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Hey Momo, I know we haven't much of chance to have a good conversation lately on account of your deafness so I'm going to be talking right up close to your ear and maybe you'll be able to at least feel the vibration of my voice if nothing else. I really hope you haven't thought that I'd stopped talking to you this past year because I haven't. Every morning, I still said good morning to you, every evening I said goodnight. I never stopped chatting with you throughout the day even after I was pretty sure you couldn't hear me at all. And I'm talking to you now just before we say goodbye.

I took so many pictures of you. I should've taken more. I took so many videos of you and I should've taken more. I should've captured from all the different angles all the ways that made you. I don't know what I will miss most about you. Once there are enough years in a relationship, it sometimes gets difficult to discern between love and habit.

Every morning, your routine made me smile. You'd take a step off your bed and go into a long full stretch, then sneeze, then scratch and then you'd finally trot over to me, swaying your head side to side and wagging your tail at the same time. When you were younger, you'd wake me up at this point. When you got older, you'd wait until I stood at the top of the stairs, waving your harness at you, before you'd start your routine.

You always danced before eating. You always flopped into your spot at the end of the blue sofa then sighed as you curled into it. You always gently mooched for snuggles when I hadn't paid you any attention in a while. You always stayed by my side when I was home. With these simple things you were content in life, and thus I felt better about mine because contentment is contagious when it comes from a dog.

You always danced before eating, right up to the day before the stroke took you.

Your old body has put up with a lot in this life and sometimes it weighed on you, and on me as well but the weight of you is not something I ever begrudged. If love were too light, what impression would it make? It would just float away.

But now I think your body is saying, Enough already, and who am I to keep it from its rest?

I'm not going to wash your harness just yet or put away your bedding just yet. I still need to have around me a while longer some essence of you in this home, a home which we moved into together many years ago and from which you will now leave me behind.

The vet is doing her work.

I don't want to let you go though I must let you go. I hang onto you like I hang onto a precious thing in a dream hoping to pull it into reality.

She tells me it will be gentle.

I put my hand on your chest and feel your last breaths. I watch your eyes as the anxiety leaves them; they relax though remain open. You shed your tired body. I whisper in your ear as you go, hoping the vibrations reach you.

Carry on my sweet Simone, once again light and unencumbered.

- October 21, 2020

13 Comments to “Last Conversation with Simone”

  1. Garrick says:

    I’m sorry Fred. This is so tough. Nice tribute

  2. GoLightly says:

    Beautiful, thank you for helping us all remember our own dear friends.
    Godspeed, Simone.

  3. Oh Fred, I am so completely sorry to hear about Simone. She was so VERY lucky to have you take her into your life. I know you will feel you got the better end of the deal but she would say differently.
    As usual, you wield word words so well my heart aches.

  4. Biscuit says:

    Oh Fred, I’m just seeing this. I’m so sorry. x

  5. sj says:

    I’m so sorry Fred. So wholly beautifully shared.
    How right it was that Simone and you were together. I’m so glad for that but oh the ache now. Sending thoughts your way Fred. ~Sara N

  6. Kit Lang says:

    I'm so sorry. I know this is a couple of months later now, but I'm sure you still think about her every day. My Mitzie left me behind 4 years ago almost, and I still think about her every day, though I don't cry very often anymore.

    So sorry.

  7. Fred says:

    Thank you, everyone. And thanks for hanging out with me all these years. I truly appreciated it.

  8. Unknown says:

    Oh dear Simone, Fred hope you are doing well. You brought our Gunner to us, and we all hope you are doing well.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just read this as I haven't visited your spot in a long time. What a moving and eloquent tribute.

  10. Unknown says:

    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is one if the most beautiful tributes for a dog, but a cherished & very loved part of the family dog . One exactly like my Lexie dog who turned 17 years old in July 2023 and who’s life is completely my to a close

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have returned to read this as we contemplate care for our doggie. It has moved me to tears, again. I truly wish that you would continue with your blog.

  13. Unknown says:

    I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. You gave Simone the best possible life, and let her know you were there for her as she crossed the Bridge. This is the hardest thing to do, and it's done from love.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.