As what happens in our family, for reasons we don’t fully understand, our dogs at the end of their lives take their last breath under the full moon, almost all of them in winter.
$eeker died naturally and smoothly next to our Christmas tree, next to my husband, under the full moon. He lived an extraordinary fourteen and a half years surrounded by the people and the dogs that made his world complete. He didn’t really want much, just all of us and whatever it was we were doing.
As I write this, please know while he was our dog, he was truly my daughters dog. She had been coming to agility competitions with me for years, helping out and running my dogs, but at nine years of age she was very clear that she wanted her own dog, and not just any dog, she wanted a tenacious, fast, intense border collie dog. She dreamed of him, and in two weeks, there he was.
They were so perfectly matched for each other. She never shied away from his intense energy and drive, in fact it was like fodder for her intense soul. They were an awesome team, in the agility ring, freestyle, on a trail, out for a run, or in the sandbox.
My daughter worked with him everyday, took care of him under our guidance, and had super clear goals. When she was twelve they started to compete, and even though I am clearly in the Mama role, they were awesome, seamless, and moved so effortlessly together. Both with undeniable physical prowess.
My daughter knew he was nearing the end of his life, and both her and my son changed their plans to come home and be here during the last part of his life. My children have been a part of our dogs lives from cradle to grave, through all of the life stages, all of the adventures and misadventures, and all of the emotions that come with it.
They know death, they know it is the end of a life well lived, and a natural transition. They are honest, they grieve openly, and they do not apologize for loving their animals maybe more deeply than other humans. Tears and laughter are so interchangeable in our household during times of grief, good memories and loss, and it is all as it should be. They have gone through everything with our dogs and have such a rich life experience because of it.
In the wee hours of the full moon morning, my husband woke us to say that $eeker had died. We all made space for my daughter, and she wrapped him in his favorite blanket, and by herself carried him out to the pasture to lay under the full moon. Her personal ceremony was what she needed it to be. Private, sacred, and between her and $eeker.
$eeker was the final dog in my kid crew. The four dogs that actually raised my children, and that fill their memories. I am humble enough to recognize that I was merely the cook.
He is in great company now, and for that I am grateful. Nancy
23 Comments Add yours
Nancy, My condolences on $eeker’s death, after his long life well lived & loved.Thank you for your columns over the years. So much wisdom & joy from the heart & soul of dog heaven.With gratitude, Vickie
Thank you …
Blessings to you all, Nancy.
Thank you …
What a lovely and loving tribute to dear sweet $eeker! My condolences to you, your daughter, son, husband and all who knew and love $eeker. Your post brought genuine tears as I watched your delightful videos. Thank you for sharing this moving story.
You’re welcome. Take it gently.
What a wonderful pair they made!
yes they did …
Little envious of your comment “natural death”, are we just unlucky? Our first dog died of esphogal calapse , the second with cancer, both were horrendous ends for our wonderful companions….yours seems lucky and abnormal by comparison?
Hi Paul, death comes in all forms I believe, often times not of our choosing. FOr the past three decades we went from moving into natural rearing to natural rearing all of our animals. It lends itself to old age deaths, not deaths from disease, and I think there might be a difference in there. We for sure have experienced other types of death – All the best, Nancy
Sending much love and peace for your entire family, the four leggeds and the two. You and your husband have given your children such blessing. They know true, full on love.
Thank you Nikki …
Oh, Nancy, we are so Blessed to share our lives with these strong, smart, loving dogs. Thank you for telling us his story. Prayers for Peace for you and your family.
thank you Ruth …
Thank you for sharing this poignant, potent and profoundly moving celebration of a life well lived and a love so big. I appreciate all of your posts but never comment. Today I had to simply let you know how much I appreciate all of your wise and wonderful posts, and how this one swept my heart into a swirl of smiles and squinty tears. . .
thank you …
I am so sorry to hear about Seeker. It’s times like this that I am at a loss for words. I know how much you, Tom and the kids will miss Seeker. RIP Seeker
thanks Mom …
Piper and Family ~ Please accept my sorrow for your loss of Seeker; as well as my joy of the life you shared, and his travels, now beyond the Rainbow Bridge. As I read your words, Nancy, as only you very well describe, the well-lived life of work and play between family, yourself, Piper, Seeker, and brude, I embraced your personal joy, pride, and sense of, yet one more loss. Thank you, for again, sharing the triumph of what you do best ~ Everything!
thank you …
I’m so sorry Nancy but what a life he had. Please accept my condolences for your whole family. So much love ❤️ RIP Seeker
I am so sorry for your loss. Through your beautiful and heartfelt writing I feel I have come to know your dogs so well, it is almost like losing one of my own. Hugs to you and your family. $eeker is again in good company.