A Good Home, An Honest House, Animals, Canadian life, Family Moments, Home, Pets

Not Yet, Not Yet

Blog Photo - Julius and Dawson Sleeping

The mind knows it’s full time

But the heart beats to a different rhythm


It’s time, the mind says, knowing

Not yet, the heart says, hoping

He’s shaky and blind, says the mind

But such strong spirit, says the heart

Blog Photo - Dawson runs

His hind legs are weak, says the mind

But watch him gallop, says the heart

His mind’s diminished, says the mind

But he has such heart, says the heart.


Blog Photo - Mister D
Photo by Hamlin Grange

The two of them, the mind and heart

Together in the vet’s office

In sad reconciliation.

The fight over.

A life over.


Goodbye dear friend.

Fare thee well, loved one.

Thanks for being our faithful companion.


Dawson listened quietly as my daughter, then my husband, thanked him for being in our family, and bade him a loving farewell. Then I read to him: from An Honest House, the chapter I had lovingly written about him.

Would you believe it? He lay perfectly still on my lap the whole time I read, attentive, as if taking in every word. I shall miss him.

108 thoughts on “Not Yet, Not Yet”

  1. I am happy to be making my first visit to your blog Cynthia, but sorry it is at such a sad time for you. This post is a beautiful eulogy to your beloved pet. I sure understand the process and the hesitation – so very, very hard!! And I’m sure he understood everything you were reading to him – the precious memories that were his life and all the love that held him will remain.

  2. A lovely tribute Cynthia – our pets play such a part in our lives. Big virtual hug coming your way.

  3. Dear Cynthia, you’re a good doggy-mom. You sent him home so lovingly. Hugs to you, and a wish for a gentle healing of your heart as you remember that your little Dawson will be waiting for you on the other side.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  4. Oh, Cynthia–I am so sorry. I’ve been in that sad position, too, and deplored the decision I was making, even when I knew it was the humane one. He was lucky to have had you; you were lucky to have had him.

  5. A beautiful tribute to Dawson, Cynthia. My heart goes out to you and your family for your loss. I am sure he did understand what you were reading to him, and appreciated it. The collective love that filled that veterinarian’s office helped carry him safely home. He is at peace, and I send you my own thoughts and prayers for healing and peace.

    1. Ah, Lavinia. Thank you for these kind and comforting words. You know from reading AHH that I initially didn’t want my daughter to keep him, and even drove him to the shelter. But when they said no-one else would adopt an old dog with so many problems, the die was cast, right there. Our daughter loved and cared for him then brought him to us. And he was loved by us all.

      1. I am glad Dawson found your family and you kept him. He was in the right place. 🙂

        Elderly animals, and even young animals with physical and/or emotional problems, have a rough time finding good homes that can keep them and deal with chronic illness or behavioral issues. Even our own Abby cat was a trial at first, because she beat up old Mr. Austin and terrorized him for a least a year. That was an unusual situation, as she was the new cat in the house, and much smaller than Mr. Austin, who was 15 years old by then, and no intentions of hurting her, and just wanted a good snooze in the sun. Abby, who was 3 years old at the time, was good with people, but not so good with other animals. Her blind eye was no problem to us, but her attacking the other cat raised a red flag. We almost gave her back, but her former owner needed a good home for her and implored us to give her another chance, which we did. It was a lot of work, and patience. Old Mr. Austin was a real trooper, and eventually Abby learned to love him, and missed him when he passed on. At 14 years old, she still mostly keeps to herself, but tolerates the other cats now. I think her blind eye made her fearful of other animals, especially when they came up on her blind side, so she attacked first.

  6. It’s crap. It never gets any easier. I have tears thinking about it. We get invested in the animals of our friends. Me and my eight paws (and four feet) send your family our condolences x

  7. OH my goodness, Cynthia, my eyes are welled up with tears! I can hardly see the screen. I just stopped by + wish I would of come on another day. Oh how your heart must ache, but you wrote so beautifully. You let your friend go with such grace. I look forward to reading the chapter on your paw-friend!
    -oh, my —beautiful post….

    1. Oh, I burst into tears, Robbie. It was hard to leave him lying alone on the vet’s table. I kept going back in to touch him and say goodbye, tears streaming down my face. Ah, my friend. Our pets have been such a comfort during rough times.

      1. Our vet office takes paw prints. You pick them up later at your convenience. They ask, so it is up to y ou if you want one. It is made out of porcelain, and you bake them when you get home. I have two sitting next to my book case by my bed. Yes, it is such a hard thing and the crying does not stop. I still get teary eyed when I see a picture or think about them. You are so right they are such a comfort. Of our five dogs, Chance is the last one left. I keep hoping that when his time comes he will just pass in his sleep. I just don’ t know how I’ll get through the last one…but I will always have a dog in our life. I know when he passes, I will go and pick up a new friend at the shelter. I believe it is their unconditional love for us humans-nothing compares in life:-)

      2. You know it exactly, Robbie. I prayed that Dawson would pass in his sleep too. I wanted the decision to be taken out of my hands! But my daughter (who rescued him, in the first place) and my husband took a more astute view and said it was time. My best to Chance, give him a head rub for me!
        p.s. We got a paw print too.

  8. Oh, Cynthia, I am so sorry. This is always one of the hardest decisions to make but we do it because of love. Dawson is so adorable. These precious little animals come into our lives for such a short time but they leave such a huge paw print on our hearts. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and yours at this time.

  9. I am sorry that you have lost this wonderful little companion, Cynthia … all of you, really. Dawson, like all animals, knew when it was his time and accepted it with a grace that many failing humans would envy. I suspect he’ll stay awhile to console you, so let your heart watch from the corner of your eye. He was so lucky you found and healed him, and he was happy to return the favor.

      1. I do remember reading that in your book. Sometimes daughters have wonderful things to teach their Moms as well as the other way around. Feel free to pass my thoughts on to Lauren. 🙂

  10. A sad and a kind goodbye. I’m sorry that your Dawson had to leave you, but I thank you for making a decision that allowed him to leave gently. Sending hugs for comfort.

    1. Thanks, Margaret. One wants to know it’s the right time for the pet. One never wants to think that one is ending a pet’s life because they have disabilities that we don’t want to have to take care of. This was one of the things I thought about earlier. Dear, sweet Dawson.

      1. It is a hard decision. And yet, in the end, you know when it’s time; they, in their own way, let us know. Sending hugs for comfort.

  11. Oh dear, I am really sorry to read your sad news. You’ve written such a beautiful farewell, I don’t usually sob on my very first visit but I’m afraid it can’t be helped. I know this pain. Hello Cynthia, I’m Kelly or Boomdee as friends call me at my blog. I came by way of Salmon Brook Farm. I always enjoy my stops there with Lavinia and her crew. I do wish our beloved pets never had to leave us, but that kind of wish is for children I suppose. Still, there’s never enough time with those we love. B

  12. Cynthia, I truly believe that Dawson and all of our other pets appear in our lives to teach us/remind us how to love unconditionally. Like your Lauren, my daughter, who always longed for a dog when she was growing up, rescued a very cute older, Tibetan Spaniel. A few years later, to my amazement, she rescued a puppy to keep him company. I could not believe that for someone who was not a “pet” person, my heart melted, and in no time I was caring for and walking my “grand dogs”. Unfortunately, Skye, at 14 month old passed away from brain cancer this past Christmas, and in the New Year, Iggy from old age. It was a very devastating time for us and my daughter is still grieving. I feel for you, especially Lauren, it was not an easy decision to make, however I know there will always be a special place in our hearts and memories for these family members!

    1. Lee, I can well understand how much that hurt. Because our hearts do melt, and we come to care greatly for our pets. My condolences to you both, Lee. Your daughter did a great thing in rescuing not just one, but two dogs.

  13. Cynthia–I am so very, very sorry. The loss of that unconditional love is so hard–and yet, you know the love remains. I just wish the sweet furriness could too. Keeping you in my good thoughts and prayers.

  14. I cried buckets when we had to have our cat put to sleep and even after 4 years this almost started me off again. RIP Dawson. It’s always hard to say goodbye. My thoughts are with you.

    All the best,


      1. Too right. But they are always there in our thoughts, forever. 🙂 I find loss of pets just as bad as losing people and it carries extra guilt because If you’re like me, you kind of feel that, as it’s an animal and not a human that we’re mourning for, it really shouldn’t cut us up this much. In the end I think the sadness of loss for people or animal friends never quite goes away but we get used to living with it. I think of those friends who are no longer here – animal and human – several times a day, and I think that’s natural. Although I might be a freak. :-0 So if you feel like you’re hurting for a long time, try to give yourself some slack and be reassured you aren’t alone.



  15. Oh Cynthia, my heart-felt sympathy for your loss. I’ve been through it several times and still cry about them. They are so faithful and honest, true friends and will always have a place in our hearts and although I’m not a ‘believer’ I feel that one day we’ll be united with them again. Keep your chin up!

      1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Cynthia. It is incredibly painful to lose a beloved friend.

        I lost a beloved dog, Cookie, almost 3 years ago and I still miss her. But like Dawson, her her life was becoming increasingly painful. She died, peacefully, with her head resting on my lap as my tears fell on her soft black fur.I couldn’t bear the sadness, so I adopted another abused dog soon after. My new dog, Pinto, is so different, but a joy in his own unique way.

        I send you hugs and much love ❤ ❤ ❤

  16. I’m so sorry. I recently buried my border collie, Toby. I’ve adopted a new friend from a shelter, but I still miss him terribly. It leaves an ache of sorrow behind, and I’m trying so hard not to expect my new friend, Finn, to behave like my old one.

    May the pain fade, and the memories of joy take their place.

  17. I know too well the pain. It makes me wonder if the pain and loss is worth the joy they bring. Sometimes the price is too high for such a short time we have with them.

    1. An interesting question. To love is to risk pain, yes. When Dawson died, I did say “I’m never getting another dog! It hurts too much!” But I could be wrong about that….. Thanks for your great comment.

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