Normally, when i am driving around and commuting to work, the site of a dog hanging out a car window pleases me. Infact if I am po’ed and I see a dog hanging out a window it cheers me up. It is on of the simplest pleasures of life. As a dog lover/owner, there is something about a dogs happiness that can turn my own sadness around. Dogs are full of unconditional love, and a little trip in the car is the best way to give that back.
The above picture is Griffin. I inherited him from my wifes grandmother, she had lost her 20 year old shitzu. Even though she was old, she could not be without another dog, so while looking for another Shitzu, she found Griffin. Griffin was already an old dog, but he was lavished with attention, he was groomed regularly, walked regularly and taken everywhere my wifes grandmother went.
When my wifes grandmother fell ill, and was given a few months to live, she asked me (her fellow dog lover) specifically to take Griffin. I was honored by this, but I must admit that I already had 2 dogs, and was worried how a 3rd would effect the dynamic.
Griffy represented all the things I liked about my wifes grandmother. She was Independent and Tough, and would never back away from a fight, even at 87 I knew that if ever crossed my wife, she would take care of it! Griffy never really got along with my dogs. He bever fell into line with my dominant female dog, and they always had a terse relationship. Griffy just didnt like other dogs period.
Griffy was a people person, he could not resist sitting on laps, and would lick you to the point of annoyance. I always felt like I wasnt doing him justice, and I wasnt honoring my commitment by not walking him, or by feeding him regular dog food, and by shaving him regularly to avoid groomers. After the first couple of months things sort of became normal, but I was looking to get rid of him, and find some “sweet old lady” who could give him the life he was used to. Then about a year into owning him, we took him to my in-laws to stay while my wife and I vacationed. I let him loose in the house, and spent a few minutes explaing to my mother-in -law how to feed him etc. As my wife and I prepared to leave he did something he had never done, he had a fit. As he watched us leave and my mother-n-law was holding him, he barked and whined and tried to get loose to follow us. It was the first time it occurred to me that he felt he was my dog.
After that I never tried to place him again, and he was just another part of my family. After about 6 years of ownership he started to get this cough, and after a few days of the cough I took him to the vet. It turns out that he had a big tumor between his lungs and at his age (roughly 16) it was just as much risk to treat it, than to not treat it. He lasted another 3 months till we decided to end his siffering. All though I had animals as kids, I never had to put down my own dog before. Its the hardest thing to do. He enjoyed the car so much so the last trip to the vet was so bittersweet.
So I keep this picture in my cube, and the same photo appears on little box I keep his ashes in. It’s been 8 months since we said goodbye, but I still miss him. I can still see him out of the corner of my eye on the couch. His little empty dog bed is still at the end of my bed. I havent done anything with it yet, because I think part of me wants to wake up and find him there. So I keep his picture up, and even though I am not religious, I like to think that somewhere in this universe he is on long car ride.
Tags: ashes, cruising, death, dog, picture
Other People's Thoughts
You almost made me cry.
— Jeff B. Tuesday May 2, 2006 #
Thanks Paul, this is so nice, I miss Griffy too!
— Jessie Tuesday May 2, 2006 #
You DID make me cry.
— Mark Tuesday May 2, 2006 #
I have Yorkie called Little Dog. Reading your story made me realize how much I love him and need him at this time when my husband is very sick.
— Susan Thursday May 4, 2006 #
Made me cry, too. Five years after I lost my little dog (twelve years ago this November) he appeared in a dream. In my dream, he jumped in my arms, and I could actually feel him!!! I cried because I “knew” it was a “visit” and it wouldn’t last-but I truly believe I will see him again. And Griffin will be waiting for you as well.
— annie Friday May 5, 2006 #
I’m a cat person. But this little doggie caught my eye. Obviously, Griffy does not know that he is a little doggie. This little doggie is not ‘going for a ride,’ but doing something else. Perhaps keeping an eye on the road for robbers and brigands.
— Tokumei, Austin Texas Monday May 15, 2006 #
my dog now is way past his departure date its a 104 pound lab who is 13 years old i feel we have had him past our time and i just want to know if he is in any kind of pain
— susan zavali Wednesday May 17, 2006 #
I thought I was a dog lover. compared to you I look like I hate dogs!
— Zinnia Monday May 22, 2006 #
My Rex 16 years(Miniature Poodle) has been on heart medication for 1 year now and is doing fine although his activity has reduced by 90%. Reading this made me cry, I realized I am going to lose him someday and this will be the end for me too, I know that well, I will not be able to go on living without him. But dont worry, all dogs go to heaven and I am sure someday you will meet Griffin again !
— Alex Karam Monday June 12, 2006 #
The loss of a furry friend is the hardest thing. They are better family often than any human and its so harsh they live but such a short time. However, the amount of love and joy (no matter how much furniture they may eat, or stain) its beyond value. I really fear the day I have to make the call for either of my 2
— Liz Tuesday June 27, 2006 #
up to this point, many of these stories gave me that burning lump in my throat. Only yours actually made that burning lump turn into tears. I think Griffey is on a long car ride too.
— Kim Sunday August 27, 2006 #
You are blessed because your little Griffy gave you unconditional love. He will always be with you and lift you when you are low.
— Caroline Saturday April 7, 2007 #
I soooooooooo cried. I just lost my lhasa of 16 yrs about 4 months ago…I too had to drive to the vet to put her down…and it was so bittersweet. We have an oil painting of her and I have her bowl and plate she used…I am now adopting a shitzu tomorrow that is 5yrs of age. The owner just had a new baby and it is not working out for them. His name is Yoshi and he comes with his best friend, Wylie who is a cat. Wish me luck!
— Kelly Friday November 30, 2007 #
What a wonderful post! In so few words you expressed so much of what dogs can be to us humans.
I borrowed Griffin’s picture of joy for a post in a motorcycle forum, where somebody asked why we ride.
— Lyle Monday November 24, 2008 #
The Saddest Thing I Own is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It is supported by the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable contributions of artists to society.