It’s Memorial Day weekend, a weekend all about remembrances and parades. It’s a weekend to remember the heros.
From now on, I’ll be remembering a different sort of hero. Our lovely dog Dylan, who had a life filled with love. He spent Saturday morning chasing chipmunks, around 7pm began to act strange, jumped up in bed with us when we went to sleep, then jumped down at 3am and collapsed after taking just two steps.
We rushed him to Friendship Animal Hospital. Dr. Bier was kind, straightforward and empathic when she told us he had muffled heart sounds and a lot of fluid of unknown type around his heart. As we considered surgical intervention and whether we should put Dylan through anything like that, the doctor came back out to the waiting room and said she thought he was trying to die. We rushed to him, held him and felt his life end just twenty minutes after we first walked through the door.
It’s been pretty sad around the Barrow household. Both of us are traumatized, but we can feel the pain and shock lifting, and we remind eachother how much love he gave, and how much we loved him.
scruffier than you can imagine
as goofy a dog as I’ve ever known
loyal, kind, happy, gentle
tolerated our cat, Beans, but any cat outside was fair game
waited every night for the neighborhood fox to appear on the street, then barked his head off
also barked at owls
but only occasionally barked when someone came to the door
hated the little black dog who roams the neighborhood and growled and chased him off the front lawn regularly
walked with a spring in his step, and sometimes boing-ed
once caught a squirrel, then dropped it when Dennis said “drop”
was the fussiest eater, but loved Smith Family Farm’s liver treats, which we used to garnish his dinner every night
had four coat options, including an orange raincoat
never did anything destructive
wouldn’t let you pick him up
could scream and cry his head off, and did it as a pre-emptive strike when he was frightened
every night, had a bedtime snack of peanut butter and a biscuit in his Kong
slept in our bed, usually with his back against me, and his feet touching Dennis
talked in his sleep
never spent a day in a kennel once we adopted him
went everywhere with us, making friends
made dog-lovers out of even those people who don’t like dogs much
made children squeal with delight
was incredibly gentle and polite when offered a cookie
ran crop circles with his buddy Henry, and sometimes by himself
loved his walks in the woods, especially balancing along fallen trees
didn’t swim, but liked to walk in the creek and get his tummy wet
chased chipmunks around the back garden
loved nothing more than being with the two of us, and we felt the same way
We’ll bring another dog home one of these days. It will be another scruffy terrier mix, because we like ’em. The dog won’t be Dylan, we realize that, but that next dog will have the same Dog’s Life this sweet little fellow had.
Thanks go out to all of you who have left messages, called and written to express your sympathy. Dylan touched so many people in so many ways and the outpouring of love has been amazing.
We’re glad to have known him. And we’re starting to heal. Here’s a link to the Flickr set – a Dylan Photo Gallery
Special thanks go to
Winchester, Virginia SPCA
Collins Animal Hospital and Dr. Jay Merker
Friendship Animal Hospital and Dr. Bier
Betsy Pritchard and Smith Family Farms
Bethesda Central Farm Market vendors who knew and loved Dylan
PetMac for high quality dog and cat foods and open crates of treats from which Dylan helped himself
And, especially, Portia Wood and her two dog loving children, Jack and Violet, and her dogs through the years – Goldie, Holly, Jones, Henry and Mystic. A place where Dylan always felt safe.