[frame src=”http://www.thatmutt.com/web/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Elsie-and-me.jpg” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”387″ alt=”Elsie the golden retriever and me” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”]
My parents’ golden retriever Elsie has died.

My mom wrote an article on losing her dog, and I shared it on Facebook but wanted to share it here too.

Elsie was loved.

She was featured here many times. You can’t browse my blog for long without coming across her sweet face, a mention of her name.

Besides knowing my parents are going through such grief, one of the hardest parts of this loss is accepting my own dog is aging.

Ace is 3 years younger than Elsie but a big guy and there’s no way around it; my dog has become old.

In losing Elsie, I feel I have lost a small piece of Ace, a thread connecting us all.

This trio of dogs – Ace, Elsie and my parents’ other dog Sophie – has been our best group of dogs yet.

Sophie, Elsie, Ace

Ace and Elsie spent many, many days together in Wisconsin, wading in the pools, lying by the campfires, just being with their people as retrievers tend to do.

Meanwhile, Sophie the springer is often following her nose (love you, Sophie), sprinting, bouncing, digging and tracking. Our retrievers had little interest in that.

And now, Elsie is the first to pass in this group of great dogs.

For me, her life represents the decade where I began working in journalism, started a business around dogs, fell in love, adopted my own animals, made some sort of life for myself.

I will continue to move forward, of course. It’s just hard to move along without all of these dogs.

In my search for comfort, I turned to the essays of others.

I’m touched, heartbroken, by the James Thurber quote used in blogger Will Kearney’s piece “On losing a dog.” (Read Kearney’s full post here.)

In his grief over the loss of a dog, a little boy stands for the first time on tiptoe, peering into the rueful morrow of manhood. After this most inconsolable of sorrows there is nothing life can do to him that he will not be able somehow to bear.

Anyone who has loved a dog understands. Through that, we are not alone.

Elsie, you are loved.

Elsie, Sophie and me

Read more about Elsie here and here.