A Death in the Family

After 13 beautiful years of love and laughter, we had to suddenly say goodbye to The Best Beagle today.  There was time for one final walk in the sun and lots of sniffing along the way.  She never suffered.

As Billy carefully placed Graham in the hole he had dug in the backyard for her, Randi laid down on the pile of earth and placed her head at the edge of the grave.  Surrey attempted to pull the blanket in which we had wrapped Graham’s body out of the hole.  We all grieve in our own ways.

My heart is broken but I am resolved to commit myself to remembering Graham with joy, which is what I believe she would want.

The Best Beagle, 2007.

“Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: ‘Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved.’ No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.” – Eugene O’Neill

58 thoughts on “A Death in the Family

  1. So sorry you lost you little baby. On Dec. 22nd it will be one year since we lost our beloved Zues, a german sherherd. Bad holiday last year.

  2. Shirley – I am saddened by your loss. I lost my 11 year old Domino 2 weeks ago. They are such blessings in our lives and they give so much and expect so little. Wonderful memories and hugs.

  3. My deepest condolences for your loss, Shirley. A beautiful tribute to The Best Beagle with the wonderful name.

  4. I am so sorry for your lose and for the profound grief you feel. Words cannot take away the pain but just know that you are in my thoughts.

    For me it has been 23 years and it still brings me to tears.

  5. Sorry for your loss of special friend and family member. Her memory will live on through the passion you pour into helping other furbabies live wonderful, happy lives like she did.

  6. You gave each other life and nobility, You were worthy of her devotion and you honor her every day with your fierce advocacy for those who are not so fortunate. The Best Beagle has given so much to others and has lived well. Journey on, Graham.

  7. I’m sorry for your loss, Shirley, but I’m happy you and Graham had each other for 13 years. My best girl is 14 and I thank her every day for still being with me.

  8. My heart is aching for you and your family, Shirley. The loss of a dog is like no other loss, because our relationships with our dogs are uncomplicated – just pure, simple, unwavering, unconditional love.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss Shirley. I know this is such a painful experience but happy you had 13 years with each other. I know she had a great life with you and your family and you will have many happy memories to recall.

  10. I am also very sad for your loss. As others have said, no matter how long our pets are in our lives, it is never long enough! Keep the memories close to your heart!

  11. I’m so sad for you. Graham was such a good friend and fuzzy child to you. Your post is a lovely tribute to her.

    We’ve lost two of our old babies this year., We have four more senior dogs and three senior cats, so we are prepared for more sadness to come our way any day. The trick is to enjoy them while they’re here with us, which you so clearly did with the Best Beagle :-)

  12. So sorry to hear of Graham’s death. My heartfelt condolences to you and yours. As it has been said “Dogs just don’t live long enough. Their only flaw, really.”

  13. Two years later and I still cannot thing of my beloved furbaby without tearing up. I know your heartbreak…I’m so very very sorry for your loss. I hope you can find peace and comfort in the wonderful life you gave this beautiful girl and are comforted by the fact she never suffered. Peace be with you…

  14. I am so sorry for your loss. I recently went through this with my 16-year-old hound. A friend sent me this, and I think you will know why ––

    The Power of a Dog
    By Rudyard Kipling

    There is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    But when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your hearts to a dog to tear.
    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie –
    Perfect passion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart for a dog to tear.
    When the fourteen years that nature permits,
    Are closing in asthma, or tumor, or fits,
    And the Vet’s unspoken prescription runs
    to lethal chambers or loaded guns,
    Then you will find – it’s your own affair
    But – you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.
    We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent
    At compound interest of cent per cent,
    For when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short time loan is as bad as a long –
    So why in Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?
    When the body that lived at your single will,
    When the whimper of welcome is stilled
    (HOW STILL!)
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone – wherever it goes – for good,
    You soon discover how much you care,
    And give your heart to a NEW dog to tear.

  15. I’m so sorry Shirley! No matter how peaceful, or how necessary, it never gets any easier to say goodbye to a special dog. They leave a huge hole in our hearts. Sending warm thoughts your way.

  16. I’m sorry for your loss Shirley. This is definitely the hardest part of sharing ones life with a pet, knowing they will die long before us. I didn’t know Graham, but I know she must have lived a wonderful full life with you. You will be in our prayers and thought tonight, and we’ll all be grieving with you.

  17. I will forever think of Graham when I read your blog or see a Beagle. She was lucky to have you, and you were lucky to have the Best Beagle.

  18. Brothers and Sisters i bid you beware of giving your heart to a dog to tear..
    The good thing about tears is that they mend.. may your heart be light in knowing that you and he gave the best to each other. It is all we can ask for and all that we can give..

  19. Shirley I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I am sure Graham would like it that your remember her with a happy heart. She was one of the lucky ones who knew Love, Kindness and sense of Family. Rest in Peace Graham Your Family will always miss you ,but will be happy that you shared your life with them.

  20. I am sorry for your loss. Remember all the good and happy times you had together. I lost my elderly girl earlier this year in May so I know what you are going through.

  21. So sorry Shirley. My eyes welled with tears just hearing it. It has been a year since I lost a heart dog and it still hurts. As I type this my own Best Beagle (lemon in color) is about to turn 9 years old. She is slowing and graying and even though I think she has a long time left I cant bear the thought of impending doom. I know how much your heart aches right now and how surreal it is, that you can probably still hear Graham around the house. I wish you only the best and healing thoughts. Run free Graham!

  22. I am so sorry for your loss. It hurts so much every time, but there will be smiles and laughter when you think of how much she enriched your lives. She was obviously very grateful for her life with you and Billy and the gang. And someday, another dog will move in, not as a replacement, but as another measure of love to be shared, which gives more love to a world that needs it.

  23. Shirley, I just saw this today and am so very sorry for your loss. I am sure this is not your first and will not be your last but I guess that’s part of the deal we make in exchange for all the good that comes from our bonds. I have no doubt that being a dog in your home is the end-all, be-all of The Good Life and I am sure you will relish in the good memories in time. Mom always said that those we love, both human and animal, are gifts and we simply keep them. We must give them back in due time. And the loss will change us. Because that’s how it’s supposed to be. Many prayers to you and your family.

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