Lassie went home today.
I am thinking of the famous story about Hemingway, in which he challenged his writer friends to write the shortest story possible. All agreed that he won. Here’s what he wrote:
For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.
Since then, summarizing one’s life in six words has become something of a parlor game. I have done so for Lassie, summarizing what she means to me in six words, and I think it would bring pleasure and comfort to everyone who reads this blog if you were inspired to do the same for your own special dog, and to share them, if you would, for us all to read.
Here’s for my Lassie:
French Vanilla. Ice Cream. Summer Day.
Off you go dear Lassie, my god how I loved you.
I know words can’t take the pain away, but I am so very sorry for your loss. From all I have read, Lassie had a wonderful life and was a great companion.
I had my love for only 6 months (she was a rescue) and still miss her every day, I can’t imagine 16 years + together.
I hope you, Willie and Jim heal quickly.
Thank you for sharing Lassie’s life with all of us, I feel like I had the privilege of knowing her through your books, seminars, and your show on Animal Planet “way back when.” My thoughts are with you, and my border collies send wags and slurps your way.
HUGS to you and yours. I’m so very sad to read your news. Luke is there to meet her.
For Chloe, the pug:
Me,too? Happy sneeze. Me,too?
And for Sassafras the cat, who went home last month:
Uh-oh. Tip toes. Neck warmer.
I am so sad to hear of Lassie passing. What a lucky dog she was to have found you and what a lucky person you are to have been found by her.
My sympathy, may your heart heal.
I am so sorry for your loss. We will be thinking of you, Jim, and Willie. She had a long life, but it’s just never enough.
I am so sorry.
I’m so sorry, Trish.
And how she loved you!
My beloved malinois’s six words: Frisbee Catch. Ice Cream. Water Hose.
Susan S. says
My Weimaraner, Luna:
Ice Age Trail, open woods, squirrels.
My heart breaks for you.
My six words for my Leila today are:
Stay, don’t leave. Ever my girl.
Tomorrow maybe I can write some happier words.
So sorry about Lassie.
So stupid, yet a great dog
I’m so sorry–my heart goes out to you. I have felt as if I’ve known Lassie through your writing and speaking.
Your six words for her are beautiful. Here are mine for Widget:
Every word I said, she heard.
Garbage gut–loyalty in the garden.
I guess I shouldn’t have to explain it, but my dog, even when following me outside started to hurt, always did so anyway. He had to keep an eye on me. He’d lay next to me for hours while I tilled soil in spring, always tagged along when I went to harvest the bounty, and, from the telltale stains on his white muzzle, did some unattended harvesting of his own. He could always be counted on to come when called, until he couldn’t hear me calling anymore. His brother, on the other hand, is a cat in a dog’s body and for his six words: Dear birds, One of these days…
Thanks for sharing about Lassie and introducing this exercise, Trisha.
My heart breaks along with yours. Godspeed, Lassie.
Six words for Heidi (1994-2003):
Million tears. Billion smiles. NO regrets.
*sucks in breath sharply*
I did not expect this…
I am stunned and saddened…
Gallant girl, pretty one, so beloved.
my 6 words for Lassie.
Emily~ DreamEyce says
This was not what I was hoping to see… Run hard at the bridge dear Lassie. Your many fans are grieving for you now.
Trisha- all my love to you. The sign of a great life is that they touched many lives, and Lassie truly did. I all the way in Oregon, have tears streaming down my face right now.
I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your life with Lassie, with us.
Crickets, watermelon, racing the wind fast.
I am sorry for you today. Today is six months and Jelly is so very missed still.
Goodbye Missa. I love you forever.
I am so sorry, Trisha.
For Kati: Mischievious grin, sheer delight. My girl.
For Sofi: Patient, cheerful, happy dog, miss you.
My thoughts are with you. I know you will always treasure the time you had with Lassie.
My deepest sympathies to you and your family : (
oh, gosh…Im so sorry to hear about Lassie. I share your pain as I recently had to put down my beloved cat at 17.5 years old. No matter how many years we have with our animals, it is never enough.
Debbie (Murphy’s Mom)
I am so sorry.
Dottie’s six words: Under the blanket warming my feet.
Gustav’s: Howling to the tune of sirens.
I felt like I knew Lassie through your books, talks, and blogging, as I’m sure many do. She will be missed.
This is the second time this week I have sat at my desk at work, fighting back the tears for the loss of someone’s special dog. I have been there myself and am so sorry Trish that you have to feel this pain. Rejoice in a long 16 year friendship and the places she took you. I know it wasn’t long enough……
My three Cardigan Corgis:
For my sweet old Dylan, who lived to just two weeks short of his seventeenth birthday:
Best Friend. Always there. Long walks.
For Wilson (6 years):
Big Shoes. Agility teammate, new paths.
For Jimmy (2 years):
Wild monkey, always happy, joyful presence.
For my Sophie:
Green forests. Rocky Beaches. We Two.
And for my TomTom
So sorry about Lassie.
My Dutch: Ice cream? Cookie! Tummy rub! Slurp!
My Brutus: Sneaky tummy rub ruse claw trap!
My Scooter: Hairball! How can there be any left?
I’m sorry Trisha…
Even though I never met Lassie, I think I fell in love with her through your blog posts and books. She was an absolutely beautiful dog and couldn’t have lived a better life.
Liz F. says
Silent, moonlit, drift down the river
Sunrise. Wildflowers. Dancing in the Spring.
Trish, so sorry about your loss. May you, Jim, and Will (and Sushi?) find comfort in each other while your hearts heal. My thoughts are with you.
My sympathies to you on your loss. I’m so sad now, knowing how much you must hurt, but I hope someday you find comfort in her memories, and surely she was a lucky dog to live with a human who understood her so well.
I am so, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing her dear, sweet life. She will be missed.
Six words for Lucas: Crazy boy who
..and my six words for my boy would be:
Let’s eat. Throw my frisbee. Now.
So very sorry…
Car Ride. Walk Run. Tail Wag.
So sorry – if only there were words to help.
For my Flissy, 2005 – 2009
Joyful, running laughter – loved, remembered, missed.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Squirrel chasing, nap loving old hound.
I hope you are remembering your own words and treating yourself with lots of gentle kisses and hugs as you grieve. I feel so sorry for your loss.
On a happier note, I think “ice cream” should count as one word. So, you could have another word if you wanted it.
Duke’s six words right now might be:
Lovable goofball: will work for food.
Happy, loving boy. Gentle and Clueless.
Man magnet, takes all by storm.
I think I could go on and on. Six words only is just too hard.
My first six words was about me, not Jelly. Here are six words that sum up Jelly:
Big heart, beautiful smile, squirrel bane.
Pamela Picard says
My sincere condolences. And bless you for being a good mom. Being merciful at the end of a companion’s life is the hardest thing we ever have to do.
My deepest condolences – Lassie was a great dog – I have read both your books and the blog about her and am sad that she is gone.
Here are my words:
Fabulous couch potato. Sensitive, stubborn, independent.
Looking down, I see you smile.
Liza Lundell says
Trisha, I’m so sorry for your loss. Lassie was a great dog, greatly loved. The pain does subside over time.
Dittany, who left me in July:
Beautiful, elegant, smart, afraid. A teacher.
I’m very sorry for your loss – they are never hear long enough, it’s their only fault. I lost my golden of nearly 14 years last November.
Steady, steady, big hearted brave soul.
Trisha, I am so sorry. Those are 6 wonderful words to describe Lassie.
6 words for for my MeME
Eric Goebelbecker says
I’m so sorry. You gave Lassie a wonderful home, and I am sure she loved you.
Six words about Caffeine:
No, seriously. Don’t wake her up.
In tears for you, I write this for my late girls, Ellie, Pandy and Shelby;
Wonderful dogs, special friends— missing you.
My heart goes out to you.
My Hailey went home a few months ago.
Want to go for a ride?
I am so sorry, Trisha. I love my dog so much that the thought of losing her brings tears to my eyes. Upon seeing this, said dog came over, rested her chin on my chest, and stared into my eyes.
Tennis balls, chickens, meant to be.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Both you and Lassie were incredibly lucky to have shared a life together. She is at peace now and I hope you find yours too. What an incredible relationship and may you hold all your memories close to your heart.
I’m so sorry.
So sorry for the loos of your dear Lassie. My Alis – Black Happy Comfortable Warm Love
I’m sorry, this is truely bad news. I’ll have to think about my six words.
I am so sorry. Lassie will live on for all of us in your stories about him and in what he and you together have taught us.
Renee S. says
I’m so sorry. I’ve read many of your books, and Lassie always sounded like a great dog.
Hope you, Jim, and Willie can all heal together.
Oh, Trisha, I am so sorry. I have been following Lassie’s ups and downs and I know how bad you ache, because I recently lost my first “grown-up” dog in November of 2009. It is remarkably similar to physical pain, isn’t it? Westley the Sheltie was only 12 years old and suffering from dementia (likely a brain tumor). We were able to have The Best Day Ever and The Best Day Ever: The Sequel on his last 2 days with me. We did all his favorite stuff, ate all kinds of things that were bad for us. It was wonderful, and even though I cried throughout those days, I am so grateful for them. There are no magic words, but the fact that there are so many strangers who care so much for Lassie says a lot about how special she was (and you too, for that matter, for bringing her to us).
And this, for Westley:
Vigilant. Problem solver. Always my boy.
sorry: she, of course
Janice in GA says
My Jasper had to come over to see why I was crying. We love them so much, and their lives are so short.
Run free, Lassie.
My Sasha: Fearless, life-changing, best dog ever.
I am so very sorry for your loss.
my heart goes out to you.
Keegan= My little firecracker! Mmmm butterscotch swirl.
George = Sweet happiness. Wink. You and me.
daizy = Party girl, you rock my world!
Emily~ DreamEyce says
Robbie: Floppy dog. Long ears. Soulful gaze.
Kiwi: Summer day. Water spray. Happy Play.
This will teach me to read blogs at work. Teary at my desk. So sorry.
For my ACD Hazel:
So happy to see me? Ditto.
Kathy Sdao says
It’s hard to see the computer screen through the tears…
Lassie’s graced life and great love for you inspired you to write books and blogs that have taught us all. So we owe a debt of gratitude to a dog most of us never met.
I’ve lit a candle here on my desk in memory of her. And to send blessings to you and your family.
Karen London says
Oh, Trisha! My heart has left Arizona and is en route to Wisconsin. I loved Lassie and consider myself quite lucky to have known her personally. It’s shocking for me to realize that I met her when she was two years old–just a sweet young thing! I always especially appreciated how her charming face and that lovely dark patch over her eye let me think I was quite a great photographer when I first started photographing dogs. She was so photogenic that every picture looked good! I also loved how she solicited petting with a gentle nudge of her nose and then made me feel so lucky that she chose me at that moment (though I well know she was fond of all petting–sort of an equal opportunity girl for sharing the love.) She seemed to know in a group of people, even in a University class of nearly 200, who most craved her affection and went there first. She was smart enough to go for the sure thing, I guess!
I like to think that she is with Luke again and that they are falling in love all over again. I love you very much and hope that you can feel how much love is coming at you from the many people feeling that same way. I wish I were there to pay a proper tribute to Lassie–I’d run up the hill towards your pasture, wait to hear you call my name, turn around mid-stride and fly back down the hill to be with you as fast as I could. (Or I’d try anyway, because in truth, I could end up face down in snow or mud, which would be most un-Lassie-ish.) Hugs, love and peace to all of you.
As for your request for six words, here is my story of Bugsy:
Fear, aggression, love. A full education.
i’m very very sorry, she was very beautiful, from the pics you posted, and i’m sure she couldn’t have asked for a better life then the one she shared with you.
kubiak: estrela mountain dog,
big heart, shelter, part of me
So sorry for your loss.
deborah ryan says
I can only say how very sorry I am, tears flowing as today I also sent my oldest boy Home. Words cannot express how much you and your pups have helped me to understand my own,
Our deepest sympathies for you All.
So sorry for your loss. Like all of your readers I too became attached to all of your animals through your books. Rest in peace dear Lassie.
For Jers: Always watching. Mostly listening. Forever fetching
Trisha, I am so sorry.
For my Mocha who went to the Rainbow Bridge three years ago:
Orphan, dear friend, and gentle teacher.
Ellen Pepin says
I am so sorry to hear about Lassie. We all know how much you loved her and how hard you tried. Please be kind to yourself and know that you did what is best.
May you find some comfort and peace in the weeks and months to come.
For Nikki–Love, trust, comfort, I love you
Rose T. says
Oh Trisha, I’m so sorry for you and your family. I feel like I knew Lassie through your blog and books. Thanks for allowing us to share your special relationship with her. Bless you for allowing her to pass with peace and dignity – just as she went through life.
Daisy Mae’s six favorite words:
Dinner, wanna treat, Bella’s here! Boneys!
Are you hungry, tuna, wanna eat
Dinner? wanna treat, tunika, click click
Marbles, eatey eatey! Here’s your food
My gosh, my animals are food motivated LOL.
Amanda & the mutts says
Thinking of you. Wishing you peace and strength.
Fear: Conquered. Love: Discovered. Forever grateful.
He was a mess when I got him. He’s taught me nearly everything I know about working with fearful/shy/insecure dogs. I will be forever indebted to him.
Pure joy. Electric smile. My
We understand and share your loss. We are so fortunate that these wonderful creatures warm our hearts, enrich our lives, and live on in our memories. Bless them all!
For My Pal Hal, with me for 16 1/2 years:
Gentle soulmate. Patient teacher. Popcorn addict!
Paula J. says
I am so very sorry. Run well and free, Lassie, and know you are loved.
Oh, Trisha, I am so sorry.
For Harry: Face of love. Devoted guardian. Snuggly.
For Sophie: Noble. Quirky. Happy tail. Mama’s girl.
Pat Blocker says
I’m so sorry to hear about Lassie. Like Luke, before her, I feel I knew her from reading your books and attending your lectures. I truly feel your pain, as I lost my dog Bob (Barker) to leukemia just weeks ago. You taught Bob his “stay” at one of your book signings. He and Lassie are running and playing together now.
So so sorry, Trisha…may all those happy memories sustain you.
Daisy – heart’s companion, daily joy, laughing eyes
And for Martha, who left us ten months ago – mountain climber, meadow runner, happy tail
So sorry Trish. Lassie was special and taught us all so much through your writings.
Run free beautiful girl.
For my Kash:
Driven. Intensely focused. Has my heart.
We can never really be ready when we lose such a dear friend. Thank you for sharing Lassie with all of us.
Pentium (Patterdale Terrier) – Cookies? Yes more please. Nap time.
Kip (Aussie) – Agility. Treats. Patience teacher. Best bud.
Mo (Border Collie) – Outrun. Lift. Fetch. Sheep. That’ll do.
Denise Frye says
Oh, so bittersweet our relationships with our animal companions. Through your writing, I am sure we all feel your loss as well. You obviously did all within your power to make the right decisions in her final months; often a minefield of second-guessing when we have to watch the inevitable dissolution of form in a loved one.
For my Coco, my friend and companion of over thirty years.
Long rides, shared meadows, sweet hair.
Zelda P. says
Spoil ’em while you’ve got ’em.
I’m sending you peace and warm thoughts, Tricia.
I’m so, so sorry for your loss.
So many of us have loved your wonderful stories of your Lassie through the years, as well as your other beloved family members. Lassie has touched so many lives. Take comfort in knowing she could not have had a better life than the one she had with you. Take good care of yourself during this painful time.
There are so many wonderful words posted already. I especially think the 6 words written by Dan beautifully and eloquently sum up my pup, Special Dark, as well- who I know is my “once in a lifetime” pup, but here are the 6 I’ll go with:
Teacher. Lion bear. Snow. Joyous walks.
Jennifer Hamilton says
My Portuguese Water Dog:
“Brain on overdrive, body in shop” or “Will work for food, 24/7”
“Same person, different shirt. Desensitize. Repeat.”
Hope the 6 word stories bring a smile.
Hang in there,
Christina Sobol says
I am so sorry to hear this sad news. There are never words that can express anything adequate at this time. I am hoping that you feel the love that is being sent to you and your family from all these directions, and that it makes you feel even the tiniest bit less crushed. We add our love and hugs to the mix.
Liz Wanschura says
Grief is the price we pay for love–I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Lassie.
My condolences for your loss…
As a new dog owner your books and blog have been so instructional. I will always remember Lassie through your wonderful stories of her life.
My six words for my pug, Beulah:
Watching you in kitchen. Be messy.
Liz F. says
Love and condolences to all at Redstart Farm. Hoping you receive everything you need right now, whatever that may be.
If I may, ever so gently…Lassie: Thank you for all you’ve taught us over the years. Thank you for all the smiles you’ve brought. Thank you for all the inspiration. Miss you, but it’s okay. Maybe we will meet someday.
Susan McCullough says
I am so very sorry for your loss, Trisha.
Sending you much love & sympathy for your loss. Losing a good teacher is always painful.
Musty-sweet, shared forest floor… bliss.
So sorry to hear about Lassie. Crying down here in Indiana.
6 words for Bryce:
Throw it! Right now! C’mon, please?
For Big Red:
Car rides! Belly rubs! Contented sigh.
Kevin Myers says
The gifts that our dogs give us in life exact a sorrowful price in death. The pictures and words you have given us of Luke and Lassie teach us as we go forward about the gifts at the other end of the leash. She will be remembered.
As for me:
Sundown dog, my gift, my god.
I am so very sorry for your pain. Gentle hugs and thoughts of comfort and peace to you and your family (two- and four-legged).
For Megan, who was my bestest hound:
Heart smiling. Souls mating. Meet again?
Anyone who has ever lost their best friend knows exactly how you are feeling right now. So sorry for your loss.
For Zoe: Loves car rides, cookies, always watching.
For Charlie: Big goofball, jumps high, still learning.
Jim Ha says
Best wishes and thoughts are heading your way…
Wow, our Aussie is 8yo: her first “geriatric” check-up, last year, was a reality check… the time does fly…
My words for our Elsie:
Where are you? Here I am…
Kevin Appel says
Knowing we won’t have these wonderful companions but a short time we still make the leap to bring them into our lives and our hearts are filled with love. joy and laughter even knowing this painful day of loss will come we choose their love above all.
I’m so saddened to hear this. Run free Lassie. She has no more pain now.
Six words for Pepper (1984-1998): Spaghetti, ice cream, smiling happy dog.
Dahlia (my current girl): One of the seven great ones. (reference is from Dean Spanley — if you haven’t seen this movie, do!)
My heart is aching for you.
Our Bonnie, who gave us a big scare last weekend, has rallied for now, so our goodbye is postponed.
I can describe our sweet departed Bronco the Shetland Sheepdog in four words:
Never met a stranger.
Trisha, deepest sympathies from me, my Border Collies and my cats. We’ve all benefited from your words and wisdom.
Six words for my beloved cat Otis, who I lost earlier this year:
Purr me a lullaby, precious friend.
Oh Trisha, my heart aches for you. Lassie was a beautiful dog, in so many ways. She is running free now. You did all you could; it was time for her to go home. But I know you will miss her forever.
For my Yankee my forever heart dog my first cardigan corgi who I had for 16 too short years and is still missed 9 years after she crossed the bridge “let’s go together. laughing. my heart.”
For my Gracie my silly goofy blue-eyed cardi that just turned five ” swimming. zoomies. bed hog. throw it! “
Teoti Anderson says
I’m so very sorry. I know the pain physically hurts. My six words are for you, my friend, and for Lassie:
Body’s lost. Spirit lives. Love … always.
Sending big hugs,
I can’t post all the names here but this is for all of mine gone and still here…
love shared, love remembers, love’s forever
i know this will seem odd but i have always had more than 6 dogs at one time, and up to ten
I have shared their love here on earth and look forward to meeting them all again. They have been my only family and my only love.
As you well know the LOVE for our animal companions is almost undescribeable in mere words. But then again.. I really believe THEIR love for us all knows no bounds either.
I also believe the best tribute we can give our loving departed frinds is the honor of sharing the love we shared with them…with others, so our hearts can remain filled with that special love and we can find others that NEED the love we have to give..
everyone here is so blessed to have had it..and because of you and your lassie..we can all share..
thank you..and the sadness nev er leaves…but the memories will keep getting sweeter…’Love shared, love remembers, love’s forever.’
Words are never enough when something like this happens. I am so sorry for your loss.
I wish that somehow the little pieces of sorrow and tears that we feel (who only knew Lassie from your words) were able to subtract just a bit from the total pain you are feeling. Then again… perhaps not. Everyone I have loved and lost deserved every single tear and I would not have wanted my grief to be diminished, no matter how kind the intention. So, I hope you feel free to mourn your heart out without reservation or guilt, and we will be waiting for you whenever you are ready to turn your thoughts to other things, however long or soon that may be.
For Ashley cat, who I only knew for the last 3 years of her life:
Pillow Princess, soft silver poke feet.
For Ruly, still here and only just 1 year old:
Baby doe deer dog. Rocket Feet!
I’m so sad. Thank you for sharing Lassie and Luke. They made me realize the possibilities.
For Zibi, the oxytocin meister ..
OH YEAH! Uh oh. Snuggle, please.
So very sorry for your loss.
Words for my german shepherds…
Buddy..protector, beauty, smart boy, overflowing heart
Spike (1991-2003) big boy, soulmate, missed SO much
Dillon(1991-2005) sweet sweet boy, bouncy, gentle, thankful
My deepest sympathies to you Tish.
Marcia and Keeva
I have been a fan of both you and Lassie since my first dog, 13 years ago. Your help to us, made real with all of Lassie’s (and more) examples, made his 10 years worth while and rich for both of us. My heart breaks for you, yet blessings to Lassie’s newest adventure!
For Carlos at bridge: Greatest challenges, even greater rewards, friend!
For Geena at bridge: warm weight on my foot, balls
For Alex with me: Fly! Grin! Run! my rubber dog!
When Geena left me, someone told me it would start to get better after I told 30 people. I was still crying at #20, but eventually, the warmth remained and the pain lessened.
Bless you and Jim.
I’m so very sorry. Thank you for sharing this difficult journey with us.
You wrote in an earlier entry that you shared traits with border collies. I wanted to add that like border collies, you have a amazing mind, and you blend that brilliance with wisdom and share it with an open heart.
My Old Pup in her younger days had these words:
Wide worried eyes. Until ball appears.
Now she is:
Butt scratches trump chasing squirrels anytime.
Purry orange sugarcat. Fancy Feast forever!
Susan Anderson says
I am so sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing Lassie and your love with us.
For you and Lassie
Memory nourishes the heart, grief abates. Nothing is ever lost or forgotten.
For my Japanese Akita, Keiki Wahine Puppers aka Kitara
Ice cream, whipped cream, car ride!
I am so sorry.
I am crying with you as I am sure so many people are. By reading your books we have gotten to know your dogs without ever having met them. I am so sorry about Lassie. I am glad that you were able to have each other for the years that you did. RIP Lassie
I am so sorry for your loss. Lassie’s clearly very beloved.
Oh Trisha, your words have meant so much to me over the past few years, I wanted to share some of mine with you, I’m so sorry for your loss. I cried reading about Luke’s passing and yes, like all you good people above, I’m crying now for Lassie. I have my two year old black lab mix Arrow next to me and I hope we have as many years as you had with Lassie, although it’s never long enough. Hugs for you, from me and my Arrow ‘Running fast, smiling wide, bottomless heart.’ Love to you and your family.
Rosalie Ball says
Through your work and writing, Lassie touched so many. What a legacy she leaves!
I wish you comfort.
Grisha Stewart says
My heart goes out to you, Trish. I had to come back again after reading it the first time, as I was sobbing so much that I could not type. I scrolled past all the comments to avoid starting the tears up all over again.
After I read your post and some of the comments the first time, I took the late afternoon off to be with my soulmate dog, Peanut. Thank you for sharing your pain and making me appreciate that every day with our dogs is a gift.
My 6 words for Peanut:
Delicate flower. Brave show. Don’t go.
Grisha Stewart says
p.s. I can’t wait to have you in Seattle in September! Peanut is excited, too.
“To live in hearts we leave behind
is not to die.”
Trisha, I am so very sorry for your loss. How we love dogs… how we miss dogs…
All too often sparse words say it best… here are mine…
To my sweet and sassy yorkie girl, Allie:
Circling welcome dance, oh happy grin.
To my silly terrier mix, Echo:
Goat dog, shoe klepto, love bug.
To my “bubby” and deeply missed old soul, Pepper:
Bub, I miss your frito paws.
Six words, for my dogs and for yours:
“You made me a better person.”
My heart breaks for you. I am so deeply saddened at your loss.
I’m in tears for you. Thank you for sharing Lassie’s story. We are all heartsick for you tonight. What a lucky girl to have been so loved, and to have an owner who could understand her so well.
For Sam- who died 3 years ago
Sweet goofball. Always laughing. Faithful friend.
For AJ- who we lost in November
You were my heart. Let’s hike!
For Maggie, our sweet foster, lying at my feet tonight.
Cuddle me! Let’s play! Birds! Squirrels!
Wendy W says
Trisha – I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Lassie. May it be that she will find rest and once again grow strong in the company of all you have loved until you can be with her again. And thank you for sharing her final days with us – allowing us to send you love and find a little more peace among the memories, questions and regrets of last days with our dear friends.
Hope – Clear-eyed gentle/wild trusting friend.
lisa knaggs says
6 words for my Forever FORD:
Love. Wisdom. Solidarity. Snow. Popcorn Tofu!
for my darlin’ Clementine:
spotty, jumping, swimming, flirting, sensitive, sensational!
Deep peace of the running wave…
Thank you for sharing. Our hearts break with yours, lisa, Clementine & SARK
Robin G. says
Daily check into your blog …. I read the subject line…… gasp, “ohhhh, noooo,” ………. goosebumps on my arms……
In spite of your recent posting of Lassie’s condition I expected one more rally. My heart goes out to you & your family.
When I lost my beloved Buddy you told me “I will howl up the hill for him, and you”. Here in Tucson, AZ I will howl up the wash for Lassie and you.
For Buddy: Household monitor. Squeaky toys. Mom’s bed.
For Noodle: Lives to wiggle and elicit smiles.
Hugs, bellyrubs & blessings all around.
My deepest empathy and regrets for your loss of Lassie 🙁 And my heartfelt j0y that she had the fortune of having such a loving and wonderful family 🙂
For my dog Josie:
Despite psychotic paranoia, my best friend.
I don’t have the right words to console or encourage you. But I want you to know that I share a small part of your sadness and sense of loss, and that I’m so very sorry.
My prayers are for you as you walk through this hard time. Thank you for all you did to give Lassie a wonderful life!
I’m sorry, Trisha. Hugs to you and yours.
For my beloved 14yo Kyah, sleeping near my feet:
My Best Girl, life-changing love
For Lucy, who left physically in 2008 at age 14:
Beautiful Blonde, I still miss you
For Rory, at age 1 still unrevealed:
Rude Red Rory, Fast Fun Fierce
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful dog with us. I’ll spend some extra time with the kiddos in her memory.
My special dog, Scooby:
Itchy butt. Squirrels! Happy dance together.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I wish you love, peace and good memories to guide you and yours along the path of grief. My condolences on the loss of sweet Lassie.
My Lucy (who I am afraid will likely cross to the bridge herself in the upcoming months) …… sunshine, sand, food, always my heart.
Riley (3 years old) ….. live, love, laugh, grow, learn, play.
Dear Trish, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Dean Koontz recently said in an interview (I paraphrase liberally) that we mourn for our pets differently and sometimes more intensely than for the people in our lives because in our relationship with animals we often don
Kate T. says
I had to stop reading entries and get up and hug Harley, my 8-yo Foxhound/Great Dane/St. Bernard and Kallie, my 17-yo Calico cat. They are a bit puzzled by my affection at this late hour, but I’m quite clear what they mean to me. Thank you for introducing the 6-word exercise, even in your time of loss. Ever the teacher. Thank you– and thank Lassie.
May the huge outpouring of sympathy and support here in these comments bring you some comfort at this sad time. Lassie lived long and well and she will be remembered.
Ranger my heart dog and soul mate
Maker of Friends, Teacher, Huge Heart
for my Husband Ranger is
Smart, handsome, extremely friendly, independent, adored
Ute Hamann says
when the time has come you want it: keep in mind I will do what I did of Luke and Tulip.
My thoughts are with you
I am so sorry…
For my dog: beloved… damn amazing… crazy… loud… fun-loving
Wild Dingo says
I’m so sorry for you and Lassie. You’ve both taught me so much in your books.
For Maggie my late dingo-GSD-mix who was my first teacher: Dignified. Silly. Rough-tough cream puff.
Rest peacefully Lassie.
D.K. Wall and The Thundering Herd says
Woo – we are so sorry for the loss, but have asked all of the members of The Herd that are at the Rainbow Bridge to greet Lassie and make her feel welcomed.
Please accept my condolences for your unimaginable loss. I’m so sorry.
Respectfully, here are our 6-word stories for you:
My corgi to me: Throw it. Do it. With you.
Me to my dog: Watch me. Bring it. Love you.
Liz M. says
Words seem inadequate to express the sadness I feel. You are in my thoughts. Sending you wishes of comfort and courage.
It’s hard for me to think of you and your wonderful books and the seminars I’ve enjoyed (coming again in July) without thinking of Lassie. I know she will be missed in the same way I miss my own “heart dogs”, and that makes me sad for you, but as others have said, grateful that you shared so many wonderful years together. Run free sweet Lassie…
Sorry for you breaking heart.
For my three Pembroke Welsh Corgis:
Herny (2003-2009): Huge smile. Mama loving. Good Boy.
Rudy13 months old: Run fast. Having fun. Belly rub.
Penny just 5 months old: Adorable, sweet, and bright… oh no!!
It is so hard to get through those first few months. I hope knowing that so many of our thoughts are with you helps.
Serious,sensitive soul-forever my friend.
For Sinbad -feline friend
Toe licking,dog loving,raucous boy.
How is Will? Give him lots of extra hugs from all of us.
I don’t know you or your dog personally, and only found your wonderful blog recently, but I read this with tears streaming down my face, for Lassie and for my own dogs already gone home.
My six words:
For my BC Kiri, who left me just a couple of months ago aged 14, and who will never be forgotten:
Fluffball. Eternal puppy. Cuddles, Mum? FOOD!
And for my young BC Willow, still with me and teaching me so much:
Scary world, feel safe with Mum.
Weeping with you.
Oh dear, this makes me feel devastated about losing our 2-year-old Hazel all over again…. but lots of things do.
Indian Lake, smarty pants, love dog.
a greeting to your dog, your angel
I am so very sorry. I would say more, but nothing I can think of seems adequate. I am happy that you and her spent as many years together, and that in you she found her forever home. Rest in peace.
I am so very sorry for your loss.
Thank you for sharing her life with us –
Carolyn in Belize says
So very sorry. At least now Lassie is at peace. Instead of her illness and the last few very tough days, you can begin thinking of all the good times and love you shared.
This is more than 6 words and not original, but I found this quote almost the first day of getting my small dog and it has seemed to be hers ever since:
My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet
Phyllis Beasley says
I am so, so sorry for your loss. I do understand. Thank you for sharing your treasure of memories. Rest in peace, Lassie.
My deepest sympathies to you, Jim, Willie and Sushi. Please be at peace knowing that you did all you could for Lassie and she had a wonderful life with you.
For my Morgan (who I hope will be one of Lassie
Jess H says
My thought are with you. It is never easy to let go of our beloved animals. She was truly a special dog. I am blessed to have a little of Lassie with my dear Sassy. Thinking of you.
Sheep herding, loyal, loving, touch my heart
My heart goes out to you, Trish……..
Words can probably not describe what you and yours must be feeling right now. Lassie may be gone, but her spirit and her memories live on in the hearts of all those who loved her. She will forever live in your memories alongside all the others that have gone before her. 🙁
“We have a secret, you and I
that no one else shall know,
for who but I can see you lie
each night in fire glow?
And who but I can reach my hand
before we go to bed
and feel the living warmth of you
and touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths
and see ahead of me,
your small form racing with the wind
so young again, and free.
And only I can see you swim
in every brook I pass
and when I call, no one but I
can see the bending grass.”
This poem has always brought me some comfort.
Shalom Lassie Girl…..
I, like many other readers, am typing through tears.
For Smokey, my family’s malamute mix:
Walking partner, gentle bear, belly-rub glutton.
For Eliot, a kitten we lost too soon to FIP:
Adorable terrorist, purr monster, tree climber.
For Duchess, the cat of my entire childhood:
Hunter, cuddler, chaperone, best cat ever.
ohhhhh, it’s brutal. Hugs to you. Six words for each dog would be a novel.
I love Jaenn’s (?) “outrun, lift, fetch, sheep, that’ll do” and will steal that one for our BCs past and present.
here’s six for (from) my current JRT-
“outta my way, you big jerk”. (said to the BCs of course, not me)
Oh Trisha, I’m so sorry. As I said, she was really part of my life. I would like to do more for you in this moment.
Goodness! Play! Play!
My thought are with you.
Oh, I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing Lassie with us. She was an amazing girl. I am thinking of you and your family.
Trisha and friends,
I know not the most appropriate place to post this, but I know how this subject is near and dear to all of us. Today (1/28/2010) on the Diane Rehm show at 11 am EST is a discussion with Barbara King: “Being with Animals”.
Topic Summary: Americans spend billions of dollars and countless hours caring for their pets. An anthropologist explains the bond between humans and animals and its importance to our evolution.
You can listen on line here (and I think get the archive version if you missed the live discussion).
Kerry L. says
Trish, Our hearts ache with yours . . . For Alice – Ice cream, snow, best bed buddy.
Ann W in PA says
It’s their only flaw, that they leave us too soon… What lovely “six words” remembrances, and celebrations of those still with us! So generous, Dr. McConnell, to share this wonderful and heartrending journey with us. Thank you. No wonder you were sent such an angelic soul as Lassie.
For dear Louie the Dalmatian, who left us this past July:
Free at last! Dappled joyful gardener.
Work? Nah. Play! Giant gentle heart.
YES! – Partner in adventure
Sending love and prayers to you.
So sorry to hear the sad news.
I hope time dulls the pain and polishes the memories.
My heart is with you, Lassie will be sorely missed…
Trisha, I’m very sorry to hear it was her time to go. You’ve made thousands of people love Lassie by your writing, without ever meeting her. I almost wish I would be a religious person to pray for her, but if there’s something out there, out of all animals I think dogs are first in line.
You and Lassie have love forever.
Trish, I am so, so sad to hear about Lassie. She was a sweet, beautiful dog. You are in my heart and thoughts now.
For Annie & Jack, both Border Collie mixes –
Car ride? Let’s go! Right NOW!
Carol B says
We select them while they are full of potential,
Small and mischievous.
We nurture and mold them with training,
And love as they grow and mature.
We discover what all of that promise held,
While they occupy more of our hearts.
We give them a place of honor,
And ask no more of them until we must part.
written and copy write by Carol Baker
in memory of Cosmo
(and not six words)
Corrie’s six words:
Throw it now? How about NOW??
Amy W. says
Trisha, my deepest condolences.
Aww, I’m so sad for you. The tears we shed for beloved friends are painful, but while we cry we remember the love they brought us. You brought Lassie love and had the strength to help her on her journey. I know your friends, both human and other animals, give you strength to get through this. Pick the star that shines with her love, and know she still loves you too.
These 2 years without Babe are so lonely, filled with the needs and pantings of Scooby and Shadow. The pain does not go away, but happy tongues ease somewhat.
Kerry L. says
Stray dog, first dog, forever dog.
my deepest sympathy.
and for my Tessa: You read the wishes from my eyes.
Had I read your post daily as I intended to. My story to you would have been short and sweet.
But you got there already. I have only started to read your blog and some of your books. Borders are my type of dogs as well. Big noises, busy places and loud people annoy me. A good book, my best friend and a sunny afternoon in the meadow with the sheep are divine. After the 5 mile walk for my health and the dogs sanity…
I have never heard the Hemingway short story contest, but I will not forget it.
I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you and Willie well.
Joan Bennett says
Don’t cry because its over…
Smile because it happened.
Janey S says
Sorry to hear of your loss. This is for my Gabby who died way too young.
Fervent, joyful walks! Empty path. Irreplaceable.
I am so very sorry.
Susan S. says
For my other Weimaraner, Sallie:
In the bed, under the covers.
Peggy Hutchings says
Toby Frostytoes. Best Friend, Good Dog.
Dena (Izzee's Mom) says
Here are my 6 words for my first Springer, my first dog as an adult, my first obedience and Rally dog:
I will ALWAYS be “Izzee’s Mom”.
My heart is with you, Jim, Will, Sushi, and the farm critters, Trisha. Lassie’s beautiful face is currently the wallpaper on my computer desktop.
Some really wonderful and touching thoughts distilled into six words. Thanks so much for this.
For Pooka (paraphrased from Bront
My deepest sympathies.
For Sinn Fein, my pit bull boy:
Gregarious smile. Enthusiastic tracker. Boundless miles.
For Keeper, my rescued pittie:
Doing Right? Always. Good. Dog.
And my latest rescue pit pup, Trinity:
Chase Chickens! So Fun! In trouble.
Megan K says
For my heart dog, Yoshimi (2004-2007)
Bowl, Bedtime, GO, love forever, mom
So so sorry to read this. What a joy she is to read about, and always will be.
Kathy M says
I am so sorry for your loss. For Blackie, another 16 year old for whom each additional day is a bonus: Taught me so much, my friend.
I think we’re all crying along with you. I know that I am. I think that you were very lucky to have Lassie, but my god, how lucky she was to have you! I think that there’s no question that you gave her the best life she could have had. And, one thing she most likely never cared about, you also built her (and Luke and Tulip and Pip….) an ever lasting memorial in the hearts of all of us who read your books, your articles and your blog. And, while you’ll never forget her, also look forward. There’s always that one pup just around the corner, ready to be your next luckiest dog in the world…
Susannah Charleson says
I came back to the site and grieved to find this. I am so very sorry.
For Lassie and every other dog who changes us:
Beyond this. I am yours. Still.
Lisa R. says
Trisha ~ sorry to hear about Lassie, what great memories you must have.
My boyfriend came up with a great story for our 10 month old pyr/lab mix, Leo:
Kong! Kong! Kong! Kong! Kong! Rawhide!!!!!!
Thinking of you. Lisa
So sorry to hear about Lassie. I’ll light a candle.
I am so sorry.
For Ava: Best Buddy. Joyful Fried.
oops – Joyful Friend.
Pat Bee says
You have to know that just about anyone who listens to your radio shows, buys your books, or reads your blog understands your feelings at this time and sends you big psychic hugs with deepest sympathy. Fortunately for the critters, you will go on to love many more animals as you loved your Lassie.
I’m so sorry for your loss. We will see her again over the rainbow bridge one day. Take care. 🙁
Betsy C says
For my Gnarley:
Lonely streets. Saved twice. Gives more.
For Sunny Delight:
Sunshine. Laughter. Kids’ gift. Comfort now.
Thanks for sharing Lassie with us.
I am so sincerely sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. The sting of loss is always such a shock to me, no matter how many times I go through it. With comfort and peace for your grieving heart, Teresa, mom to Pepper and Petey (pups) and Yuki and Peanut (kitties).
Lindsay Curry says
Oh, I am so sorry. Thinking of Lassie and the lives she changed through you, and hoping that you, Jim and Will can find comfort.
So very very sorry for your loss. My heart breaks. I’m so glad you got every day you did with her.
Lauren Mack says
My heart aches for you and your loss. Sending many thoughts your way.
Run free Lassie with Luke & Tulip…
I am so sorry. She had a wonderful, long life. She will always be with you.
For my beloved Tillie, gone over five years now:
Warm sunshine, just touching, quiet breaths.
And for Jude, who I am still getting to know:
Autumn woods, perfect joy, my shadow.
Though your writings, you’ve given me the gift of knowing Lassie and other dogs, at a level that’s deeper and richer than I’d have ever attained on my own. As long as those who love your books and blogs retain our memories, Lassie will live on. Rest in peace, sweet girl.
Lassie was as lucky a dog as you were to be her human. I will toast her tonight as I am having my wine, as I feel we all knew her through your brilliant writing and sharing of her stories.
For my Shamble–my forever dog:
Dear Bumbles, Best Friend, Sweet dog.
For my Milo- my best buddy now
Terrorist terrier, hose obsessed, funny clown.
Melissa in El Cajon, Ca says
For Darby, the Cardigan Welch Corgi who
Fills my empty nest with fun.
“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.” — Irving Townsend
There are no words of comfort that suffice. I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing Lassie with us. Your passion for your dogs, for me, adds so much weight to all you write.
On April 2, 2008, my bulldog passed away during the night on our bed. It was somewhat expected; she had collapsed earlier, but the e-vet had been wishy-washy over whether she should come in. He suggested watching her and bringing her in if she got worse or did not improve at all (pale tongue, gums, shallow breaths).
Her breathing calmed, and it seemed color was slowly returning, so we put her on our bed hoping we’d notice any change. I woke in the wee hours, reached down to her still-warm body, to realize she was no longer in it. I sighed and tried to sleep a bit more, but soon after, my husband woke and also recognized the situation. He could not handle leaving her there until morning, so he wrapped her in a blanket and put her in the car.
For my 2 y.o. Logan, Boston Terrier rescue:
Kisses, kisses. Cheek to cheek. Mommy’s love.
Trish–Here’s the quote from Whitman I read over my old dog Kermit’s grave:
“”If you want me again, look for me under your bootsoles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.”
Now irises and delphiniums bloom over my old dog every summer.
Hoping you find comfort in Willie and Jim and Sushi and all the sheep and all all your friends.
May you receive comfort in your time of loss as you have comforted so many others. You and Lassie were lucky to have each other.
6 words for Rocky, my current foster dog for Labrador Retriever rescue:
Starved, neglected, forgiving, trusting. My hero.
trisha, words can’t express my sympathy. Everyone who has lost a heart dog knows what you are going through – and no one who hasn’t can imagine. I hope you find peace, and can remember the good days again soon.
My words for my dogs:
Buffy: Flying feet, total devotion, LOVES work
Poppy: Small one, fierce protector, cuddles always
Tam: Goofy love, wet kisses, always running
And for those at the Rainbow Bridge
Penny: First teacher, first friend, horse paddock.
Peppi: Black shadow
Houdini, always hopeful
Will: Trusting thows back for tummy rub
Will used to jump up on my knee, then throw himself backward trusting me to catch him so I could rub his tummy – and I never missed, though the first time was a bit of a shock!
My thoughts are with you!
So sorry for your loss…….. My girl, dog of my dreams
Susan Anderson says
You and your family remain in heart and thoughts, I wish you comfort and moments of quiet grace during these difficult days.
Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.
We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.
Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us where beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.
“On the death of the Beloved”
by John O’Donohue
First off, thanks so much for all the help hou have given me through your books and website. Because of it, I feel I’m a better friend to my guide-dog (he is my fifth).
I couldn’t possibly find the words to soothe your pain (I think only time can do that) but, still, just a note to let you know that I’m with you. I’ve had to let go one of my guide-dogs because of cancer (her condition deteriorated so quickly that I barely had time to decide what to do). I felt she took a part of me away with her and thought I would never find another dog who could be “as good as her”. With time I discovered that each new guide dog made me discover something I had within me that I didn’t know I had. But then, you probably know all that already. Maybe remembering it will help when the tears come and wash away the pain, leaving, eventually, the good memories to cherish.
PJ McGuire says
Magnolia, my long lost lab – Freedom, trust, innocence, wonder, loyal…Friend.
This was hard. Everything I came up with seemed to leave something out. But here they are, for dogs living and passed on.
My dog. Protector, worker, with me.
Snoozing quietly. Not that quietly. Snores.
Ever eager. Ask, Ben is ready.
Just a pup. Seems bigger though.
And another one for Pepper, by my 4 year old son :
Pepper pot pie. Giant fluffy ears.
Am I right? Am I good?
Gentle, sweet girl. She fooled sheep.
Charging ahead, boinging back. Sheep await.
Friend or foe, he will know.
Boss of everything, stolen my heart
Returned. Enjoyed sledding, parades. David’s friend.
Quietly persuasive, licking, needy. Critter catcher.
Independent, refined, a fence no obstacle.
I am so sorry for your loss of Lassie.
She was a beloved companion and loved you as much as you loved her.
Six words for my Haley:
Walks, driven, faithful, by my side.
Trisha – I am so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
For my 11+ year-old female GSD, Mauser, my doggie girl.
Best friend. Chosen puppy. Mauser Dog.
Kerry L. says
The story in six words exercise is so compelling I have to try again. For Alice: Opened the dogdoor to my heart. For Walter ; Devoted. Earnest, Snow Rolling Bed Buddy.
Thanks again, Trisha, for giving so many of permission to be silly in love with our dogs.
Jim and I are overwhelmed at the kindness and care of all of you who have written. We thank you from the bottom of hearts. And the Six Words that many of you have written have indeed been a wonderful diversion, thank you so much for doing so. I think so many of us reading them have been inspired. It’s a wonderful exercise, isn’t it?
We did get the results of a post mortem on Lassie yesterday morning, and now know that Lassie had a small, cancerous tumor blocking her bile duct, which is why her liver failed. It must have grown rapidly, because it did not show up on the ultrasound taken a month ago. In a way I am comforted, because I never would have put her through surgery or chemo, not at 16 years plus.
I will write more later about Lassie’s actual death and the universal struggles that we have over the death of a beloved dog. It’s too raw right now, but I will say that poor Willie is struggling. I cried so hard when Lassie was dying and after her death that I scared Willie; he ran into another room and looked terrified of me for hours. Now he won’t eat the food out of his Kong in the morning unless we are beside him. Although Will and Lassie played together, especially in years past, they rarely sniffed or interacted any other way. But Will has never been in the house without another dog, and it is apparently tough on him. Poor guy. We’re hoping for some dog buddy visits this weekend.
Of course, we all know what’s coming next in the future — a new dog to Redstart Farm. It’ll be awhile yet, it’s too soon, but Mr. Will needs a playmate and neither should he be in the house too long without another dog. He’ll become a horrendous bully, ‘sharing’ not being a natural part of his repertoire.
But for now, thank you again, thank you all. We continue to be deeply grateful for all your kind words and caring thoughts.
I feel your pain and grieve with you. I lost my soul mate dog on December 21, 2009 less than 24 hours after finding out he had a huge hemangiosarcoma. He would have been 14 on January 12th. Teddy was, in my opinion, the best dog ever. Not that he was perfect, but I loved him very, very much.
So, hugs to you to help with your loss and may your other animals bring comfort to you as mine have to me.
I’d hoped she’d rally again. I’m ever so sorry for your huge loss Trisha. Godspeed, Lassie.
If I lived nearby, I’d bring my silly boys over to help lift Will’s spirits.
I am so, so, so sorry for your loss.
Lassie touched so many lives, human and canine, even though many never met her other than through your stories. What an amazing, wonderful sixteen years she had.
She will be sorely missed by everyone who reads your books and blog, listens to you on the radio, and comes to hear you speak in person.
Run free, Lassie.
I hope it’s OK for me to post a second time. I wanted you to know that the entire Border collie community mourns your loss: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=27294 . Many of us feel we’ve known your dogs personally. We share in your grief.
I love the “six word short stories” I’ve read here. How generous of you, in trying to assuage your own pain, to ask us to take stock of what we appreciate in our own dogs! This is the best I can concoct for our 11-month-old Border collie:
Prancing proudly “besticked”. Wigglebutt cuddlepup. Aroo!
Run free, Lassie!
Ahh I am so terribly sorry and what a tribute you have started here for your far sweeping, home loving summer hearted Lassie here and for all of us. Another comfort, at least for me, is a folk song by an old folkie about old dogs–it has a line “they’ll wait for you around the bend come some tomorrow morning”. Lassie will be there for you along with Luke, Tulip and the many creatures whose love you’ve shared so deeply.
For Sally (dog): hard head soft spirit sudden love
For Robbie (dog): brave heart play? by me always
For Pippin f Bert (cat): I can, I will, Watch Out!
For Annabell (cat): Chirp, little mother; your turn now
Stephen Zawistowski says
Thanks for sharing. Many of us work with animals all the time, and sometimes don’t have the time, or energy, or courage to make the commitment again and again. The loss is always bittersweet, but I don’t know if we could appreciate the life so much if we were not aware of the loss in days to come. Hounds are to me what herding dogs are to you. This past fall we thought that we were going to lose our Morgan when he lost the use of hind legs. Things worked out OK, and here are my six words:
Limp legs. Hurry. Surgery. Wobble walking.
Mary Beth says
Ah Trish, I feel just horrid for you and Jim and Willie and all of Lassie’s beloved ones. Its been kind of a sad week around here reading the news of a good friend’s special dog being diagnosed with a severe form of lymphoma and watching my own special girl wheeze in the cold air with her ever worsening laryngeal paralysis.
Love the exercise. Very difficult to do…you get lots of bonus points for courage for sharing your loss and your joys with Lassie with all of us.
A wise friend once said, “all dogs are either the joy of our life or our rock”. Blaze and Maggie are my joys and can make me laugh and laugh. Coop and Halle are our rocks. Halle with her “buddy up” snuggle routine and Coop with his sensitive watch over attitude….I think ole Coop finally made up to my significant other after Matt’s dad died and Coop decided to take care of Matt while he was mourning.
Lassie say hello to my Montgomery for me. He was the rock for all of us, dogs and people both and was ever so quietly stealing the thunder as “once in a lifetime” dog and I never knew it till he was gone.
Trish, your dogs are a gift to all of us. They take the dry words about animal behavior and translate them into common sense and every day life bringing solutions straight home. Thank you Lassie for the lessons you taught me!
Bustopher Jones says
I lost a treasured friend today,
The little dog who used to lay
Her gentle head upon my knee
And share her silent thoughts with me…
She’ll come no longer to my call,
Retrieve no more her favorite ball;
A voice far greater than my own
Has called her to His golden throne.
Although my eyes are filled with tears,
I thank Him for the happy years
He let her spend down here with me
And for her love and loyalty.
When it is time for me to go
And join her there, this much I know…
I shall not fear the transient dark
For she will greet me with her bark.
Via con Dios, Lassie.
I’m so sorry. Only time has ever helped me with grief so I hope time will bring you peace.
Mitzi – Heart’s Balm, Tennis Balls, Warrior Woman
Lucas – Kisses, Sensitive, Houndy, Teacher, Nose, Reflection
Slick – Young, Fearful, Athletic, Trusting, mischief, Pack
Electric Landlady says
I’m so sorry.
Torque (former track greyhound):
Enjoying retirement; that couch is mine.
Hip Attachment. BUNNY! Cutey Face. BUNNY!
Deacon (current foster dog):
Lesson learned; can’t like ALL dogs.
I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing Lassie with us.
My words for my Aussie girl, Iris:
Hiking! Happy dance. I am yours.
Anne Watkins says
oh Trish – I was checking your previous post about her from time to time today looking for news, and just discovered this one.
You must be exhausted. Darn cancer. I know it is part of life, but it is hard to accept the part it plays -and how.
I have leaned hard on a few wonderful poems over the years. This is my current favorite about death/birth- the “gate we might enter singing”, by an ardent animal lover,, Jane Kenyon. With love and hugs.
The hen flings a single pebble aside
with her yellow, reptilian foot.
never in eternity the same sound-
a small stone falling on a red leaf.
the juncture of twig and branch,
scarred with lichen, is a gate
we might enter, singing.
The mouse pulls batting
from a hundred-year-old quilt.
She chewed a hole in a blue star
to get it, and now she thrives
Ute Hamann says
take muuuuch time to choose your next dog very, very, VERY carefully!!!!!!
I think this will be a choice with more and very special importance for your every day life than ever before. But I understand that definitely Will needs his playmate as soon as possible – so the best would be a holiday guest f
I’m sorry to hear the news. My thoughts are with you and yours.
Six words for Lord Ira:
Shadow, get away, but don’t leave.
I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing her with us.
Someone once wrote, (not sure whom, may have been you in fact) that if the average dog lived longer it would be too unbearable when they left us. I know everyday my love for my dog grows stronger.
My deepest sympathy.
I am so sorry. She isn’t in pain anymore now. Thank you for sharing her with us.
So sorry for your loss. The grief and pain is so acute when it comes to dogs (or any close family pet). I remembering hyperventilating when my heart dog passed away. I had anticipatory grief with family members but not with her, and yet I think what made that grief so acute was not just the shock of losing her, but the reality that I was around her in my home all the time. It was hard to walk around and not have her with me. Our daily rituals ended that day.
Best snooper here – snooping forever now
For my Jack Russell Penny, who knew before I did that she was mine:
Polite hello. Going home? Let’s go.
So sorry to hear the news. Never be afraid to share loving stories we all relate to.
For my Echo, retired Greyhound racer, adopted at 12 – lost at 15 to bone cancer.
Fast heart, soft eyes, run on!
My sincere condolences. What a great loss, but how wonderful to have had 16 years with sweet Lassie. In the meantime, I have been racking my brain trying to come up with 6 words. Here is my humble attempt.
For Wyatt, the red Dobermann, my “first” dog (I hoped he’d live to 10, but we were lucky to spend over 13 years with him.):
Eat couch? Why not?! Still loved.
For Indy, my first Drahthaar, 7 now and in her hunting prime:
Pheasants? Where? I’ll find them!
For Amber, my “middle” Drahthaar:
Miss Congeniality. Her own agenda. Sweetness.
For Frankie, my youngest Drahthaar:
No cover too tough. Velcro dog.
Thank you, Trisha, for introducing us to Lassie in print and photos.
Marci Haw says
I am so sorry for your loss. Like many others, I feel that I know you and Lassie through your books and videos. I too am writing through tears. My thoughts will be with you, Jim, Will and Sushi during this difficult time. Though my boy is still with me, I can not believe any other words but the ones below will serve to describe him in my mind and heart.
Charlie: My heart. My teacher. My inspiration.
I feel your pain. I unfortunately will be feeling it soon myself. My heart dog grows old and it’s so hard to watch. She picked me as hers when I rescued her off a city street many years ago. We’ve been able to read each others minds ever since.
My heart breaks for your loss Trisha.
For my heart and shadow Casey:
I am hers. She is mine.
For my newest addition Holly:
Fitting in. Ray of sunshine. Happy.
Thank you for this beautiful post and wonderful idea to salute our treasured friends. Your work has truly made an impact on me and my own training.
Here are my own tributes inspired by yours and other readers.
Vinnie – the dog of my childhood, much missed but never forgotten
Gentle Soul. You changed my life.
Lizzie – Bossy diva. Never misses a snuggle.
Simon – Still learning with watchful, blue eyes.
my mom, my lead,my lick
My condolences on your loss. I’ll always remember her as an energetic adolescent dog, and how she could go from sitting, spring-loaded, to having her muzzle in my face and her tongue in my mouth in the span of about a tenth of a second. It was always quite a surprise.
I’m so sorry. Lassie was a beautiful dog.
For my Shadow, age 14:
Snow angels. Eviscerated stuffies. Eternal optimist.
Sorry to hear about Lassie- what a wonderful life she led!
Scout (pointer mix): Running gracefully, all angles lap dog.
Pepper (hound mid): Perfect dog, perfect companion, fetch maniac
I lost my beloved soft BC mix this past year and like so many who have shared their thoughts with you I feel your pain. We will all dance with joy when we pass over the bridge ourselves and find these great old souls that carried us through this life waiting for us there…
Jasmine- warm wise eyes. terror of chipmunks
Trisha, there are no words. I’m so sorry for your loss.
I grew up with all kinds of dogs. I have had the honor and privoledge of working with six guide dogs.
Amber- Feisty funny. Wise old soul. Thanks!
Kallah- Intense troubled. Needed a career change.
Bandit- playfully mischievious. Proud prancer. My heart.
Fiesta- Brave heart. Little engine that could.
Haikku- Curious explorer. Reverent respect. “Pound Puppy.”
Brook- Perky precious. Trainer teacher. Reziliant soulmate.
I wish you healing, love, grace, patience and humor.
I am so grateful for this blog and for you for sharing this with all of us. Cried at work when I read about Lassie. I went home and gave my pup an extra special hug, play, romp. Now, here’s my six words for Sama.
Rescue dog, forever home, snuggle pup.
Lori E. says
I am so sorry to hear of this. The best of luck to you and the family at the farm in your healing process. Sending good thoughts your way,
I am so sad to hear this! Lassie is a beautiful dog and I feel as if I know her through the pictures and stories you share here. I am so sorry for your loss.
Six words for Buffalo, my cocker spaniel (1987 to 1998):
Golden fur. Noble heart. Always there.
Joan Morell says
I am so very sorry for your loss. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Permanent paw marks on my heart
where no one else can see
Treasured, though we are apart,
you’ll always be with me.
Tears for you today Patricia.
Saying goodbye is hard stuff.
In love for you and your pups~
I am so very sad upon hearing the news of Lassie’s trip to the bridge. Take heart in knowing that it is the ultimate brave act of a loving heart to send our furries on their final journey. One of “my” most beloved dogs (I walked him for five years) was lost to osteosarcoma in December, he came to visit me briefly at the moment he was sent to the bridge…a sigh of release from pain and worry flowed through me and I knew he was gone.
When I lost both of my cats the pain was terrible, but the decision each time was not difficult, only the loss was hard. Vandal and Oscar were my comrades in arms. Now Cracker and Tagger are my footsoldiers. I dread the day….
I think I speak for all of us here that we feel we knew Lassie, through your words and pictures and that knowing Lassie and Luke and Tulip all helped us know our own dogs better. I am so grateful for this.
For my Cracker:
Was empty. Now full. My heart.
Wasn’t sure. Little brat. Beautiful imp.
For Vandal (1992-2009)
Buddha in a yowling fur coat.
For Oscar (1994-2005)
Body warmer. Cow cat. Sweet boy.
For Tuck: Greatest joy, greatest sorrow, best friend.
For Black Magic: Rough start, recovered early, restful soul.
Laura E says
Lassie was a grand ol Lass !
She had a wonderful journey on earth.
My thoughts are with you Trish, Jim, Will And Sushi.
Laura and the BC clan.
What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful dog. Hope the huge response from fellow dog lovers helps begin the healing process. All the best to you, Trisha.
For my dogs:
Zam, 7-year-old Labrador:
Lovable retriever. Always obedient. When convenient.
Scout, 5-year-old Labrador:
Room for me in your lap?
Blink, border collie puppy:
You stole my heart within minutes.
Mindy Schroder says
Oh I’m so sorry to read this about Lassie. I’m sending you peaceful thoughts…
Trisha, Jim, Will – my deepest sympathy. I hope you are able to comfort each other. I love the “six words”, and I have laughed and cried at all these posts.
For Tippy, my childhood BC/lab – Soft eyes, ears, mouth; best friend.
For Hobbes, kitty – Headbutt, mmrpp, I can jump higher!
For Scout – Always one step ahead, beautiful girl.
Amy C says
I have had to pace the reading of the comments — so many tears for both sorrow and joy.
Dr. Trish, I am so sorry for your loss and so thankful for you sharing your journey. Peace to you and your family.
For my sweet Chow Bes who left me abruptly when she was only 11: Cinnamon. Spice. Independent, fearless traveling beardog.
For my Zeke dog, who I stole out of a horrible neighbor’s yard, and who I let go two years ago at 16: Mamma’s boy, snuggle bug, porch dog
For my Trixie: Love at first sight; zenful gaze
And for Etta, the 12 week old puppy we found in the wee hours of the morning after a stormy TX night, tied with a rope to a pole, with worms, fleas and mange: One man’s throwaway is another’s treasure.
(or in her words: ME, ME, MINE, MINE, NOW, NOW)
Denise LaChance says
I feel so sad for your loss. Your books, and your dogs, have made such a difference for so many dogs.
For my Cocker Spaniel Ben, who is indebted to you for the quality of his last 5 years after he was rescued:
Soft gentle, wiggly joy, determined; – food!
sending you some more ‘diversion’ during this hard time of loss…
Writing down these words will bring fond, sweet and sad memories. Thank you for asking us to write them down.
Bringing smiles. Always patient. Mom’s “soulfood”.
That is Tessa. *2005
Mischievious. Opinionated. Hunting. Intense. Impatient. Sensitive.
That is Rodney. *2002
Fear. Sweetness. Velcro. Love only you.
That is my Bicalina. * ???
Hard to conquer. Loyal. Loyal. Loyal.
My soul dog Cindy, who was there when nobody else was. . . 1981-1995
Clown. Hunt. Independent. Sweet. Unstoppable. Fearless.
My little Purzi-Pooh – the world’s sweetest dachshund. 1989-2005
Sick. Pain. Happy Boy. Love you always.
Giaco, my brave Standard Poodle who endured a lot of pain in his life and lost the battle at the end. . *1998-2005
Regal. Noble. Gentle Giant with twist.
My great dane Daytona. 1999-2006
Defense. Offense.Fear. Distrust. Trying hard.
That was Kelsie. One troubled little soul. * 1994
It’s amazing, what we can say with just six little words……………..
I’m really sorry for your loss; I’m teary thinking about it. Having read your books, I so enjoyed your stories about her.
For Jazzy Bones (thankfully, is only 3 yrs.): 99% perfect, except the rug suffers if you miss your walk.
Pam Coblyn says
I know she has a little piece of your heart with her and you have one of her’s. May your precious memories help you, sustain you and bring smiles through your aching heart and tears.
Pam & Fenway
Kerry L. says
One more try at six words: Stray dog, love found, forever changed.
my god how SHE loved you.
I feel your pain.
Carol & her crew
My sincere sympathy, Trish. She was a beautiful girl. May the warm memories of the joy you shared ease the sadness.
Six words for eight year Rudy who had severe hip dysplasia and OCD at 6 months and got new hips and a fixed elbow, titles in agility, obedience and water, and works as a therapy dog.
Broken body. Unending heart. My love.
For two year old Trio.
Sassy pants. Cuddle bug. My joy.
Get lots of snuggles from your other pups!
Sandy Davis says
Aww, Trisha and Jim. I’m so sad for you.
Here’s mine for little Toffee.
Loved People. Hated Dax. Now Peace.
Sandy Davis says
Aww, Trisha and Jim. I’m so sad for you.
Here’s mine for little Toffee.
Loved People. Hated Dax. Now Peace.
Sandy Davis says
Aww, Trisha and Jim. I’m so sad for you.
Here’s mine for little Toffee.
Loved People. Hated Dax. Now Peace.
Many thanks to Leona for donating to our border collie rescue in memory of Trish’s Lassie.
Much appreciated and will be used for our foster dogs vet bills.
http://www.2ndchancebordercollierescue.org Located in s.e Wisconsin.
I am so sorry for you and Lassie. My dog was diagnosed with liver disease, and so I witnessed the illness and felt sad that I couldn’t magically take it away. My heart goes out to you.
I was just catching up from being away from the computer…and cried reading this. I’m so sorry, Trish.
My words for Lucy, the pug:
playful little giant. a lioness’ heart.
And Calvin, my “Luke”:
mama’s baby boy. tender. playful. gallant.
I am so sorry for your loss of Lassie, Trisha. She had a long and beautiful life with you. Gentle hugs.
My six words for TeddyBear, my pitbull mix… my heart dog.
His world, me. Huge heart. Beaches.
Rosana Hart says
For Sunbeam, our Basenji:
Licking me dry after a shower.
For our Teddy Bear, Australian Shepherd:
Why so often that sad face?
For Cider, our Rhodesian Ridgeback:
Just love, you said. I do.
Yellow dog plays hard, sleeps hard. 🙂
I’m so sorry about Lassie. She sounds like a fantastic girl. Just thinking about your loss is making me cry too.
Donna Sparks says
Trish, May your happy memories comfort you. Thank you for sharing her with us.
Wiggle, run, smile. Savor every moment.
Sarah Kalnajs says
I’ve just heard and my heart breaks for you and for Aimee and Keanu. I’m so grateful you have each other for comfort in this time.
How lucky I feel to have shared the same city with you and been so inspired by your work and your such amazingly positive energy. When dog folk around the world speak of you it is in hushed tones and reverence for one who means so very much to this field of dog behavior.
We are all so grateful for all you share of yourself with us and all so saddened by your loss.
Nose to nose, paw in hand, stole my heart
You and your dogs have touched all of our lives. My heart breaks for your loss.
For my Mackie: Beautiful boy. My heart. For eternity.
The six words for my 10yo Sheltie, Austin:
my shadow, always watching, always hungry.
So very sorry for your huge loss.
Axel, my fuzz bunny: cold day, woods walk, throw it!
I’m so sorry for your loss. I am crying with you, and still crying over losing my girl last year.
I’m glad they found answers for you, as so often we don’t get any answers. I hope it offers some comfort to know you did every last thing you could.
I can’t think of the perfect 6 words for my Gracie, even after trying a few.
roll snort kick, Gracie my protector.
real dogs roll in dead things!
soft girl, we grew up together.
And my silly jethro:
silly smart boy! every dogs pal.
And billy the grumpy great dane.
That belongs to me. That too.
Like everyone, I cried when reading of Lassie (and through your books…Luke and Tulip and….) Remembering that they still live on, just not in the body we knew, is what always helps me.
For Wiley….leaping sweetness, dog love, my first
More comforting thoughts…
For my current canine partners:
14 year old Portie Sparky:
Love the place under your feet.
3 year old hound dog Ronja:
Just a moment. Almost done here.
My six words:
For Reo (83-97)
Simpatico. Velcro best friend. Ever missed.
For Lucy (97-2008)
Fierce, Fragile, Brilliant protector. Squirrels beware.
For Diesel (2006 -)
Stubborn grumbler. Big Bear Hugs. Walkies!
For Blaise (2009 -)
Ghandi in a fur suit. Sunshine.
Cheyanne the Golden says
We are so sorry. These words have brought us comfort during terrible times. Perhaps, you too.
And if I go, while you are still here…
Know that I still live on,
Vibrating to a different measure,
Behind a thin veil that you cannot see through.
You will not see me, so you must have faith.
I will wait there for the time when we can soar together again.
Until then, live your life to the fullest.
And when you need me, just whisper my name in your heart . . .
I will be there.
I am so sorry to read about Lassie’s passing. So sorry.
My heartfelt sympathies for this loss….
.And yet, Lassie will always be Home with you…
My Kira (Siberian Husky):
Big blue. Laughing wide. Tail flash.
Hugs to you.
For my Shiba, Yuki:
Watching You. Watching me. Silent conversations.
T: big guy, big smile, loves mom
M: In remission, loving agility, daddy’s boy
Our sincere sympathies…
Sarah Kalnajs says
It seems that since my thoughts couldn’t bear with the fact that any of us must lose those we love so dearly, I unwittingly used 9 words for my Skyler…
So, here we go in six.
Softly snoring. Noses touch. My heart.
Thank you for this wonderful exercise Trisha.
Mary-Anne and the Shelties says
So awfully sorry to hear about Lassie. I remember first hearing some Lassie stories at one of your seminars, years ago. Thank you for sharing her with all of us.
In memory of my Sally (9/15/91 – 7/21/06)
Jump, sing … dance across my heart.
And Jasmine (? /1993 – 4/7/09)
Sweet, mischievous, purring little lap warmer
Our animals, our greatest teachers here in life. What would we do without them…
Im sorry you cant touch, smell, look and listen to Lassie anymore. When they go.. all we have is the memory of these sensations and the gifts they left behind.
My heart breaks for you and the pain you must be in. Her spirit free and her body light, Im certain shes running with Luke and all the others.
my ball, your ball, our ball – Lisa
brown soft sweet smelling fur, adored -David
food, can I have some more – Lukas
can I get closer to you – Benny
I just logged on to you site and found out. Tears came streaming. I am so terribly sorry to hear about Lassie. She will live on through your words, stories and teachings. Thank you for sharing.
I don’t have the words Trish. I know you loved Lassie, and you weren’t ready for her to go. Sending love and hugs your way . . . wishing I could give you a hug in person.
Pat Blocker says
I’ve just lost my dog Bob. You met him once and taught him “stay” at a book signing. Here’s what I wrote on my blog. Maybe it will help, if only a tiny bit, in your time of sorrow: http://peacefulpaws.net/dog-human-relationships/laughter-through-tears/
Oh, Trisha, just seeing this now. I have no words, just love.
I have lost a dear friend, too, in Lassie
My dear Ellie Mae, may she rest peacefully – Autumn: howls, still dancing for me.
Sweet B girl – Eleven years gone fast; stay, girl.
The gallant Lou – Spotted snuffle; no, you silly dog.
And for my Jack – Walks beside me – what a smile!
I am so sorry. I wish you the best.
Gorgeous six words for your Lassie.
Kyra Sundance says
Side-by-side, we are one.
So sorry to hear about Lassie. She resembled my late border collie Kelly. Kelly was mostly white with a blue merle face and several blue merle spots on her body. She too lived to be 16 and had elevated liver function tests. She could no longer walk, her hind legs were arthritic.
I am sorry to hear about Lassie. My words for my best friend who died from Kidney disease–something I always told her:
I love you more than chocolate.
Glad you put this question out to us all. My dog is almost 13 and her days are growing short. My six words:
Always by my side, compassionate one
For my first aussie, Drew who challenged me so and made me learn so much I will never forget
Faithful.Steady.Solid.Have my heart.
Trisha, I am new to your blog, but have read may things of yours before and as others feel like I know your dogs…I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks to Lassie for inspiring you, for living so long and for doing so much. I know she will be deeply missed.
Tiffani Hallan says
Trish, I am so sorry to hear about Lassie. She was a great partner in bringing your message to the people, and my relationship with my dogs is so much the better for it!
My own Gobie nears the bridge. His six words will be:
My teacher. For all things: Dog.
Keep her happy memories with you, she is always by your side and in your heart!
Anu Roots says
When I tried to write you earlier, I couldn’t stop crying for your profound loss. I am so sorry to hear about your beloved Lassie. What a wonderful life she had with you, and you with her.
I met you at Camp Gone to the Dogs in Stowe, Vermont about four years ago. You graciously inscribed one of your books for me after your talk. I’ve been reading you longer than that.
Thank you for teaching me how to be a better companion to mycherished American Eskimo Dog, Pukak, now 11 1/2 years old.
And so for Pukak, these six words:
Angel Face. Stinkerbelle. My noisy knucklehead.
May your happy memories of Lassie comfort you during this difficult time.
With sincere sympathy,
OK, you can keep my sock.
I am so sorry for you loss. Thank you for this blog. We are going through something similar here. Reading the blog posts has helped. Especially the one that asked, are we prolonging life or prolonging death.
For Princess who has tonsil squamous cell cancer, spread to the lymph nodes. Today may be the day.
Beautiful zen-like gentle soul. Strong spirit.
May I someday be worthy of having known you.
Michelle (who loves you so much!)
So sorry Trisha. Words are never adequate at a time like this and only someone who has loved a dog understands.
Belle (one of your patients)
Belle, the day she was put down for liver disease wanted to play catch and the cuddle with me.
Mary Cline says
I read of your loss this AM & am sooo sorry for your loss. I know the incredible heartache of losing a beloved furkid. My thoughts & prayers are with you.
My first “heart” dog Dakota died 10 years ago yesterday of a brain aneurysm & is still so deeply missed. For Dakota Wind Spirit:
My “ghost”, my protector, my shadow.
Wishing you gentle memories, Trish.
beth murphy says
For my Paige who was the love of my life – Undeniable Queen, neck nuzzler, squirrel-toy chaser
We are so sorry.
Someone’s eyes. Diligent worker. Well loved.
Linda Buono says
I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I had to put my Love Dog Paco to sleep in November. Dogs just grab our hearts. Sincereely, Linda Buono
I am so sory for your loss of your beautiful, wonderful Lassie girl. Thank you for sharing us with all of us through your words & photos.
A year has just passed since my Valentine puppy Morgan left me, after 10 wonderful but too, too short years. An exceptional therapy dog, here are my six words for him –
Love dog. Velcro. All my heart.
My heart aches for you & all your pack now, but as the sharp pain passes into a more dull ache, you don’t need me to tell you she is with you every day, but also now happy to be by her daddy Luke’s side once again.
Peace to you & your gang,
I am so very sorry for your loss. It is unbelievably heartbreaking.
She was such a beautiful girl, I’m sorry for your loss.
I just lost my Kira, my best friend, my dog of 16 years.
My six words for her:
Snow Day, Quiet Woods, Follow Me.
My thoughts and prayers go with you as just this past Thursday my husband and I had to put our dog Miltie to rest, who was a beautiful white and brindle Greyhound. He was almost 14 yrs. old and my heart feels your pain. I come home now to an empty house, no tail wagging or those beautiful eyes waiting for me as I enter my quiet home.
Most people can share in our pain and sadness and understand the loss we feel. Milt was my best friend, my buddy and someone I could count on for a good wet kiss. Someday we will see each other again as you and Lassie will, until we will remember the love they so unselfishly gave us and all the wonderful times we had. What I would give for just one more hug….one more kiss.
For my Humphrey, a 12 year old Swiss Mountain Dog who unexpectedly passed 2 days ago.
Goofy. Handsome. A parade on paws.
For those of you who have lost, may you find comfort and peace in the company of friends and fur. Patricia, thank you for all that you, Lassie, and Luke have done for us. Our thoughts are with you.
I am so sorry to hear about Lassie. I lost my 16 year old Pomeranian last June. He battled pulmonary hypertension for 3 years. I knew every day with him in the last 3 years of his life was a bonus. I had 3 years to prepare for his departure but at the end I was not ready. Miles to me was like Luke to you. My soul mate dog. I take comfort in knowing that he is in a happy place playing with lots of friends. No more suffering.
My thoughts are with you. Thank you for sharing Lassie with us.
I haven’t checked your blog in a while, but thought I should check on Lassie. I had a feeling. My lab, Ruby, went home one week ago today (2/19) after a one week long, rapid deterioration. Suspected osteosarcoma on her pelvis. She was nearly 12. The depth of my grief is so unexpected. I MISS her terribly.
Poop? YUM! Please let’s play now!!
I can’t ever thank you enough for sharing your Lassie with me.
My dogs will be have happier lives because of her.
doG blessings to you.
I am so sorry for your loss.
I have five dogs but Puck is my special one. There are no words to describe what I feel when I think about living without her. She
Lynn Honeckman says
I first met you in 1994 at a talk in Madison, 3 years before my Forever Dog came into my life. I could never be the friend I am to him right now if it weren’t for having you put me on the right track…followed by Ian Dunbar and Andrea Arden and Karen Overall. I am so sorry for your loss of Lassie.
Here are my 6 words for my beloved sheltie Bailey:
Prancing steps. Smiling Face. My Soul.
Sirius Scientist says
I’m so sorry for your loss and nothing I can say will ease what you are going through right now. I have no idea how I’m going to survive when it is my big dog’s time to leave me.
My 6 words for Sirius, a german shepherd and my forever dog:
A stick. A ball. A Nap.
His favorite thing to do is play fetch with anything he can find and he gets so excited when I say “find me a stick!” He carries a ball around in the house, nearly everywhere he goes and after a long day he loves to lay at my feet and nap with his head on one of my feet so he’s sure to know if I move.
Thank you for sharing your life with Lassie and all of your other furry family members with us.
5 months out today from when our boy Kayak went on to wait for us in the green grass with the rabbits who get very close and run slow. The lump in my throat tells me 5 months is a long time to go without seeing your wonder dog.
Blind Fate. Bread Bark. Ears McFlops.
For you: Hang in there, let Willie give you kisses and bring you lots of squeaky balls.
Sandy Gerace says
For the boy who changed my life. Two years was too short, but what impact he made in my life. I loved him so dearly. he was my companion, walking buddy, secret keeper, my best friend.
long walks, snow piles, mud puddles
six words for my sweet miley who greets every morning with an excitement sneeze when i finally get out of bed
holds my heart in her paws
Katie Costello says
To Vickie…the love of my life….6 words? I could write volumes…but here you go…
red rocket, clown in poodle, soulmate.
I miss her EVERY MOMENT of every day. She passed in February. I feel your pain, Trish. Thanks for sharing your moments….
T. James says
I apologize for your loss, though it was so many months ago. I’m sure it still feels fresh in your mind.
I also apologize, because I came across this while trying to figure out what to do with my own dog. And whether someone actually reads this or not, I have to put it out there -somewhere-:
I have a dog my father adopted from the shelter at six months old, and didn’t do much with her. Encouraged her to chase neighbourhood dogs, never spent much time with her, things like that. His method of trying to solve her ‘digging problem? Fill it with water and shove her face in it until she thinks she’s going to die. He got remarried after a couple of years and his new wife didn’t like the dog. I ended up with her because I knew that by going back to the shelter, she’d never get adopted with the issues that she had. She’s nipped several people, a combination of herding instinct, fear-aggression and the fact that she is a ‘wanna-be alpha’ (and that my father and step mother aren’t the brightest tools in the shed).
She’s six years old now. Though she is by far not the worst dog I’ve dealt with or seen with issues, and she has come a LONG way in leaps and bounds, I can’t help but fear -for- her, especially since I must leave her for a year in the hands of people who don’t quite ‘get’ her. She’s a good dog, but she’s also a one-man dog (as cattle dogs often are), and she has a multitude of other ‘issues’ that I don’t need to list. So I have a feeling that she is not going to live to be an elderly dog. :\ If we can get through this upcoming year without problems, I think we’ll be good. But until then, I’ve got to worry about someone screwing up while I’m at school, and her getting the needle.
I’ve thought about putting her down several times. I don’t have a problem with putting down dogs that need it, and I’ve lost pets before, but when it’s something I KNOW I can deal with and work with properly if given the chance… That’s when it gets fuzzy and I have to say ‘no’. It’s been suggested to me before to have her put down. But every time I start thinking of it, I look at her and she just seems so much happier and better than she was before I got her. So much more calm and less of a nervous wreck. She’s so sweet now and has her quirks and weird games she likes to play with her toys and favourite spots to sleep and those holes she loves to dig and roll around in (especially when it’s raining so she, my formerly white dog, resembles a swamp monster); always underfoot and at my side and god knows I haven’t been to the bathroom by myself in years.
And I just can’t do it. Perhaps I’m selfish.
So Maxi’s six words, because that day will come and I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when it does:
I’m sorry. I should’ve done better.
Jennifer Hamilton says
My sweet, scaredy cat, mischievous rescue.
Josh W says
Thank you Tricia for everything. My journey in dogdom started with Otis. Trying to understand him lead me to you, then Bob Bailey. I’ve had some great teachers!
For my Otis.
Crazy. Good. Dog: Running, hunting, soulmate.
Go get ’em Otis.
Here’s to you Otis, and to Josh, who loved you so. Lucky dog Otis, lucky dog.
Sigh. I still makes me tear up reading about how raw this must’ve been, and probably still is. And about Luke too. I am dreading the day it is my turn with my buddy Mac, and try not to think about it too much.
Mac: Abuse covers diamond. Patience. Trust. Brilliance.
I came upon this post looking for comfort after our Siberian Husky Janouk just short of his eleventh birthday, died while we were away for a couple of days. What we thought was a semi-stoppage after eating somw straw, with a bit if diarrhea, turned out to be a rapidly progressive tumor…
His six words: Cherry picking. Born runner. Sloppy kisses.
I’ve been reading backwards through the archives and came to this. It’s been awhile since I cried this much for any of them, let alone each of them. It’s good, sometimes, to remember their lives more than their deaths, but it’s good too, right now, to cry for them.
I’m sorry for all your losses; glad for all their lives.
Goodboy: Of the woods, you honored us.
Daisy: We talked together, sweet field flower.
Briar: Fish, fields, family; our baby loves.
Sweet Alyssum (Lyssa): Soaring, heart breaks. Such life. Leap.
Angi Buettner says
It’s been years since your post, but it really helped me recently when I was accompanying my Australian Kelpie and friend of ten years through her cancer. Also your book For the Love of a Dog.
Here are my six words summarising my life with Fin.
Home. Friends. Walks. Fun. Shared forever.
Thank you for sharing and for providing such a good space to share.
I had to say goodbye to my beautiful yorkie, Mikimoto one week ago today. He was 16 years and 2 months old. I loved him more than anything.
My six words for my sweet Mikimoto are:
My Love. Forever Grateful. Thank you.
This is my last weekend with my beloved Bella who has walked this earth with me for 11 years. I have an appointment with her vet on Monday. I lurch from feeling at peace and beautifully connected with her about our imminent parting, to feeling so sick and grief stricken. I can’t imagine the world without her. She woke me up. She was my anchor, my compass, my greatest joy, my best friend. She knew me as no-one ever has.
Go well my beautiful girl.
Full throttle love. My kindred spirit.
Dear Radja, I have been visiting this site for the past 23 days since I had to say goodbye to my sweet Mikimoto. I have found that the comments and empathy shared here has helped me greatly despite this being an older post. I have just read your comment about your Bella. My prayers are with you at this time. It is the most conflicting decision to make to say goodbye, but I have found comfort knowing it is our last act of selfless love towards our best friend. I hope you find comfort knowing this as well.
Thank you so much, Heather for reaching out to me with your comforting words. It helps as I try and make sense of the raw pain I feel. I was terrified I would feel her yearning for me, unable to reach me after I let her go. But when I think of her I see her as a young dog again, hooning through long grass with eyes sparkling and a huge grin. But that doesn’t change the wrenching grief that consumes me. Does it get better?
Dear Nadja, I thought about you today and I’m so sorry you are going through this. I know the wrenching grief all too well. Medically, our brains can’t differentiate between the pain we feel from grief than as if we have just had an operation. For me, I felt like I had been torn open all over my body. I still feel like I had an operation, but as if now I am in recovery. Maybe no longer in ICU, the recovery ward. The pain slowly softens. It has been 25 days since my sweet boy had to leave me. The first 10 days were the hardest. It was like time stood still. But, now, every time I feel empty and distraught, I search for that feeling of the tender reciprocated love that only my Mikimoto gave me and if I close my eyes for long enough I feel that love in my heart. This is how he wants me to remember him by. He hated when I would cry, so I try to believe that this was part of the divine plan. I now try to turn my tears into thoughts of his love and I am starting to believe that he is still with me somehow, somewhere, but I believe that he is. And I feel that he as well as your Bella has been restored to his youth. I will pray for you. You will slowly feel better. Try to take it half day at a time and allow yourself some time to do whatever it is that you think will aid in your healing.
Dear Heather – I am so very moved by your response and your generosity. Sharing your grieving journey so far over your beloved Mikimoto, and how you are ever so gently moving towards a place of healing provides me with guidance, a beacon – a sighting of land from my storm hammered boat. I thank you with all my heart. Nadja
It is nearly one year since I must made the decision to let my beloved Zoe go. I found this blog today. My six words for Zoe are:
soulmate, beloved, unforgettable, contented, funny girl.
Oh Trish. This helps my hurt today for Baxter, who died on Sunday, in front of the fire, surrounded by toys, on a homemade quilt.
Your job; peace, love and happiness.
Peace be with you always,
Murphy: Squirrel chaser. Big eater. Bed hog.
I’m so sorry you couldn’t stay with me forever. I love you forever.
No go get ’em
For Laren – A perfect dog – a perfect love.
Donna Burns says
So sorry about your loss.
Here is what I want to say about Mac, a westie
First dog Soul mate Best Behaved
For my basset, Ned: Sweet coffee. Warm bed. Smelling things.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing you, my dearest, biggest, warmest boy.
For Lily: sweetest girl, sensitive soul, heart dog.
We will miss you forever. RIP darling girl.
Love how the village has continued to add memories of beloved companions over the years. I wandered in here on a side trip while researching dog-dog aggression and resource guarding for a friend’s dogs so neither has to be rehomed. I couldn’t resist leaving a tribute for my muttley crew, so….
Mickey Mouse (1972-1983): outsmarted her hoomans on the regular.
Scout (1997-2012): world’s best self trained assistance dog.
Meg (1999-2015)(Princess of): prance and dance and bounce and pounce. Extra 2 words snuck in cuz that was one of her nicknames.
Duncan (2010-2020): doggo who loved to give huggos.
Missy (2012, current floof in residence): Chewbacca impressions. Rotisserie chicken taste tester.
And my heart hurts for T.James and Maxi. You may never see this after all these years, but if you ever find yourself back here, please know that you are exactly the right person Maxi needed, no apologies are necessary! You were her champion and your love for her shines through in every word. I hope you were able to work something out so that she got the chance to grow old by your side. However things turned out, you did your very best for her and she loved you for it.