Monday, December 7, 2009


My dear friend, Ellen, lost her beloved Cisco today. He died in her arms, from the cancer that destroyed his body but not his soul. He was diagnosed but a few short weeks ago. Cisco was twelve, and was adopted by Ellen just over a year ago. His story can be found here and here.

Ellen, you gave him the best year of his life, a year he would not have had if it were not for you. My heart goes out to you. I cannot find the words to express my sorrow, and so I will just share this verse by Irving Townsend, in The Once Again Prince

We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than
our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to
accept its awful gaps, we would still live no other way. We
memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary

May your memories help sustain and comfort you while your heart begins to heal.


Patience-please said...

Would you please share this with Ellen?

Sorrow’s Door

A treasured friend, but somehow more
Has left me here at sorrow's door.
With courage and a dignity
And all the trust he placed in me.

He was grace and beauty, living art.
A soul of good, and honor, and heart.
Brought down by illness, the body fails,
But in my depths, his life prevails.

This dog, my dog, a part of me.
Taken too soon, a pain that we
Who love our dogs, must all endure.
The price, so dear, of love so pure.

Though he's gone, and thought I mourn,
There's gladness from this sadness born.
The privilege of having loved and known
This noble soul, my heart, my own.

I am better for the years he gave.
Better for the games we played.
Better for the quiet times.
Much better for that dog of mine.

And please give her a long hug from me when you next see her.

Jean said...

A beautiful poem, Patience - and so perfectly describes Cisco:"grace and beauty, living art. A soul of good, and honor, and heart>"

I have forwarded it to Ellen to be sure she sees it.

Kate said...

please pass on my heartfelt sympathies to Ellen, I know he has left a big hole in her heart with his passing and not much will make her feel better as you and I well know, its kinda like being in a club, but one you never wanted to join. take care and give her a hug from me too.
Kate D.

Janice Gillett said...

I am so sorry to read of Cisco crossing over but so easy it is for me to smile knowing he got everything he needed when Ellen brought him home.

It is never enough time no matter how long we share our lives with them.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Jean, I am very sad for Ellen, but so grateful that Cisco spent his last year with her. I looked for words of comfort, and came up with a short quote from Lord Byron's well-known poem, a tribute to his dog, Boatswain.

"Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices."

When a Problem Comes Along, You Must Whippet... said...

Thanks for the lovely post regarding Cisco. He was a lovely boy and it was so wonderful that he was found by Ellen and spent even a short portion of his life in her awesome care.

Alphamutt said...

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

~ Mary Elizabeth Frye ~

Ellen, your beloved Cisco will never leave you. Like Jean's Caleb and my MacKenzie, he will live in your heart forever. You gave him the very best year of his life...take some comfort in that.