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

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58 Comments

  1. SocialMange

     /  November 19, 2012

    I’m so very sorry.

    Reply
  2. Suzanne Rosenorn

     /  November 19, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  3. So sorry for you loss, I know exactly how you feel.

    Reply
  4. Sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  5. Bless your broken heart :'(

    Reply
  6. Dianne

     /  November 19, 2012

    So sorry for your loss, thinking of you and The Best Beagle xoxo

    Reply
  7. Nelson's Mama

     /  November 19, 2012

    Love the picture, what a beautiful memory. I am so sorry for your loss…

    Reply
  8. mikken

     /  November 19, 2012

    Oh. I’m so very sorry. Truly.

    Reply
  9. Karen Josephson

     /  November 19, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  10. Karen F

     /  November 19, 2012

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

    Reply
  11. So sorry for the loss of your family member:( It is so hard to say goodbye.

    Reply
  12. Arlene

     /  November 19, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  13. 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.

    Reply
  14. 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.

    Reply
  15. 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.

    Reply
  16. I am so very sorry to read this. We never have them long enough.

    Reply
  17. Beautiful beagle baby – one of my favorite dogs. My sincere condolences. Memory Eternal Graham.

    Reply
  18. Jamie

     /  November 19, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  19. Tracy Fowler

     /  November 19, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  20. My thoughts are with you

    Reply
  21. Jody

     /  November 19, 2012

    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!

    Reply
  22. I’m so sorry. Your tribute was beautiful and eloquent.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
  23. Debbie Darling

     /  November 19, 2012

    So sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby.
    May your sweet memories ease your pain.❤❤

    Reply
  24. 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 :-)

    Reply
  25. 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.”

    Reply
  26. 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…

    Reply
  27. I’m so sorry for your loss, Shirley. Godspeed, little man…

    Reply
  28. 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.

    Reply
  29. So very sorry for your loss. :(

    Reply
  30. Susi N-k

     /  November 19, 2012

    Soft snuffles and woo’s from the Echota Gang on your loss.

    Reply
  31. anne

     /  November 19, 2012

    Heartbreaking news. So so sorry for the empty space in your life.

    Reply
  32. Tina Clark

     /  November 19, 2012

    I’m so sorry for your loss of beautiful Graham.

    Reply
  33. Thank you all. Each of your comments has touched me uniquely and it really means so much to read these kind words.

    Reply
  34. Claire

     /  November 20, 2012

    I am so sorry. So very sorry.

    Reply
  35. I’m so sorry. You do so many wonderful things for the animal world. I grieve with you.

    Reply
  36. Lou Ann

     /  November 20, 2012

    Oh Shirley! I am so sorry for ur loss. What a lucky puppy dog indeed.

    Reply
  37. Liz G.

     /  November 20, 2012

    I’m so sorry, Shirley. You and your family are in my deepest thoughts and prayers <3

    Reply
  38. What a beautiful dog and what beautiful memories you will always have.

    Reply
  39. 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.

    Reply
  40. Vania

     /  November 20, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  41. Clarice

     /  November 20, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  42. alice in lala land

     /  November 20, 2012

    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..

    Reply
  43. 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.

    Reply
  44. My sincere condolences. Rest in Peace Graham.

    Reply
  45. ruthrawls

     /  November 20, 2012

    I’m so sorry for your sudden news.

    Reply
  46. houndblogger

     /  November 20, 2012

    So sad to hear this! And yet so glad you had so much time together (and so much joy).

    Reply
  47. Vicki Aucremanne

     /  November 20, 2012

    I am so very very sorry. Rest in peace little one. You were loved.

    Reply
  48. I’m so sorry. Hang on to your happy memories of her.

    Reply
  49. I’m so sorry to hear of Graham’s death. Take care.

    Reply
  50. I’m sorry for your loss, Shirley.

    Reply
  51. GodSpeed , Graham.

    Reply
  52. I’m so sorry for your loss, but so glad you had the time together to remember, now, forever.

    Reply
  53. Jennifer

     /  November 20, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  54. 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!

    Reply
  55. KateH

     /  November 20, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  56. Meaghan Edwards

     /  November 21, 2012

    My most sincerest condolences.

    Reply
  57. So very sorry to hear about your loss, the most difficult kind.

    Reply
  58. 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.

    Reply

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