Fare Well, My Friend :-(

A good friend has a bad hair day:


I lost one of the best dogs I’ve ever owned this morning and, to be perfectly honest with you, I’m taking this harder than I’ve taken the deaths of most the people in my life. The vet doesn’t know what happened: he just started acting strange at bedtime last night, by the middle of the night we had to take him in as an emergency case and then, by this morning, the lights were on, but no one was home anymore and we had to put him down.  He was only 3 y/o.  He was the smartest dog I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned dogs my whole life.  Now I can hardly stand to be in my shop to type this: it’s too quiet and I know that isn’t going to change anytime soon.  But worse still, he was my wife’s first dog and they bonded tighter than most dogs ever bond to people.  And we have a little female, too: a female whose whole world was connected to Buster.  Tonight is going to be murder for both of them, which will break what little is left of my heart.  I know it’s coming, yet there’s not a damned thing I can do about it.  But there is something else I know that is coming, and there sure as hell is something I can do about it.


Sitting here, all alone in the silence of what used to be a shop filled with the sound and presence of my pushy friend; I can’t help but see and feel the parallel between what happened to Buster and what has happened to our society. Our lights may be on, but there’s no one home: this nation has lost its soul – me included. And I’ll tell you where it started: it began when we started telling ourselves we no longer needed God and started relying on ourselves instead of Him. We have placed our wisdom above His, and filled His place with modern day idols.  Well, I’ll tell you something that is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow:  unless and until we reverse directions, we will keep suffering calamity upon calamity.


Isaiah 5:20-21
20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.


I under what these words mean, which is why I think I have suddenly lost my passion for the partisan BS that goes on in our nation today. I’ll say this to you plain: this nation has already been warned by God to turn back to Him – at least three times. I posted a story about this and it didn’t get much interest. This is why I think I am taking things so hard today: I see what is coming and my buddy, Buster, just put a face on the loss I know is coming. Unless we stop trying to solve our problems ourselves and we turn back to God and repent for our ways, we will be judged as a nation – and we will be no more.


If you doubt me, then ‘go do the homework I gave you.’  Start with Isaiah 9:10.  Oh, and if you are a skeptic, then read “The Harbinger,” fact check everything in it for yourself, then come tell me how these real events could happen unless God had orchestrated them – because this defies any boastful claim to coincidence!

25 thoughts on “Fare Well, My Friend :-(

  1. I’m terribly sorry for your loss. My girl passed away at 15 from cancer. She, too, was one of the most intelligent dogs I have owned. You must go to the pound and get a new dog. All of my dogs are pound pups, and they’re brilliant.

    Joe, just as there is hope for a dog’s life by your adoption, there is also hope for this country. Believe me. Again, I am truly sorry.

  2. So sorry for your loss. The truth is I like my pets better than people; even my family sometimes. They become a part of you; part of your soul and part of your being. They love me unconditionally and without reservation. I can see the happiness in there eyes.

  3. “this nation has lost its soul ” Not all of it… I feel what your going through, and having gone through it, you let me know when your ready to meet a new friend and I know I can help you with that. Sorry for your family’s loss. Serious when you’re ready I’ll help you.

  4. Hate it for you and your wife, black. Losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking. My wife’s young cat, which had also bonded to her in a crazy way (for cats) died suddenly last year. Broke her heart. She loved that cat.

  5. Thanks, guys. I don’t understand this. My family and I have owned dogs all my life. I’ve usually been the one who had to be the one to take them to be put down, and though it hurt, it never hurt like this. I once ridiculed Mark Levin for contemplating suicide when his dog died. Though I am not suicidal, I now understand the loss.

    Luckily, it looks like we will be getting a little pup that sounds a lot like buster. He isn’t Buster, and I don’t need him to be. All I need him to do is fill the void Buster left for my wife and our girl dog, Suzy.

    As for me, Buster left a void I have no idea how to even begin to fill…

  6. I feel your pain brother. We lost a dog several years ago that had been a member of the family for years. Someone shot her and left her at the side of the road by our mailbox. We have had a couple of dogs since then, but neither one could hold a candle to Haley. We ended up giving both of them away.

  7. Sorry, my friend. I have had the strangest experience with my best friend, Alex.

    Alex was picked up in front of the Park City Wal-Mart from a family giving puppies away. He was 6 weeks old and climbed out of the box and into my arms – before I even had a chance to choose, he chose me.

    He was a faithful friend, a protector of my children and a constant companion of mine for just short of 15 years. I came home one day at lunch and Alex had had a stroke, he could barely breathe and his rear legs wouldn’t work. We took him to the vet and got the news, there was little hope for recovery. We took him home and took care of him for another week, I carried him outside to go to the bathroom but at about day 5, he stopped eating and drinking. On September 5th, we took him back to the vet and he stayed two days while we struggled with the decision to put him down. By the 7th, his condition was dire. We all knew that it was over, including him – his eyes were sad but never scared. I held him in my arms as they started the IV drip and injected the chemical that would stop his heart. As his body started to relax and he took a deep breath and exhaled for the last time, all I could say was “I’m sorry. I love you, Alex.” He ended his life the same way we met, in my arms.

    I had a complete emotional break. I held him and cried for a full 30 minutes, so uncontrollably that I couldn’t speak.

    I’m not an emotional guy but I’m sitting here crying as I write this – almost 5 years later. Alex wasn’t my dog, he was my friend.

    About 18 months after Alex died, we had the opportunity to adopt a lab from a rescue group. I went to get one, but there were two left out of the same litter and when the little girl was taken out of the kennel, the boy pup was totally alone and cowered in the corner. Something tugged at my heart and since my wife was in LA at a conference and couldn’t stop me, the brace came home. My youngest son named them Ruby and Sammy and it was about a month later that we noticed that Sammy was behaving exactly like Alex did at that age, getting into exactly the same trouble and displaying the same personality. Sammy’s 4 now and the spitting image of Alex, down to the premature gray around his muzzle. He has the same laid back demeanor and behaves so much like Alex that we sometimes call him by that name.

    If animals can be reincarnated, Alex and Sammy share the same soul. Alex’s memories will never be replaced but the thought that he just might still be with me in some little way is a comfort.

    But Sammy would be lost without his irascible sister, Ruby. They play together, sleep together and they are currently the light of my daughter’s life as she doggy sits until we get back from Scotland.

    I will never forget Alex – it may sound a little crazy but we had him cremated and I have his ashes because I could not bear to leave him. He will be with me for the rest of my days.

  8. Doggonit Utah, I’m remembering too. So I’ll share.

    When our first child was born we had two dogs, a female alaskan malamute and a male Doberman, “Dillon”. Dillon was 3 years old, tall, and weighed over 100 pounds. The female Alaskan malamute, Kirby, never allowed the new baby to tug and pull on her, but always wanted to know the baby was “ok”. Dillon, however, loved the baby. Dillon would lay on his side while our crawling baby would put his knees and elbows in painful spots, pull on his lips, teeth on the tips of his clipped ears, causing Dillon to wince every so often. Dillon would allow our toddler to hold on to his bobbed tail while learning to walk. Not once did Dillon ever react aggressively from the obvious pain. Dillon would herd the baby when he was nearing the street, which shocked me as he was no “cow dog”. Dillon was truly a big brother to our baby boy and the family.

    I will never forget the day my son had to say goodbye to Dillon, Cancer had finally won out. My Son was 6 yoa sitting on the kitchen floor, caressing Dillon’s head in his lap, telling Dillon he would miss him, but would see him in heaven with Great Grandpa. Waterworks are on now.

    In the meantime we found a brother and sister, like Utah’s, who are now showing their age. They have been absolutely wonderful. Recently, a friend had to move to a new place that wouldn’t allow her to bring her Doberman “puppy”. This new 85 pound “puppy” brought a smile to my spouse in a real time of need 6 weeks ago. He is Dillon re-incarnated. He sits like Dillon, stands next to the kitchen table like Dillon, and I find myself calling him Dillon instead of by his given name. He was sent to my wife, and our family, in a time of need, and maybe there is some Divine intervention in sending us a new family member who was so much like a long lost friend.

    Now I remember Dillon with fondness and happiness, not sadness and loss. You will too, sooner than you know….

  9. So as you all can see … we haven’t lost our souls. And I’m sure there are more out there who feel the same. So have heart because you are not alone and more like-minded people are raising their voices and are being heard. Joe the invite is still there if you need anything let me know.

    • Individually – some of us, yes. But as a nation? No, I don’t see it, HD. Look at the story about the bus monitor, all the people fighting each other for nothing, the rise in racial attacks and of antisemitism in this nation. That last one is an historic marker, a harbinger, if you will. As I keep telling people, I know and understand history. It isn’t that I “think I’m right” or think that others are wrong, I just accept the lessons from the past because I know they repeat. The hatred that is usually aimed my way for standing my ground on that is understandable: I know where that comes from, too.

      As for your offer of help, I appreciate it, buddy – really I do. But, right now, I am not fit to be around unless you are very, VERY close to me and enjoy an instinctual protection. As I said, I do not not what or why, but something snapped in me today and I am in a bad, BAD place. I’ve been here before. Honestly, and I say this with love, until I snap out of it, I’m not safe to be around at the moment (or to be posting much of anything for that matter).

      But I appreciate the kind words though, Utah, that didn’t help much, brother. It took me another 20 minutes to see through the water again 😉

      Still reading, but in self-induced shackles – like David banner.

      • Then I’ll spare you all my best friend dog story. I shared it on the refugee site a year or so ago and it broke my heart all over again. Chin up, Joe. We love them, but with their short lives, we lose them and it breaks our hearts. You loved him and he loved you. /Can’t ask for any more than that. Enough said.

  10. I love you boys, and I shall free you from your shackles! (Sadly, it will probably be due to me trying to figure out something on the computer, and you trying to help me, which will the lead to you turning green and………….. voila!)

    I sincerely wish to cheer you up, B. (Okay, I know I’m not that funny, but I try….)

  11. I read this poem by John Updike years ago; and the last stanza had me in tears…

    Dog’s Death

    She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
    Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
    To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
    And to win, wetting there, the words, “Good dog!
    Good dog!”

    We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.
    The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
    As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
    And her heart was learning to lie down forever.

    Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed
    And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest’s bed.
    We found her twisted and limp but still alive.
    In the car to the vet’s, on my lap, she tried

    To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur
    And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
    Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
    Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.

    Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
    Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
    Of diarrhea and had dragged across the floor
    To a newspaper carelessly left there. Good dog.

    John Updike, POETSPEAK In Their Work, About Their Work (A Selection by Paul B. Janeczko)

  12. Thanks again to all of you, especially you, FC. I am in a slightly better place today – but only slightly. It’s strange how the things that Buster did which annoyed me the most are not the things I miss the most 🙂

    Anyway, Utah has posted that he will be out of pocket for most of the day, as will I. The next time I post – good Lord willing – I will have a 9 week old bundle of fur and teeth powered by nothing but attitude bouncing around this place. I know it won’t fill the void, the next one never does replace the last. But it will be good for the old Marine in me to start getting to know the next trooper on the line.

    There’s a reason the military makes a big deal about changing of the guard ceremonies… 😉

  13. So very sorry for the loss of Buster. It is for sure the pain of losing a member of the family because our canine (or feline) friends ARE members of our families.

    “Dogs aren’t our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.” Roger Caras (one of my favorite quotes.)

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