Another tribute to Gretchen the gentle German Shepherd

 The story of Gretchen the gentle German Shepherd was a powerful reminder of the deep connection that can occur between dogs and people.

I shared the story because it brought me to tears — and I knew it would do the same for many readers. Magnet Lady Kathleen Henn was so moved that she made a Gretchen magnet and sent it to her owner just because.

I chose this Magnet Monday to share the Gretchen tribute magnet because the original post has been generating a fair amount of hits lately and also because another blogger, Emily at Our Waldo Bungie, posted about the loss of a family dog last week.

It hurts so much when a pet dies. I feel lucky to have not experienced that pain for many years. However, I remember too vividly the feeling of being 16 and holding my miniature schnauzer Tyson as the vet injected him with his final relief. My little 4-H dog had unexpectedly gone into seizures followed by a semi-coma on the night I attended my first rock concert. It was obvious what we needed to do.

Although I will never forget his harrowing last moments, more precious are my memories of Tyson trotting around the ring at dog shows every summer. Whether or not he decided to obey me and bring home a trophy seemed to depend on how many people were in the crowd. (He preferred to show off for a big audience.)

Since we began fostering Charlie Machete, I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that they would love to have a dog again but they couldn’t endure the idea of grieving in the event of the inevitable. I can understand their hesitation. The loss hurts so much. And it’s also true that not every animal will be a once-in-a-lifetime dog like Gretchen or Scooby.

Yet, I think those people, who obviously have the capacity to care deeply about another living being, are actually the ideal candidates to adopt a new pet. I hope they all see this in time.

With apologies for starting a sad thread on the first day of a new week, may I ask readers to share memories of pets that have passed away?


About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on January 9, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It has ripped a hole in my heart every time I’ve lost a pet (5 in all in my nearly 28 years of life). But I would not trade the memories I have with each of those pets for anything….they are such bright spots in my life, they are worth the pain…I only hope that I made their lives as happy as they made mine in their short time on earth!

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