Cynthia and Harmony
Cynthia and Harmony

This year can’t be over a minute too soon.

It’s ridiculous, I know, to think that one sunset and sunrise will somehow change the disposition of the universe, that tomorrow my driveway will suddenly sprout good-luck flowers with solid-gold centers. (I’m not even sure what those would would look like — maybe sunflowers? Which would certainly impede my ability to get in and out of my house.)

That’s what magical thinking — not to mention astrology — is about, the bargains we try to make with the universe, the order we like to think exists.

But it’s not irrational to hope that next year will be better than this one.

Misery doesn’t love company

Many things happened that made me unhappy and distressed but it will come as no surprise to anyone here that the worst was having to say good-bye to Frankie.

And, then, somehow, friends started losing their pets too. I don’t instinctively understand the expression “misery loves company”; the one that speaks to me is “I feel your pain.” Every word of a new loss felt like a body blow. The news not only brought all my feelings of Frankie back, but made me upset that people I cared about were suffering too — a one-two punch.

The four that hit me hardest, in the order of their occurrences:

  • My friend Cynthia, pictured above, said good-bye to her greyhound, Harmony, a few days after she threw a wake for Frankie. She didn’t tell anyone it was going to happen at the time because it would have made a sad occasion even sadder. That’s just like Cynthia — generous to the bone. Harmony had a great life with her.
  • Leo of Kenzo the Hovawart bid farewell to Viva. He wrote a beautiful post in her honor, Chasing Sunsets, that makes me cry even thinking about it.
An image from the tour in Viva's memory
An image from the tour in Viva’s memory
  • After a long and valiant struggle, Roxanne Hawn of Champion of My Heart lost the fight to keep her beloved Lilly alive. Again, she can express the pain far more eloquently than I can. Here is Lilly’s obituary.
Last photo of Roxanne and Lilly, champion of her heart
Last photo of Roxanne and Lilly, champion of her heart
  • As I wrote on Facebook on December 27: “The loss of Beans, my friend Kathy McMahon’s dog, hit me hard this morning. Several great pets departed the world this year, but I didn’t know them personally. I met Beans before I adopted Frankie and thought when — if — I get a dog, I want one like that: affectionate, brave, outgoing… Of course I got only one out of three with Frankie and it didn’t matter a whit but Beans was a dog to aspire to.”
Beans, a dog to aspire to
Beans, a dog to aspire to

And yet…

Some of the worst things of this past year remind me of some of the best: My return to dog blogging and the subsequent support I’ve gotten from the pet blogosphere, including two three examples today:

  • Mel Freer of No Dog About It included on of my posts among her Top 13 Dog Blog Posts of 2013 — and it was a message I was glad I could convey, about not being judgmental in the name of being a pet lover.

So I leave you with thanks for being there for me, and with best wishes for a great 2014.

And with one last plea — yes, there’s still time for a tax deduction — to donate to Frankie’s Fund. Because every dog deserves a great sendoff.

Update: This just in as I was about to push “Publish,” I got the notification that CeliaSue Hecht wrote a sad and moving post about the last days of a senior pet (which happened to be a cat) — Senior Dogs Need  A Good Sendoff — that also promotes Frankie’s Fund.



12 thoughts on “Good-bye 2013. Don’t let the door… well, you know”

  1. In about January I had already nicknamed 2013 the Year of Shittery and unfortunately it lived up to this moniker and then some. I am so sorry there have been so many losses. With so much sadness it is so hard to see the positives but you have reminded me that as long as we keep connecting with others, everything will be okay. I hope the next year is filled with more laughter and fewer tears.

  2. Even though I have been fortunate enough not to experience my own personal loss this year, every single one experienced by my friends made me so very sad. I’ve shed lots of tears for you , Frankie and all the others. It’s been a tough year.

    I haven’t made a contribution to your cause (money is tight this month), but I wholeheartedly support it. I can’t think of a better way to honor Frankie. How wonderful that Lisa and Celia Sue chose to share it too.

    I can only hope that next year will be better and bring more laughter than tears and hopefully no more need for a new roof. 🙂
    Happy New Year Edie.

  3. Sharing a lot of the same feelings over here, something went definitely “wrong”, in the end of last – yes! – year. Maybe it is also what in the end gives this amazing community that special bond, where we far too often are reminded of that loss, we once had, or lays in that future ahead, and seems always to feel very near. We do feel the pain.

    Their only fault truly is, they live too short. But there is always hope, as you say, and we also realize, we can’t live without the love of a pet, and open our hearts, another time.

    Best wishes and happy new year, Edie!

  4. So sorry about your loss. I lost several friends this past year and several have been diagnosed with cancer meaning time is short. It makes us so sad. My big sister is 11 and having lots of issues with her arthritis. We are so thankful for every day we have with her, and Mom tries to always think positive, but we worry about a day when she may lose her battles. It is life but it is a very hard and sad part of life. Paws up for a much better 2014.

  5. First, I can’t tell you how terrific your idea is — fundraising for and publicizing the existence of a group who takes on the responsibility of giving a good death to homeless dogs is an excellent cause. I imagine Frankie would be very proud in his way =)

    Second, I could not agree more with your headline! What a crap year! I more often work to stomp out magical thinking in my life, but sue me — I’m going to buy into the New Year as a new start just because a number changed. In fact, I think I’m going to go all zen and look at every day as a new beginning.

    Last, I wish you every chance at a peaceful, loving, and prosperous New Year — welcome back!

    1. Thanks, Mary. I do think Frankie would enjoy having his name kept in the limelight.

      I’m sorry this past year was as crappy for you as it was for me. I’ll join you in the zen approach — and, one day I hope, in an in person toast to only good things over a nice glass of wine.

      Same to you, Mary!

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