Friday, March 2, 2007

Saying Goodbye

Today our family said goodbye to King, our German Shepherd, companion and protector for the last 5 years. Five years ago we adopted King at two years of age. We had recently had our house broken into and we were still recovering from feelings of violation and invasion. In particular, my daughter and I no longer felt safe in our own home. King seemed to sense how we felt and became particularly close to my daughter and I. King's presence increased our feelings of security and helped us get over our fears. King weighed in at 113 lbs. and was considered somewhat oversize for the breed.

Although a dog can become like a member of the family, they usually attach themselves to one person in particular. King was definitely my dog.

Dana joined 4-H soon after we adopted King and the training and showing of King became Dana's project for three summers after. Both Dana and King enjoyed the agility course the best! It was hard to hold King back when he saw the obstacle equipment.

King adopted me as much as I adopted him. Dana used to beg me to hide when it was time for her to go into the show ring. As long as King could see me, he would focus all his attention on me. Dana found it hard to keep his attention. I would sometimes try to sneak back to the show ring to watch Dana and King perform. However, as you can see in the two pictures above, my cover has been blown and King knows I am there taking those pictures! He was so clever.

Even though King came to us with very little social skills, it did not take him long to adjust to the kids and dogs in the 4-H club. He was a true gentle giant!

King demonstrated great patience and acceptance when he was "dressed up" for parades and costume classes.....

Here King as the wolf in Granny's clothing accompanies Little Red Riding Hood. He tolerated not only the clothes but the hats that made his ears fold down against his head.
King's disposition made him a true ambassador of the breed.
King was a true member of the family and the family album has him showing up in all sorts of pictures.

...........Christmas with Santa.

........included in the picture with the fisherman and his catch.

.............raking leaves in the front yard.

We sadly said goodbye to a loyal friend and protector who succumbed to the ravages of a fast spreading cancer on Friday, March 2, 2007. We will miss you King, but we know that you are now in a place without pain and you will suffer no more.

Losing King

There's a hole in my heart where a dog used to be.
He's nuzzled my soul and is now part of me.
Pain was his life and I knew what to do.
But when I released him, I lost me, too.
The dog that entered my life five short years ago
Allowed me to go forward in a life free from fear.
I know he'd lick away all of my tears if he could.
It's his sense of duty to make me feel good.
It's my obligation to do what is best.
The love of his "master" is put to the test.
It's a wrenching and sorrowful way that we part;
it doesn't hurt less when the head rules the heart.
There's a hole in my heart where King passed through.
When we said goodbye part of me went too.


  1. *sniff, sniff* I'm so sorry he had to go! I love the tribute you've done for him, sounds like he was one in a million!

  2. I also had tears reading your tribute to King. I never understood how strong the attachment to an animal could be before we adopted Chesty. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. Pets really hold a place in our hearts. What a beautiful animal...

  4. I'm so sorry you lost King. It is amazing how much a part of the family a pet can become in a short time.

  5. I am soooo sorry, Norma. The poem you wrote to honor King is wonderful! "Some come into our lives and quickly go; others come, stay a while, and leave pawprints on our hearts forever." I have two that are 10 and 11, and I know that I face this same feeling one day. Sending warm quilty hugs to wrap you in.

  6. Norma what a beautiful tribute to your heart just aches for you. I know the hole in your heart...when we had to put our Norman down I didn't think that hole could ever be filled again. We had to get 2 dogs and there is still a very special place there for our Norm. Sending you comforting thoughts.

  7. There is something about our dogs that is so special. We currently have a German Shepherd, he is our second. The first not only made us feel safe, but actually alerted my son to a 'silent danger' which saved both my sons and our house. Losing her was a heartbreak, it took two hears before another animal was allowed in our home. Now we know better, their absence is so profound, their love so warm, that we simply must have one with us. My sympathy.

  8. Hugs for your heart Norma. What a beautiful tribute to King.

  9. What a wonderful tribute. I feel sorry for people who never have an animal who "owns" them. My dogs may exasperate DAILY..but they are truly my furry kids. One is only a 'velcro' dog when I'm sick or down in the dumps. Hugs to you.

  10. My heart just aches for you and your family at the loss of your beloved companion, Norma. Any pet owner knows how attached we can become to our furry family so I know that this is difficult.

    What wonderful pictures you have shared. I cannot believe that he would allow that custome to be worn especially the wolf ones with those ears to be squashed down.

  11. Norma, I'm sad to hear of your loss, but glad for King that you were able to give him such a loving home. Take care.

  12. What a wonderful tribute to your friend, Norma. King will always be a part of your family, and hold a special place in your heart. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Hugs from Daisy and me

  13. That is so beautiful. I'm still sobbing. I don't know how many times I can go through this pet loss but I love the pets so much I can't live without them. Many prayers for your comfort.

  14. I am so sorry Norma. It is so hard to lose a dog - they become such a part of everything you do. We lost Tasha 2 years ago and it is still hard at times. Reading about King started me crying all over again. How sad for you and your family, your daughter. And he was so young. So sorry.

  15. Oh Norma, I'm so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful friend to have loved and loved you back. We had a dog, Keesha, for 12 years. She was our first child. I dressed her and painted her toenails (husband got mad, because she was a pit bull and you apparently aren't supposed to paint their nails, not tough enough).:) We had to put her to sleep about 12 years ago and I still get teary eyed sometimes when I think about her. I'm so glad we have the memories of our furry kids. King is such a handsome guy. I'm sure Keesha is showing him where all the fire hydrants are in Heaven! :)

  16. Thanks Mom,

    Means alot to me

    Love Dana

  17. What a beautiful tribute to your loyal friend and companion. Knowing that King is no longer suffereing should be of some comfort to you and only time will heal the hole in your heart. I still remember all too well when I had to make the same decision for my first Yorkie, Brett and I still have his picture on my dresser.

  18. What a lovely tribute you to your great friend. They grab your heart and never let go.

  19. What wonderful memories you will have of King. I'm sorry for your loss.

  20. Oh Norma, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. What a young age to get such a vile disease. I'm so glad you have so many great pictures and so many wonderful memories. Sending cyber hugs to you and your family. He was such a beautiful dog.

  21. So sorry for your loss (I'm behind). We lost two pets within the past 6 months and it's hard to let go.
    He was a beautiful animal, but I'm glad he got to spend some wonderful days with your family.

  22. I'm very sorry for your loss. Feb. 11th we had to put our Pennydog to sleep only three weeks after having been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. I cried for you reading your blog and peom and I cried for Penny who is certainly on the Rainbow Bridge with your King. If you can't find the Rainbow Bridge story, e-mail me and I'l lbe happy to share it with you. thehoney713 at

  23. Norma, I am sorry. He looked like a true character, very happy and very much a big part of your family.