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Today is the second anniversary of Robbie‘s death.

Next month will be 13 years since Jasmine died.

Heartdogs. They never leave you. Those two will never leave me physically because I have their ashes and hope to have them mixed with mine someday. More important are the ways heartdogs embed themselves in the soul.

My relationship with Ava is more complicated. Sometimes she’s all heartdog; other times she’s more a pain-in-the-ass dog. But someday she’ll join Jasmine and Robbie on the Shelf of Most Special Four-Leggeds.


  1. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 6, 2018 12:13 pm

    I have many who ask what kinda dog is da Bones, and my favorite answer is PITA which when given a few minutes more he is most likely to prove. And then as I leave (or is it flee) them I always holler back what that means.

  2. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit July 6, 2018 5:00 pm

    I have this printed out and on the mantle with the 5 urns waiting for one of us humans so we can all be mixed together. Only 2 were true heart dogs,but all were loved and are missed.

    The Canine Spirit – author unknown

    “And God asked the canine spirit
    Are you ready to come home?
    I believe so, replied the precious soul
    My toys and bones can remain
    As a reminder of love and dedication.

    Can you come then? asked God
    Soon, replied the tail-wagging angel
    But I must come slowly
    For my human companions are troubled
    For you see, I am their best friend.

    But don’t they understand? asked God
    That you’ll never leave them?
    That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?
    That nothing is created or destroyed?
    It just is…forever and ever and ever.

    Eventually they will understand,
    Replied the glorious dog
    For I will whisper gently into their hearts
    That I am always with them
    I just am…forever and ever and ever

  3. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran July 7, 2018 6:46 am

    Our family heartdog was K-ci, a beagle, long haired dachshund mix that resembled a sawed off golden retriever! 🙂 He loved chasing tennis balls and sitting snuggled behind my legs as I sat in my lounge chair! K-ci was a rescue and he lived to 15 years old, despite having health issues in his final years. He died in October 2013, a much loved family heartdog who will not be forgotten!

  4. Joel
    Joel July 7, 2018 7:14 am

    Thanks for sharing that, Claire. I never did dogs before moving to the Gulch. Dogs are needy and I was always so busy and moved a lot. Sort of inherited a pack of dogs a while after I moved in and I mourned each as he died, but it wasn’t that big a thing. I said to myself, I’m used to losing things.

    But along the way I got a puppy of my own, and I lived with him for just under ten years and buried him two weeks ago and now I’m finally learning what all those whiny dog-lovers were on about all those years. Eventually I foresee it mellowing into mostly pleasant memories but right now it’s just tripping over the fact that he’s gone and a lot of self-pity.

  5. Kathy
    Kathy July 7, 2018 8:25 am

    Yes, thank you for sharing. My Bonnie died suddenly last fall and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. She wasn’t a friendly dog to other people but she was my dog and my constant faithful companion. My heart was broken when she passed.

  6. Larry Arnold
    Larry Arnold July 7, 2018 8:50 am

    Andy and Corky were working heartdogs; they helped raise my two daughters. Taught them so much, and fiercely protected them. (Literally protected them several times.)

    Andy, in particular, had a look that said to me, “You’re the Father. You should know better.”

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