Duncan D. Dawg, 1990-2002

It happened a week ago, last Thursday, while my mother was out and my father was at work. They think he had a heart attack. He had been sick for awhile. A month ago, he developed cataracts, and earlier this year he had been diagnosed with diabetes. It hadn’t been an easy winter. He had been uncomfortable, walking had become difficult, and he cried if you left him alone for too long. We knew he didn’t have many years left, and we didn’t want him to suffer, but we never expected him to go so soon, or so suddenly.

My parents decided not to tell my sister until after her finals, which is why it’s taken me so long to talk about it here, even though I don’t imagine she knows I keep a weblog or would be interested in reading it if she did. It must have been unimaginably difficult for my father when he drove out to Baltimore this past weekend to help her start moving out of her dorm. I just hoped for his sake she wouldn’t ask him any questions. He loved Duncan — we all did. It was impossible not to love him. “Labradors,” his obedience school instructor once said, “think life is just a bowl of cherries.” In Celtic, his name meant “brown warrior”, and there wasn’t an ounce of unfriendliness in him.

You know, it only hurts when I think about it too much, when I really remember him. That’s the only time I start to cry. I’m sure it would be more difficult if I was surrounded by constant reminders of his absence — his toys, his leash, his water bowl. I still find it hard enough just to believe that he is gone.

Duncan was loving and loyal — he was a good dog — and he will be missed.

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