Thursday, May 16, 2013

Our Queen



Meadowmeres Birchwood Dynasty
 "Dyna"
May 19, 1998 - May 14, 2013


It became a nightly ritual performed at bedtime for the last six months. Dyna could no longer descend the steep steps to the stateroom below and there was no way she'd sleep apart from the rest of her pack. So I'd start a couple of steps down and she'd lean her chest onto my left arm while my right arm captured her rear legs. As we reached the bottom, her head would pop up impatiently looking around the corner to the stateroom where Dylan and the all-important nighttime treat were waiting. She often got nervous as she approached the floor to regain control. I'd always say, "paws out, soft landing girl," and she'd relax and come to stand.

Dyna came to us as a gift at a time when we had a very large hole in our heart. We were visiting a new litter of puppies that were Dyna's grandchildren. As we returned to the car and were putting on our seat belts, Karen told me that JoDee had offered to let us bring Dyna into our home. Karen wanted to know what I thought. I unbuckled my seat belt and said, "Let's get her."

We decided that we should think about it. So we drove down the road an hour to Bangor and stopped at a Pizza Hut to discuss it. My mind hadn't changed but now acting more mature we called JoDee to tell her that we did want her and that we'd get her in another week after getting the house ready for a new dog.

Dyna and I had a special relationship. At home in Maine, she'd spend hours in a recliner chair that she claimed as her own in my office. She was not a licker or a kisser which is odd for a Labrador Retriever. But through the years, she managed to sneak about 30 light licks on my face. They were special and rare. Affection, like everything else with Dyna, always came on her terms. She was the queen and she always acted like the grand matriarch she had become. But in a quiet moment, she'd push her head against my chest, spin around, and lay on my lap, motionless, for hours.

She was an incredibly strong and determined dog. I stayed with her through all her surgeries. They let me extubate her at a major surgery where I monitored her for 8 hours afterwards. No matter what was thrown at her, she took it and owned it. She never complained and I never heard a cry from her in the 6 years she lived with us.

She had the biggest smile I've ever seen on a dog. For whatever reason, her mouth was formed in a way that made it look like she was smiling. While I slept with her on the floor her last night, I looked over at one point. Her breathing was labored and she was terribly weak. But there was that distinctive smile on her face. Even in this dire situation.

There was no denying that she had been failing. But she was determined and we let her fight. Finally, she let us know that she couldn't fight any longer. So as we docked in downtown Washington, DC, I arranged for a veterinarian to come to our boat to end her pain. There is no truer act of love. I know because it hurt so much to do it.

Looking back, I've learned a great deal from her. Be tough, be honest with your affection, and always smile. I miss her terribly and will never forget her warmth.

Paws out, soft landing girl.


















 

 










 
















23 comments:

Jim and Sharon C. Bennett said...

Dyna had a great time in her retirement years. She had the unique opportunity to see one of her grandkids (pups) grow up. Its a shame that our dogs only live a short time. But many, like Dyna squeeze as much life as possible in the time they are given. She will be missed by many.

SearayPaul said...

I am so sorry to read of your loss. We met Dyna and Dylan after our golden, Sadie, died two years ago. Dyna and Dylan's blog really helped us through that time. In the virtual world she was a great dog so I am sure she was your best friend as only a good dog can be. I hope that your happy memories will last a long time. Ya'll are great dog owners.

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of your very special girl, but I know her pawprints will be on your heart forever.

Thanks for sharing her with us.

Beverly Tyler said...

All of you are in our thoughts. How is Dylan doing with the changes on board :(? Sugar sends licks.

Dyna was such a great family member that only showed you love and gave great memories. Thanks for sharing the photos and clips of the amazing life you offered her.

jws said...

So sorry to hear about Dyna. It hurts so much because these aren't "pets"...they're family, and the most faithful companions we could hope for. The hole she leaves behind is obviously filled with beautiful memories.

Rick, Deb and Izzy aboard M/V Broulee said...

Very sorry for your loss, we know from our own experience how difficult it is for you guys right now. Also, a sad time for Dylan as well. Thanks for posting the great pics and clips of her, she is indeed a Queen.

David Johnson said...

I'm so very sorry to hear of the passing of Dyna. I have sat that night watch myself, trying to will the sun to rise sooner as if it will somehow renew them and tell them it was time to start the day. She knew you were there and I'm sure it put her at ease. Calm seas and blue skies for Dyna now. Take care and be safe. Dave Johnson, Canajoharie, NY.

Jane Behr said...

So sorry for your loss. I've been there, and my heart goes out to you.

Ted Hugger said...

We're very sorry for your loss. We've enjoyed following the antics of Dyna and Dylan. Seems like Dyna was one of our own family. We'll miss her.

Rob & Karen said...

So sorry for you loss. I have been following your blog for a while now and was very sad to read about this. We have one 14 year old dog...her sister from the same litter passed away in April of 2012 so I understand your pain. Best wishes. Rob in TN.

PeggyB said...

They do know when it's time, and it truly is our gift to them when we listen and let them go. The joy we give each other is the gift that will be remembered.
She was wonderful, a magnificent crew member and companion. A true Queen!

jeanne said...

I always want to be more like my dogs. Dyna showed how to live, and how to go on her Journey with grace. Our prayers in your sorrow and heartache. Our hearts understand.
Jeanne & Bob (2 paws) & Rex (4 paws)

Dave said...

So sorry to hear of your loss.It truly is an act of love to ease her pain.I have been there myself. Just think back on the great times you had with her,and a great life she had with loving,caring parents.

MV Jezebelle said...

Thanks for sharing, wish you all the best.

Tieing A Knot said...

Having lost our 14 year old Golden 5 years ago we know what a hole this leaves in your heart but we found the memories keep her alive forever. God Bless.

Kathy B said...

So sorry about Dyna. Though we never met her, we always enjoyed the stories. We love our 4 footed partners so much, and though the loss is heartbreaking, the joy of being loved by them makes it all worthwhile.
Take care
Kathy, Jim, and Murphy
S/v Charm

Marti said...

We have followed Dyna's adventures with you for a while now. I am so sorry for the loss of Dyna, but so happy that she had a wonderful life with you guys and adventures on your boat. Give Dylan a big hug.

Doris Sanders said...

A beautiful tribute.

Gone With The Wind .... on safari said...

We have been out of internet range for 3 weeks as we travelled through the Ragged & Jumento chain in the Bahamas. today we have arrived into Georgetown and have learned that Dyna is no longer with you or us. We are both so sad for you. The love of my life was my wonderful golden named Rhett.He was 15,1/2years when he passed.It was incredibly hard to say goodbye. Every night i look up at the sky and the first and brightest star up there is him. Dyna will be right by his side from now on and they will be forever looking down and watching out for the people they loved on this earth and sea the most.
Safe sailing to the three of you.

Ron Rogers said...

I'm so glad that you have Dylan and that he has you. Having lost George last July 19th, I share your pain. There are wonderful memories which you have memorialized. You will be reminded of her at the most unusual times and you can smile at her idiosyncrasies and feel the love again and again.

Love to you all and when it is the right time, Dylan will again have a companion in life.

Ron Rogers

Unknown said...

What a touching tribute. Each time I read about a beloved pet aging and then departing this life I feel a sense of dread about that time coming for us and our adorable 7 year old mini-schnauzer. So important to treasure each game of frisbee, "kiss" and snuggle with our canine family members.

June said...

We are struggling through the same pain as we have just lost our dear 3rd crew member, Roux, a big, sweet Chocolate lab.

Thank you for your support and encouragement to bring dogs sailing. We left our NC home in October and he was with us every step of the way to the Exumas and back. We worked through all of the logistical challenges together (dinghy, companion way, etc) and in return we have beautiful memories we will cherish forever.

Our tribute to him: www.sailseaclealy.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-life-of-roux.html

June and Duane Ruby

Mon Coeur, Belle River, LA said...

I was brought to tears when I read your tribute to your lost friend. I too lost my best friend "blue" a yellow lab mix that I am yet to get over. Great things are found when sharing your time with one of Gods gifts. It ends in a great loss but we are better off having endured it than to go it alone.