The Queen is Dead….Long live the Queen

On April 30, 2012 my beloved Scottish Deerhound Lilly died. She had languished for six months with pancreatitis and kidney failure. Dutifully I gave her bags of subcutaneous fluids every day and fed her from my fingers in an unsuccessful effort extend her life.

In the end she was euthanized in my arms and I watched as her soul left her body and she fell limp like an empty shell at the seashore. I felt empty without her. No creature under the stars of heaven had ever been so perfect as my beloved Lilly. I was heartbroken and felt that I had a hole in me that could never be filled.

Eleven months later I received a call from a couple in Vermont who breed and raise Scottish Deerhounds. Lee and Lois Resseguie had learned of my loss and as serendipity would have it they called to say they had a puppy that needed a home. I was unsure. Could my emptiness be repaired by a replacement or would a new deerhound merely be a soulless copy of my beloved Lilly.

As I write this today, Daisy my brand new deerhound is gnawing at my elbow because I’ve ignored her entreaties for almost 5 minutes. She growls and bounces when she wants my attention and she nuzzles and coos when she has it. Best of all my house is once again alive with the sound of galloping Deerhound feet and my life has once again been filled with an odd looking creature who needs me as much as I need her. I often describe her as a greyhound with my hair.

Lilly has not returned to me and she will have a permanent inscription in my heart, but even an old fox like me can still learn new lessons of life and one that I’ve added to my personal storehouse is that a puppy can heal a broken heart.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

– Alexander Pope


The Queen is Dead….Long live the Queen — 10 Comments

  1. odd looking? I think you need to apologize to that gorgeous girl gnawing at your elbow, or she will soon be gnawing on your elbow.

    and another thing. Deerhounds aren’t bound by the same limits as us. I don’t think we people can share the channel of one body, but I do believe deerhounds have figured that one out. I don’t believe one dog can ever replace another, but can you really doubt that Lily isn’t there somewhere in Daisy? Can you actually believe that Lily would leave you in this cold world without an occasional supervisory visit through Daisy? Her uneasy soul has chosen Daisy for you, and is expatiating right before your eyes.

    I admit, Daisy could use a lot more supervisory visits. Give it time. You’ll see.

    Lee and I could never find a home we trust more with our beloved puppies than you, Jim. You are our blessing with Daisy.

  2. When I read your blog Jim, I felt I was reading my own story, only we lost our “Lucky” dog, who was a 16# Yorkshire Terrier (yes, that was not a typo, not 6# but 16#!). We had him from the time my daughter turned 4 years old until her second year of College. He was so loved by everyone! It sure is a difficult experience losing a pet, especially one that is loved so much. Our doggie got cancer, and it metastacized to his brain, leaving him with seizures. We hung on til the end, difficult as it was. My daughter (as we all were) was grief stricken. She had only had this one dog her whole life, he was such an important part of her young life. She was in college at the University of Michigan, and decided to put a lot of time volunteering for the Huron Valley Humane Society to assuage the pain she was experiencing. She volunteered for a weekend Pet Expo at the Novi Expo Center about 3 months following Lucky’s death. She had a ride there with her boyfriend, but asked if I could pick her up. Being the dutiful mother that I am, I arrived right at 5pm on Sunday the last day of the Pet Expo. Everyone was packing up and getting ready to leave. I happened to see a woman with a dog laying on it’s back on her lap. For some reason I had the urge to talk to her and ask her if that was her dog. She said no, it was a shelter dog. At this point the dog (who was all beige on it’s stomach) turned around and got up. I was shocked that the dog was colored just like a Yorkie. One look at this beautiful 3 year old Morkie and I fell in love once again, even though I vowed never to do this again. The surprise was that this dog is named “Casey” which is my nickname. My daughter swears that Lucky had his “paw” in all of this because he didn’t want me to be heartbroken. Casey is now our little love, and we’ve had her for 2 years. I’m glad you took a chance again Jim, and got Daisy, she’ll need (and give you) plenty of love!! I loved reading your blog, as you can tell, you touched a very soft spot in my heart!!

  3. Sorry for your loss. Congratulations on your puppy.

    Your letter made me miss my own boy who we lost this spring to bone cancer. He was a beautiful long haired king shepherd. He was a giant at 110 Ibs. He scared the pants off all strangers who entered our home. Only until they were introduced of course, then it was a love fest. His name was Justice and he was only seven when he passed. I am looking for a new puppy as well, but no one will ever be my Justice.

    I wonder if there is a way for you to put an area in at any of your stores for dogs? Possibly a picnic area or cafe? That would be a hit with dog owners. Dad could walk the dog and mom could shop. Nothin’ like a two’fer. Very European I think.

  4. What a beautiful story. I know it only too well. I have lost 3 dogs in my adult life, but after Tauni – 3 yrs. ago – I said I could never go through “that” again and would NEVER get another dog. I was drained and devastated. …….Fifteen months later, after an emotional roller coaster of events, I adopted Lola (named Daisy by her breeder!). She has stolen my heart – completely. I never thought I could love a dog as much as I had Tauni, and Barley before her. I remember looking at the gates, dog bowls, doggie toys, and saying to myself: “This is how my house is supposed to look.”

    Enjoy your Daisy – I hope she has a full, happy and healthy life with you.

  5. I understand your pain, Jim. I’ve put two dogs down in my life and find that there is no greater pain in life. Enjoy your new puppy and ask her to heal your heart with kisses. She surely will.
    By the way, years ago I met your Dad while waiting at the deli counter.He told the deli lady (Brenda) to give me a cooked chicken leg! Strange but very generous and sweet.
    You have the very best team at Berkley. I love them all but in particular…Eddie, Jackie,Tatiana,Brenda and the memory of the little boss with the big heart.

  6. Hello Jim,
    Lois is right. Your pets can visit you again, either through another pet or in Spirit. I am looking forward to having another Irish Wolfhound after losing mine to Cancer. It wasn’t until after my Maggie developed Osteosarcoma that I began doing intensive research into why/how she developed it. Bottom line: read as much as you have time for about Holistic pet care online- and be overly cautious about giving them every type of vaccine that is available every year. Blessings to you and Daisy!

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