Category Archives: dogs and mourning

A tribute to Gomer

I have just finished reading musician Rick Springfield’s memoir entitled Late, Late at Night.  I was a fan during my high school years, had his poster on my wall, and I believe I was even a member of his official fan club.  I also remember going to see him in concert (twice).

What I discovered in this book is that Springfield is also a dog person.  Imagine that – even when much younger – I was attracted to people who liked dogs.  There are many comments in Springfield’s memoir about the role of dogs in his early family life and through his career (you might remember that his dog Ron featured on several album covers).

Dogs acted as a source of inspiration and consistency in a life where depression was also a key player.

In January 2010, Springfield’s dog Gomer passed away.  He and his people compiled a bunch of photos of the beloved dog in this tribute on YouTube.  Dog people will ‘get’ this – the need to share and show how great our dog was and how much we miss them.

Having lost Daisy so recently, this tribute really resonated with me.  I hope you enjoy it.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Goodbye, friend

Goodbye, friend
With Daisy’s passing, it is probably not surprising that I reached for a book on grief and – more specifically – a book about grief over the loss of a pet.

I purchased this book in 2013, but when I started to read it then, it didn’t feel right.  Although aging, Daisy was still in good health and I felt like I was somehow ‘jumping the gun.’  The book went to the bottom of my ‘to read’ pile until last week when I found myself at loose ends in my empty house.

One of the biggest things about loss of a pet is, although deep down we know that our dog has a short lifespan, there is nothing that can prepare you for the emotional tidal wave that comes on the day of your dog’s death.  So, having a book to turn to for guidance is useful.

This book is written in simple terms, with some historic references to cultures and how they view death, dying and the role of pets.  It discusses the decision we face when euthanizing a sick pet, how to deal with children’s grief, understanding the need to care for yourself when grieving, and deciding when it is right to take steps that allow you to move on.

Since Kowalski is a clergyman, he has used his background to prepare a section on readings and poems that can be used in a memorial service for a lost pet.

I’m glad I had this book handy for when I had to suddenly face the loss of Daisy and, based on my experience, I would recommend to all my readers to have a book about pet grief in your ‘tool box’ for when you have to face the sad occasion of saying goodbye.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Image

Wordless Wednesday, part 43

Daisy's Urn and BedBlog Hop

In mourning

It is with a very heavy heart that I announce the passing of my beloved Daisy on the 26th of July.  As any dog lover will know, one of the hardest things about having a dog in your life is knowing that they do not live as long as we do and many of us will face the decision to let them pass in peace and without pain.

Daisy was 14 years, 17 days old.    Although slowing down, she always showed in an interest in twice-daily walks until about a month ago, when one afternoon she looked up at me to say “I’ve been to the toilet, now I just want to go home and rest.”  We have had more days like that – sporadically – until about the last week when once daily walks were enough for her.  After her last acupuncture treatment on Wednesday afternoon, she was very happy and energetic – walking longer and at a quicker pace than the last few weeks.

That was to be our last walk together.

One of the things that is an owner’s responsibility and duty is to manage quality of life.  In Daisy’s case, she had the look in her eye that many people describe – it told me “I’ve had enough.”

As part of my grieving process, and in tribute to my dear Daisy, here are a few photos of her life.  We were together for 10 years and 7 months – and I wish I had them to do all over again.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

This is one of the first photos I took of Daisy, shortly after adopting her.

This is one of the first photos I took of Daisy, shortly after adopting her

Daisy 'upgraded' to a red collar and I love this photo because it gave a better perspective to her size and conformation

Daisy ‘upgraded’ to a red collar and I love this photo because it gave a better perspective to her size and conformation

 

In 2004, Daisy allowed me to dress her in a Boston Red Sox sweatshirt to celebrate their World Series win

In 2004, Daisy allowed me to dress her in a Boston Red Sox sweatshirt to celebrate their World Series win

 

In April 2008, Daisy helped to pose in the garden to show off some new landscaping

In April 2008, Daisy helped to pose in the garden to show off some new landscaping

 

In April 2008, we celebrated Daisy's 8th birthday a wee bit in advance as part of launching Canine Catering

In April 2008, we celebrated Daisy’s 8th birthday a wee bit in advance as part of launching Canine Catering

 

In February 2011, following our big earthquake, Daisy revealed that she was suffering from arthritis in her hips and spine.  Swimming became a fortnightly activity from then on

In February 2011, following our big earthquake, Daisy revealed that she was suffering from arthritis in her hips and spine. Swimming became a fortnightly activity from then on

Daisy loved food and treats; here she enjoys a Busy Bone whilst visiting with her Uncle Guy in 2012

Daisy loved food and treats; here she enjoys a Busy Bone whilst visiting with her Uncle Guy in 2012

On her 13th birthday, I took Daisy for an off-lead walk at The Groynes as a special treat

On her 13th birthday, I took Daisy for an off-lead walk at The Groynes as a special treat

We celebrated our 10th anniversary together by taking a trip to Ruby Bay.  Daisy was so happy during our 5 days there.

We celebrated our 10th anniversary together by taking a trip to Ruby Bay. Daisy was so happy during our 5 days there.

My last photos of Daisy were taken on July 12th as part of a photo shoot for the business

My last photos of Daisy were taken on July 12th as part of a photo shoot for the business

The Dog Hair

DoggyMom.com:

So true…for any of us who have suffered a loss of a dog…every little reminder matters

Originally posted on Doggerel:

Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons license.

The Dog Hair

The dog is gone. We miss him. When the doorbell rings, no one barks. When we come home late, there is no one waiting for us. We still find his white hairs here and there around the house and on our clothes. We pick them up. We should throw them away. But they are all we have left of him. We don’t throw them away. We have a wild hope—if only we collect enough of them, we will be able to put the dog back together again.

— Lydia Davis, from her recent collection Can’t and Won’t

View original

Sister Gracie

It’s been a bit busy this week, so I haven’t had time to post until now. One reason for the busy week has been that I have appeared in The Press, the Christchurch region’s newspaper.  The reporter wanted to know more about dog massage (which of course is a favorite subject of mine).  Both Daisy and I are very grateful for the free publicity, which came out of the blue in the form of a phone interview.

The article generated a very special enquiry in the form of an email:

May I ask if Daisy is a Pinerock pointer?  I lost my beautiful old lady Gracie in May and this morning I almost fell off my chair to see that face.  Even friends have asked how I found the massage worked with Grace.  That’s how alike they are – my girl had just turned 13 so they could conceivably be a similar age.  Happy to send you a picture if you like.

And so it transpired that I learned more about Daisy’s sister, who lived with another dog named Shamus, who still grieves for her.  Indeed, it is eerie to see how much Daisy and Gracie resembled one another.  The bloodlines are clearly apparent…

Gracie

Gracie on sofa

Gracie Digging

shamus and gracie couching

"I will take her ashes to the Pointer Memorial Garden at Pinerock where Pluto the Pointer watches over their souls."

“I will take her ashes to the Pointer Memorial Garden at Pinerock where Pluto the Pointer watches over their souls.”

Gracie’s mum may come for a visit to meet Daisy one day.  I’m sure Daisy would be as welcoming as always and we will share more stories of Gracie.

A farewell service for Oklahoma pets

Last weekend, a memorial service was held for the Oklahoma pets who perished in last month’s tornadoes.  The service was conducted at the Orr Family Farm which is located next door to the Celestial Acres Training Center, a training facility for horses where many died.

Perhaps one of the most touching stories of the losses suffered was that of Fred, a black Labrador.  He survived the storm buried beneath debris that was subsequently bulldozed over several times.  He was rescued but passed away five days later.  His veterinarian said, ‘It doesn’t seem fair.’

Full story available at The Oklahoman