Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

And We Loved Him Well

My wonderful old yellow lab, Bill, removed his essence from this earth today. He died as he lived, on his own terms; at home in his 'nest'.  It was relatively quick.

We will miss him, he was my barn manager and my good friend. He followed me everywhere, but he never would listen to me. He'd just give me the 'look' and go about his business as he saw it. He had a fine last day yesterday, turkey gizzards for breakfast and an egg yolk on his dinner. He spent the night in his nest next to the heat vent and was fine and peaceful in the AM. When I got him up to go out, he couldn't make it. We helped him out and he fell down. Mark and I carried him back in and put him in his bed. He laid there catching his breath while we went to the barn. 1 1/2 hours later he was quiet but wheezing. He died quietly about 15 minutes later. We were with him and he just let go. We were able to bury him, so he's out by the barn where he belongs and where I want him to spend his eternity.

Goodbye good boy. You were one in a million.


  1. You wrote a lovely tribute to your dear Bill. My thoughts are with you today. What a dear friend he was to you.


  2. I should not read your blog while I'm at work! I will miss seeing Bill when I stop over there....

  3. It is so hard to see these pets go when they have such a special place in our hearts and in our daily lives.

    Bill was----well, BILL! A cool farm dog.

  4. How nice to have had such a constant companion. And I am touched by how you've honored him in this post.
    He was a very beautiful dog. Thinking of you here too.


  5. Thank you everyone for acknowledging Bill. Those who met Bill know he was an individual. Nobody gave a handshake better! Bill had a habit of introducing himself to people by walking up and firmly inserting his nose between the legs and pressing with gusto. This was his 'How YOU doing" handshake. Everyone got one.
    Until the last few months he escorted every horse into the barn as I led then, back and forth with me he would go. He followed me from stall to stall as we cleaned, laying down and then getting up and laying in the next. Bill hated getting his feet dirty, but he used to be so determined to follow me that he would spread his toes out as far as he could, sort of making a snowshoe effect, and pick his way through.
    Bill was fascinated by tennis balls and he used to get two in his mouth at a time, one behind the other, and carry them around all day. He had a ever-running game with my horse Spenser. He started this as soon as he arrived here. He'd jump up at the stall and bark furiously at him and Spenser would gnash his teeth and pin his ears. They thought it great fun.
    Bill came here as a four-year old dog, from Mark's sister. They were going to put him down and I said any dog named Bill has to be all right, so bring him here. I always thought Bill knew his time in Stillwater was temporary and that he had someplace else to go to. He moved in as if he always knew he should live here. Moved right in and never left the yard. Acted as if horses and farm life were common to him. He had never lived in a house and never relieved himself in the house. We called him a suburban dog because he remained a late riser until the day he departed. He was my dog.

  6. Sympathy to you on the passing of Bill.
    I was just thinking about him the other day; how you make him his chicken broth (I think of Bill when I see poultry on your menu).
    When I saw the title of your blog, I knew.

  7. I'm sorry you had to say goodbye to Bill today. My heart is heavy for you. I can only hope my Monty will go so gracefully.

  8. Thank you Jean and Shelley. Bill did love his weekly chicken and the past week he enjoyed Thanksgiving turkey broth. He continued to eat up until his last day.
    I hope when Monty's time comes it will be peaceful. Monty has the most interesting little face. Fiercely intense.

  9. Oh, I am sooo sorry to see the loss of your buddy, Bill.
    I know the heartbreak that it brings, and I just want to let you know that my dogs will eat a special dinner tonight in his memory. (I also boil up chicken and turkey gizzards, liver and hearts for my dogs.)
    I'm thinking of you.

  10. Thank you. I know you are a huge fan of dogs and that you would understand the loss. I hope you pooches enjoy their feast. Bill loved the weekly homemade chicken broth. Slow cooked chicken will forever be known as 'Bill's Chicken'. : )

  11. So very sorry for your loss Sandra! Bill was one of a kind. Touching tribute to a real gem.

  12. Thank you Susan. We really did love him well.


I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.