Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Death of our dog, Ben

Between the time Tom left for school yesterday, and the time I got up, our Ben died. I came downstairs and found him. He left our life as quietly as he came into it. He hadn't any signs of illness. He just died. If you haven't read his story, it is here from four years ago this very month. Pictures of him have been on the blog a lot, even as a blog header a few times.

There really aren't words for this dog. All of our dogs were, and are, wonderful and special, but he was truly different. Ben appeared in March of a year that turned out to be the first in a string of tough years. He was a miracle boy who helped us through. He was so conscientious. So concerned. I couldn't shed a tiny tear without him knowing from rooms away. He'd be there, leaning against me, looking up at me with those deep brown eyes, just like this. There was an occasion when I was really upset that he and his 120+ pounds jumped right up on my lap. Ben had to take care of us. That was his job. He was the center, the grounding when all about us was trembling.

Thank God, our lives have settled. Maybe he felt he could go now. He lived more in the seven years he'd been here than most dogs do in double that time. He must have been tired. We were always so pleased when he would deeply sleep because it wasn't common. He was always on alert, with one eye open just in case he was needed. Now he can rest.

This is the last picture I have - keeping us company as we got our Christmas tree.

64 comments:

  1. Oh, Nan, I'm so sorry. Losing a pet is terrible, and I think one of the cruelest bits of life is that our pets don't live nearly long enough.

    You all will be in our thoughts. Sending hugs...

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  2. Nan - my sincere sympathy to you and Tom. Wishing you some comfort from the pain.

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  3. Oh Nan, I am so sorry! Ben sounded like such a wonderful dog! I'm sure he will still be watching over you. HUGS to you my friend.

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  4. Nan, I'm so sorry. I know you guys loved Ben so much. I also know you will treasure the memories you have of him. Hugs to all of you!

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  5. Nan, I am so, so sorry. I am glad he brought such joy to your lives, and the love you had for him would have assured that his life was happy and full until the end.

    Thinking of you. Having lost a much beloved dog myself, I know exactly how it feels.

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  6. Nan I am so, so sorry to hear of your loss.

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  7. You have my deepest sympathy. I know Ben was a great comfort and support in your life. I became much attached to him and I didn't even know him personally. Big Hugs.

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  8. I just went to the two links you provided. Those big brown eyes will not be forgotten. What a blessing he was.

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  9. You have my sympathy.
    No mere words can express the joy we have with a beloved dog nor the sorrow we feel when they are no longer with us.

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  10. So sorry to hear about Ben's death. But it must be consoling to know that he wasn't ill, didn't suffer, instead, as you put it, "just died".

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  11. Oh Nan...I'm so sorry to hear about Ben's passing. God brought him to you back then because he knew that you both needed each other. I love animals...they just know when we need a hug or a kiss. I thinking of you!

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  12. He looks like he was a lovely dog and going to sleep and not waking up is a very kind way to go, it's sad and I'm sorry for you for Good dogs always die far, far too soon.
    I'm sure he will now live most fondly in your minds eye but darn'it don't you just wish they were still alive and nudging us to remind us they are there.
    love Valx

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  13. I am so sorry. Although I am not a 'dog' person, I know just how much a working dog means to a farming family, and how each is different, and special. I'll be thinking of you on your hill farm and wishing you all the best. At least from what you write, it would appear that Ben did not suffer; maybe to die in his sleep was the best way to go.

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  14. oh I am so sad. Ben looks like he was just so loving and he was obviously well loved by you and your family.

    You have my sincere sympathies. I know this has to be so very heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you all during this time. It is so hard to lose a pet, they are just all love and goodness.

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  15. My heart is breaking for you and Tom. Ben's story reminds me so much of ours with Annie-Dog. She arrived in our lives when we were in great need of comfort and she always senses when we're sad. She is the most gentle and loving dog I have ever known and I've always felt she was sent to us by Rachel. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose a pet and I'm so terribly sorry for you and your family. Keeping you in my thoughts in the coming days and weeks, my dear friend.

    Love, Les (and Rod)

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  16. Oh, Nan, I'm so sad. Our dogs are so precious to us, and I know what a loss it is. XO to you and your family. (Have you read Dog Heaven? Cynthia Rylant is such a wonderful author, and this comforted us a lot when we lost Alex.)

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  17. I am so sorry, so very, very sorry to read this news. I know what it's like to lose a devored furry friend. I've gone through it. It's never easy. But at least it appears he went quietly in his sleep. You gave Ben a good life, feel good about that. It was his time.

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  18. Oh Nan, what a sad time for you. I am so sorry to hear about Ben. My thoughts are with you and Tom.

    Patricia

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  19. I'm so sorry and my heart aches for you , but you gave Ben so much.
    Just like he did for you.
    xx
    julie

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  20. I am so sorry to hear this. I have a little dog Bo who looks after me like this, and cares so much how I feel and tries to cheer me up. He was so close to my husband during his illness and grieved with us after his death. These dogs are absolutely part of ones family, and Ben sounds very very special. Give yourself time to grieve.

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  21. Donna - Avon Musings....January 4, 2011 at 6:07:00 PM EST

    Dear Nan: I am so very sorry to hear of Ben's passing. I think you said it all when you said "there really are no words". You and Tom will be in my thoughts during this difficult time. Even though Ben is gone, you will have some wonderful memories to keep him alive in your hearts forever.

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  22. So sorry Nan and Tom. He sounds like he was a very special dog.

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  23. I'm so sorry to hear this. It sounds like he was an extraordinary dog that must have loved you and your family very much.

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  24. I'm so sorry for your loss, Nan. What a lovely story of how he came to live with you and your family. It sounds as though he had a wonderful life with you all.

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  25. Dear Nan, I am so very sorry that you and your family have lost such a faithful friend, Ben. His story is touching and he will surely be missed on your farm. Penny

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  26. I'm so very sorry for your loss of Ben. These special dogs that come into our lives are gifts to be celebrated. How very fortunate you all were to find each other and be able to be there for each other. It sounds like Ben helped you and Tom through your hard times and by allowing him to be there you helped him to fulfill his purpose. It is so very, very hard to lose someone you love and that loved you so much back. My thoughts are with you.

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  27. Pets occupy such a special place in our hearts... there are tears in my eyes as I read this. Ben was lucky to have found such an good home, and you were blessed to have him in your lives. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  28. Oh, Nan, I am so sorry. What a terrible loss for you and yours. I am so glad you got to spend one last Christmas with him. He sounds like he was a very special soul.

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  29. My dear Nan,
    I am so sorry to hear your sad news of the loss of such a true and loyal friend. Be comforted in knowing that he died peacefully and without with pain.
    RIP, Ben.

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  30. So very, very sorry for your loss. Ben sounded like a dog that had your family's heart and whose mission on this earth was to watch over you all with such love.

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  31. I am choking up from this post, and the past story about how Ben came into your lives. I am SO SORRY Nan. Pets bring so much joy into our lives, and when they leave us it is as devastating as losing a human family member...HUGS

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  32. Oh, Nan, I am so sorry. It does sound like his work with you was done. Now his spirit can go on to grace other lives. But I know you will miss him greatly.

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  33. I'm sorry for your sudden loss of Ben. He sounds like a great dog, and there will be a big void in your house for awhile. Hugs to you.

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  34. That was such a heart-breakingly beautiful tribute to Ben.
    Your hearts must be so sad.
    I am so sorry for you in the loss of your loyal, faithful, kind and compassionate friend.
    May his memories bring you peace Nan.
    hugs,
    Joanne

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  35. I am so very sorry about your Ben, and the lovely story you tell has such feeling, I feel as if I knew him too. Thank you. I am also glad your lives are more settled now.

    I really enjoyed your header when I saw it. I'd love to have a poster like that one in my house.~~Dee

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  36. So sad to hear this, Nan. Lost two of my own over the past 3 years. They're our guardians, best friends, and soulmates. Seems like they're here for such a short period of time.

    Thinking of you and Ben and the rest of your family. He sounded - and looked - like a great dog!

    - Jeff

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  37. I'm so sorry. The loss of any pet leaves such a huge gap.

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  38. Oh Nan I am so sorry. Ben lived (and loved) more in his years with you than most dogs and some people! You were blessed to have him, but I know that doesn't make it any easier right now. My thoughts are with you both.

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  39. Nan, my heart is with you and your family. I know it is a hard, hard thing and I hope all the memories of Ben's goodness bring much comfort.

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  40. How sad to come here and read of your loss. Dogs are such great friends and companions that they leave a huge gap in our lives when they leave us. At least he has died quickly, peacefully and without suffering which is a gift in itself.

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  41. My heart is full. Thank you so very much for each of your notes. I've read them over and over. You are the kindest people.

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  42. Oh, I so hate to visit and read this news. Nan, I am so sorry. There's nothing harder than losing a beloved dog. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless Ben.

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  43. Dear Nan, all of us who have shared our lives with dogs, especially those long-lived ones, understand the new, raw emptiness in your household. Sympathies to you & Tom & the kids. Ben lives on in your many memories of him. If only we all could have so peaceful a passage as he did--what a blessing.The end-of-life decision was his own, not yours or a vet's--what a blessing!

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  44. Oh, Nan, so sorry to hear this. What a lovely tribute you've written though. Dogs are very special, and Ben sounds like he was one of the best. Warm thoughts and good comfort to you.

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  45. I am so sorry. The gap that a dog leaves behind is so painful.

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  46. I am so sorry to read about Ben and the loss to you and your family. I've only known two dogs that had that sensitivity towards someone who was sad and it is such a blessing. There is nothing like the unconditional love from your dog.

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  47. Nan, I am so sorry about Ben. There is really nothing so sad as losing a beloved canine friend. I still miss my own dear darling departed Cassie.

    Ben was a gorgeous lad, and oh those warm loving brown eyes of his...

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  48. Oh Nan, what a shock it must have been for you. I am so, so sorry you had to face it alone. The ground of our being always seems to shift a bit when a beloved animal dies but Ben has left a legacy of such gentle caring which surely outlives him.
    Carole xxx

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  49. I'm so sorry, Nan, to read of the passing of your extraordinary friend, Ben. Pets certainly do leave their footprints on our lives and in our hearts. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  50. Oh, I'm so sorry. What a lovely boy he was. I'm sending internet hugs your way. :(

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  51. Nan,

    I am sorry for your loss. I reread his story - what a special dog.

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  52. I am reading of Ben's death rather after the fact. Our beloved animals become such a large part of our lives and when they leave, for many weeks it seems that they must still be in some favorite spot, if we just turn quickly enough to see them.
    Our last dog died in nearly that same way, two years ago on Christmas Eve morning. He had seemed a bit odd the day before--but he was given to being rather odd and a bit neurotic.
    You will continue to miss Ben--take comfort in the years you shared together.

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  53. Nan,
    I'm sorry to hear about Ben. :( You and your family are in my thoughts.

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  54. What a beautiful post, Nan. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family. Ben sounds like an amazing dog.

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  55. I'm sorry about your loss of Ben. I hope his memories keep you smiling.

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  56. Just catching up here and had to stop and offer condolences on Ben. I know, or am learning, the space that dogs can take up in our hearts and lives and it is awful to lose them, however peacefully.

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  57. I'm so sorry about Ben, Nan. sending love and hugs,

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  58. Nan, I'm sorry to read about your loss. He sounds like he was a wonderful dog and that you have a lot of great memories of him. I went back and read the story of how he found you and it was very sweet.

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  59. So sorry to hear this, Nan, it's always heartbreaking.

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Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

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