Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Dog's Life

Dear all,
Forgive the email but it’s easier than talking about it.

New House, New pup, New plants. 1999.
New House, New pup, New plants. 1999.

I put Chili down Wednesday, December 9th.  He’d been staying out at Mike and Jen’s  (about 100 miles from Anchorage) for the week prior  and doing fine, but went south very suddenly beginning yesterday.  I left work and met them halfway at the Vet’s office  in Palmer  this afternoon.  While this was not completely unexpected, it still marks that passage of a very rich time in both of our lives.  He was a treasured, loyal and enthusiastic companion and I will miss him dearly.   However, his timing was fortuitous; I leave for Hawaii tomorrow afternoon and won’t be back until New Year’s day.

Mike, Jen and I will bury him at their property later this winter in a spot where Jen wants to plant a flower garden.  Over the past few months as his time seemed to come closer, I thought that it would be nice to remember him with a bench out at Connors Bog Dog Park where we spent many hours.  He had lots of good times running around barking at trees while I  waited for him to calm down enough for me to get the leash on him.
During Deb's visit in 2005
During Deb's visit in 2005

Chilidog has been a steadfast and patient being in our relationship.  The attached photo shows the both of us in front  of my new house in the spring of 1999.  The perennial seeds are starting in the garden window behind us. Those are still prospering today.  His passing marks the end of a stage in my life.

Your  thoughts are appreciated.  I am happy that I had a chance to let him know I was there for him at the end.  Jen made him a moose stew for his last meal last night.   He was loved and appreciated by many.   What a good dog.   

Here are a few thoughts...

My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Chili.   I am glad that he got to tear around
 Seven Hills lake like a maniac... He was a sweet and patient friend to Cleo and a hearty
 presence to be around in general.  Chili will be missed and I too am glad that in his last days
 he was surrounded by friends and loved ones.

 long live the tree barking dog,
  love  Luanne

Hiking with Aine in 2006
Hiking with Aine in 2006 
I am sad to hear about Chili leaving us and I know that it will be hard for awhile. I know that he had a very happy and full puppy life and no dog could wish for a more loving, caring, and loyal companion than you have been. We will miss him but think of him romping around and barking at all the trees in the world without a care and with boundless amounts of energy at the great dog heaven in the sky. I'm sure that I will feel him sleeping on my couch for years to come.

Love, Holly

Ohhhhhhhh.....I am so sorry.  I am sad, and already miss Chili...and sad he couldn't come for Thanksgiving.  I am glad, however, for the company he provided you, and the memories he gave me.  SQUIRREL!!!!


Spring Skiing maybe 2007
Spring Skiing maybe 2007

Hi Ellen,  quick note…after you called me yesterday, I called KNBA to dedicate a song to you and Chili boy…and they (Shyanne) played it within 10-15 minutes of our conversation.  The song was “Old King” by Neil Young (Harvest Moon album), a song he wrote for his own dog that passed.  It was the only dog song I knew off the top of my head and actually the words are pretty good and fitting for memorializing a close and admiring and loving relationship with a dog.   Joe

Oh Ellen I am sad! I know that Chili meant so much to you as he did to all of us. I called Mark at work and he was very sad too. We appreciate you letting us know so quickly. We immediately went onto reminiscing about Chili and how he was there when we were building the McCarthy house. He was a part of the McCarthy world for us—and the beginning of our relationship. We often tell the story of Chili wearing himself out in McCarthy—it took him 3 days or so before he just crashed. Chili marks my first dog love and is what inspired me to get Lucy. To this day, when I am driving in the car and Lucy sits a certain way, I think of how it was that position that made me fall for Chili. That sort of sitting up but squashed body and droopy head look in the front seat. It is amazing how much Chili brought me in life. The love of Chili is still present— always!

Ellen I am so sorry. It seems the only guarantee that we have in life regarding our dogs is that they will break our hearts.

love & thoughts



Aw! I am so sorry for your loss. He was the best friend anyone could ask for. It had to be hard however to see him hurting these past few years, I'm sure he is chasing ptarmagin in doggie heaven as we speak. Take care and stay in touch, I'd love to hear about your hawaii trip. Aloha, Aine


I'm sure that all of us will miss ChiliDog! He was the first good thing every morning when I woke up (last year). Sometimes he will wake me up, just by staring at me or smelling my face:-) I remember that he was very patience and good at loving people, because once, I came back from a concert...a little drunk and hungry, and ate a piece of chicken that you left for him in the fridge...and he never complaint and always received me with a happy tail:-)

Thanks for letting me be a part of your and his life. I will treasure it forever in my heart and memories.

Kisses and big hug for you, Sama

Last Winter Walk at Connors, 2010
Last Winter Walk at 
Connors, 2010

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