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)

My Photo
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!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Death with Dignity -- and Cheese

As Cooper was passing, my husband John and I were looking for, and seeing, different things. What John saw was a stouthearted little soldier dying with dignity, even raising his paw to the vet as he was about to receive the injection. This was not a cheap, cutesy, anyone-can-do-it "gimme-your-paw" trick, something that Cooper never did; John saw it as the eloquent gesture of a brave fellow who had come to understand that his work here was done, or that if it were not done, it would be taken on by someone else.

I was by John's deft, near sacramental administration of cheese (see previous post) and Cooper's readiness to accept it. The Brave Little Cheeseboy's gone to the Bridge, and our lives are forever changed.

Somewhere out there is Cooper's successor. Tempting as it may be to run out and try to find him right now, we'll wait and let him find us, just as Cooper did. The best dogs do that, I think: they find us, rather than the other way around. We go to the shelter, the pound, and one speaks to us from behind the wires. We read the postings at the vet's office and a small, scribbled card calls to us. A friend say, "A breeder I know these puppies you might want to take a look at."

Like Cooper's dying, it will happen in God's own good time. Meanwhile, the next time we sit down to a bit of cheese, we will remember this Little Man, this Grand Old Man, who touched our lives and so many others.
Thank you, Little CheeseBoy....


Post a Comment

<< Home