to a corner to eat it. That took nearly two months for her to work out of.

      When Lady was about a year and a half old, we had a major blizzard. I was on duty fifty miles away from home. My wife had our 20-month-old son and our 4-month-old daughter at home. An Army buddy of mine was there; he’d come to help celebrate my wife’s birthday that weekend. They decided to try to get out of the small farming community we lived in and to my in-law’s house before all the roads were closed. Unfortunately, they slid into a ditch on the way and got stuck. There was a farm house nearby so they tried to take the kids there. On the way, my wife’s foot got stuck in the snow and she stepped out of her boot. My buddy came to help her and she handed our daughter to him and told him to get her into the house. Lady stayed right beside my wife until she got her boot back on and unstuck and got into the house. After I heard that, I figured Lady had pretty much earned her keep for life.

      The following summer, my wife took our kids and Lady to a park for the afternoon (I was on duty again). Our son, being an active toddler, took off across the park. My wife, with our daughter in a baby carrier, hesitated for a second before she told Lady, “Stay with the baby!” and went after our son. When she came back with our son, Lady was standing over our daughter in the baby carrier and wouldn’t move until my wife told her it was OK.

      When Lady was about about eight, we got another puppy from the shelter who we named Bosco. He was, as near as we could tell, a mix of Rottweiler, Shepherd and St. Bernard. A massive 115 lbs of muscle always right on the razor’s edge of control when he grew up.

      Lady ruled the roost with an iron paw. Sometimes, as she would walk past Bosco, she’d suddenly reach out and bite him on the jowl and twist for a few seconds, just to make sure she kept him in line. She was about half his size and he could have broken her in two at will, but never dared.

      Bosco developed diabetes when he was about five and lost his sight, most of his fur and nearly 60% of his body weight before he was finally properly diagnosed. Should have been dead. We nursed him back to health and he got around pretty well but was almost completely docile. Lady kind of took care of him, showed him around a strange house when we had to move until he got the lay of things.

      My wife finally had to put Lady down when she was 17 after she lost the use of her hind legs. Our daughter was 16 at the time, so, yeah, we’d had Lady longer than we’d had our daughter and she was every bit as much a member of our family as any of the rest of us.

      Bosco would wander around the house looking for Lady for hours on end. He depended on her and seemed genuinely puzzled as why he couldn’t find her. He passed away in our daughter’s arms a year later of a heart attack. Diabetes is a killer.

      That was about 17 years ago. We still have both their collars and tags. Once in a while we’ll run across them and think for a few minutes of how much we still miss them.

      More than a little long-winded, I know, but I wanted to share some memories and illustrate how integral dogs can be to our lives.

      Thanks for this topic.

  • IrishGrrrl

    Awwwww, now I’m teary eyed at work! My chocolate lab mix, Maggie, died late last year. She lived to be 17 and deserved a break from the horrible hip dysplasia we discovered when she was only 6 years old. She passed quietly in her sleep. She truly was a better person than I could ever hope to be.

  • muselet

    I have never been much of a Rudyard Kipling fan, but …

    The Power of the Dog
    There is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie–
    Perfect passion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart for a dog to tear.
    When the fourteen years which Nature permits
    Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
    And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
    To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
    Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
    But…you’ve given your heart for a dog to tear.
    When the body that lived at your single will,
    With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!);
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
    You will discover how much you care,
    And will give your heart for the dog to tear.
    We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent,
    At compound interest of cent per cent.
    Though it is not always the case, I believe,
    That the longer we’ve kept ‘em, the more do we grieve:
    For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short-time loan is as bad as a long–
    So why in Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

    Also related.


  • Draxiar


    You have interesting timing considering my wife and I had to put our dog, Simon, down last Friday 7 December.

    He had been with my wife for 12 years and with me for 4. He was a shepherd lab mix that was full of life and personality. He would retrieve a ball or stick until he was exhausted and even then continue to retrieve it. He sat up late with me on weekend nights watching LOTR and never, ever failed to greet me at the door when I came home from work. He’s what was best in dogs.

    My wife and I held him in our arms as he passed and wished, through tear soaked eyes and a choked throats, that there was more that we could have done for him.

    As time passes it will be not his absence that we feel but the presence of what he gave us. Simon will endure as the memory of those that are special to us does and we like to think that he’s interviewing other dogs and picking one that will come to us.

    Thanks Bob…I really really needed this. *salute*

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      Sad to hear of your loss.
      12 years is a good long haul for a pooch, but it’s never long enough I’m afraid.

    • muselet

      We had a dog when I was growing up and had to have her put to sleep when I was maybe 16. It’s a hell of a lot of years later and I still miss her.

      Sorry for your loss.


    • bphoon

      We have three, rescue dogs all. They have their own little social structure which fits within the larger structure of our family. Our coonhound, Beau, had to have extensive surgeries a few months ago and nearly died but he made it through and is back to full health now. The expense was worth it and it’s a joy to see him romping with the other two.

      • Bob Cesca

        Beau looks happy and smiley.

        • bphoon

          Oh, he is especially when he gets a snoot full of the scent of small, furry creatures.

    • Bob Cesca

      So sorry, Draxiar. It’s a heart-wrenching experience.