In Praise of Elder Dogs

This blog is created in celebration of the elder dogs, of any breed, who've touched our hearts. You are invited to add your own reflections, or, if you wish, track the progress of your own elder dogs. ("Elder," BTW, is defined here as 10 years or more, except in breeds known for shorter lifespans, such as the Great Dane.) Send your stories and photos to me at branta(at)

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Location: Hunt, Texas, United States

I've been privileged to share my life with five unforgettable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. This blog was inspired by Cooper, my first, whose indominatable bright spirit triumphed over his limitations. Every day of his life, till the very end, he woke joyously, happy to greet the day. I would wish the same for all of us!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Hidden among the many messages of comfort and encouragement we've received was this small press release from the Media staff (probably Jack Russell terriers, LOL) at the Rainbow Bridge. --Editor


RAINBOW BRIDGE -- A great, multicolored cloud of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels has gathered in the outdoor pavilion at the Rainbow Bridge to celebrate the arrival of a new resident, Cooper (a.k.a., "CheeseBoy"), 15, of Hunt, Texas. The pawty has apparently been in progress since Monday afternoon, when Cooper gulped his last bit of gorganzola just as his spirit was being freed for the journey.

Cooper later reported that the journey was quick, painless, even easy. "There's cheese here," he explained, "and girls. Girls, girls, girls -- beautiful girls!" Best of all, he added, was having back that which had been taken from him in his earthly sojurn: mobility, youthfulness, and the ability to fully appreciate and enjoy the company of all those beautiful girls.

Cooper is survived by his sister, Tessie, also of Hunt, Texas, who had reportedly been using him as furniture during his last days and has, according to their human mum, still shown no signs of noticing his absence beyond an interest in his cheese.

He leaves behind a devoted immediate family in Texas, Virginia, Heidelberg (particularly Lia and Eva), and innumerable friends -- both human and canine -- around the world.

While the will has not yet been read, a normally reliable source has suggested that his seemingly limitless stash of cheese will likely be consumed over time by his human family and his apparently ungrateful sister, who will now have to find something else (uh, like a pillow!) to lie on.

Memorial donations may be made to the Cavalier Rescue organization of the donor's choosing.


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