21 May 2010

the best years of our lives

this is a post i hoped never to write, but as i've invited you into our lives, i also feel the need to share the bittersweet conclusion to our story... sadly, yesterday, my beloved mona passed away while cradled in my arms. the end came fast, a blessing for both of us, and she is now happily chasing squirrels and eating french fries on another plane of existence.

i don't want to turn this into a tearfest- believe me i've shed enough for everyone- but i do want to express my gratitude for the joy mona brought into my life. when i recount the story of our first meeting, it sounds like i did her a favor by rescuing a timid and terrified little dog from the pound, but in truth, it was she who rescued me, and together, we went on a transformative journey resulting in each of us becoming happy, confident, and content beings. for that, as well for 10 years of love, laughter, and constant companionship, i am eternally grateful. it's a cliché to say she made me a better person, but she did. it's also a cliché to say she was my best friend, but she was. she was the best little girl in the whole wide world, the light of my life, and she will live in my heart forever.

mona on 5/16/10, smiling as always...

i want to thank all of you for allowing me to share some of the endless joy, boundless enthusiasm, (and shameless mugging for the camera) that this pretty little lady brought to my world, and also ask you to please not be sad for either of us- i hope everyone experiences as much love and happiness in their lives as we shared, even if only for a decade's blink of an eye. it was a good run, and truly, it was the best years of our lives.

last, in mona's memory, if anyone has the room in their hearts and lives, i hope you'll consider adopting a stray dog or cat- no guarantees, but mona and i are proof it can be a life changing (and life saving) experience, and when i'm ready, you can be sure it will be a path i'll happily travel again. at the very least, go hug your loved ones and tell them how much you love and appreciate them- because everyone can use a little more love and affection. i know that for a fact, as i've been blessed with an overabundance of both for the last ten years.

67 comments:

Marisa said...

What a loss, get another cutie right away!

La Maison Fou said...

Christian;
I know you know, but how blessed you were to have had her in your life!
I often looked forward to the posts of her with bunny ears, and holiday attire!

Your heart has definately grown bigger for kowing and loving her.

God bless,

Leslie

Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury said...

Oh Chistian, I don't even know what to say except that I'm so sorry for the loss this must be to you. Looking at Mona's smiling little face makes me so happy and breaks my heart for you all at once. You were both so lucky to have each other. I hope the knowledge that there is another little soul out there waiting for your rescue helps to heal your heart. Take care. xo

sanctuaryhome said...

I am crying no matter what you say! Sorry, Christian. Pets are such a blessing. As the owner (mommy, if that doesn't sound to corny) to two rescue dogs, I was especially touched by the last paragraph.

Tobi said...

Thank you for sharing Mona with all of us, Christian. I feel like I lost a friend today too. Not only was Mona adorable, she was a brilliant ambassador for shelter animals in need of adoption.

Mona left her paw prints on many hearts; those French fries are well deserved.

The Art of Blugirl said...

Christian - tears are pouring down my face - I am so sad,I know how hard it is to loose a friend like Mona.
Be strong - Hari and Henry send doggy kisses to you and Richard
Suzanne

Shauna said...

So sorry. No one tells you that losing a pet as an adult is WORSE than when you're a kid. It's deeper and the grief is real and you're interacting with that pet more than several members of your own family.

when you get past the rough part..

adopt again! It has amazing healing powers.

Jenn said...

I am so very sorry for your loss.

em designs said...

Christian,
I feel your pain, your joy and your smile as you remember your find memories of Mona. I'm going through a bit of the same now and sadly just waiting for the day.
With as much love as I am constantly surrounded by from my husband, family and friends, the love that both my dog and my cat give me is like no other.
They are the ones who greet me at the door when I come home, who keep me laughing, who always cease to amaze me with their brilliant communications and whom simply love me unconditionally with no strings attached.
Both of my 'kids' are also rescues and yes, they have rescued me more than anyone will possibly ever understand.

Here is a big hug for you my friend!

erin

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Goodness, so sorry for your loss. I went through the same thing last year when I put my beloved Basset Hound Ruby down (cancer) You are right to remember the happy - they bring so so much to our lives. And yes, shelter dogs are the best - so grateful and lots of love to give. I've had several pound puppies and strays over the years - doesn't make sense to buy from a breeder. Praying for your healing...

SGM said...

Oh M21, I am so sorry. Thinking of you, and little Miss Mona.

lb said...

Your tribute to Mona is so very special.

This post got me off my butt to throw ball with my beloved pet, Amber. As I type I am chocked up and in tears for your words have touched me deeply, having lost several dogs in my lifetime. Your philosophy on the loss of a pet is very healthy. Our pets' spirits are pure energy, which never dies. Should you need assistance during the grieving process, as I did, I highly recommend a book titled, The Loss of a Pet, by Wallace Sife, Ph.D. I had to find something when it was necessary to put my 3-year-old cocker spaniel down because she had a blood disease which was not curable and she was suffering. She was a rescue and she received three good years she would not have had otherwise. Letting her go was the hardest thing I've ever had to do because she was so young.

Thank you for sharing the enrichment your beloved Mona brought to your life. This post has been a blessing to me.

Raina Cox said...

Oh, Christian, I am so so sorry for your loss.

My thoughts are with you.

Miss Mona sure was a cutie with a capital "C."

ahidspeaks said...

My heart goes out to you.....

HOBAC said...

My heart goes out to you.

KathleenG said...

So sorry to hear about Mona. She was a bright spot on your blog (and life!) and will be missed.

My Notting Hill said...

I see Love raining out from Mona's eyes in that beautiful picture of her. I imagine she is reflecting what she felt.

You've reminded me of my late adopted cat, Bourbon. All the best, Michele

Elizabeth said...

My condolences! I know it's heartbreaking to lose a pet...

Now seems like a good time to go hug my cats, whether they like it or not.

Things That Inspire said...

Oh, Mona...dog's lives on earth are entirely too fleeting considering what good and worthy souls they are. So sorry for your loss.

Hill Country House Girl said...

I am so very sorry for your loss, but so happy you had Mona. Now I will go hug Buddy, my little stray from a midnight run to the convenience store. They really do light up each and every day, don't they?

maison21 said...

thank you to all. your kind thoughts are much appreciated.

SAHouseGuide said...

Dear Christian,

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I loved your story "Mona - My American Idol" so much that I printed it out and kept it on my bulletin board. What an inspiring and motivating little dog. Buckets of Hugs,
Steph

ldinteriors said...

I am so terribly sorry for your loss. You wrote a wonderful post about Mona. Everything you said about the love of a dog and rescues are true. I recently lost mine this past February, and though he lived for a long 17 years - to me it was still ridiculously short.
I am happy to report that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I recently rescued a new puppy and though he's not my old little guy he is amazing in a million other different ways. I am confident that down the road there is going to be a very very lucky new little rescue for you.

Margaret said...

You loved Mona more than anyone else, and was the best daddy ever! For this, there is a special reward, and healing will come, I promise.

Dianne said...

Thinking of you both and the joy you brought to me as I read about your antics. Mona will be missed by all your readers. xoxo

cardinalkay said...

I lost my 15-year-old Dachshund, Susie, on March 12. The circumstances were VERY sad; I won't share. After much soul-searching, I opted to start perusing Pet Finder. Long story longer -- it was a bittersweet choice, but I now have Chloe, a 6-month-old Dachsie puppy from a nearby shelter. Talk about salvation! I really needed her, I realize now! Much sympathy to you for losing your smiling girl. xo Dogs rock! xo

Suzanne said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know how incredibly strong the bond is that we have with the furry members of our family. I lost my best friend two years ago and I still weep about it from time to time. And, you're absolutely right, they are the best years of our lives....

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

Christian - I left you a comment early today when I read your post...but don't see it here...so I think some how it did not get to you.

Oh...how sad it made me to learn of Mona dying. I couldn't stop crying at work. Her happy pretty precious smiling face. How lucky you were to have her. And now I am crying again. How can this be for a dog I never petted or kissed? Yet she touched me..through your posts. I could see how incredibly special she was.

Take care of yourself. I can't wait to read about the next one you bring into your life.

Alex said...

I am so-o-o sorry for your loss of Mona! This was truly the most touching post. I understand what you may be feeling right now, as my dog is "my little girl" & I can't even imagine not having her in my life. Anything that makes you smile & laugh every day is a blessing...& that's what Mona was in your life.

katiedid said...

Oh Christian!
It is too much. I am so sorry to hear it. Mona was such a perfect friend. Sending you a huge hug my friend and wishing lots of squirrels for Mona.....:(

Keri Shrimpton said...

Christian, thank you for sharing Mona with us through your blog How could one look at that darling face and not smile...such a happy, beautiful, special girl!

I can't help but be so sad for you, and I am so sorry for your loss.

I know this is so difficult, but I thought this might help:http://www.petloss.com/poems/maingrp/rainbowb.htm

Take care...you and Mona are in my thoughts.

Tracy said...

So, so sorry to hear of your loss (and Richard's). She was blessed to have been so loved, and you were blessed to have found her.

qerat said...

Very sorry for your loss. She is a beautiful dog.

CindieQuilts said...

Oh Christian, I'm so sad to know that sunny Mona has left us. Thanks for sharing her adorableness. Hugs and love, and know that you did the right thing. I'll miss seeing her. xoxo

Paul Anater said...

Oh man Christian, I am sorry to hear of your loss. You're in my thoughts as you go through your goodbye.

Cyn said...

Christian,

So sorry for your loss...I have loved seeing Mona sweet little face pop into my inbox on occasion, and will miss her.

We should all be so lucky to have a Mona in out lives (be it a person or an animal). You are blessed!
xo

jones said...

Christian--I am so sad for you at this moment. Nothing more to say--thanks for your wonderful broadcasting of the need to adopt pets and the joys they bring. My thoughts are with you. Mary

maison21 said...

thank you again, for all the kindness. it's a tough time right now, but knowing mona and i are in your thoughts means much.

a special thank you to reader brenda w., who generously donated to a rescue foundation in mona's name- incredibly touching. thank you.

Coco & Emma said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute was so touching and, yes, I am crying. As a fellow pet owner, I know how incredible the bond is and how difficult it is when this day comes. I am so glad you are focusing on the happy memories. Mona wants you to be happy. She was one lucky little girl and you are a special person for opening up your heart and home to her.

MaryBeth said...

so sorry, I feel your pain. There is something so heartbreaking about losing a 4 legged best friend. My dog died over 10 years ago and I still miss him every day.

froulala.blogspot.com said...

Oh Im so sorry to hear about your loss. I enjoyed getting to know Mona through your posts. Glad you found and have been given the gift of transforming each other's lives! what a blessing! take care

Deb {Posted From} Home said...

GoodMorning Christian
I found your blog this morning and just had to leave a comment after reading your touching post. What a lovely photo of your sweet Mona. I couldn't agree more about adopting a stray ~ Thank you for posting this wonderful message. We adopted our first Lab Ben from our local shelter when he was 3 1/2 and were blessed with 8 wonderful years. This past December we adopted an 11 year old Lab who is a total joy & teaches us the meaning of making the most of everyday ♥ Take Care.

Denise said...

I will miss Mona updates, but I thank you for sharing her with us. You have all my sympathy.

Denise
Decor,etc.

Julio said...

Hi Christian,

I am very sorry for your loss. It was obvious to me how much Mona meant to you and vice versa. I know you did not want a tear fest so instead, please accept a big hug and kiss from my family. Your relationship with Mona was also a great gift to your blogger s.

marthalena said...

Oh, I'm so sorry Christian! I'm so happy for her that she had you, though.

camdesign said...

Oh my, Dear Christian, so sorry to read about your news, much love to you and richard at this heart sad time.

Watch for pennies, I do not know how they do it but it happens for a while after a pet leaves us and it means, smile I am still near you and please remember I love you...

Hugs from Carol Ann

Angie said...

I am so sorry for your loss and also so happy for you that you experienced such a wonderful relationship with a precious dog. LOVE that she was adopted and you are encouraging others to do the same. Adopting an animal from a shelter or rescue is the only way to go in my opinion!

Vickie H. said...

My dear Christian, I am just now seeing this post about the passing of wonderful little Mona. I fell in love with her and Richard through your blogging about them and I feel like I have lost a family member. I know that now she is free from all the issues that plagued her little earthly body and is tearing headlong through a heavenly yard, ears flying back, in hot pursuit of yet another squirrel. I celebrate her too short life with you and Richard and commend you for giving her the kind of life every dog deserves. Your support of rescue animals EVERYWHERE is so important to our cause. I hold the 3 of you close in my heart as you adjust to this new life without her. God bless and keep you!

Alicia said...

So sorry to hear for your loss Christian.
Having been down the road I can only say, walk slowly, greive & breathe.
And Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant rocks. Its for children but afterall we're all children at heart. Get it its wonderful.

Traci at ThreeDogsAtHome said...

I found your site today when I clicked on a picture of your Mona on the sidebar of another site. I am so sorry for your loss but happy for the ten years you had together. Rescued dogs are special. I know I have had 5 in my life. Three have passed away and two are with me now along with my Zoey who is the only puppy I have ever had.
Don't leave that hole in your heart be there too long before you fill it with another special dog. Take Care.

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Oh, I know how hard it is. Stay busy and adopt another sweet one right away. Certainly won't take Mona's place but will keep you happy caring for another who needs you. Have a great week ahead.

Gwen

little augury said...

the best tribute to your darling little mona. I have sat in that very spot holding that loved one. Moses was 15- not a day goes by even with Zetta here-that he does not get a mental treat from me. your tears are shared, another child in time. pgt

Velvet and Linen said...

I'm so sorry for you loss, Christian. Our dogs are such a big part of our family. They enhance our lives in so many ways. I can only imagine how heartbroken you are. Although this time is painful, I'm sure it is a comfort to have all of those wonderful memories of your little Mona.
Big hug, Christian!

xo
Brooke

The Apothecary Jar said...

I'm so very sorry to hear the sad news. I'm a Corgi owner myself, and know just how special the "corgi girls" are! Here's to Mona and the joy she brought into your life. All the best, Cheryl (and Millie, my corgi-girl).

The Townhouselady said...

I'm late in reading this and it's after your thank you post so I'll just say that seeing Mona's smile made me smile. We (in the bloggosphere) were all blessed to have been able to share in her sweetness. I'm sure she's already made tons of friends in the land of beloved pets past.

Thanks for sharing her with all of us.

- The Townhouselady

tula said...

Christian, I am so sorry. I lost my kitty who was with me for 15 years and I know what it's like say goodbye to a best friend.

Mona has brought so much joy to everyone's lives. She was the smile on your blog and although I never had the opportunity to meet her, seeing pictures of her and hearing about her adventures always warmed my heart.

Mona was an amazing little force and will always live in your heart and in ours. She was blessed to have you as a father and Richard as a brother.

All of my love,
Tula

Balustrade and Bitters said...

Christian - thinking of you and your precious Mona. I'll miss her smiling face here so much.

Lucinda said...

Christian, I am so sorry to read about little Mona. Baddy and I will be thinking about you both.

Susan S said...

Just came upon your blog via Cote de Texas and I must offer you my most heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your pretty, pretty girl, Mona.

You may already be aware of the beautiful blog, From The House of Edward, Pamela Terry, a poetic writer shares your loves of dogs and provides this quote from C.S. Lewis:
"Man with dog closes a gap in the universe." How perfect is that?

Recently, she directed her readers to another blog to offer sympathy for another beloved pet and she offered this poem:
Man and Dog
Who's this—alone with stone and sky?
It's only my old dog and I—
It's only him; it's only me;
Alone with stone and grass and tree.

What share we most—we two together?
Smells, and awareness of the weather.
What is it makes us more than dust?
My trust in him; in me his trust.

Here's anyhow one decent thing
That life to man and dog can bring;
One decent thing, remultiplied
Till earth's last dog and man have died.
by Siegfried Sassoon

Fellow dog lover,
Susan S

bazaarofserendipity said...

OMG just read this and my heart is broken for you. I know you love your doggy the way that i love mine. Arent we so lucky to experience that kind of love. I always say theres a special place in our hearts that only animals can fill!

You will be in my thoughts. I hope you will find a new Best buddy soon. and when ur ready of course!

HUGS!!!!!

www.bazaarofserendipity.blogspot.com

parisapartment said...

Hi Christian, I feel for you and lost my dog after 17 years. She was such a sweetie. They say you only get one like that but I stalk petfinder too thinking another kindred spirit is out there somewhere. Maybe with a bit of our little angel's spirits in them?

Amy&Matt said...

I am so sorry for your loss! I am sending a big hug your way, and don't be afraid to adopt again! By the way I am a new reader, I love your blog!

Brilliant Asylum said...

Christian, I am so sorry for your loss. You were so sweet to write me when my cat died back in December. I remember how hard it was but I know you will have happy memories. Take care.

David said...

Christian I'm so sorry to read this. One of our schnauzers has been in the hospital all weekend, frankly I thought I'd be writing on this very topic myself. We've dodged the bullet for now and I'm grateful for that, but he's 12, so I know we don't have forever.

Sending good thoughts your way.

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

Oh, I'm sorry being so very late since I haven't checked in for a few days... I'm so sorry for your loss of smiley, gorgeous and cute Mona. My heart felt sympathies go out to you and my thoughts are with you, I know how hard these things can be... Love from London x

The Girl and the Cupcake said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, but your new one has already stolen my heart. I know how hard it is to lose a pet - my two little guys are certainly my human grade kiddos. I don't know what I would do without them. Your post inspired me to add a Petfinder sidebar to my blog :)

Laurie Eno said...

Such a loving tribute!

I would love to feature her story someone on my blog The Daily Corgi.

Your blog is a blast, by the way.

Corgially,

Laurie Eno
Founder & Editor
The Daily Corgi