The Golden Soul of a Dog

dog, love, golden retriever“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France

My soul is wide awake, but now, it is also ripped asunder. Our precious Henry, our ‘third’ child for almost 13 years, passed yesterday afternoon. Head on my lap, slowly leaving this world, my man’s hands petting him in thanks, Henry exuded love and joy to the last breath.

For once, words leave me. So I honor his memory, and our deep thanks for his presence in our lives, with pictures.

Our walking companion.

Our walking companion.

Lover of nature.

Great sense of humor.

Great sense of humor.

Sweet Granddog.

Sweet Granddog.

A thinker.

A thinker.

Writing companion.

Writing companion.

His golden spirit will be part of us - forever.

His golden spirit will be part of us – forever.

55 thoughts on “The Golden Soul of a Dog

  1. My heart is heavy for you, but filled with gratitude, every day, for such loving creatures. What a beautiful piece to honor Sir Henry ~

    • I think Sir H took in a bit of each of us when he listened to us write our stories around my dining room table, grabbing our tears and laughter as strongly as the toys that you brought him.

    • Ohhh, Nadia was my first introduction to a golden Guide Dog breeder. And what a wonderful teacher you were to her; I hope I learned from you as we brought Tory in our home, and then Henry.

    • Thank you – I feel your hug across the ‘pond.’ Henry did make us laugh; we were just remembering how he’d jump up on our bed (a no no in our house) if there was a thunderstorm, and no cajoling would get him out from under those sheets until the thunder quieted.

  2. Oh Pam. Tears are streaming down my face….it didn’t matter that I never met Henry face to face – I loved him, too. Losing a wonderful dog friend is so very hard. I wish there was something I could do to help ease your pain and sadness. I hate that we’re on opposite coasts…. But, I do believe that when it is your time, Henry will be waiting to greet you, tennis ball in mouth, beautful tail swishing and love shining from those soulful brown eyes! Sending you lots of love and comforting hugs! xxoo, Carla

  3. Our beautiful, gentle writing mascot…Such great memories of Henry waiting for us Monday mornings, making sure he acknowledged each one of us as we arrived. A beautiful creature who always made us smile. Sending you all love and peace.

    • At times, I wanted to give him pen and paper with us, under that cuckoo clock, and see what stories he came up with. I bet they would have been doozies! Thanks for being a wonderful part of his writing life.

  4. So very sorry, Pam. I feel privileged to have met Henry back East. What a beautiful and special soul indeed; and what a happy life you gave him. Big hugs to you and your family. Xo

    • Ah yes, you taught me about the love for cats, and I’d talk on about my Henry boy. Either way, we are lovers of the animal spirit (which goes with our goddess lore, does it not?) 🙂 Thanks, Jean. Thinking of Verna here too; she was a huge fan of Henry.

    • You found the exact right words (of course). Henry was even angelic when he’d grab a towel from the bathroom rack and run with it back and forth, up and down the hallway – total joy. One sharp “NO!” and he’d stop and look up with those eyes – you could practically see those angel wings.

  5. So sorry to hear of Henry’s passing, Pam. Its so heart wrenching and sad to say good by to a long lived pet and companion. I have been there and you probably have experienced it before, but it doesn’t get any easier. I’m glad to have known and patted him.

  6. Pam – Yes, there are no words to describe a loving and fulfilling companion that a dog (or other animals) becomes in our lives. Dogs give us all this and more with no words of their own. So sorry for the loss of Henry Pam

    • Oh, you wonderful (former but always) neighbor. I’ve seen you with your special pets, and how you connect and bond and love. Yes, you understand – I guess there really are no words to describe this animal/human relationship. So comforting to read your comment. Thank you!

  7. Oh Pam, I am so sorry for your loss. We have our Coco, a 9 year-old chocolate lab, and are imagining your heart-ache in loss. We anticipate the devastating pain in losing our girl, but remind ourselves how blessed we are to have her in our lives. Coco is rightfully, and deservedly, spoiled, as was, I am sure, your Henry. My condolences to you and your family. Hugs, Thom

    • Oh noooo, we never spoiled Henry. He always got the first and last segment of the orange because of the Vitamin C; I cooked him fresh chicken for his breakfast every day for the protein; plus the NE ice cream stand we lived near gave free vanilla ice-cream-in-a-cup for good doggies, and H. barked every time we almost passed it. (Hopefully they have such stands in NH). So, never spoiled, but loved to pieces. Give your Coco an extra hug from me, please.

  8. Oh Pam! So sorry for your loss! My thoughts are with you. Once your heart feels less heavy write about all the different memories of how Henry was uniquely Henry. Hugs
    Kathy McGowan

    • Thank you – the loving hugs from across the country mean a lot. Once in awhile I ‘snuck’ Henry into Pathways, and oh how the kids loved him. Conor will be devastated; I guess I’ll have to tell him the news. (Would you tell Tom? he adored our guy too…)

  9. Pam- I’m so sorry to hear about Henry I wish you lots and lots of time with friends and “your man.” I know it’s not the same as Henry- no one is the same as Henry… Thinking of you.

    • I remember when you and I walked Henry around H.D. Thoreau’s Walden Pond (not knowing then that dogs weren’t welcome!). Great memories of NE, but so glad I get to see here in our bay area. xo

  10. There has got to be a better button that LIKE for times like these. I love the way you write so perhaps you will know that it was I LIKE but I don’t want to trivialize your loss. Hugs going out to you today! I pray as the days pass… your memories of knowing what a great home you provided to the very end will help help lessen the pain!
    xoxo
    di

    • I know what you mean – I’ve been stymied before wondering how to respond to a post that affects me/inspires me, but “like” doesn’t seem the right button. Thank you – “LIKE” here means to me that so many people have felt the same about their furry friends, and they understand the pain, and yet the joy of having experienced this special ‘love.’

  11. Sent from my iPad I’m so sorry, but just think of the wonderful life he spent with you and all the love you gave him. It’s. Heart breaking , with love MABEL

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