Farewell, Dear Henry

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It’s not a very good picture, this one above, but it does show the relationship between a boy and his dog. There is a certain tenderness that almost makes me weep when I look at it, as I wander through the house trying not to look for Henry.

He was a good dog, one we rescued from a shelter almost twelve years ago. His nose was a bit crooked as he’d been let out on the highway by someone, and he snored rather loudly.

Our mail woman looked at him through the screen when she came to the door once and said, “He’s kind of cute for an ugly dog.”

But ugly lies in the eyes of the beholder.

To us, he was perfect.

He was strange when I came home from teaching on Wednesday night. He stood with his eyes closed, and his head down, in the middle of the living room. He wouldn’t look at me, or anyone, and I knew something was dreadfully wrong.

On Thursday night we took him to the vet knowing that it would be his last ride in the car. It’s a sorrowful journey, that final one, even if it’s “only” for a dog.

I assume he’s playing with Winston, that the two of them are having a happy frolic somewhere in the tall grass.

I thank him for the joy he gave us, the unconditional love I try to emulate in my own life.

Farewell, Henry James. We loved you very much, little one.

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30 thoughts on “Farewell, Dear Henry”

    1. I love how you said “dog person”! It’s so true, they seem certainly more than half human. He blessed our lives as we trust we blessed his, it was certainly a reciprocal relationship of loving all around. I’m glad you can picture Winston and Henry playing as I do.

      And, as you’re such a lovely cat person, I have to point out that one of our cats loved Henry especially. She is having a dreadful time coping. Who says animals don’t have hearts? I’m convinced they do on some level.

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  1. I’ve had dogs for most of my life, in fact at this moment Islay (jack Russell, west highland cross) is sat looking at me, so can empathise with you & I know how Stu felt about Winston so may they both enjoy a field large & full of interest in which to run & explore to their hearts content

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    1. Oh Gary, I love how you pop in when you’re most needed. It’s so good to know that you’re not completely gone from blogging.

      I hope that Stu is not offended that I put our dogs together. I know how special his relationship to Winston was, but I love to think of the dogs free of pain and playing.

      I love to think of the rejoicing there will be in Heaven when this world is put behind us. (But that’s the subject for a whole other post.)

      Thank you for your lovely comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I cried when I read this:(

    Henry knew his time had come and he didn’t want you to be sad for him. You were all blessed by his presence I am sure. HUGS

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  3. I didn’t cry when I read your Facebook post, but after seeing this photo and reading your words, I have tears streaming down my cheeks. Our dogs are such a large part of our lives and members of our families… they are never only dogs. They are loved ones. I remember the sadness (and all the reminders) that follows after that last drive to the vet, having experienced it once with our dear Sidney, and I know it won’t be long before we face it again with Annie-dog. I send you my love and virtual hugs, dear, dear friend. Henry was loved.

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    1. Dear Les, I know you know how it feels. Loss is hard on every level, and you’re right, it’s never only a dog. It’s a part of the family whom we mourn.

      I remind myself that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. But, I still look for him a thousand times a day in the smallest aspects of life, sitting with a piece of toast, for example, of which he adored to have the corners.

      Thank you for your love.

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  4. Argh I’m sure they are so sorry words can’t help at this tune I know still threw months on I think every day of my boy and sure he is enjoying a new friend to play with up their

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    1. It takes months for the pain to dissipate, and really, it never goes fully away I think. A piece of our hearts is with every creature, and every person, we’ve loved. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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  5. I am so sorry, Bellezza. It’s very difficult to lose a pet–they are so much a part of our families and our lives. Henry sounds like he was a wonderful companion (rescues are often the best animals). You will miss him.

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    1. I think he was so much better (at least for our family) than a purebred. He was so gentle, and so unconditional in his loving, and so low keyed. Really, everything I want to be myself.

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    1. I’m so glad we rescued him, and as others have said there are more dogs to be rescued. I’m sure one day we will choose another from the shelter. But, I’m so concerned now for the children who have no family. I ought to have rescued a few of those, too, to my shame.

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    1. My husband and I have been going through our photograph albums and remembering all the happy times. It’s lovely to think on the joy that has occurred the last twelve years with one little “puppy”.

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  6. Dogs are the best and when one passes on there is always such a void. Noone loves you like a dog. I have three of them and all are important family members. Moreso in some cases. I am sorry you lost your old guy but hope you give another dog a forever home one day. There are so many looking for what Henry had.

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    1. You’re so right: no one loves you like a dog. Why is that so? Why are they able to love so freely, so unjealously, and I find so many little thigs that annoy me about people? I want to be more dog-like in my affection. As for another dog, I’m sure one lies in our near future. My husband can’t stand the void.

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  7. I’m so, so sorry. I dread the day when Dixie Rose is no longer with me. I can’t even imagine how big the hole must be for you. And it certainly is true that animals grieve losses. Sometimes I think it’s more heartbreaking because we can’t talk with them. All we can do is love them. Which, of course, is what we do for one another in these times, too.

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    1. I don’t know very much about your Dixie Rose, but I’m so glad you have her.

      My mother and I were wondering about the possibility of animals in heaven, and if so could they talk. Wouldn’t that be wonderful, to one day converse with these silent, faithful ones? I think we can learn a more perfect love from the example they set for us. Wagging tails, faithful licks, steady presence.

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  8. What a beautiful picture. Pets worm their way into our hearts and stay there forever. May you have many happy memories of Henry. And if you don’t mind, I am sure our Chico is frolicking with Henry. They look remarkably similar.

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    1. I don’t mind at all…the more in their party, the better! This is not such a good picture of Henry. He had a gorgeous expression, with one blue eye and one brown. I’m sure your Chico was much like that as you say they’re similar.

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  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. Our pets are a part of our family and they leave a void when their time is done. Our dog has been gone almost a year and I swear sometimes I think I can smell him or hear him.

    *hugs*

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  10. Ah Dear DB – my heart goes out to you. This photo is beautiful. I have one just like it of my man spending the last 24 hours with our old girl. That was four years ago now, and her photo is still on the kitchen fridge and she still watches us as we live. They join our lives for precious moments and all too soon they leave us. They bring us joy, they listen to us, they fill a space when a loved one is away, and they forgive us quickly. Take your time. I’m teary too right now. All care.
    http://www.thyme-for-tea.blogspot.com.au/2010/06/farewell-my-beautiful-princess.html

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