Wednesday, September 07, 2016


More often than usual she comes and stands beside me. Even as I type this. She presses her head against my knee, my thigh. Solidarity. She's always done this. Even in a dog park. She'd frolic for a while with the others and then come back to me and press her head against me, often briefly, and then gallop off again. Telling me secrets, sharing the adventure.

She had a way of jumping lightly on the sofa if I lay down with a book, she'd stretch herself along the length of it between me and its back and lay her head just so on my shoulder, staring at me. "What is this thing called book?" I'd explain to her as best I could about this static thing that stared back at me, that held mysteries and inspiration and deep thoughts and humour and thrills. "Not as interesting as a dead fish on a beach," she'd sigh and wait patiently for me to get a move on to the great outdoors.

Her jumping days are gone. She was always the most graceful of dogs. Her movements almost balletic. Her days of going upstairs are gone. Her bed long moved to the front hall where she can keep an eye on everything.

She doesn't smile anymore. I know, silly, fanciful perception of a dog. But yes, she did have this incredible happy grin as if the world was full of endless delight and her human companion a joy to behold every minute of the day.

She followed me up to the meadow a few days ago and watched me hanging out the sheets to dry.

And somehow, I knew in the heart of me that this would be the last time she'd ever do this. Her smile was missing. I don't know what enormous effort it took her to go up the meadow. Herculean, I imagine. Her pace slow and agonizing.

She gets stuck in weird places now, behind the woodstove, the back deck, wedged in corners she never so much as looked at before. Standing for over a minute she has to sit down, take a rest.

But still, she comes to stand beside me, often tucking her head up tight against me.

"It's time, old girl," I said to her this morning, "You're confirming my thoughts".

She pressed harder.

"I'll be with you, I'll hold you and sing you your song, and kiss you and rub your gorgeous belly and listen to your secrets one last time."


  1. You're breaking my heart. All courage and comfort to you, my friend.

  2. <3

    Many of us have done this. I once used a child's wagon all padded up to eak out a few more months for an old girl. She perked up so to greet her neighbours animal and human as we trundled by stopping at each house or extended hand, child other old ones, kitties, posties, everyone she knew stopped us for a word, a scratch and a treat. One whole month before her owners, two old physicians, did the deed.

    We are so lucky to have had them.

  3. I relate. I wish you the strength to go through with this experience too as you have done many others.

  4. That's sad that she no longer has her youthful energy and sunny disposition and now finds life rather laborious and difficult. But it's nice that she still has ways of showing affection.

  5. I can't stand the thought of this happening with my Ginger, who is 9 years old and so far still going strong. She grins just like you describe with Ansa. She's the most loving, wonderful dog, always in tune with my husband and me. I dread the day that must inevitably come and I'm not sure how we will stand it.

    Hugs to you and dear Ansa. I've been wondering about her.♡

  6. Ansa is a beautiful spirit. Heartfelt hugs to you both.

  7. The times I've had to face this. It's heartbreaking.
    Lots of love and hugs.x

  8. God bless her.
    Love your sharing
    reminds me of my Callie

  9. Tough times, my friend. My sympathies.

  10. What a beauty she is. You've been blessed.

  11. What a beautiful little face. How graced you have been to have such a sweetie on your journey...and you on hers. Thinking of you.

  12. My heart breaks for you. Holding you in the light ~

  13. It never helps that you know it's coming. You try, but you can't prepare the heart. What a beautiful pet, and what a beautiful tribute to her.

  14. Dear Ansa, she is so beautiful and as a friend and companion to you these years has been one of a kind surely. She has been much loved by you and reciprocal in turn.Have enjoyed the pictures of her you have shared with your readers. Thinking of you now.

  15. Thanks everyone, your words and thoughts mean so much to me. She will forever be in my heart, a true companion, a loyal and loving heart.

  16. Hi Wise - Sorry to be so long getting here. I'm having a cry for your beautiful Ansa and for you. It is so painful. It has been 11 months for Josie and I and only this month has she stopped following me everywhere in my large apartment. I'm glad - it was so painful always feeling her underfoot or on the end of the bed. I am sure she is glad too - she must have been sick of seeing me everywhere she looked and stepped. May they rest in peace and us too. It will get easier Wise - be good to yourself. She was a gorgeous sensitive dog - it is written all over her face. So Sorry.


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