Tim Hendrix writes: “Joe, I have a couple of dog questions. I had to leave my house last week because of impending tornados and my dog, Rhet, companion of 13 years, had a seizure in the car and I had to have him euthanized 2 days later. I lost his sister 2 years ago and it kills me to go through the experience. When I tell people that I stay with my pets through the procedure they think I’m crazy. They wonder how I can put myself through that. My thinking is that being with friend of 13 years during his last moments is damn near an obligation and I think it’s pretty gutless to just walk away because it’s a difficult experience. You seem to be a great dog parent and I just wondered what your take is. The possibility does exist that I’m totally out to lunch on this and have lost touch with reality. Also, I had stated many times after I lost Scully, Rhet’s sister that he would be the last dog I’d ever own. His care and upkeep the last couple of years were exhausting. He was deaf and nearly blind and needed help with everything but I don’t regret the effort at all. I now find the emptiness almost unbearable. I’ve had canine companions for 13 years and I find I don’t know what to do with myself. Friends and relatives seem to think this is a bad time to decide on a new dog. Your thoughts would be appreciated.”

Answer: Let me preface my response by repeating one of my long-held beliefs – that those who like dogs are generally good-hearted people, while those who don’t are jerks at best and serial killers at worst. Having said that, there are very good reasons why some may prefer not to own a dog.  Hell, to be perfectly honest, I never wanted one – surprising given that I now have four of them.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like dogs.  Quite the opposite.  I loved them.  But I respected them enough to know they were needy creatures that required a lot of attention.  Unlike some of the douchebag fairweather pet guardians I’ve had the displeasure of knowing over the years, I see dogs as a full-time commitment – which is why, some thirteen years ago, when my wife told me she wanted to get a dog, I strongly objected.  But she was persistent and, eventually, I gave in and we welcomed our first dog. That was Jelly –

And you know what?  I was right.  She turned out to be a huge responsibility.  But I didn’t mind because I loved her and she was our one and only.

Until my wife started thinking that, maybe, Jelly could use a companion.  I, of course, tried to shoot down the idea immediately. One dog was more than enough.  I couldn’t imagine taking care of two. We argued and, again, I lost the argument.  And so, we ended up getting Maximus –

And having two pugs proved doubly demanding.  But I didn’t mind because they were my dogs and I loved them.

We got Maximus from a breeder but Jelly was a pet shop buy, purchased before we knew any better.  While I would never again buy a dog from a pet store, I don’t regret getting Jelly because I know that there is no way she could have ended up in a better home or lived a better life. And the same goes for all my dogs.  Like our third pug, Bubba –

Who was supposed to be a present for my wife’s brother.  But, in keeping him those two weeks before we dropped him off in Montreal, I felt for Bubba what I’d felt for Jelly (and Maximus): that no matter how wonderful the person I’d be leaving him with, Bubba would be far, far better off with me.  And so, this time I was the one to make the executive decision.  We kept Bubba and my wife’s brother got a toaster oven instead.

Three dogs was a lot more work than two, but I didn’t mind because, again, they were my dogs and I loved them.

And when my wife decided she wanted to get a french bulldog, I already knew exactly what was in store and rather than argue, I saved my energy for the long drive to Langley were we picked up our latest addition, Lulu –

Crazy?  Maybe.  Demanding?  You bet!  But, eventually, I got used to it.  In those last few years on Stargate, we had a little routine going. Every morning I would wake up and take the dogs out, then feed them, then drop them off at doggy daycare.  Every evening, I would pick them up from daycare, bring them home, feed them, and take them out for their last walk of the night.  I would make sure they got their supplements, take them to the vet, and administer the tacrolimus medicinal gel directly onto their eyeballs. Eventually, when Jelly’s hips got too bad and Maximus’s knees to weak, I would carry them up and down the stairs.  When my wife and I separated, my first concern wasn’t the house or any cash assets – it was the dogs.  And, fortunately, I got to keep them and the five of us made the best of things, settling in each night – Jelly on the pillow to my left, Bubba on the pillow to my right, Maximus at my feet, and Lulu right beside me. FINALLY dogs were allowed on the bed!

Tim, I can empathize.  People will tell you you’re nuts.  That they’re only dogs; not people!  But I’ve discovered something, a secret that many a dog owner is privy to as well: That dogs aren’t people.  More often than not, they’re better.  Unlike most folks who pass through your life making little if any impression, or prove themselves to complete and utter asses, dogs are special.  They’re loyal.  They’re loving and lovable.  They’re possessed of personalities that make them unique and endlessly entertaining.  And all they ask in return is that we take care of them, from the time they enter our homes as big-eyed little runts who can’t recognize themselves in a mirror to the time they leave it for that final journey.  It’s a trifling request given the years of affection, amusement, and unquestioning allegiance they offer in return over the course of their all-too-short lives.

So, to finally answer your question – No, you’re not out to lunch for caring for your long-time companion and wanting to be with them in their final moments.

One of my biggest regrets in life is the fact that I wasn’t able to do the same for our family dog.  The night after he’d been hit by a car, we went to visit him at the animal hospital on our way to my high school band recital. His hindquarters had been paralyzed in the accident and yet, upon spotting us, he immediately perked up and started barking excitedly. Unfortunately, he was in bad shape and the decision was made to put him to sleep. We said our goodbyes and then headed off to the recital.  To this day, I’m haunted by what our dog must have thought as we walked out that door, or during those final few lonely moments of his life.  We should have been there for him.

That experience has admittedly influenced my decisions regarding Jelly these past two years.  My gal has been suffering from hip dysplasia and arthritic elbows and shoulders that make walking very difficult.  Last summer, her condition deteriorated to the point where her back legs could no longer support her.  I consulted various vets and made my decision.  Jelly underwent stem cell therapy followed by spinal surgery. Those surgeries cost me more than my annual Tokyo trip and, even though there were no guarantees the procedures would be successful, I decided to go ahead with them because, at the very least, I’d know I did everything I could for her.  And, at the end of the day, I’m pleased to report that they WERE successful and, although she still has trouble getting around, Jelly is able to squat and take care of business like she used to.  Obviously, not every dog owner can afford to pay for this kind of medical treatment – nor would many choose to even if they could – but it’s something I was able to do for her and I’m glad I did.

On a recent visit to an animal hospital here in Toronto, the vet examined Jelly and, in going over her recent behavior (waking up in the middle of the night, crying), suspected she may be suffering from cognitive dissonance, what he termed an early form of canine alzheimer’s.  Aside from those isolated incidents, she seems otherwise unchanged, her usual playful, bossy, vocal, hungry self.  But I know that things can change very quickly and, when the time comes, I will be there for her.

I can’t tell you whether you should get another dog.  That decision is yours.  But, given their relatively short life spans, I have given some thought to what I would do if I eventually found myself alone (as opposed to me kicking off early and the four of them cashing in on my premature demise to the tune of kurobuta pork breakfasts and kobe beef dinners well into their twilight years).  And I decided that, after a short period in which to properly mourn them, I probably would get another dog – or maybe two –  or more – because, like I said, for all the love and humor and companionship they’ll provide, I’ll compensate them with a home life very few can offer.

And I’m sure you can say the same.

70 thoughts on “May 29, 2011: The Doggy Defense!

  1. Ahh, nice doggy post and pictures. I have never been able to be around fur for a long time without my eyes watering and sneezing a lot which has precluded us ever owning a pet, but my kids do like to be around dogs when we visit other places.

    Have a nice afternoon and evening!!!

  2. Not just dogs…I have always had cats and I have always been there when they were put down or died naturally at home…just got a new one after a break of 18 months…just couldn’t live without a companion…this is my 5th one…

    Nik, Riker, Deanna, Guinan and now Daniel!

    Yeah I know us and our fandoms!

    Kriss 🙂

  3. I own two dogs and they are a big part of my life. I agree with every word in your blog Joe, thanks for sharing!!!

  4. I am not a ‘people person’ – they are okay for short periods of time but then I want to escape.

    Dogs and cats (animals in general) are much superior to our feeble little species.

    My cats drive me demented but I love them loads. My cat even has his own blog – not sure if that is a sign of his intelligence or my mental instability.

    😉

  5. Had to stop reading this post a couple of times.

    The first time my cat walked into the room and loudly proclaimed she wanted something. I figured she wants fed, so I walked into the kitchen and fed her.

    Next time she walked in and loudly proclaimed she had another need. As I know she wants water after she eats, I got up, walked into the bathroom, turned on the bathtub faucet just enough for a steady stream (no drops! Drops ARE THE WORST! apparently) from which she drank.

    The third time she showed up just to say hi. I petted her, then she left.

    The fourth time she wanted to go outside on the balcony. Where she stayed for about 30 seconds.

    Now she is sleeping next to me.

    So I guess I am a dog person, even though I have a cat. Who knew?

  6. Bravo Joe. A wonderful post and shared sentiment. I certainly feel the same about my cats.

    My first cat, Milady, was brought home as a rescue kitten from the ASPCA to provide company for my Mom, who was newly widowed. We soon both fell in love with her and believe me, she led a contented life for 16+ years.
    After her passing, I brought home Scooter, a male and again from the shelter. His life presence comforted us and helped us to love a cat again. Since then, Mom has passed and I had Scooter to comfort me. He’s nearly 17 now, slower of step, diabetic, hyperthyroid and dearly loved.

    Another cat, Zebo, also a rescue, shared her last eight years of life as Scooter’s companion. She passed three years ago at the age of 18. Lastly, Basil, a young gal of 3 years, and a foster turned adoptee, is now sharing my and Scooter’s life. She’s a sparky personality who keeps us both young.

    Yes, they are a responsibility and some hard work. But the companionship, love and comfort they bring is priceless. I thank God for each of them having graced my life.

    @Tim Hendrix – mourn Rhet certainly, then take yourself to an animal shelter and rescue another sweet soul. You will not regret it. My sincerest sympathies Tim.

    2cats
    …typing this with Basil draped across the keyboard 😉

  7. There is no greater way to honour a soul lost than to rescue another from the pet shelter and love him (or her) equally as well.

    ..typing this with Danny – dafluffieblakkat curled into a ball on my clean laundry, the laundry I meant to hang in my cupboard because I knew that if I didn’t do so Danny would find it and curl into an appreciative ball and I would be incapable of moving him until morning…

  8. @Sparrow_hawk

    Nice to hear someone else appreciates Melon Pan too, if I can’t make/buy fresh, I normally just pick it up in small packets, I think you’d agree they are a great snack lol

    I think one of the best things about Japanese food is the way they think of almost every imaginable flavor with some of their foods, never ceases to amaze me.

    Have you ever tried Ramen before? I’m not too big on it myself, its pretty much one of the most popular foods in Japan, if you ever visit the place there is like 1000s of shops accross the country selling the stuff.

  9. And speaking of Cats, one thing I’ve learnt/heard from others is simply. Humans don’t own Cats, Cats own humans lol.

    Anyway, speaking of which, great dog pictures/story Joe.

  10. I’ve thought about it, but decided having a friend dying every 15 years would be too painful.

    Dont you like cats, joe?

  11. Wow… touching post! Thanks for sharing that with us Joe and Tim! You guys are great people!

  12. Tim is not crazy, and you’ve proven you’re about as good a people as any hairless ape can be Mr. M.

  13. Love your baby doggies Joe! 🙂 They have always put a smile on face. They are one thing I always look forward to when I read you blogs. 🙂

    I had a dog a while ago. I had a Yorkie named Perky. He was my pride and joy. He really was my best friend. He lived to 16 years. When he has to be put down, I couldn’t go to the vet. I just couldn’t do it. My dad took him, and I stayed home. I think I must’ve cried for like month. He was my baby. The house just felt so empty without him.

  14. @Tim Hendrix – commiserations on your loss. You did the right thing in being there for Rhet. Don’t let idiots tell you otherwise.

    Joe, lovely post. (I still read, though I don’t comment!) Regarding Jelly’s late night crying – I had a similar issue with Dion in the last year of her life, a part of growing old, perhaps, combined with failing eyesight. I used a plug in pheromone dispenser designed to calm cats, and it really worked. I especially noticed when I ran out and the middle of the night crying would start up again! I just had a look on the website I used to buy it from and it seems they market a similar thing for dogs: http://www.vetnpetdirect.com.au/DAPC?sc=9&category=162724

    Probably worth a shot!

  15. You are one of my super heroes! You don’t wear a cape, but love your black outfits and you are always impecable!
    Keep being the man you are and your standards of right and doing the right thing. I am honored to know you sir!

  16. Tim, our sympathies on your loss. I’ll agree – no, you aren’t crazy for wanting to be there for a dog you love.

    We’ve had to say goodbye to a few dogs over the years. A couple times because of old age. And once far too soon, to a dog who was stricken with incurable cancer at the age of three.

    When our dog was first diagnosed, the vet treated him to alleviate his symptoms and then told us we would have a few months left with our canine friend. We were assured that our dog wasn’t suffering at all. How would we know when it was time, we asked. Your dog will let you know, the vet told us.

    I think it was four months later when our dog began to show serious symptoms, quite suddenly. The vet told us over the phone not to worry yet, that it was possibly some kind of treatable infection. Bring him in, the vet said. We’ll see.

    Before it was time to go, our dog made his way unsteadily to the back door and asked to go outside. Concerned for his ability to get around, I went along. Outside, he didn’t go to the bathroom, like I thought he’d wanted to. Instead, he took a slow walk around his yard, just sniffing at things, and looking. By the time he made his way to the chicken coop to visit “his” chickens (he’d loved to herd them) and sat down to watch them a while, I just knew. He was saying goodbye.

    After a while, I caught him looking at me, too. Quiet, at peace.

    I wish I could say I had been as at peace with it all as he was. Taking him to the vet and sharing those final moments was so very difficult. And yet, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Dogs are such a blessing, you know?

  17. Oh Joe, what an excellent post. I just love dogs, but I don’t have one now because just like you I don’t I could meet their social/physical needs well because I’m away from home a lot. However, I just can’t imagine if I had a beloved pet NOT being there for it in it’s final moments.

    “The dog represents all that is best in man.”
    – Etienne Charlet –

  18. Who knew after years of reading your blog it would be this entry that got me to make a post. 🙂

    In Hawaii I fell in love with an adorable kitten, picked him up, he crapped on me and I figured, well, it’s meant to be, so I brought him home when he was old enough to be weaned. He flew home to the mainland with me of course where a cute little golden retriever puppy joined our household not much later and for much the same reasons. Babies eh.
    Through the years they both traveled all around the US with me, loving every moment of it. When my marriage ended, I got the cat and my ex got the dog, with the stipulation that if ever he couldn’t take care of her, he had to call me first. Since she’d had health problem since 2 years old and he worked long hours, I didn’t know that he’d be able to take care of her as needed. I moved to Toronto (hello neighbor) and began my new life in an apartment. About 4 months later, I received the call that my ex could not really take care of our golden retriever like she needed to be and I said, sure, just give me time to find a house with a yard for her. So the search began and in another month I had a place set up for her and I drove down to the states to pick up my baby and brought her home, to be reunited with her best buddy, the cat.
    2 years after bringing them both to Canada, my cat passed away and within a couple months our golden got so bad that it was time to take her to the vet for her last trip, where I stayed with her, petting her hair and looking into her eyes as she went to sleep for the last time. I swore I would not do this again, it was heart breaking as it felt like we’d all grown up together.
    I couldn’t take it. A year to the day almost I made arrangements to get another homeless dog and we now have a little white raggamuffin shitzu-lasso mix named Molly who is absolutely adorable and rules the household.
    When the day comes, I’ll miss her terribly and swear to never do it again, but yet I know I will.
    Yes, they are work, yes they are total commitment and attention hogs, but they are also unconditional love.
    and btw Joe, I’m devastated that the best burger place you’d tried closed down before we were able to make it down to try out for ourselves. We’ve been all over this area, looking for a great burger (and yes, we’re food lovers too) and really thought you had found the spot for us. I guess the search continues. 🙁

    However, name and address of the restaurant with that Humongous schnitzel would be great! I still think the best schnitzel I’ve ever had was in Germany but I’m willing to keep an open mind. LOL

  19. Well said Joe, I agree about animals. We have loved and lost a few in our lifetime. Never easy, but the love they give is worth it all.

  20. Beautiful post Joe. I’m in tears. Tim – my thoughts are with you at this difficult time. I totally get it. It was great you got to be with Rhet when he passed.

    I love animals. We’ve always owned cats but I love dogs too, just never had one, except for a couple of weeks when I was a little kid and a dog that was given to my Dad wouldn’t let us out the back door.

    I was always the kid that would walk up to strange dogs and give them a pat….until I got attacked while walking past a dog on my way to school. It made me a little more wary.

    The only reason that I don’t have a dog now as an adult is that I work full-time and wouldn’t be able to leave a dog home alone (I live in a unit).

    However if I had a canine companion I’d choose an ex-racing greyhound. Love them!!

    I love cats. Everyone thinks my cat is psycho and is scared of it but she’s lovely with me and is a great friend. I sometimes find dog people aren’t as sympathetic towards cats and cat people. They see their bond as superior and won’t comfort you if you’re going through something with your cat. I don’t understand that.

    Love the doggie pics…funny how Jelly, Max and Bubba have the same expression…what is that? ….man I just looked again and you have the same expression inside the entrance to your apartment.

    Cheer up!!! You have lots to be thankful for.

    Cheers, Chev

  21. What a bunch of great people on here, hey? Like so many of us, I’ve been through this more times than I care to remember. Like Joe, I usually have 3 or 4 dogs at a time, and although not by choice, they’re usually close in age to each other. Many of these dogs I’ve found on the street, half-starved and terrified, others I’ve chosen to adopt at the pound, and yet others have been given to me by friends and family. What’s amazing is that although over the years I’ve had my favorites (Elway!), I’ve loved each and every one more than words can say. I always told my dog, Riggs, that I loved him more than all the stars in the sky. He loved sitting outside with me looking at the night sky, listening to me prattle on about whatever it was, gently keeping me safe and warm. Under his name on his grave marker, it says “More than all the stars in the sky.” Now, I’m looking at three dogs getting very old, and I’m really starting to worry. I’ve been here before, but it doesn’t get any easier. I guess all we can do is love them like crazy and give them the best possible life while they’re here, and hope we go where they are when it’s our time. 🙂 Night, all!

  22. Hello Joe.

    I’m w/ Das on this one. Well said Joe. Its time like these I wish my development allowed dogs…

    By the way, give the pups a big hug for all of us.

    Best wishes,

    Bryan

    Ps. BTW, any more reports on what would have happened on the extinction script? And if I was right about the possibility that McKay and Keller might have broken up?

  23. My best wishes to Tim, it’s so painful to lose any loved one, pooch or person.

    Poor Jelly, perhaps too she’s had trouble with the move and being in the new place. Plus she was separated during the surgery; she may be missing you. Maybe you can put your voice on a 8 hour loop to play back in her bed, or put your headshot in your bed?

  24. Wonderful post, thank you. I cannot imagine my life without dogs. And each time I lose one, they leave a hole shaped like them in your heart. And you get a new one and it doesn’t fill the hole, but it makes your heart grow larger so the hole is relatively smaller. I can’t understand anyone not being there.

    I do offer this small bit of stressful advice. Please, insist the vet give your pet drugs to put to sleep before the euthanasia meds. I don’t care how much they assure you it isn’t necessary, experience a couple of mistakes, see a panicked animal thrashing and afraid, and you’ll wish you did. Having held rescues at the shelter being euthanized, I have seen it happen more than once. Yes, 99 percent of the time, the drug is very fast and effective. But those extra few bucks to have your pet fall asleep before it is beyond worth it to avoid that small risk.

  25. @das –

    He can still be supervillainous toward people. I refer you to his own words above comparing dogs to people.

    His soft spot for dogs is that potential for redemption that adds suspense. We know he isn’t all evil so we wonder “will he or won’t he?” as he tears through his heinous deeds.

    It’s the pug-related dilemmas that’ll be his downfall. A supervillain needs a more spectacular end than that.

  26. Beautiful post Joe. Tim, you were right to be there! And Chevron7, I was a cat person until I devolped allergies. When I got my first home a few years ago, a friend sggested I might like a rescued greyhound. Babe (she of the barstool) has been sleeping on my bed for the past four years. Greys are great pets. The best way I can describe her is that she’s a 65 lb. cat. She eats, might run around the yard for a minute or two, then sleeps. Just like a cat.

  27. Very good post, one that I’m reading while spending a week away from my beloved cat Sydney. (I’d love to bring her with me but cats don’t really like vacations.). I’m sitting here using the public wifi in a place full of people getting all teary-eyed– Now I’ll have to pretend I’ve got something in my eye…
    On the plus side, I do get to spend a week in Vancouver.
    – KB

  28. joe, please see if carl can stop by for a stargate: revolution run-down q/a.

    (((stargate)))

  29. This was a truly beautiful post. I laughed and I cried. I’ve got a smile on my face and water in my eyes as I’m typing this.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about getting a pug lately, but the short lifespan has been an issue that has made me hesitant, but now I think I can accept it, thanks to your heartening post.

  30. Tim–so sorry for your loss. You were definitely correct when you wanted to be there for your dog.

    Now I know why I read this blog: so many animal lovers.

    I once told my oldest child when he was in preschool that our three pets were like his siblings (he didn’t have any at the time). He told his preschool teacher that he had two brothers and a sister. She knew that he didn’t, but she figured it out when he told her they walked on four legs.

    I tell people that I have eight children, three human and five cats. I do consider them that way.

  31. @Barstool Babe
    @she’s a 65 lb. cat. She eats, might run around the yard for a minute or two, then sleeps. Just like a cat.

    I think her walking around for a minute or two is more because for a cat, that’s dangerously overweight.

    Anything under 10kgs is a normal weight for an adult cat, however 65lb is like 29kgs. Which is far too much and the cat could be at risk of death prematurely.

    My tuxedo cat for example(Girl cat) is a normal healthy weight and loves to run around the yard, climb stuff, and ironically enough, play with small balls. Like hitting them and grabbing and stuff..

  32. Well said Joe and thank you for echoing what we’ve pet people have known all along! I have cats now, but I know a dog is in my future again! So Tim, you are not crazy, know that you were loved by your dog as much as you loved him….

    God bless!

  33. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments, Mr. M, and I’m grateful for all the advice you have given out.

    Dogs are man’s best friend and should be given all the care they need and deserve. I myself have been pondering getting one and I’m torn between getting a lab or a mastiff. My girlfriend would prefer the lab, but I’m tending towards the mastiff. Any advice you could offer?

  34. Aw, Joe… What a wonderful post. Yeah, sniffling here, too. Between you, Gen, and Deni, I need a kleenex. Love the photo of you and Jelly. If ever you were the DogFather, it’s in that picture…

    Can think of only one exception where people legitmately don’t like dogs, and that’s because they’ve been traumatized by them. (In that case, see “jerks” who mistreated the dogs first.)

    For Tim Hendrix, you have a world of dog friends, with experience in nearly everything. We’re always here. I am so sorry for your loss. Can’t imagine surviving a natural disaster and also suffering grief. I’m still not over losing my sled dog grrrl, at 15. I was with her from the time she was a fuzz ball to her very last morning. Debra, you are absolutely right, and that’s all I can manage to say.

    Funny, but this weekend, downy white milkweed seeds flew through the air just the way they did 2 years ago this month, when my “baby” passed away. She was a Samoyed, so the white fluff reminds me of her blowing coat, and the fur flying everywhere. Seems she finds a way of saying hello every year, and this was it.

    One of my favorite poems, for the love of dogs…

    by Charles Kingsley

    When all the world is young, lad,
    And all the trees are green,
    And every goose a swan, lad,
    And every lass a queen,
    Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
    And round the world away!
    Young blood must have its course, lad,
    And every dog his day.

  35. Hey Joe-

    Your story is hear-wrenching, yet despite that, the only thing I can think of to ask is what instrument you played? It’s because I’m drunk and a satisfied cat-owner. I do, however, love dogs. I’m still curious what your instrument was. If you mentioned it, I’m sorry… I’m hopelessly drunk. Anyway, I’m curious about what instrument you played, because I’m a pro F horn player who makes over half of his income through his instrument, so the topic intrigues me, and if any stereotypes in the world are true, it’s instrumental stereotypes… so do share! L-Do. I don’t know what I typed out “L-Do”, but it looked too intentional to delete. Anyway, the F-horn is great, and performing on a Stargate score has long been my dream gig. I hope that that can someday happen. Have a good day, but most importantly, “later”, because that’s the most truthfully optimistic thing Person A could ever say to Person B. At least in my experience.

    Later!

    ~Scott S.

  36. Bonjour,

    Comment allez vous?

    J’aime beaucoup les chiens, mais j’ai mes raisons de ne pas en vouloir.

    J’ai toujours vécu avec des chiens, sauf que ma mère les considéré comme ses enfants, nous vivions au rythme des chiens, pas de voyage, peu de sorties, des repas avec les chiens, des couchés avec mes chiens. Petite j’étais même très jalouse de mes chiens, car ma mère leurs faisait tout le temps des calins et moi elle me disputer toute la journée. Maintenant que j’ai quitter la maison c’est encore pire..a cause de ce chien elle viendra jamais me voir sur Paris, car elle peur qu’il arrive quelque chose à son chien. En plus c’est tellement triste quand ils décèdent, à 15 ans j’ai du moi même essayer d’arrêté l’hémorragie de mon chien car ma mère n’étais pas en état de s’en occupé, malheureusement il est décédé dans la nuit. Je peut pas vous dire que je n’aurai jamais de chien mais dans la situation actuelle je ne m’y sens pas encore prête.

    Ne pensez vous pas que vous aurez pu faire beaucoup d’autres choses sans vos chiens? Plus de moments en famille, de sortis, de moments en amoureux, de momentsde ralaxation?

    Je vous pose une autre question, pourquoi avoir fait le choix de ne pas avoir eu d’enfants?

    Merci beaucoup pour ces photos,
    bisous 🙂

  37. I know you might have been generalising to make a point Joe, but I have to pull you up on the “at best jerks, at worst serial killers” comment Joe.

    Now, I’m not an angel, but I’ve never been described as a jerk, I dislike dogs instinctively, simply because of a few run ins I had with some aggressive dogs as a kid.

    A nice post overall, but really must we pre-judge those with different points of view?

  38. Great post Joe. Thanks for the pictures.

    Tim; I would say from previous experience you will know when or if it is time to get a new pet. My deepest condolences on the loss of Rhett.

  39. I know this has nothing to do with dogs but please answer my previous question, here it is again

    When did you come up with the concept of SGU because I wrote something similar but mine had ancient Asgard in suspended animation, just want to know if I copied u, I wrote it in 2006/07

  40. @Tim H.: So sorry for your loss. I believe most of us have been in your place. It sucks!
    Sweet post Mr. M, but you made me cry. Stop it 🙂 .
    WiFi and cell phone signal not good here. My ipad has become a book reader only. Disney is not my thing.

  41. @Tim H.: I’m ALWAYS there for my pets for the end! You did the right thing. Don’t let anyone tell you different!

  42. @Tim Hendrix – bless you and your compassion in your friend’s time of need. Like Joe I regret not being there for my sweet angel kitty when he had to be put down. We’d been out of town and he was at the vet’s being boarded. As I dropped him off I told him to be a good boy and I’d come back and get him soon. While we were gone his chronic urinary tract infection returned and they couldn’t get it under control. I’d been warned that the next time he got it would probably be the last so when we got back the vet broke the news. I had to see him one last time to say “goodbye” so my mother and I went to pick up the dog and bid our farewells. To the day I die I will never forget holding him and telling him how much I loved and would miss him and then committing the ultimate betrayal by handing him back to the nurse and leaving him where I promised I wouldn’t. 22 years later and the wound is as fresh as ever. I truly believe he has forgiven me. Some say animals don’t have souls but there’s no way anyone can convince me that the ability to give such selfless love can be possessed by a soulless creature. Perhaps one day I can forgive myself.

  43. Condolences to Tim Hendrix on the loss of his beloved Rhet. Tim, when the time is right to have another pet, you’ll know it.

    I’m a cat lover myself, and I’ve held three cats as they were euthanized – fortunately, all three had lived long happy lives, and I took comfort in that in their passing over the rainbow bridge they were encircled by love.

    I’ve also had cats help save me – my current cat kneaded my left breast (something she normally doesn’t do) long enough for me to notice I had a lump. I went and had a mammogram, which showed a mass in my breast, and a biopsy revealed cancer. I’m currently waiting for another surgical procedure.

    In a way – I guess I had a cat scan! (Although, of the tabby variety.)

    Best wishes, Tim and Joe!

  44. Dear Joe,

    I read faithfully your blog everyday although SG is out. So I will follow your writer destiny. Yesterday night we discovered “Le transporteur” le film , first instalment. Good potential but not a great film. We like the main character, l’inspecteur, the humor and the tone. But we are under the impression that it was very “Taxi” like style and for us, “Taxi” 1,2 and 3 are better.
    If I am correct there are two others Transporter films and we will see them.
    But I can understand that could be a good base for a TV series. So we will wait and see.

    Ho! by the way, do you remember Hélène Labrie, a bronze sculptor that you kindly mentionned in your blog? Maybe friends of yours and yourself would like to know that she is now represented in Beijing, China, by a very serious art gallery.

  45. Great post Joe. I’ve met people who think pets are a ridiculous waste of time, and I feel sorry for them. Living your whole life relying only on other humans for love, affection, and loyalty? Absurd.
    Hardy24, I occasionally meet people while walking my dog who are phobic, invariably because of a bad experience. Their physical reaction to seeing a dog freaks the dog out, and so it just reinforces their phobia. While I sympathize that the initial bad experience wasn’t necessarily their fault, I deeply resent how they make their phobia MY problem. My dog is fine. He won’t hurt you. May I suggest therapy to master your own fear?
    I rescued a “pit bull” before Ontario’s terrible ban, and we happily moved out of Ontario last year. Now I live in Newfoundland, where there is no government mandated and media-driven phobia of the breed. People here stop me to say what a beautiful and well-behaved dog he is, unlike Toronto where they ask me if he is a pit bull with a disgusted, judgmental face.
    Joe, if you need a doggie daycare, try Umbrella Pet Services. They are great for those of us in the industry with random hours. They will give you a key so you can pick up and drop off outside of regular hours.

  46. Thanks Joe. Now I have somewhere to direct people who don’t “get it” and give me a hard time about my dogs and horses.

    @Tim Hendrix. So sorry for your loss and you did the right thing. If a person can hold it together, it’s the last gift you can give your pet to be with them. On the other hand, some people get way too upset and it actually is harder on the pet. You’ll know when it’s right to get another dog.

  47. Tim, sorry to hear about Rhett. You are not out to lunch. (((HUGS)))

    I never thought I would be so attached to a pet but then Bubie moved in and that furball stole my heart. He has been living with my roommate and I for 5 years now. A friend of our previous roommate was moving to the US and was looking for a good home for him. Matt said yes & I didn’t find out about it until I came home and there he was. After Matt moved out, Bubie stay with us.

    The sad news is that Bubie, who is 15 years old, is sick and is on a couple of perscription. The diagnosis isn’t good. We are just taking it one day at a time.

  48. @Barstool Babe: So true! Greyhounds are a lot like cats, and they’re wonderful companions. Ours (remember Flannery, kids?) would do the same, sprint for a minute or two in the field across the street or in the yard, then pee, poop, and back in the house on her memory foam bed for the day. 🙂 Sweet as honey, that one! Had a habit of sticking her long nose between my boobs, too. 🙂 I’d get another one in a hearbeat.

    @for the love of Beckett: LOVE the poem. 🙂

  49. Tim, I am very sorry for your loss. I absolutely agree and concur with everything Mr. Mallozzi said. They are not just pets; they are family. They are our babies. We love them and they love us. When their time comes, we should be there petting them reassuradly that it’s not going to hurt any more and that we love them. Anyone who “can’t handle it” is a wuss. I’ve said good-bye to three cats and two dogs over the years. We got replacement pets not long afterwards because an empty house is too lonely and painful to bear. When I lived in an apartment that didn’t allow pets, I went to other people’s houses and loved theirs. You are not wrong in your feelings. And don’t take any advise from people who tell you that you shouldn’t love your animals during their last seconds of life.

  50. @DALLAS MARSHALL: “Anyone who “can’t handle it” is a wuss.”
    Oh, bullshit. There is no right or wrong way to deal with this. Some people can stay with their pets, but to others it’s just too difficult. I’ve seen both instances, and can honestly tell you that in all cases, these animals were deeply loved.

  51. “Just a Dog”

    From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up. It’s just a dog.” or “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.”

    They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent or costs involved for “Just a dog”.

    Some of my proudest moments have come about with “Just a dog”. Many hours have passed with my only company being “Just a dog” and not once have I felt slighted.

    Some of my saddest moments were brought about by “just a dog”. In those days of darkness , the gentle touch of “Just a dog” provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day.

    If you, too, think it’s “Just a dog”, you will probably understand phrases like “Just a friend” or “just a sunrise” or “Just a promise”.

    “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.

    Because of “Just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks, and look longingly to the future.

    For me and folks like me, it’s not “Just a dog”. It’s an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,
    the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

    “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

    I hope that someday people can understand it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keep me from being “Just a man ” or “Just a woman”.

    So the next time you hear the phrase “Just a dog”, smile, because they “Just don’t understand”..

    Author unknown.

  52. @Barstool Babe

    Oh I’m sorry, misread your post, so you rescued a greyhound? That was good of you.

  53. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    My little dog is now an old man of 14 and -god love him- is becoming a wee bit senile. He forgets he’s been his walk, and puts his face on my laptop while I’m trying to work. Come to think of it, maybe he’s smarter than I am (but that wouldn’t be hard!)

    Anyway, when it comes his time I don’t want him passing away in the arms of strangers. I want to be there, if not holding him, then at least giving him some comfort at the end. I was denied that for my last dog by a moronic vet. He told us our pet was going to be fine – when he obviously knew he wasn’t. Robbie died away from his family, and I still feel very bitter about that.

    I don’t understand those people who just think of dogs as animals – they give more love than most people. It’s unconditional, regardless of what we do to them, and they are an important part of the family. A big responsibility – definitely. But the rewards you get from that ball of fur, far outweighs the effort.

  54. @Tim Hendrix – There’s nothing I can add that Joe hasn’t already said, except to say how sorry I am for your loss. I can sympathize with your decision, having a very old cat who is on her last, wobbly legs. Today I took her outside to sleep under the shade of the trees with me while I read, and I’m just happy I could give her that on this peaceful day, since I really don’t know how much longer she’ll be around. I don’t want to make ‘the decision’ – I keep hoping that when it’s her time to go, she decides, not me. But as I see her quality of life deteriorate, I realize I might have to make that choice. It’s never easy, no matter how old or sick they are.

    {{{hugs}}}

    das

  55. Hi Mr M!

    Great post.

    Sorry to hear of Tim’s loss.

    Dogs are a big part of life here. As someone who never had a pet in childhood, getting a dog for me was almost as big a deal as the arrival of our first child (or in my case our twins). That’s not an exaggeration. Nor is to equalise the two. But rather to graduate the love, affection and time you share with your dog.

    Well said Mr M!

    S’n’T

  56. Joe I just watched the episode were Janet Frazier died was there any other options in who died, o’neill, Simon wells

  57. Kelly Szentgyorgyi, Thank goodness for your kitty, and her “cat” scan! Proof that even cats can save lives. It’s incredible what animals know that we don’t. Sending healing prayers your way.

    Deni, good for you. Well said! and you made me laugh. Glad you liked the Kingsley poem.

    Ponytail, Yeah, that “just a dog” thing stings, doesn’t it? What price can you put on unconditional love? Earlier this winter I had to throw together a short story in 24 hours, and one guy’s method of dealing with the “just a dog” comment is what resulted.

  58. P.S. Hey, Anne Teldy! We miss our people friends, too! How are you doing? What books have you read or movies have you seen lately?

  59. Very touching post. We got our previous dog before we had children and, when 14 years later the time came, we had the vet come to the house and she was put to sleep in her own bed surrounded by us. It was heartbreaking but we wanted to make her final moments as stress free as possible. My husband swore he would never have another dog but 7 years later this January,after much nagging from our children, we got Maia a lovely mischievious labrador X. Yes she is time consuming and yes expensive but she is such an important part of our family I can’t imagine our life without her now.
    @Tim H I’m sorry for your loss but I’m sure you’ll know when the time is right to get another dog.

  60. There is no love in this world like that of your faithful canine. Dogs generally *are* better than people.

    I don’t see how I could not be with mine when that day eventually comes. Breaks my heart to think about it, but I’ll know they lived a good life and were loved as much as they loved me.

  61. Condolences Tim. My childhood cat made it to 21 & only then because he was attacked by a rabid raccoon that broke into his screened porch & inflicted fatal injury.

    Dogs & cats are great but let me tell my long held belief: don’t have them if you can’t devote the time, effort & money that is necessary. I love dogs but we’ve only had cats because that’s all we could honestly afford in those 3 terms. I had children instead, 2 decades of busy lives most of the time away from the house. Cats could handle it; would not have been fair to dogs. But now, with kids headed to college & less hectic life, a dog is looming.
    DD

  62. Sorry to reply so late to this thread – I’ve been away for quite some time and am just working my way through my feed reader, but this post just really touched me and I had to reply.

    We have never had dogs, but we do have some beautiful Bengal cats. A lot of people seem to believe that cats are stand-offish and not very friendly – but from my experience it is really a matter of getting out what you put in. We got our first 2 Bengal brothers in the autumn of 2003 and they were our babies (we don’t children). We’d spend time with them – playing, cuddling. They would always be whereever we were in the house. We got them walking jackets and leads as the place we rented at the time was not safe for them to be outside on their own. Spring last year we had to put one of them to sleep – it was one of the worst experiences in my life. When we got the call from the vet that there was nothing that could be done to save him and that he did not have long (it was all very sudden and fast) – I ended up telling them to put him to sleep straight away. My husband was unable to get home to come with me to vets and I simply couldn’t go there on my own. I was a complete wreck at this point after the days of worrying and hoping – I couldn’t stop crying. So he was put to sleep on his own – and the guilt from that is still as strong today as it was then. I don’t think that will ever change.

    Afterwards we did a lot of discussing about whether we would ever get another cat and if so when, but in the end the remaining brother made the decision for us. He was so listless, he’d never been alone before in all his 7 years. So we ended up bringing home 2 Bengal kittens only a month and a half later. It took months before the adult fully accepted the kittens, but the day we came home to find all three of them curled up on our bed together made it completely worth it.

    Pip and Lily have not replaced Max – I still miss him – but they have made their own places in my heart. And it has given me such joy to see our 7-year old cat play like a kitten with them.

    Family!

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