Friday, January 02, 2009

Goodbye to Melbotis



Hi Leaguers.

As some of you know, Mel became very sick after Christmas. I am still reeling from the events of the past 48 hours or so, and suspect it will be a week or so before it all really sinks in. But we had to say good-bye to Mel this morning. We worked hard with our veterinarians to make the best decisions, and we were with Mel when he went.

I cannot, cannot believe he is gone.

The brown eyes and orange flag of a tail will never be there again when I come home from work. The happy panting as he climbs up on the couch to do nothing more than spend time with you. His patient insistence that all tennis balls belong to him and him alone, and waiting perhaps an hour to finally round them up as Lucy looks on in dismay as her game of fetch comes to an end. Mel's joyful running when we would arrive at the park, his tail spinning in circles as he'd bound free from the car. Seeing his nose and eyes sticking out of the water as he paddles toward you.

When Jamie is sick, he is always the best listener, dispenser of hugs, confidant and distraction. I cannot imagine what it might have been like in Arizona had I not had Mel's steadfast, unquestioning friendship.

I will always remember years ago, when we lived in that clapboard house on Briar street that Mel loved so much. The front yard was fenced with chain link, and he would spend his days in the yard rushing the fence to say hello to any adult and barking in what was the most pathetic excuse for ferociousness you ever saw when kids would come by. Anyway, I loved the afternoons and evening there, throwing the ball for him up and down the side of the house until we'd worked away the grass and he had dug a trench in the earth. I'd then sit on the steps as he'd roll in the yard, letting the sun warm his belly. And if there's any justice or any heaven, that's what he's doing right now, knowing Jamie and I will be up to join him when we get around to it. Knowing we love him so, so much. My boy.

I am not ready to say good-bye. But that's what we had to do today. And I miss him, and I will miss him. Those triangle ears and pink tongue. It's not fair. There's never enough time.

Good bye, Mel. I love you so much. Good boy.

22 comments:

JAL said...

I’m so sorry to hear this. This is unbelievably sad news.

Shannon said...

Ryan and Jamie-
I am so sorry to hear about Mel (and crying a little as I write this). I know how hard this is as we had to do the same with Annie last April. We will be thinking of you guys- Mel was a lucky, lucky dog to be loved so much.

Shannon

Steanso said...

I've shed a few tears, myself, for Mel today, but you guys really did give Mel just about as good a life as a dog could hope to have. Many, many humans go through their lives without being as well cared for or as well loved as Mel has been. My heart goes out to you guys, but I know that Mel knew that he was very much loved, and that's about all that he could ask for. You guys gave him a great life. We'll miss you, Mel.

Nicole said...

To the Golden Rascal (as I shall call him). The always beloved...

Thinking of you guys,
Nicole

Anonymous said...

That F'n sucks. No way around it. But he was a hell of a dog and an even better friend and companion. He's gone to chase Tennis Balls in the eternal fields of green grass and he'll be waiting for you with a ball in mouth when you're ready to go see him.

Man dogs are the best. Sucks they live so short. You were a great owner and I know if Mel could speak he would have told you as much, and also told you not to waste any tears on him, because he had a great ride and loved being with you and Jamie. RIP you beautiful golden buddy.

Peabo

Laetitia said...

So sorry to hear about Mel guys. I will miss him very much. Thinking of you guys.

Fantomenos said...

So, so sorry to hear about this. We had to put Nate, our golden retriever down 4 years ago and we still think about him every day.

Our thoughts are with you.

Queenie said...

Oh no.....I am so sad right now reading this!!!! I am so sorry for you and Jamie and your loss. I know Mel was such an integral part of the family and this is such a painful time. But I am so glad Mel had the loving "mom" and "dad" in you and Jamie.....wishing you guys peace.

Matt M said...

As Mel clumsily lopes toward the big drinking bowl in the sky I can't help but to think back to one of my fondest memory of him. It was back when he still belonged to Manzo and Jenny and lived with me at Falcon Crest. We had taken him to Lake Travis. His first time in the water, I remember Mel furiously treading towards me with his giant paws (yes, even then). He paddled up to me and proceeded to climb up onto my shoulders and head, terrified. I think I fell in love with the little guy right there and then. So long Mel. You will be missed...

The League said...

He actually never quit doing that, even as a 90+ pound adult. We had to learn to sort of get out of the way and then hold him up a bit by swimming alongside him when he'd paddle out to you. He deep-sixed me at the Gus Fruh swimming hole two summers ago.

I want to thank everyone for writing in, calling, what have you. If I haven't written back or called you back, I hope you understand its been a very long day, and Jamie and I deeply, deeply appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

T.S.T. said...

I've no adequate words, but many kind thoughts. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Michael Corley said...

I once (foolishly) said dogs cannot love. My wife, ever wiser, turned and told me I was an idiot.
"If it's love, why not call it that?" she said.

We tell our daughter heaven is like earth, but better. There could be no heaven without our pets waiting for us, tails a-wagin'.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

mrshl said...

Oh, man. I am sorry for your loss. I've got no words, but I have kind thoughts and they are yours.

The League said...

I assure you, dogs (and cats) most certainly do share a full range of human emotion, and understanding how they express themselves teaches us no small amount about ourselves. I don't believe there's any real difference between what they feel or why, and while I understand people feel a need to believe in a divine spark separating them from the animal world, I prefer to believe if such a spark is there, we share it, and its up to us to recognize and respect spark in both animals and each other.

kristen said...

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful friend...I'm so sorry that Mel is no longer with us. I'm glad I was able to be there for Mel's last Christmas, and comforted that he led a long and happy life, with the best friends he could have wished for in you, Jamie, and his circle of admirers!

Jill said...

Oh, Ryan and Jamie, I am so sorry for your loss. How lucky all of you have been to share each others lives. I'm thinking of y'all.

Maxwell said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Mel. What a special dog! I know that doesn't even begin to cover it.

patrick.sanchez said...

I am sad that he is gone but happy to have known him. Thanks for taking such great care of him

Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool said...

If at the end you can say..."He was a good dog." then that is all you need to say. We all grieve with you and hug our own pets a little closer today. Be proud of the life you gave him...it made the world a better place.

The League said...

Thank you, Calvin.

tjeff said...

Hey man- sorry about your loss. Haven't read your blog in a while. I know how hard that would be, and will be, for me, so I feel your pain.

JPV said...

that boy loved his tennis balls, learning to shove more than 2 in his mouth at a time. he could also catch a fastball, and loved to kick soccer balls, until he ate it. he loved water, loved parks, loved rides in the car. he knew how to play dead by me shooting him with my fingers and saying 'bang'. he knew all the typical doggie tricks, even learning turn around as an older dog. i loved him so much, even when he pranced out in the living room with my underwear in his mouth.