Furry Family

spring flowers

Our house has been blessed with many pets that include two dogs, five cats, and a goldfish. They’ve brought us joy, unconditional love, and were there when it felt like no one else was. They’ve been my muses and writing companions, too.

These pets have inspired poems and many photos. They are our furry family. We watch over them, and they watch over us. Our eldest animal our cat, Thunder, who’s in her 18th year, but doesn’t look a day over 12 years old, still lets the other cats know who’s the boss. Each animal has a unique personality and contributes to the household in its way. Alice, known as the Huntress, brought me a gift recently…a mouse. She was fully prepared to bring it inside when I let her know in a high shrill voice not to do that. That prompted her to drop it, and it ran off. So, another mouse saved that returned to the forest.

Our dogs, the black-lab mix and Shepard mix were what we call, youthfully middle-aged. Walks were always a challenge as their leashes tangled as they went in different directions, but they’d always alert us to bears or raccoons in that unique high-pitched bark. They always greeted us home or when we got out of bed and were our protectors.

There were some subtle signs of aging to these youthful middle-aged dogs with a bit of white, especially on our black lab, Hermie. But age never showed up in his actions. He was full of love, a gentleman and always had a lick ready for you. He was much like an endearing toddler whose one look would melt your heart even after he found his way into the trash or over the fence.

Hermie came to us from the grocery stores parking lot. He was that little black runt bouncing around while his brothers slept soundly. He protected us more than once on walks when an unleashed “pack” of dogs came at us, and never sick a day in his 11 years.

Right before Easter one of those unexpected moments happened when our lab collapsed. No warning.

My husband rushed Hermie to the closest 24-hour vet, an hour away. A phone call later, a decision was made to end his suffering. He had a cancerous mass by his heart and was in the end stages of congestive heart failure. He’d shown no signs of that until that end moment.

He was a treasured, and sometime rascal, member of our family. The emptiness we all feel are filled by his memories. Now we take that walk without him on the Magical Trail where he rests near, but we know that each day we shared with him, was a blessing.


Embrace your inner child with memories and blessings, D.L. Finn

29 thoughts on “Furry Family”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, Denise. Hermie had a great life and in the end did not have to suffer under the symptoms of his illness. Such a good dog and loving parents. i hope his memory sustains you in this sad time.

  2. Oh, Denise, what a beautiful post. I know you and your husband are heart broken. But, like losing anyone we love, we hold on to the good memories. Hugs, sweet lady!

  3. I’m so sorry, Denise. We love them so much and they give us so much. It is just heartbreaking when they have to leave. Sending you hugs and warm wishes.

    1. Thank you, Mary. Yes they do add so much to our lives and sad it’s when our time has ended for the now. Sending hugs back.

  4. Denise, Hermie was a blessing in your life.I am so sorry to learn of his passing but I know he left paw prints on your heart that will never fade. Pets are every bit as much a part of our family as humans. He sounds like an amazing dog who enriched your life as you enriched yours. Hugs to you and yours!

    1. Thank you, Mae. I love the way you worded he that he left paw prints on my heart-perfect. Yes they are definitely family. Hugs right back to you.

    1. Thank you, Jacqui. For some reason I had it in my mind we had another five or so years. I hope you have that with your sweet lab.

  5. How lucky to have had your dear Hermie as a cherished family member, my friend. Our fur babies enrich our lives so very much. My throat is tight with tears for you now. Time will not diminish the sweetness of all those marvelous memories. Sending warm hugs and thoughts across the miles.

    1. Thank you, Soooz. Yes we are so lucky to have them in our lives and what they give us is priceless. Even knowing the pain of loss I wouldn’t change have fur babies in my life. Sending hugs across the miles right back.

  6. What a lovely post Denise! It reminds me of Dr. Herriot’s story ‘God Is Near,’ a poignant tale of ageing pets of an invalid lady and Dr. Herriot was their Vet. God was near her in the form of her furry friends. She hoped that animals had souls and got the reassurance that they do have!
    Loss of pets is hard to reconcile to. Wishing you solace and peace.

    1. Thank you, Balroop. I haven’t read that story. I will have to check it out. It sounds like an inspirational tale and we can all use those.

  7. Oh Denise, I’m so very sorry. Maybe it doesn’t say much for me as a person, but I think it hurts me worse when an animal dies than a human. You did everything right.
    Great big hug. <3

    1. Thank you, Teagan! I think its because they are an extension of us as our furry family, so that makes sense. Great big hugs right back to you.

  8. You do have a lovely furry family, Denise. Sorry for your loss of Hermie. It was great that you got him home and enjoyed him for some time. It’s always hard to lose your beloved pet. My baby hummingbird went away for a day. I worried myself to death. He came back but I have to prepare for him to be grown and flown away.

    1. Thank you, Miriam. Yes, we were blessed to have him for 12 years i can imagine it will hard to let the baby hummingbird go, but what an experience for you.

      1. I can image. I love ruby red throats
        They are beautiful.

  9. Nothing more soulful or loving than our furry friends. We’re still mourning the passing of our Henry, five years ago!, a golden-boy Golden. Blessings to Hermie. <3

    1. Sorry about your loss with Henry. It is tough losing that love, but we are so lucky to have it when we did. Thank you:)

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