Sharing Joy and Sorrow: From One Dog Lover to Another

Below is the email I sent yesterday to the host of my favourite radio program, CKUA’s The Road Home.

Belated, and nonetheless sincere condolences…to you on Hershey’s passing, Bob.

It’s taken me a bit to write, as Hershey’s passing reminded me of the not-so-long-ago passing of our sixteen year old, Lady dog in mid July.

A sporting English Setter, she came to us at five years, with as many “homes” in those years.  Understandably aloof, yet gentle, with a real survivor’s instinct as she foraged all the berries in the back yard – mayday, rosehip, dogwood and raspberry.  Those instincts helped her survive a five day “romp” on the Saskatchewan prairie when she ran off after a field trial.

I promised her we’d be her “forever family,” and so, was grateful to her strong spirit that she stayed alive until I returned from three months travelling in Europe.  Even then, as my husband anticipated, she would not leave easy… knowing the good life and love we’d given her.  Our joy, our privilege, really.  Several times we wondered “is this the time?” and she would rally, ever alert, always enjoying her food.

When I returned to Canada the end of May, I resumed my practice of listening to The Road Home, wondering all the while on the health of your ancient being. I took great heart in knowing Hershey, at eighteen, was still alive.  And was deeply touched by the tribute you gave her in that special episode.  Could there have been a more perfect poem in Mary Oliver’s???

As a member of this curious and compassionate community that convenes most weekday evenings or mornings to partake of The Road Home, I, too, was touched by the messages you received, and felt a need to offer my own.

Thank you, again, for what you have created, for what you offer that adds such richness and resonance for so many of us, here and abroad.


About Katharine Weinmann

living and leading with courage, clarity, compassion and creativity
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2 Responses to Sharing Joy and Sorrow: From One Dog Lover to Another

  1. Terri Blair Maracle says:

    I think most people can relate to this story. We, too, almost lost our ‘old boy’ a mutt named Bear, Bear had a stroke and could hardly walk and lost his vision in one eye. We spent the night totally believing that when we took him to the vet the next morning that we would have to say good bye….that was IF he was still with us in the morning. Well, the next morning came and Bear was slightly better. We went to the vet, where he had some stitches removed. The vet said his heart was strong and maybe we should wait. Well, as unbelievable as it was to us, within a week, he had regained his balance, learned how to adjust his movements to having one blind eye and was soon jaunting down to the bay to sniff the shore. That was 4 months ago and he is almost totally back to normal. Now we both know that this is a temporary reprieve, but we are enjoying each day that we have.

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