Crazy for Ewe
  • For the love of Dog
  • Ellen Lewis
  • Yarn colored glasses
For the love of Dog

It's been a week since we let our sweet fur baby, Dorey, go to doggy heaven.  It was so hard to do, but it was absolutely the right thing.  The right thing is rarely ever the easy thing I guess.  Dorey had been suffering some time with severe arthritis in her hips, and it got to the point where we simply couldn't medicate her enough to ease the pain.  I told the children that it was time, and we all went to the vet's office together.  They gave Dorey a little sedative, and we realized that it was the first time she'd been calm and peaceful in many months. It was a gentle process, but still, so hard. At the end, we stood there and cried like babies - even my strong, stoic, self-possessed husband.  We cried not for her, but for ourselves, and the big hole her passing has left in our life and our family.  We love the people in our lives, certainly, but dogs are different.  It's never complicated.  Their love is simple and selfless.  The are overjoyed to see you, even if you've just been away 10 minutes.  They're excited when you're excited, even if they don't know why you're excited. They know when you are sick or sad and they just curl up near you, a calm, comforting, furry presence.  You are their whole world, and their love for you is complete and unconditional.  As my daughter, Elizabeth, said, "People don't really deserve dogs."   It is true. 

I have heard of knitters combing their dogs and gathering up the soft undercoat to be spun into yarn.  I always thought it was unusual, even mildly disgusting, but now I get it.  What I wouldn't give to have some tangible piece of my girl to lay across my lap when I'm sick or sad or lonely.  But now there is no Dorey hair to be gathered up.  People were often surprised to hear that Dorey, an Old English Sheepdog, one of the fluffiest and longest-haired breeds, did not shed.  There were never clumps of Dorey fur under the sofa, or in my coffee, or on my knitting. Except for the clay paw print and a lock of her hair that the vet tech thoughtfully tied up for us, she is utterly gone.  Her bowl and bed and collar are here, but she is gone, and sometimes I just don't know what to do.  But I can tell you what I will not do:  I will never let someone apologize for dog hair on their project, or pick at the stray hairs clinging to the yarn.  Stray dog hair on your project means that you are loved by a dog.  It means that when you leave the shop, happy tail-wagging awaits you.  A furry bundle of energy is jumping up and down anxious to see your face, hear your voice, and feel your touch.  Their fur on your yarn is a small price to pay for such unbridled love and affection.  So when I see stray hairs on your yarn, I will smile at your good fortune, and I will try not to cry. 


Back to 30 October 2018 newsletter

  • Ellen Lewis
  • Yarn colored glasses

Comments on this post ( 22 )

  • Nov 01, 2018

    I am so very sorry for your loss. It is such a profound loss. I had to to let my corgi go about 34 years ago and I still have times when I think about her and cry. Your post has touched me and as I cry for you I am also thinking of her.

    — Judith Van Blargan

  • Oct 31, 2018

    So sorry for your loss. While I know it was difficult for you and your family, letting a treasured companion go peacefully is truly the kind thing to do. Hopefully sharing the wonderful memories she has left with you is helping to ease the pain of her loss. Thanks for sharing with us

    — Norma

  • Oct 30, 2018

    I am grateful that Dorey was so loved and cherished by her family. Your description of doggie love was spot on! Irv and I are saddened for your loss. Peace to you as you treasure the memories.🐾

    — Anne Smoot

  • Oct 30, 2018

    Ellen, my heart is breaking for you. Only those of us who have gone through losing such a cherished pet know how painful it is. You wrote such a touching tribute to Dorey. She was so incredibly lucky to be loved and cared for by you and your family. Hugs and prayers coming your way.

    — Marilou Cooper

  • Oct 30, 2018

    I am so glad I got to know Dory. A beautful gentle giant. I am so sorry to hear Dory is gone.

    — Taryn Pyle

  • Oct 30, 2018

    I’m so sorry. My heart breaks for your loss. It’s so heart wrenching that we get so few years with them. My dog is 10 now and starting to have digestive problems – the only real problem he’s ever had in those 10 years. He’s had to get IVs twice in the last two months and made me realize that my time with him isn’t forever. Your post hit me hard and made me stop what I was doing to go play with him and give him some extra love and attention. He may Yap at every leaf that falls and every neighbor who has the gall to walk past our house, but he loves us – with all our flaws, on our good days and our bad days, even the days we lose our patience. We don’t deserve them, that’s for sure.

    — Janet Grant

  • Oct 30, 2018

    So sorry to hear this! ((((((Hugs))))))

    — Angela

  • Oct 30, 2018

    So very sorry for your loss Ellen. You described beautifully the incredible gift we have when loved by a dog. Sweet Dorey – forever in your hearts. ❤️

    — Susan

  • Oct 30, 2018

    Ellen, I’m so sad for the loss of your precious Dorey. May all of the wonderful memories of him comfort you and your family. Saying goodbye is so hard.

    — Nancy

  • Oct 30, 2018

    I’ve heard that dogs are human souls “on retreat” – how lovely to have an angel in your midst for all those years you had her. I am so sorry for your loss and will hold you up to God for comfort and consolation. Sending a hug. 😢💕

    — Cynthia Rose

  • Oct 30, 2018

    What a lovely tribute to your Dorey! I’m so sad for you.

    — Anne

  • Oct 30, 2018

    So sorry for the loss of Dorey. It’s such a hard decision to make. Hold tight to the lovely memories. Dogs are the best of God’s creatures.

    — Barb

  • Oct 30, 2018

    Oh Ellen, I’m so sorry for your loss. What a heartache. Sending you hugs!!

    — Hae Sook

  • Oct 30, 2018

    So very sorry, dear Ellen.

    I once received a card with a saying by Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”.

    — Anna Sargent

  • Oct 30, 2018

    So sorry.

    — Mollie Strotkamp

  • Oct 30, 2018

    We do so love our animals. Well shared thoughts of your Dorey. Sorry for your loss.

    — Terry Wood

  • Oct 30, 2018

    I am so sorry for your loss, Ellen. May your fur baby live forever in you heart and memories. God bless!

    — Joan Crittenden

  • Oct 30, 2018

    Dear Ellen,

    You write with honesty and vulnerability about things many knitters hold dear. So very many of us have lost beloved dogs. I’m sorry you and your family lost Dorey. I’ve been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments and my dog, Chester, is staying with friends who love him during this time when i can’t give him what he needs and deserves. And Chester is so in tune with me that it’s difficult for him to experience me in my current, lesser, state of health. Like you, I know I’m doing right by Chester. But, I miss him! Thanks for writing, Ellen. It’s been nice sharing my morning tea with you and your readers, fellow knitters and dog lovers.

    — Kaite Hanlon

  • Oct 30, 2018

    Beautifully written tribute to “man’s best friend” .

    — Barbara

  • Oct 30, 2018

    So well said! No other words needed.

    — Mary Hansen

  • Oct 30, 2018

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful tribute to Dorey with us. I agree, when the love of a dog or a cat is no longer, life is not the same. Take comfort in knowing Dorey has crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is happy and playing with her new friends.

    — Shellie Phillips

  • Oct 30, 2018

    So sorry for your loss, Ellen.

    — Shirley

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