Farewell to a fur-ever friend

We had to say good-bye to our fur-ever friend, Frankie, earlier this week.

13 years & 22 days with the world’s greatest dog.

So lucky, yes we were.

Smart and hilarious, I found him at the Humane Society of West Michigan.   More about his adoption story here. In his honor, we are going to pay it forward and sponsor the adoption of another mutt for a another lucky family.  He was all about sharing and I think he would have appreciated that.

Frankie as a wee one

Frankie as a wee boy

Frankie arrived when our boys were 6 & 14; He was a first class salesman (he always got the order), champion bed warmer, professional greeter and happiest .. near us.

We enjoyed a great weekend with the kids & grands by the grill (his favorite), not knowing it would be his last.

Frankie's last grill night with us .. just last Saturday.

Frankie’s last grill night with us .. just last Saturday.

He developed a vestibular disorder suddenly,  which as traumatic as it was to witness, had to have been terrifying for him.  But I know in my heart that our presence, our touch, our kisses, tears, sorrow and hugs .. served to comfort him in his hour of need.

Frankie finds contentment easily

He enjoyed cuddles like this one the last night of his life

Thankfully, the situation was short-lived.

I’m grateful for that.

Thankfully, we were home.

I’m grateful for that, too.

It was obvious we had a decision to make that, as sad as it was for us, was absolutely right … for him.

He deserved no less.

And so we stayed with him as he passed on, petting him, kissing him, whispering words of endearment that will never be enough to say all that we really felt.

We bucked up, carried on and, with tears streaming down, did our best to convey our gratitude to the kind of friend you wish could stay in your life .. fur-ever.

Rest in peace, sweet boy.

Frankie’s farewell … an emjayandthem (C) photo

 “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ― Will Rogers


Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Grief, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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37 thoughts on “Farewell to a fur-ever friend

  1. oh heck…I’m so sorry. It’s so tough to do that. I almost cry just thinking about the dear ones that have gone on to greet me with barks and snuggles when I go there…back home. This earth school is tough on a heart.

  2. RIP, Frankie. My sympathies for you and the family, Mj.

  3. All that we love deeply will always be a part of us. So sorry to hear. Hugs, MJ.

    • Thank you, Georgette. That is so true — he lives on already in our stories, photos, and daily “remember whens?” I am comforted to know he wasn’t in pain and that we were home and could help him. It would have been so much more difficult had he been alone. But I sure do miss that fuzzy little greeting when I come home at night! MJ

  4. Oh, MJ… heart is breaking for you and your family. It hurts so deeply to lose one of our sweet pets. And even more so when that pet has “grown up” with your children. Sending special thoughts to you today, my friend.

    • Thank you, I know you know all about this. Even though we knew it was coming … he started slowing down last fall and, at that time, we didn’t really think he was going to make it through the winter. He did. Then the spring. And he did. He made it through to the visit with my Mom & Sister, to be here for the grand kids this summer and enjoyed much of grill season, his all time favorite. He enjoyed a very good last day as Hubbs had just given him leftovers in his crunchies (his favorite, too) and about an hour before things went south, youngest boy spent 45 minutes lying on the floor with him in that crazy bunny pose he liked to do. He was the boys only dog and yes, the one they both grew up with. Many tears but many prayers of thankfulness around here, too. I think Frankie knew, and I think he had a way of making it as easy as it could be on us. Still .. it’s painful and I miss him very much. Thank you Dianna. MJ

  5. My heart goes out to you…I’ve been there and I don’t think this ache abates, it just finds a place in your heart to live without preventing you from loving and laughing and living…

    • Thank you, I agree .. you never really get over a loss you learn to live with it b/c it stays with you. Frankie was one of a kind and, while we all miss him very much, it was time for him to go ahead without us.


  6. Last year we had to say good by to our little Beagle Oscar….(we’ve had several pets but nothing like the relationship we had with Oscar…Reading about your Frankie put me in mind of that relationshipw/Oscar) Had never been attached to a pet like that before…I had to take Oscar in to the Vet, knowing he was not going to come home with me. It was hard. Right thing to do, but hard. Still remember him sitting quietly on the truck seat, in pain. Had my hand on him the whole time we drove into town. I’m convinced we’ll get to meet our little Frankie’s and Oscars in Heaven (along w/ my pet pig Winston) God has a tender spot in his heart for the creatures, I believe…sounds like you guys gave Frankie lots love, he had a great home to grow up in….still leaves a void in your lives…I’m guessing you miss the sound of his feed padding across the floor.

    • I’m sure that Oscar and Frankie and my pony Riley and all the barn kitties I knew and loved (Shorty Pants the Co-Op cat) are tumbling and playing together in Heaven. Of that I have no doubt.

      That trip to the vet that you spoke to, wow that was daunting wasn’t it? Hubbs held Frankie in the back seat, youngest boy sat in the front, crying, and I remained calm and drove us there. (Someone had to!) The Animal Clinic was waiting for us and made him and us as comfortable as they could; Frankie knew, and even though he hated riding in the car and going to the vet, his breathing slowed down when we all put our hands on him. He laid on the floor and stuck his head under my leg, like he used to do as a puppy, almost like “if I can’t see you this isn’t happening.” We just stayed near and talked soothingly and did the best we could. So hard but … he wasn’t alone and scared and for that I’m most grateful.

      Yes I miss the sound of his feet on the tile floor and the little fuzzy face when I get home at night, and my coffee mate buddy this morning. Thanks for your kindness and comforting words, it helps. MJ

  7. I understand this so much, and I send you big hugs; Frankie really looked like the sweetest dog. I’ve had to say goodbye to 2 dogs so far – the second one just last december – and it’s never easy. I grew up with the first one, since I knew him from when I was 2 until I was 15; and the second one was my little puppy – I trained him and took care of him all the time… It’s terrible to see them suffering and they were both so difficult for me. You miss coming home to their happy, wagging tails and their warm, fuzzy cuddles. I’m really sorry to hear about Frankie, but I’m glad that your dad and grandparents are taking good care of him up in heaven 🙂

    • Thank you, Dounia. They bring so much joy into our lives and leave such a void when they have to move on. I’ve only had one other dog, and like you, he was the one I grew up with, from 9-19. Frankie was irreplaceable and as much as I loved him, I don’t think I could go through this again, at least not anytime soon. Thank you for understanding. I’m sure that, between Dad and my Grandma, he’s been over-served in Heaven 🙂

  8. I’m so sorry to read this! I know what a special place this little guy had in your heart. Having gone through this myself with a beloved cocker spaniel years ago, I know just how difficult this experience is, and what a loss it is for the whole family. Blessings to all of you as you adjust to a quieter house and life without Frankie. ~ Sheila

    • Thank you, Sheila. We moved into our house with him (we’d been renting a townhouse) so there’s never been a time he wasn’t here. The spot where his bed was looks vast and huge. It’s weird, but we’ll adjust. And we’ll celebrate him and his wonderful personality for years to come.


  9. MJ — so sorry to hear about Frankie. And seeing the puppy pic to white-muzzled dog just pulls my heartstrings. I think when we choose to be the steward to an animal, we accept the responsibility of making the hard calls and providing a respectful end of life. Bless you. Here’s to you, Frankie.

    • Absolutely — it’s a huge responsibility .. and there were times when he was young that he was quite sick and it was quite expensive. But we do that, don’t we? He had a wonderful life, the kind of life dogs dream of. I’ve got no regrets but it’s certainly still pinches. No fuzzy faced greeting after work, no one snooping around conveniently at suppertime, no “why sure I’ll accompany to the yard and sniff every single thing” … and the list goes on.


  10. Ouch…my heart hurts for you and your family. Very sad indeed to lose a loved one. You were blessed and you know it. My sympathies MJ.

    • Thanks, RR. We were very lucky to have had the world’s greatest dog! He had a life that other friends envied and we feel good about that. MJ

  11. I feel your pain, sincerely, and I send you hugs and love. Losing a beloved pet is one of the most painful losses. Take care of yourself.

    • I know you do, Tobi. Thank you. It hurts and the hurt sneaks up on us at times. But — I really am grateful in how things came together – we were home and he wasn’t all alone when he became sick. He was already so scared by it that I knew our being with him helped him through it. It was very peaceful and when he let go, he just quietly rested his head between me & youngest boy. MJ

  12. Through tears I send you all a big hug. Your stories about Frankie will live on through your blog xoxoxo

    • Thank you and yes they will — and through the boys! I contacted the local Humane Society (from where we got Frankie) and told them we want to pay the adoption costs for another dog — for someone who’s already approved to get one but they can choose who receives it. They want to now feature the story on the local Fox affiliate so Frankie’s face might go even more viral than my wee blog 🙂

      He always was kind of a star. I sure miss him with my morning coffee today, though.


  13. I like Will Rogers quote you ended with. I’m so sorry to hear you lost Frankie. They are so much a part of the family in the time they spend with us. I know you will still “hear” him from time to time, bittersweet moments that present themselves. And here’s a hug for those times.

    • Thank you, Patti. I loved that quote. My Dad was adored dogs and he loved Frankie – I feel they’re together and that’s comforting to me. Just the other day, while cooking supper, I was sure I saw his knobby head peeking around the stove, hoping for scrap or 5.

      Thanks for the hugs

  14. I’m so sorry. There just aren’t any other words. My heart hurts for you.

    • I know. It hurts. It’s getting better but I still look for him, still think I feel him brush up against my leg, and I still feel a phantom nuzzle on my arm. I know he’s OK it’s the rest of us that are in puddles!
      Thanks Kate.

  15. Wonderful post but very tough to read. Especially with two aging kitties in the house.

  16. I’m very sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how awful this must be. You are in my thoughts.

    • Thank you, Leah. I’ve missed him most on these quiet weekend mornings – I’ve got no little buddy to go out and check on things with. 😦 We will be OK but we sure do miss him. Hugs

  17. Oh no, MJ. I’m so sorry I wasn’t here sooner, so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Frankie. I know that he was there for you through the best and worst of times, loyal to a fault, the way our fur babies tend to be. I know he loved you all unconditionally. No matter how much we know days like this are going to come, they are never made easier by that knowledge. Rest in peace, Frankie. And hugs to you, MJ.

  18. Pingback: Two for Tuesday | Emjayandthem's Blog

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