Summer. Time.

I don’t know why I’m always surprised to find myself a bit melancholy in Summer.  After all, it’s one of the few times when weather really does allow me to just …stop.  Spring and Autumn usually find me really bustling about in the garden, prepping for planting or putting away for Winter.  And Winter.  Oh, you know how I feel about Winter.  I’m too busy trying not to lose my mind to worry overmuch about the turns of the planet or whether there is a point to Life.  Wondering if the roof is going to hold from all the snow is more my concern.

I'm fine.

I’m fine.

This Summer has taken a decidedly melancholy turn.  Yesterday we had to let Bruno go.  I was going to let El O  make the decision but I spend nearly 24hrs a day with Bruno and I knew it would be me who decided  – and yesterday, in the late afternoon, was Time.  After a promising beginning, Bruno’s condition had taken a pronounced turn for the worse and…..well…I finally said to El O “we may not be able to keep him, right?”…and he said ” no, I don’t think we can”.  Talks with his doc on his most recent tests weren’t good.  He’d pretty much lost all muscle mass and had that swollen stomach and almost no red blood cells.  And he was so very, very tired.  This past 10 days I spent nearly every minute with him – just being with him.  He was just…tired.  I think he was tired of being betrayed by his once-vibrant little body, that could leap off a 5′ porch like most of us step over a crack in the sidewalk.  That little body could turn on a dime, haulin’ ass at 20mph and smoke the livin’ daylights out of his much larger brother (but Carmine would catch him on the straightaways).  No  more dashing about.  I knew it would be thus, which is why I spent the early afternoon with him in the garden.  He, on his little blanket under the umbrella and me in my chair, talking to him and letting him know just how much he was loved.    I won’t go into details – suffice to know it was very peaceful for him, I held his little self in my arms and kissed him into the Great Beyond, where I am absolutely sure my mom was waiting, arms wide, for his little spirit to leap into.  Magically (because it is a magical thing) she also had a giant plate of roast beef for him.  And Georgie and Carmine were holding his favorite Nylabone toys!  So Bruno is good to go.

I, however, am a bit of an exhausted wreck.  I don’t think I’ve cried that hard in ages.  But any of you who have had to do this knows how painful it is, even when it’s obvious, as it was with Bruno, that it was Time.  I was the first person he looked for in the morning and the last person to kiss him goodnight -nearly every day of his life – so it was only right that he take comfort in going gently into his dark night whilst in his mommy’s arms.  I’m honored to have been there for that last service.

My solace?  This is how I imagined the conversation went, Up There, between Carmine and George:


Carmine:  Papi, Bruno is really sick and I think it’s kinda my fault because I left him so soon. 

George (very warily):  Son, you know that little dog gets on my Very Last Nerve…..maybe he’ll get better and he can stay down there and stay off my toenails.

Carmine:  I don’t know, Papi. He’s pretty beat.  I think he needs to come up here with us and Mom’s mommy, who always has plates of roast beef and cheeeeeeeeze! for us. I didn’t know she had so many dogs, did you? We’re having so much fun with all her dogs!   C’mon Papi.  C’mon.  I’ll take really good care of him and I’ll make sure he doesn’t bug you too much.  Okay?  He’s sooo sad.  And sooo tired.  He’ll have a whole LOT of fun up here with us.  Okay?

George:  Well….okay.  I don’t like for him to be so tired and sick down there. But tell him to keep his paws off my toenails, okay?  And don’t let him bop me on my nose like he used to do when he was a pup.  Okay?

Carmine:  Okay.  I’mo go down with Mom’s mommy to get him.  Be right back!

That’s how I am processing this, anyway.  I am not going to say all the standard “I know he’s just a dog and there are PEOPLE out there dying” – you and I know that’s both true and irrelevant.  What I will say is pain is pain and love is love.  We could all take a leaf from The Book of Dogs – the moment is pretty much all they have and pretty much all they care about – he couldn’t care less if he’s gonna be around for Game of Thrones or the coming apple harvest.  He left here, secure, comfortable, in my arms.  What more could I hope to give him?

I’m fine.  Really.  Tired as stones – but fine.  You all know how I am about Duty and Honor.  And I feel that I kept  my honor by performing my duty to my beloved little dog.

And I wore Amouage Gold.  A lot of it.  No5 is the Abrams tank of perfumes, when it comes to grief.  But I didn’t feel like a tank yesterday.  I felt like ….I felt like his guardian, shepherding him out of this world, into my own mother’s arms.  I didn’t need to do battle.   I just needed some strength and beauty.  Gold is that scent for me.  And it sustained me through the torrent of tears and that peaceful feeling that comes of having discharged my duty.

I don’t know how to thank all of you for your love and support during these past few months.  You helped me and Bruno through Carmine’s passing – and now you are here for me with Bruno.  Your caring is more appreciated that you can know.  I’ll be back with some perfume-related nonsense next week.

  • KR says:

    Physiologists tell us that sincere weeping releases at least 5 kinds of histamine and other nasty
    stress chemicals. If that is so, I thank you for your generosity in sharing a story so touching that I’ve been awash with tears for 10 minutes. I hope all the little angels idog heaven watch over you forever.

  • rosarita says:

    Oh Ms A, you’ve had a cruel year and I’m so sorry you’ve lost another dear friend and soul mate. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

  • Anne says:

    …And I just came to read about perfume, Dear…but you find what you’re supposed to find….
    Adding you to my “favorite blogs” sidebar; hope that’s okay.

  • Anne says:

    I am so, so sorry…crying here for your Bruno and my 9 little furry-souls that I lost in a fire four years ago; I knew my Mom was there to take everyone “in”, though…but I still coudn’t cry until just now.

  • Elena says:

    Musette, I am so sorry. We went through the same thing with my old man greyhound this year. It’s just gut wrenching to have to decide. You love your dogs so much, but they always have to leave before you. Sending you comfort.

  • aparatchick says:

    I’m sorry, Musette. The knowledge that letting them go is the right thing to do doesn’t make it any easier, does it. I was doing fine when my beloved Moose crossed the rainbow bridge four years ago; right up until my nothing-but-business boss walked into my office and quietly said, “I’m sorry about your little friend.” Yeah, I was doing fine right until then.

    Rest in peace, Bruno.

  • maggiecat says:

    Crying a little bit here, thinking of the dogs and cat I’ve held as they made their journey, and the elderly basset whose time is getting near. It is an honor and an obligation – those are the right words. Hugs.

  • solanace says:

    Oh Musette, this is so hard. I´m happy Bruno could count on your love all the way.

  • Laurels says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry. We get so little time with them that it feels especially unfair when they don’t get the chance to grow old. Sending you love and sympathy.

  • Tom says:

    I am so sorry..

  • SallyM says:

    More tears here. I was so hoping he would pull through. He had a great friend in you and you in him and your lives were both enriched by each other’s love. My friend gave me a lavender/vanilla scented candle in a jar to burn when I let my Willow-cat go across the Rainbow bridge last year and it has a picture of a playing cat and dog and these words on it:
    “Grieve not, nor speak of me with too many tears
    But laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you
    I loved you so
    ‘Twas Heaven here with you.” Isla Paschal Richardson

    Hugs to you and El O.

  • Sylvia says:


  • Lisa D says:

    Musette, you’re absolutely right – pain is pain and love is love, and you loved Bruno. Over the course of the last few months, when you’ve shared his story with us, it has nudged me to run into whatever room my own furballs are lounging, and spend some long minutes snuggling, petting, and simply reveling in the straightforward and profound pleasure of BEING with them. So, I thank you for that. Sending you a big hug.

  • annielill says:

    Musette…I’ve had to do this 18 times,for 18 wonderful dogs…many hugs,for you:((((((((((((((((()))))))))))))

  • Musette says:

    My darling Posse, I cannot tell you how much these comments mean to me. Thank you for caring for us. xoxoxoxoA

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Oh, dear lady! I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I would hug you if I could. There are no words to make you feel better, but know I am here for you. (We all are!) Thank you for sharing stories of Bruno and Carmine with us, funny AND sad. The love you share, and the joy you emit is amazing. Bruno knew he was deeply loved. There can be no better gift. You and ElO will be in my thoughts and prayers. If ever I can be a help, drop me a note. Sending love your way…

  • Diana says:

    I remember when I had to put my cat to sleep. We spent 18 years together and his old tired body just couldn’t take anymore. I held him when he passed and then cried my eyes out while my boyfriend drove back home. There was a strange moment during the ride home when the world suddenly exploded into sharp contrast–colors got brighter, outlines became sharper and the smell of the early spring day washed over me. Hard to explain but for a brief moment, grief made me intensely aware of the poignancy of “life” for a few minutes. Its hard to lose someone you love, but thank goodness you were there to see him through so that he never had a moment in life without love. My mastiff is 6 and I know that I’ll face the same thing much too soon, but the love that he has brought to my life will forever outweigh the pain of his leaving it. I know you feel the same about your wonderful Bruno. Condolences to you and your family.

  • Peppermoon says:

    I’m so sorry, I was rooting for him to get better. Many hugs and good thoughts your way!

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I know he had a good life with great doggie parents. Hugs.

  • Katherine says:

    I’m so sorry. Bruno stories were comfort for me on bad days. He will be missed more than you know. hugs. Big hugs

  • Nemo says:

    Thank you for sharing your stories about Bruno, and I am so sorry for your loss. I was especially touched by your last afternoon with him, and I know he was soaking up all of the love he could, along with the sunshine. I am sure he and Carmine are very very happily eating everything they ever wanted to eat in doggy heaven right now!

  • Jackie b says:

    Such sad news, love and hugs from this end of the world.

  • Lynne Marie says:

    Dearest Musette,

    All my love and prayers to you. Pain is Pain and Love is Love and Hearts break to prove they can mend. You’re in my thoughts.

  • SamanthaL says:

    Crying like everyone else….and I’m so very sorry. I know you must’ve said his breed before but I can’t remember….what flavor of doggie was he? So very cute and sweet. 🙁

  • Beth says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. The sorrow of losing a pet is so immense. xoxo

  • tammy says:

    Don’t you know that pup is ALL OVER George’s toenails right now, and he is lovin’ every minute of it.

    Sending much love…..

  • Shirley Munoz says:

    I am truly sorry for your loss. You sound like you gave your dog a good life full of love and caring. Loving someone is always a risky endeavor but it’s what make life so beautiful. Take care.


  • teri says:

    I think all of us who read regularly here felt like Bruno was family. I’m not eloquent enough to find healing words for the lost of a best friend, but I offer the quote below from an author and famous lover of dogs who does.

    “I wonder if it is heretical to believe that when at last my tired
    feet shall tread the Other Shore, a madly welcoming swirl of exultant
    collies—the splendid Sunnybank dogs that have been my chums here—will
    bound forward, circling and barking around me, to lead me Home!”

    Albert Payson Terhune

    • Caroline says:

      Hugs, Musette…though he left too soon, you were lucky to have such a good boy…

  • Sandy says:

    Musette – I am sorry for your loss. Bruno has got to be in the Great Beyond feeling healthy and happy with your mom, Carmine, George, and the others you have shared your love with. With all of the love and memories swirling together, it seems only right.

  • marilynn says:

    Musette, I’m so very sorry to read this. I was a fan of his and pulling for him to the end. Bless you.

  • Kandice says:

    I am so very sorry. There’s nothing I can say to make it better and words fail me right now. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Having lost several fur babies, I know how difficult this is and will be. My only condolence in times like this is is that, like you, I think about all the fur friends he has on the other side and how happy he’ll be playing with them until you are all reunited once again.

  • masha7 says:

    I’m so very sorry…hugging you in my heart.

  • Janice says:

    I’m so, so sorry. It’s a wonderful thing you did for him, making him feel so safe and loved. Be good to yourself.

  • Mary K says:

    I am so very sorry to hear about Bruno’s passing. You were with him, though, in his last moments and know that he peacefully left this world, and now he is in heaven with Carmine, George and your mom (and is enjoying all of your mom’s roast beef). He was certainly lucky to have had you as his “mom”. .

  • Liz K says:

    Well, here I am sitting at my desk bawling. Hope my boss doesn’t walk by. There is nothing I hate more than doing what you had to do. I have another one coming up soon (the same cancer as my other kitty; rare my foot) and I dread the day. Love and hugs to you.

  • kizzers says:

    Oh Musette, so sorry to hear this. You did the right thing for him, every step of the way, He was loved, and so are you. Hugs to you and your family x

  • dinazad says:

    Feeling for you, sweetie!

  • Nina Z says:

    Anita, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. But I love your little Carmine & George story and I love that you wore Amouage Gold for strength and beauty.

  • Lavanya says:

    oh sweetheart I am so sorry..big hugs! you are right – pain is pain and love is love and you don’t have to justify that to anybody.
    and I am sure Bruno is enjoying your mom’s roast beef and George’s toenails. lots of love.

  • jirish says:

    I’m heartbroken to read this. You are so right, love is love, and the love with share with our companion animals is so very special, so uncomplicated. I’m glad you had the strength to make the decision you did, and can take comfort in knowing that you did right by Bruno. Sending you love and prayers.

  • Tena says:

    My Dear Musette,

    There does come a time when letting our furry friends leave us painlessly and in our arms is something we do for then, not to them. While I am sad that your dear Bruno had to leave you, I am so very glad he had all his years with you. I will tell all my Greyhound angels to watch out for Bruno and show him the ropes.
    Sending hugs and caring to yourself and El O.

  • Michelle says:

    So sorry for your loss. Sending hugs.

  • Dina C. says:

    Dear Anita,
    I’m so sorry for the loss of Bruno. What an incredible service you did for him in escorting him out of this world and into the next. That kind of emotional work is exhausting. I’m sorry that you’ve had to do it twice in the past year. The Gold sounds like it was the perfect choice for the occasion. I hope you can grieve and rest, eat well, and recover your spirits in your own time. Meanwhile, we will be here for you, and I’ll be praying for you. Sending long-distance hugs.

  • Tara says:

    I am so sorry honey… I had to do the same last Monday for my dear old cat Lila. It was so hard to let her go after 18 years of love, but I feel at peace knowing she is at peace. Sending you lots of comforting hugs.

  • malsnano86 says:

    Sending much love. Which seems to be one thing you are surrounded by, but there can’t ever be too much of it.

    I’m hoping my sweet Hayley-doggle might find her way to wherever it is that your mom’s giving out roast beef – I know she’d love to go running around with Bruno and Carmine. I miss her so much.

  • Elizabeth Watson says:

    Dear Musette, I am so very sorry to read of Bruno’s passing. I had to stop reading because I am at work, and they don’t like it when I walk around all teary-eyed. I’ll read the rest of your post when I get home. Please know that you are in my thoughts today. I know you loved Bruno very much and that he loved you. He had a wonderful life with you. Bruno, if you can hear me, I am sending big, licky smooches your way.

  • bevfred says:

    Dear Musette Please accept my sincere condolences. I guess it was time for Bruno to go too doggy heaven.
    I feel for you and am so glad you had a fragrance to comfort you along the way. A big hug to you.

  • Neva says:

    Oh no, how sad…but the consolation is: he lived a happy life surrounded by people who loved him and he passed away with dignity. That’s something everybody hopes for, but it is the privilege of animals adored by their “parents”. I wish you strength in the coming days and the lovely memories will be a part of your life forever.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Dear Musette, I am crying with you. Bruno and Carmine were so lucky to have you as their mom. I’m so sorry you had to lose both of them so close together. Love is good. especially doggie love.

  • Jamie says:

    Well, I’m sitting here crying my eyes out. I know some people feel otherwise, but they’re not just dogs, they are family. Peace to you and to Bruno.

  • Holly F. says:

    I’m so very sorry. What else is there to say? I know how bad it hurts. I wish I could give you a hug right now. Xo

  • poodle says:

    I’m sitting here crying like a baby too now. I am so sorry for your loss. I hate when people say it’s just a dog or a cat. It’s a friend and companion that you spent a good part of each day and night with. It’s heartbreaking to lose anyone or anything that is that close to you. I’m not sure how or why my little girl is still living after what we’ve gone through with her but I cherish every day with her and hope her time will be as peaceful as little Bruno’s was. You’re an awesome dog mom. I’m sending you hugs and I’m thinking of you and shedding a few more tears too.

  • Julie L says:

    I’m new to your blog, but that doesn’t make the heartache any less as I read your sad, sad, news. I went through this very thing a few years ago-twice that same year. I didn’t think I’d ever be the same; I missed work, sobbed for days, mom took a day off her job to be with me that first night in an empty house…..and yes, and in some ways we’re not the same after holding our beloveds in their final hour. But it’s part of that journey we hold so dear with our pet family. My thoughts are with you…

  • Lynley says:

    Oh Musette. How heartbreaking it was to open the page and find this post. I’m so sorry. So soon after Carmine too 🙁 I was praying that little Bruno would get all better again and I feel so bad for the poor lil guy, and for you to have to go through that. Again. Caring for a sick pet who is dearly loved and having to make the decision that it’s time to go is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do so I know how that grief feels. But you made the right decision and he isn’t in pain any more. And he’ll still be there in spirit leaping off the verandah for as long as you’re there too. Warmest hug to you x

  • Portia says:

    Portia xx

  • jilliecat says:

    You gave him the greatest gift of all, dear Musette. That’s how much you loved him. Sending you all my love. x

  • Tyler Rose says:

    The love we have for animals is so uncomplicated and pure. No issues, just love. You and Bruno are both blessed by the simple beauty of sharing time together on this earth. He’ll be waiting for you, of that I am certain.

  • Ellen says:

    Dear Musette, That journey is so very hard for we dog lovers. It sounds like you gave Bruno great care and great love. How very wonderful for him and you that he could be in your arms safe an secure and loved at the moment of his passing. I’m crying as I write this as I too have had to do this and the pain is truly awful. Someday, it gets better. Thank you for sharing.

  • Ann says:

    Oh, darling Musette, I am so very sorry to read this. I’m wiping away tears as I write this and my heart hurts so much for you all. You did all you could for him and sent him off in the best possible way; he knew through and through how much he was loved. Please know that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, and sending you big, warm hugs.

  • Rina says:

    My dearest Musette, having gone through it earlier this year, it is still painful and real so I know exactly what you are going through. My heart breaks for you, my arms hug you close and my nose inhales your grief and strength. It will suck for a while. Then less so, but never entirely goes away. Thank you for sharing Bruno and your journey with us. It is a huge honor.

  • Datura5750 says:

    Oh dear, I didn’t know I’d be crying by the end of this post, my condolences.
    Sounds like he was a good dog!