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Someplace else to be

I’ll start with the punchline, so you’re not lulled into thinking this is a happy post. Nick and I took Grendel to the vet this morning and had him put to sleep. Renal failure, finally, but he’s been steadily getting more elderly (and not just older): failing hips, heart murmur. The walks have been getting shorter and shorter, and this past week he wasn’t really eating and could barely get up. We didn’t know we weren’t bringing him home – the last few days could have been primarily hip-related – but we suspected, at least a little.

Grendel was twelve, and he had pretty much as good a life as a dog could have. I’ve been sorting through the photos of him, trying to pick out my favorites. It was just about impossible. But I noticed something: nearly all of the photos fell into three types: snuggling, looking alertly at someone in the pack to see what we’re doing next, or trying to lead us off over the next hill. He was a wonderful sweet dog.

From the day we got him.


Obedient to cats.


Eager and attentive.






Right up until yesterday, when he and the cat were both ignoring the brand new orthopedic dog bed.


I’m going to be listening for clattering in the hallway for a long time.

C’mon, hurry up! I have someplace else to be!


(More photos here.)

10 Comments on “Someplace else to be”

  1. #1 Eric
    on Jun 21st, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I hope you and Nick are okay. He looks like he was a fabulous dog. My best to you both.

  2. #2 Nick
    on Jun 21st, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I miss him so much.

  3. #3 Janiece
    on Jun 21st, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Fair winds and following seas, sweet Grendel.

  4. #4 Sharon
    on Jun 21st, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I looked at all the photos. What a sweet boy. Aid what a big hole he leaves. We don’t get to keep our pets long enough.
    Hugs to you and to Nick.

  5. #5 Fran
    on Jun 21st, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Oh man, I am so very sorry! My heart breaks for you guys. He was the best! Knowing he’s running with the rest of the pack doesn’t lessen the hurt now, I know. (((hugs)))

  6. #6 Lillian
    on Jun 21st, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I’m so sorry. He was such a sweet goofy boy. Occasionally I look at Ryan and remember him and Grendel chasing each other around and around the kitchen. It still makes me smile.

    Hugs for you both.

  7. #7 Laura
    on Jun 22nd, 2012 at 1:52 am

    I’ve been weepy all day, and had to tell Grendel stories to several people. Hang in there, both of you.

    I’m glad you have the wonderful photos as well as the memories.

  8. #8 Jo Lee Credle Robinson (Erynn O'Faolain)
    on Jun 22nd, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I left a comment on FB as well, but I want to follow up now having seen Grendel’s amazing face. I have to say that he certainly has a majestic and powerful face, and as others have said, he is running with the pack no, awaiting our arrival. The Bible doesn’t talk much about heaven for animals, but God created every animal with Man/Woman as their masters. I cannot imagine that we wouldn’t be able to see them again, since we pour our lives and hearts into them from the first moment we see them. I know it has been a long time since we have seen each other at Windmaster’s Hill while I was there, close friends with Gideon, Ormarr and Baron Eldred, etc. But I will never forget your gentle kindness, and the Teddy Bear hidden inside your strong rough exterior. You were always very sweet to me, and even 25 yeas later, I very much remember and appreciate you. (Also hung around Corwin and Alesaundre. – in fact, her twin girls are my girl’s age and they had a sleepover last night!) I do hope and pray that the bitter sting of loss mellows quickly into a warm stream of wonderful memories. Please remember to take care of yourself, your family, and revel in a life well-lived for Grendel. With you as his owner, I am sure he was a terrific, well-loved pooch! Hugs to you and yours. From the Seattle area.

  9. #9 Liz/Erzebet
    on Jun 23rd, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Oh Phiala…. I’m so sorry. I don’t have words other than to say thank you both for doing what needed to be done and making the most hard decision possible for someone you love so much and give them peace.

    Please accept my hugs and thoughts

  10. #10 riverrim
    on Jun 25th, 2012 at 8:43 am

    A beautiful tribute to your Grendel…so sorry for your loss…hugs to you.