Video and Essay: An Amazing Send Off for an Old Friend

James Lileks has been writing on his blog, the Bleat, since 1997, and he is somewhat of an online institution. One frequent subject of his ramblings was his dog, Jasper, who turned nineteen on January 15th. Sadly, Jasper passed away just two weeks later, and Lileks penned a remarkable eulogy for his best friend, in which he detailed their final days together:

t’s been such a long slow decline; normal gets redefined every month or so. But two weeks ago his bladder mastery began to escape him. I worked at home so I could hear the clank of his dog tags when he decided to get up and head for the door, as the old instincts rose up and required the civilized response. Didn’t always make it in time. Lots of swabbing the deck. Sponge baths. Spraying the carpet, washing his bed. But you don’t think “this is annoying. Let’s put him down.” If anything you just make sure he gets outside.

It’s a sometimes difficult read, but Lileks really captures the ins and outs of a human-dog relationship, as well as how a dog fits into a family. It’s sad, but very real and very beautiful.

Click here for the full story.

Jasper last October.
Photo by James Lileks

3 thoughts on “Video and Essay: An Amazing Send Off for an Old Friend”

  1. Mr. Monahan, I want to thank you for putting into words all that is in my heart. I lost 2 precious babies Pudgebear, age 11, 6/15 /2010 and Striker age 17 10/19/2010, Gone to soon was my Maggie Moo age 7 on 8/12/2011. I lost Lexie Lou Bell age 13 12/23/2013 after several months of illness. I spent my days caring for her every need and still struggle with looking at her “spot” in our bedroom. I have never been eloquent enough to put in words what these precious souls meant and still do to me. My babies were all rescues that I thought needed me to love them. Turns out I needed them, each at the very specific time that they found me. I have never stopped needing them and they are never far from my thoughts and always in my heart. I at times “hear” panting, nails clicking on the stairs, the sound of tags clinking together. I feel their presence very close to me. My pack is now Brandy age 11, Maisie age 2 years 7 months, Knox age 2 years 3 months and Gypsie who just turned 1. Even though I have these sweet babies in my life now, my heart still has holes. Some days I cannot control my heart from dripping down my face. My prayers for you and your family in the loss of your family member. Your love for Jasper shines in your words. Bless you, Bobbie

  2. Thank you for this fantastic video! The dog is so cute. For me, it is all right to take good care of this kind of pet, but you must have time for him or her. I really love dogs, cat and Turtle. The turtle is very easy to take good care. I also recommend to have a pet specially dog. Dog’s can be your guard at all time, especially at night.

  3. Tell your dog how much he means to you, and what you’ve enjoyed about sharing a life with him. Thank him for being with you. Tell him what you love about him. This doesn’t have to be some long, drawn-out thing, just a simple time of gratefulness for the time you’ve shared. Share with your pet the things that he enjoys. Take him to his favorite place. Even if you have to carry him to the park, and let him watch from a blanket, he’ll enjoy visiting the place he loves.

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