My Old Friend is Gone

Duke collapsed yesterday morning and had a hard time getting up. I rushed him to the vet, they examined him and had me bring him to the emergency medical hospital last night. He kept getting worse and became non-responsive this afternoon.
Heidi and I just got back from the animal hospital. He faded so quickly they had to carry him into the the room we were in. We spoke to 5 vets of various specialties in the last 24-hours including my sister Anita via telephone who lives in Manteca. The bottom line is there was no hope. Based on the damage to the brain it appears to have been brain cancer and perhaps bone marrow cancer. His red blood cells were at 17% of normal. We said our final goodbyes and were there with him when he passed. I’ve had many dogs over the years, but none quite like Duke. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend. I work from home and he was always with me. His passing leaves a big hole in my heart but I have many wonderful memories of him. I’m grateful for the time we had together and the many blessings his being in my life gave to me.
With Love,
Russ
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About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
This entry was posted in Dealing with Pain & Grief, Dogs & Other Wonderful Creatures, Loss, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to My Old Friend is Gone

  1. Tanya Cliff says:

    So very sorry for your loss, Russ.

  2. ksbeth says:

    i am so very sorry to read this, russ. it was only a couple of hours ago that i wrote to you hoping he would soon be on the mend. he is a family member who will be missed for a long time to come, i’m sure.

  3. JanBeek says:

    Where is the sad button when you need it? Can’t click “like” on this. I feel your pain, Russ. My heart goes out to you and your family. I am so sorry.

  4. Courtney says:

    I am very sorry for your loss; I understand what your going through our pets our family members and they stay in our hearts forever but, trust it does get better. I had a Great Dane who passed away and he was a great deal in my life and it was very hard on me when that happened but, it does take time for the pain to mend but, it will.
    Be Strong;
    Courtney Colwell.

  5. aw so sorry for your loss…

  6. mimijk says:

    I am so, so sorry …tears and hugs…

  7. quiall says:

    He will always be with you in your heart and in your memories. Blessings . . .

  8. Russ I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. So sorry for your loss, Russ. A pet is never just a pet. He / She is part of our family. ❤ ❤ ❤

  10. kmabarrett says:

    Rus,
    “Like” is only appropriate in the sense of having also lost a loving pet, and sharing in your pain…

    The following are the “10 Canine Commandments“. The day after our last dog passed, they were posted by a friend on Facebook. I don’t know if there was any significance for her at the time she shared them on Facebook, but they were another reminder of how much we loved and are missing our dog (Val).

    My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful to me. Remember that before you buy me.

    Give me time to understand what you want from me.

    Place your trust in me. It is crucial to my well being.

    Don’t be angry at me for long, and don’t lock or chain me up as punishment. You have your work, entertainment and friends. I only have you.

    Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when you are talking to me.

    Be aware that however you treat me, I may forgive you, but I will never forget it.

    Before you hit me – I have teeth that could easily crush the bones of your hand, but I choose not to bite you.

    Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.

    Take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old someday.

    Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say “I can’t bear to watch” or “let it happen in my absence“. Everything is easier for me if you are there.

    If you can promise me these things, I will give you my unconditional love. Something money cannot buy….. REMEMBER THAT I LOVE YOU

    Take care,
    Kevin

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Kevin. I believe there is much wisdom in the message you shared and that Duke had a good life with my family and me. He certainly made our lives better in many ways. He stayed with me when I got sick, could tell when I was sad, and was always there for whoever was feeling bad in our home. I treasure such attributes in friends, whether human or dog, and miss him deeply.
      Russ

  11. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Sending you a big hug, Russ. I’m so sorry for your loss. Duke is a very special guy and I know he will be greatly missed. It’s so hard to let them go.

    Your friend,

    Cathy

  12. PUPPALOOZA says:

    I’m so sorry for the passing of your old friend Duke! Blessings to you and your family…

  13. strokedtolife says:

    So sorry friend, thinking of you.

  14. GP Cox says:

    So sorry for your loss.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, GP. I’m of an age where the loss of loved ones grows greater every year. That isn’t a complaint. I’m alive and loved and consider both to be great blessings.
      Russ

  15. Oh, Russ, I am truly sorry that Duke has passed. I keep thinking of your wonderful lyrics to the song about your old friend. Animals are such a gift and those who are loyal and stand by us through sun and rain are especially cherished. They stay in our hearts forever. I think I’ll listen to that song once more. Peaceful memories, my dear friend. Clare

    • russtowne says:

      I read your comment after reading your delightful post about your two furry friends earlier today. I know from the love you so clearly have for them that you understand grief is a price one pays for loving and losing a dear four-legged member of the family. May your feline friends enjoy many years of good health and continued happiness, my friend.
      Russ

      • Yes, I’ve known the joy of many furry friends and miss every one of them terribly. Some of them, Billy, Mittens, Georgie and Gracie are sleeping underneath some of those flowers in today’s post. Even though Jazmine and JT Beasley are not “pushing up daisies” in our gardens, as Roxie put it, they’re still in my heart and I appreciate, even more, every smile they brought into my life. May you remember all of those smiles that Duke brought to you and again, I am so sorry he is gone.Love, Clare

  16. chattykerry says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our oldest cat this year and miss her so much.

  17. utesmile says:

    I only just saw this today, but saw on facebook a mention, so I knew it. I can imagine that your trusted friend leaves a big hole, but as you say you have great memories and it was a relief for him to go. Thinking of you!

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