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24 Hours of Bacon

Simon

Two days ago I unloaded my creaky old boy Simon from the back seat of the car and helped him wheel himself into the veterinarian’s office to essentially ask his doctor what’s impossible to answer: How long does he have?

We were only a few steps from the door. But the journey took an eternity, me holding up his front legs via a lead attached to Simon’s cart, and Simon doing his best to power his way along. There’s an art to keeping the lead just tense enough and with the right forward pull to keep him upright and in motion, but not tense enough to lift him off the ground and choke him, or rush him so he loses the ground under his halting, deliberate steps.

It’s an art we’ve perfected together, my boy and I, since he lost the ability to walk on his own. Several times a day for the past 16 months, I load him into his cart and roll him along the street so he can feel the pavement under his paws, sniff the grass, do his business, greet neighbors, joggers, other dogs.

People always ask the same questions…

What happened? He’s in a doggie wheelchair because his rear legs are paralyzed. (I can tell when someone works in the medical field, because they ask excellent follow-up questions, at which point I sometimes tell the story of his syringomyelia—I’ve discussed it so often I can actually pronounce his condition now—and the way the brain swells in his head to press on his spinal chord, effectively, over the years, paralyzing him.)

Is he in the cart all the time? No. Only when we come out for a walk. Otherwise, he lies down on his bed. And I carry him around the house—to the water bowl, or his kibble bowl, upstairs, downstairs, wherever he needs to be.

We’ve worked out a system: He yips a short, clipped bark when he needs something (or sometimes just because he’s bored). It’s a little like responding to the persistent chirp the smoke detector makes when it’s time to change the battery. But it works.

Aren’t you wonderful for doing that for him! This isn’t really aquestion, of course. But I get this comment a lot. I never know what to say in response. I’m not really wonderful, of course, unless wonderful is just doing what you do for those you love. Unless wonderful means I don’t know what else to do.

Snowy Simon Some days, I feel like a poser when I get this comment, because I’m busy and aggravated and possibly was just complaining loudly at the inconvenience this walk is right now causing to anyone who will listen. I have things to do, but I can’t just let him out in our big fenced-in yard that’s been a haven for every other dog I’ve ever had. I can’t just one time let him take care of business on his own because, well, he can’t.

So I have no choice but to buckle him into his cart and lead him into the snow or rain or cold or stifling humidity or air that’s thick with my own resentment.

There’s a lot of drudgery that goes into care-taking. And, I suppose, there’s a lot of drudgery that goes into love, too.

Simon wasn’t always this way, of course. For almost 9 years, he could walk and run with the rest of the dogs. But he was never easy.

Never close enoughI could never break him of the impulse to jump up with gusto on anyone he met, his tongue lapping the air maniacally as he tried to kiss them straight in the mouth. (Not on the mouth. But in the mouth.) He sometimes accomplished this with small, shocked children.

His stomach had the drive of a goat’s. He ate trash, tissues, toys, acorns, rabbit poop. During a walk once, he suddenly ducked his head and swallowed a dead frog, whole, right off the street with the fluid ease of a royal hitting a polo ball.

When we were still getting to know each other, he managed to poke a hole into the side of a stored sack of Basmati rice and (as I realized what was happening) fill his stomach with it, raw. I later learned this is how the Japanese tortured prisoners during World War II. I also later learned that this doesn’t kill you, but its resolution will require several days, another generous contribution to your vet’s child college fund, and a countless supply of clean towels.

He hated to be more than a few feet away from me. He barked—a loud, shrill, relentless bark that made my eardrums recoil—when he was left behind for any reason. I could hear him from the car when I pulled out of the driveway. I always offered a silent apology to the neighbors.

Oh, that bark. His determined bark. I heard it for the first time on the five-hour drive back from Poughkeepsie, NY, to Boston where we had gone to pick up this boy from his Cavalier King Charles Rescue foster moms. We pulled over several times—in Connecticut, and later Massachusetts—to see what was causing it. What could possibly be the matter? What was so distressing?

Eventually I learned that the answer. Nothing. Or maybe everything.

WatermelonHis name was Champ then. And then, briefly, his foster moms called him Jamie. We renamed him Simon, for no reason other than to signal a new life. He had epilepsy—frequent seizures that caused his original home to turn him over the rescue. We brought him to a neurologist, got his seizures under control, and prescribed him to a lifetime full of three different medications, twice a day, every day, and a low-salt diet. He still had the occasional seizure that made him foam at the mouth, shake violently and loose all bladder control. But it was manageable.

I’m kind of laughing at that word: Manageable. Was it really? Or was it just something we got used to and learned to view as normal, the way a hoarder doesn’t see the crazy all around her?

Are you thinking: “Simon sounds like a horrible dog”? He sounds like a lot of work. He sounds like a pain in the ass. Why did you bother?

Why did we bother. I don’t know, exactly. I’ve been thinking about that myself. Why did we bother?Caroline and Simon

Maybe because despite all of this, he had a generous spirit—he was the only dog I’ve ever known to scoot over and make room for another at his kibble bowl.

Maybe because he loved with his whole heart, and he wanted to give it to you all the time, like how about now. Or now. Maybe because he assumed everyone he met loved him. (And if they didn’t, he assumed they just didn’t know him well enough yet.)

Maybe because even when his rear legs failed—when he was relegated to dragging himself around by his front legs, and then, eventually, lost the strength to do that, and later lost the strength to even sit up or, some days, lift his head at all—he never lost the will to try. And he never lost the ability to track me with his eyes. He was following me still at my heels, even if it was only in his mind.

Maybe because he never lost his “happy head,” as his vet said. My friend Matt, who knew Simon only from photos on Facebook, nonetheless got it exactly right: He was a battler, an achiever, a glorious optimist.

So why did we bother? Because I sometimes thought that no one could love this irritating, impossible, aggravating, big-hearted boy as much as I could.

Because some of us require a little extra effort to be loved.

Because he needed it.

Because he was mine.

Two days ago at the vet’s, Dr. Johnson looked him all over. He couldn’t tell me what I wanted to know: How long does he have? Nor could he answer the unspoken question within that question: How long do I let this go on?

Instead, he could only recount Simon’s issues (the syringomyelia and more: his heart murmur, his atrophied muscles, the weight loss, his compromised inner organs, the cough that suggested other issues). He was kind, and supportive, and talked things through. He said I wouldn’t be wrong for thinking as I was. He offered to euthanize him right then, if that’s what I wanted to do.

I didn’t want to.

Instead, I loaded him again into his cart—such a furry bag of bones that it was like fitting a bag of potatoes into a bin. We rolled back out to the car. I lifted him in.

That night, and yesterday, I gave him whatever I thought he would want. Extra kibble at dinnertime. Slices of apples (he loves sliced apples). The best spot on the bed, with every towel in the house placed underneath him in case the inevitable accident happened.

Then: A second breakfast. A rest in the sunshine, basking on the warm stone of the patio. I thought of anything he might want that he never had: Anything that a lifetime on a low-sodium diet had precluded. Cheese. Chunky peanut butter. Bacon.

In some ways, it was a mind game for me, a running commentary all day long that frayed my nerves and set a permanent lump in my throat so that I could barely ask the gas station attendant for Unleaded.

This is the last time I’ll fill your bowl.

This is the last time I’ll carry you downstairs.

This is the last time you’ll lie in the sun on the patio.

This is the last Milkbone from the jar they keep for car dogs at the Sunoco station.

I’d like to think I gave him another 24 hours with me. But the truth is, I gave me another 24 hours with him.

Simon sniffingYesterday afternoon, I loaded him into the car for the last time. I didn’t take the cart this time. I just lifted him into the back seat and drove with all the windows down, so he could feel the movement of the air around him.

It was a gorgeous, brilliant, breezy day in Boston—more like a perfect mid-September day than mid-August. Almost to the vet’s, I pulled over to a grassy knoll, got out, and lifted him onto the grass, setting him down like a bone china.

We sat there together one last time. I stroked his frail body. I kissed his head.

He mostly ignored me, for once. Instead, he sniffed the air, nose aloft, wondering what adventure he might follow next, just beyond the horizon.

Total Annarchy

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66 Responses to 24 Hours of Bacon

  1. ljc says:

    Lovely. *sniff*

  2. Amanda Batista says:

    Ann, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend Simon.
    Your words are so beautiful. The way you write truly touches me, and I feel like I knew Simon his whole life. The world is a greater place because of people like you who take the time to do good for others, especially in need. The moniker “dog lover” doesn’t do you justice. Rest in peace, Simon.

  3. David Swinney says:

    Oh, Lord.

    This post is so beautiful.

    From one dog lover to another, my heart goes out to you, Ann.

    Thank you for sharing Simon’s story.

  4. Sharon McPherson says:

    Oh Ann, I am so sorry. And so thankful that Simon had you in his life to love and care for him. I had to put down my precious long-hair chihuahua 9 yrs ago. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t think of her, but those thoughts make me smile now.

  5. Francine Hardaway says:

    Oh Ann, what beautiful writing.

    I, too, have loved dogs and done what you had to do. It’s really the owner’s responsibility to make sure the animals don’t suffer, but it’s so-o-o difficult.

    My love and condolences.

  6. Scott Parent says:

    So sorry for your loss, Ann. Our dogs are part of our families and we will forever hold a place for them in our hearts. I’m sure Simon’s in a better place where he is running around feeling the breeze on his face.

  7. Ann, what a phenomenal picture you painted for all of us. Relationships with all dogs are special but there’s something even more breathtaking about loving when other’s wouldn’t and seeing the spirit and ‘person’ality of your dog so deeply. Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your loss and also happy that you had the relationship you did.

  8. I don’t cry. It’s just not something that comes easily to me, yet here I am, a mess because of this.

    The loss of a pet often feels like a loss of part of ourselves — an extension of our being. Pets allow us to nurture the best of ourselves, the generosity and the caregiving and the compassion. Dogs have made me a better human being.

    Simon lives on in your heart. And he was blessed to have a soulmate and caregiver in you. And it sounds like you were blessed to have a kindred spirit in him, as well. My heart goes out to you.

  9. Susan Kuhn says:

    Sniff!! You brought back memories of “putting to sleep” my diabetic cat whom I injected (en exchange for tuna) twice a day. Morris.

    You have done what was yours to do. I do hope you will get another pet.

  10. Beth Harte says:

    Oh, Ann. I am so sorry… I know how much Simon meant to you. What a beautiful post and tribute to him. We’d do anything for our fur babies.

    So many people used to comment on my girl being deaf, that it was… “a shame.” She didn’t know she was deaf and sign language is easy to learn. Sometimes perfection comes in ways we least expect.

    It’s never, ever easy to lose our buddies, but I know Simon is running around free with Chile and my sweet girl Grace. ;-)

  11. Jon Aston says:

    Oh, Ann.

    How I do love you, your beautiful spirit – and your lovely way with words. I can tell that Simon would have done all the same for you, if he could have. Hugs.

    XOJA

  12. Amanda says:

    This was just lovely. I am so sorry for all the lasts, thank you for sharing the love you grew in getting to them.

  13. What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing Simon with us.

  14. C.C. Chapman says:

    Crying wasn’t on my list of things to do today, but you made me go and do it.

    As always you capture a slice of life as only you can.

    As I said earlier to you, I’m very sorry for you loss. No one besides another pet lover can ever fully understand how hard something like this is.

  15. Pamela Slim says:

    Oh my goodness.

    That was so beautifully written, but I know it also ripped at you to write it.

    Thanks, Ann, aka Simon’s Mom, for demonstrating such love.

  16. Michael Cunningham says:

    Saying goodbye to pets is never easy, especially when you have to deal with the “how long does he have” question. My wife and I have put down two beloved greyhounds due to medical complications. I’m tearing up just thinking about them.

    Thank you for sharing your story Ann. I’m sure Simon is thankful you shared your life with him.

  17. Chel says:

    You gave him the best of you and he gave you the best of him. Thank you for sharing Simon with us.

  18. Oh Ann, that is heartbreaking and inspiring. I’m sure that dogs are mirrors of our soul and Simon was (and is) the very best reflection of your love, patience, and understanding. And love of bacon ;) My thoughts are with you…

  19. Macy Koch says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry Ann, for your loss. But so happy that you had the chance to have a companion like Simon.

  20. Mickey Gomez says:

    Oh, Ann. What a beautiful, gorgeous remembrance of your incredible, big-hearted Simon. His photos in your feed always brightened my day. I am so sorry for your loss, but your stories of your time with him – the good, the fun, the annoying (the rice!) – made my heart smile. Big hugs to you, my friend.

  21. Molly Block says:

    I’m so sorry, Ann.

  22. Arjun says:

    Wow, Ann, this is so lovely. My dog is going to get an extra special long walk when I get home.

  23. unbdot says:

    Damn you Handley, had me crying in my cube again.
    So Sad. He was a great boy!

    And on the diversion side. “you can beat me, you can whip me…….” you know the rest

  24. MeiLin says:

    I have a Cav, a sort of rescue–a long path to our door. He is a lot like Simon with fewer health problems other than being a fatty pickle; their coloring is the same, and it sounds like their attachment to their people is the same. When Henry’s time comes I hope I face it as well as you have. Be gentle with yourself. You gave him a good life.

  25. @stales says:

    Oh, Ann! So sorry for your loss. Simon’s on a new adventure :-) HUGS

  26. Ann,

    Beautiful. You know, C.C.’s comment got me thinking a little bit about those who might roll their eyes at someone being so upset about the loss of a pet – those who sneer when they hear things like, “He wasn’t a pet; he was a member of the family.”

    The only thought that comes to mind on such occasions is this: Can you imagine the kind of love that person brings to life, the kind of connections they forge, the depth of the relationships they build?

    The person who is deeply upset about the loss of a pet is exactly the kind of person you would be better off having in YOUR life, because if they can give that much love to “just a pet,” how much more powerful is the love they share with the people with whom they connect?

    It’s not about a pet, it’s about relationships and love. Thanks for sharing yours (and Simon’s) with us, Ann. All the best to you…

  27. Dana says:

    Ann so sorry for the loss of Simon. I know too well how hard it is. I had a fabulous vet give me a checklist of questions to ask myself so I would know when it was time but mostly she said sweetie – you will just know when the time is right. She was right. We did just know and had that last 24 hour moment you described your beautiful writings. In my top 10 of hardest times and emotions I’ve ever dealt with – so much so that it took us almost 2 more years to allow another dog come into our lives. Simon was blessed to have you as his mommy. He’s in doggie heaven now running free… you did good.

  28. Brian Blake says:

    Dangit, Ann… If this keyboard shorts out… It’s not tear-proof, you know.

    I’m so sorry… and so moved by your writing. You did right by Simon, and he knew it.

  29. Jodi Echakowitz says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your honest and very touching story about Simon. It brought me to tears, both because I could feel your pain and because it brought back so many memories of when I had to say goodbye to my 19-year-old cat last fall. Simon was very lucky to have you in his life and I hope the wonderful memories you have of your time with him help you get through this incredibly sad time.

  30. Julia Postle says:

    A sweet and dear memory of your Simon. Simons’ crossing of the Rainbow Bridge, I am sure has brought him peace and comfort. Sympathy, but wonderful memories, at this time of your loss. He was a lucky pup to have you in his life.

  31. Kneale Mann says:

    Oh Ann, I’m so sorry. It is crushing to let go of our beloveds. Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of saying goodbye to sweet Maya the English Springer Spaniel and Chloe the stunning and cuddly silver tabby. I miss them every day. And Crosby, the six month old Springer, does his best to fill the void with his face licks and rubby tums.

    Rest peacefully, sweet Simon :-(

  32. Kat Jaibur says:

    What a love story. I don’t know how you got this out, but it is exquisite. You did Simon proud, girl.

    It is good to know other people as nuts about their pets as I am. (In fact, my instructions to our petsitter are 4 pages long.)

    “Why did we bother?” How could you not? One look at that face, and it would be all, “You want to fly to Paris? Okay, we’ll fly to Paris.”

    Sadly, like you, we just went through this with our Millie. And like Simon, she got to eat like royalty in her last couple of weeks. Shrimp, steak, chicken, homemade peanut butter treats…and yes, even allowed to lick out the cats’ dishes. I think they know we are loving them up as much as possible.

    You stopping to sit on the grass with Simon one last time just ripped me apart. How beautiful. What a sensitive soul you are. What a heart-centered moment for you both.

    You gave him a wonderful life, and a really good ushering on to the next one. I hope this brings you some comfort. You are in my prayers.

  33. Tammy says:

    I started to read about your sweet boy and then could barely see the words through my tears. My life changed when I got my first Cavalier and my husband and I went from a “couple” to a “family”. May Simon rest in peace and hopefully you’ll see him again at the Rainbow Bridge.

    And yes, you are wonderful to have taken such good care of him. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

  34. Wow… so much love. I recently put my Lucy Lu down. It was the hardest decisions I’ve had to make by far. My heart still aches, but like you we had a “special” family member. I don’t regret any of it. Not any of the cleaning, sleepless nights, dressing changes, constant warm baths for her pain. If I could do it all over again, I would in a heart beat. I keep telling myself she’s at the rainbow bridge waiting for my time to join her. It made me feel better for a while. But in my heart I knew yet,  just like you my last 24 hours with her was a constant mantra in my head of “this is the last time we … ”  yet, in retrospect of course I see the extra 24 hours was for us. No regrets, just great memories.

  35. Tonya Wilhelm says:

    <3 so lovely. I am so sorry for your loss. ~Tonya & Dexter

  36. Michelle Farnum says:

    Ann, the question, how long do I let this go on? touched me in such a deep, gut thumping way. I always let it go on too long.
    I think having a wonderful last day is a very strong and brave thing to do.

  37. Razlan says:

    My heart broke reading your story. My condolences.

  38. Chris Bellezza says:

    Michelle and Ann,

    I cried when I read this post earlier at work, and I cried when I read this again tonight. We always wait too long too. Euthanasia means “good death”, and I am going to try to remember that there is nothing wrong with helping our beloved pets go to a good death before they are suffering. Simon had a wonderful last day, although I know how gut-wrenching each “last” was for you, Ann.

    Ann, I tried to send another message earlier, through my tears. Maybe I hit delete instead of send, or maybe it will show up at some random time. Please know that you have been in my thoughts all day. I was looking for the post that I knew would come, eager to learn more about Simon. I was debating whether I should read your post at work, knowing it would make me cry. I knew I couldn’t resist, and after locking myself in my office to hide the tears, I was blown away, once again, by your beautiful writing. Thank you for adopting and caring for a dog some may have thought of as less than perfect. You showed us all how perfect, for you, he really was. Be kind to yourself while your heart heals.

  39. Ann Sachs says:

    Ann, your story is heartbreaking, and you are an exquisite writer. I think a bit of Simon now lives in every one of us who read your words. I am deeply grateful that you shared him with us – what a profound gesture of love.

  40. Jeanine Delay says:

    I started reading this post and was worried about where it might go. Of course, your writing pulled me in and I had to keep going, and forgot my dread. Instead, I was there watching you care for Simon and am grateful for being included. Once again, you are courageous in what you do and what you write about. So sorry for your loss. I hope he is running through a field of pork chops! Hugs!

  41. Adam Zand says:

    I never met Simon, but I always smiled on seeing photos you would post. As always, your honest and thoughtful writing connects with times and emotions I have experienced (or will get to). In the last month, when so many friends and my family suffered with loss, I can’t help to connect with the care, love and determination you and Simon shared. So again, sorry that I never met this wonder dog, but I’m glad I met you.

  42. jen del says:

    what a lovely tribute.

  43. Jen Allen says:

    Oh Ann- everyone who knows you knows your beloved Simon. Sophia and I are honored to have had one more raging bookgroup party with him. Thank you for reaching out and sharing such a painful time with all of us. Simon
    was a champ as well as a survivor. Like you. Need to know: what were his two favorite ice cream flavors? You know where this is going.

    Jen

  44. Renee Farrell says:

    Ann- I’m so sorry for the loss of Simon. He was do lucky to have you take care of him. As I’m nearing the same te with my best friend, I can only imagine how sad you are.

  45. Don Stanley says:

    What a beautiful tribute Ann. This brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my heart. Simon was an amazing dog.

    I’ve been very blessed and have had many dogs live to ripe old ages. Saying “until we meet again” is never easy.

    You are probably aware of the poem “Rainbow Bridge”, but if you aren’t, you can find it here. http://rainbowsbridge.com/poem.htm

    Someone shared it with me years ago when we had to put our 15-year-old lab down. I hope it provides some comfort to you and your family like it did for me and my family.

    Thinking

  46. Cass Liberman says:

    Hi Ann — It’s Cass Liberman. One year and 15 days ago, it was our Dion’s turn to leave us, after 13-and-a-half years of scaling counters to steal out of the stew pot, munching glass Christmas ornaments, snatching flying insects out of the air without considering his own landing back on earth, and just gusto-ing his way through life as the happiest, gentlest, goofiest, and most whole-heartedly loving dog, ever.

    As the first anniversary of Dion’s last visit to the vet passed earlier this month, I skated around it, emotionally. Thank you for this beautifully written piece; it’s helped.

    And I ‘m so sorry about Simon, but you know that you gave him the last great gift of loving care: release.

    Hugs to you from an old Cavalier List buddy — Cass

  47. Cheshire Cat says:

    im still snifflin. Wonderfully written. It coulda been about any breed of dog, and i’d likely still be feelin how I do. Just coincidence I have a 1 1/2 yr old Cavalier myself named Jaydin. (You can find him on facebook Jaydin DeHaven)
    We are Canadian, and he is in a Service Dog program here. He is still in training, but doing marvellously.
    I know the heart of a Cavalier. You are a truly wonderful soul, and so was he. He will always be with you in spirit.

  48. Mary Aviles says:

    I went through a similar experience with our 11-year-old Pug last summer. She snored really loud all day and slept on my feet while I was at the computer. I knew she was really sick when she could no longer raise her head when someone came to the door. I had never been through that before. And, it was really hard. I know her little body had run out of juice, but I sure do miss her.

  49. Dee says:

    Snif.

    You’ll get no “Why did you bother?” from me.

    My first dog that I had on my own, as a semi-adult, was diagnosed with cancer at 5. For a year and a half, we did chemotherapy, which she tolerated well. My finances hit rock bottom but it was worth every penny. We had a wonder last year and a half together.

    A year into our relationship, my future husband brought home a little trouble maker, a husky, to add to our family that already included a Golden. Nikki was trouble from the word go, an experienced Houdini for whom fences were little more than suggestions. She caused great heartache with her escapes and had bladder issues that involved surgery, special diets, and daily medication. We lost her last fall and I still miss her terribly.

    Our current dog is a disaster. A long but short log of a dog who was probably taken from her mom too early, which makes her a bit of a dominant, aggressive b*&ch. But we are s l o w l y working through her issues and looking forward to the day when we can enjoy her without her gnawing on our hands (she’s not mean, just thinks it’s fun).

    Sometimes it’s worth the hard times with a pet (or a person!) to get to or get through the good times. Simon seems to have been evident proof of that.

  50. That was a beautiful post, Ann.

    Sad, but also sweet and celebratory of Simon and your time together.

    I cried right along with you.

    We lost our Oliver after almost 15 years. I swore we weren’t going to get another dog until I realized that my son wasn’t handling the loss well at all. A few months later, Lucy joined us from a Cocker Spaniel rescue and my son began to handle Oliver’s loss much better.

    It ended up being good thing for all of us.

    I’m not suggesting that you rush right out to rescue another dog, but you obviously have a lot of love to give to dogs like Simon.

    Don’t hold back.

  51. Adele McAlear says:

    Pets are part of who we are and they frame who we become. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets”: They make us want to be better people. There’s a dedication that comes with having a “difficult” pet that creates an even stronger bond (remind me some day to tell you about my cat.)

    You loved him, and he you. You did right by him to the very end. Thank you for sharing this. You paid Simon a beautiful tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  52. Carrie says:

    Crying at work right now. Our dog is going through cancer, so I understand your love and can imagine your sadness. Sorry for your loss.

  53. Susanne Sicilian says:

    Was it by chance you and Simon found each other – I don’t think so.

  54. Tabitha Dunn says:

    Thank you for sharing his last day with us. We had a similar heartbreak when we had to let go of our Max. What a love story you have had.

  55. Melissa Rach says:

    I’m so sorry about your loss. I hope I have your strength in the future when Bullet (15 1/2 year-old, 100lb Chesapeake mix, named after the bullet point) is ready to go. He’s here by my feet — as he has been for literally thousands of days before. (I like to think he proofreads all the content docs I create…) I think I’ll go give him an extra biscuit now.

    P.S. To Carrie (above): Bullet was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and he’s still here. Fingers crossed for you.

  56. Ann Handley says:

    Thanks so much to all of you for your wonderful, caring comments. It’s not often that I’m at a loss for words… but I guess I am now. Thank you so much for all the love, but more importantly thanks for the understanding, and for valuing these crazy creatures as much as I do.

    My sincere best to you all.

  57. I’m so sorry for your loss, Ann.

    I read this in bed this morning after nearly a week off of most social media channels and was sniffling before I was halfway through. Saying goodbye is never easy, and comes with all kinds of emotions beyond sorrow and grief when we are the ones making the choice.

    Simon was a lucky dog to have you, and you were lucky to have him. Though not all your time together was blissful, in the end you gave him 24 hours of bacon. I doubt any dog could ask for more – years of love and loving care plus one extra special day.

    Hugs to you and your family. I hope Simon is running amuck in dog heaven – footloose and fancy free and able to eat all the bacon he wants. xo

  58. Dianna Bonny says:

    Ann:
    You are such a lovely writer! This is the first post I’ve read of yours and it made me cry. I have three Cavaliers and you portray all their traits so well. Simon obviously hit the lucky dog jackpot with you :) Sending you healing love and light.

  59. Lisa Gerber says:

    Simon was very lucky to have you! Many parents wouldn’t have given him such a wonderful life. We are actually funding our vet’s child’s college education single-handledly, so I can relate. I need to prepare myself for this. That’s probably why your story made me cry especially hard. My best to you.

  60. Jess says:

    I only came here to look at the new site and think about email marketing and now I’m sobbing. At my coworking space. People are looking at me…

    Wow! I felt so many things reading this, especially at the end when you talked about having just a little more time with him. I was away, driving cross-country in fact, when my mom had to put our dog down. I was angry at first because she didn’t tell me right away. She said she didn’t want to ruin my trip. I couldn’t believe she would go through something like that on her own, although I had to force myself to remember that she had been through it before. Still, the main reason I won’t get a dog yet is because I’m so afraid of this day you put so eloquently into words. You sound peaceful though, and Simon is probably winning chariot races somewhere out there.

  61. Maribeth says:

    Ann,

    I’ve only just found this site and was so moved by this post. You write so beautifully and with subject matter that hits so close to home (I have 3 dogs), I was simply mesmerized.

    You and Simon clearly had a special bond; one that gave you both significant benefit. And while words can’t take away the hurt that follows a loss like you’ve experienced, I hope your memories of Simon will provide comfort.

    Thank you for sharing the story with your readers. My best to you.

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