Dear Velma

Dog park racer of trucks & motorcycles, hoarder of shoes, chaser & catcher of pigeons, survivor of mysterious black ball bowel obstruction, neurotically devoted, constant studio companion, chooser of us as we chose you, sneaker of cat truffles, trembler at fireworks and thunder, joyful roller in the grass.

Funny old lady wish you well with our overfull and broken hearts as you join the great circle of otherness elsewhere. We love you so.

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15 thoughts on “Dear Velma

    • Aw John, your boy was so beautiful. What happened to him? I know you have many rescues and I just don’t see how you can go through this pain so often. Hats off to you for sure. This is the first time I’ve had to make the euthanasia choice and it’s been so much harder than I thought — and I thought it would be super hard. Thanks for sharing this picture, it makes me smile to think of them together. Maybe still watching over us…. xx

      • Hopefully so.

        True to form, Brother spared us a lot of grief. The first we got wind that something wasn’t right was less than a week before he died. He cringed getting up on the couch. Next day we were getting ultrasounds and found some issues in his liver, and a tumour. His blood count was terrible, so we got him onto a barrage of drugs, special diet, more tests, all so we could get him to a point where we could safely operate. Second round of blood tests came back much better, but the thing was, we didn’t know, it was just too late already. On the afternoon of the night he died he was out for a walk as usual. A little slower, sure, but no sign this was going to be the ‘last’ walk. He always slept on the floor next to me at night, and at around midnight he started making noises. We got him into bed, thinking it was cramps, and rode it out with him. At 4am we knew something was very, very wrong. He climbed off the bed as we raced to get dressed. I found him under my desk. Got him into a blanket and raced to the emergency animal hospital. He was in full shock as I drove in, and he was dead three minutes later. I was in shock for days. Still am. He was a dear boy. We had him cremated, but we still can’t bring ourselves to take him on that last walk up into the hills and bury him with the seeds and soil that come with his banana leaf urn. So, on the bookshelf he sits.

        I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it must have been on you. How are you holding up? Earlier today Paul Handover (Learning from Dogs blog) posted this from a vet friend of his.

        • Oh my gosh, what a terrible shock. I’m so sorry. There is not a bit of “good” to come from your experience with Brother, except that you were spared the agonizing days-months-weeks decision of “when”. I’m so sorry. You had no way to prepare for Brother’s loss. I imagine it’s still not fully integrated.
          I really like the post from the vet; however, it makes me feel even worse about Velma’s passing because even though we were home, I wasn’t by her side when the sedative took effect. She was wandering the house and I asked the vet if she’d like to see the yard while we waited. I thought we had 15-20 min, like she said. We came back in and Velma was already collapsed on the floor — still there, of course, but pretty out of it. Having never done this before, I didn’t realize that the transition would be so dramatic. I hope she wasn’t scared and wondering where I was. It’s just so lonely. First time in 24 yrs with no dog by my side, not another living thing in the house. Leaving town this weekend so that will help. I appreciate your kind words.

        • Oh, quite on the contrary, I think you did the exact best thing; at home, in her own environment, not scared at all. She wasn’t “searching” for anything, or anyone. She was exactly where she wanted to be. If (when) we have to cross that same bridge I’m going to insist it’s at home, just like you did. Many of our animals are getting old now, so i fear a terrible stretch of one after the other not that far away.

          Hope you have a good weekend, as best as possible, considering. Velma was amongst the luckiest dogs in the world to have had you as her friend and companion.

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your much loved canine
    I love the name Velma for her. I wish I had words
    for taking even just a bit of the pain away. Just know
    that I am thinking of you, and of Velma, and I send
    love to you, and will never forget her.

  2. Beautiful dog. Beautiful life. Velma will be missed, but her spirit lives on forever. I am sure she is grateful, wherever her spirit romps and rolls in the grass, that you rescued her from a dead and tortured life.
    Blessings and Love from your Mom.

  3. I am so sorry, Laura – a faithful companion gone is a hard loss. That is a beautiful tribute to her (she looks so much like a grey version of our white/brown Mambi!).

Talk to me! I spend too much time alone in the studio.

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