a sad day

posted by the scholar on March 23rd, 2009
filed under: flotsam & jetsam

we had to put our beloved 12 year old dog kaiser to sleep yesterday. he was no longer able to walk and could not place any weight on either of his back legs. we had been lugging him around in a sling and harness for months now, at 94 pounds, because he couldn’t go on the stairs but was still able to use at least one rear leg to hold himself up. he just couldn’t do it anymore, and we did not want him to suffer any longer than he needed to.


in his robust years he was 20 pounds heavier, bold and protective, with a magnificent head the size of a mailbox. he smiled frequently, was very vocal when he thought something was unfair, or he wanted to eat our clementines. he walked like a tiger, all sinewy and sleek and when he had open space to run and you were lucky enough to witness it, it was one of the most gorgeous things you could ever see. i loved him as much as a person could love a dog, even though he truly tried my patience at times. you can see that from this photo taken a few years ago, before he had the surgery on his spine. i look like i am strangling him, which makes me laugh, until i remember that i can’t do that anymore.

i could blame my lack of blog writing for the last few weeks on this, but i won’t. i haven’t been writing because i am working on a new series of photographs for my etsy shop, and a photo collaboration with a dear friend. these projects have been occupying my time, taking precedence over this website, which makes me feel oddly guilty about not writing, but this is the way things are falling into place and i choose not to fight it.

today though, today i just don’t feel like doing anything.

there will never be another kaiser and i will miss him for a very long time.

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15 Responses to “a sad day”

  1. jen j-m Says:

    i’m so sorry for your loss.

  2. Jackie Says:

    I am so so sorry for what you are going through. I lost my sweet bunny Calvin last week after 8 years of friendship and love. He was litter box trained, no cage, so he was truly part of my family and I miss him terribly.

    Just know that everyday will get a tiny bit easier. Make sure you keep smiling thinking of all of your favorite times together.. that has been getting me through.

    Chin up…

  3. El Says:

    Gigi, ah poor you!!

    It may take you a very long time to feel “better,” and that is more than okay. There will always be a hole in your heart!

    Be relieved, though, that spring is here, ready to heal all of us…

    be well,

  4. allan russell Says:

    hey, i just wanted to say two things
    im sorry for your loss, dogs are great pets, theyre real pets, not like hamsters which are kindof real, but you cant take a hamster for a walk…well, you could, but it would be weird, and i dont think they make that collar size. i dont have any pets, but i did have a hamster once, and no, i didnt walk him. kindof wish i did though. he was a great little pet, a little crazy acrobat, until one day he thought it would be funny to jump out of his cage and literally sleep with the fishes. was a sad day. ok, i take it back, hamsters are great pets too.
    and also, im really inspired by you work, and i visit your page often to see what new interesting things youve found. im always amazed by what youve found.
    im at the glasgow school of art studying ceramics so i let your pictures inspire me to create better designs.
    so thanks, and sorry for rambling a bit

  5. Catherine Chandler Says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss! I had to put my dog down a few years ago and I still cry when I hear of other dog owners’ losses. Kaiser was a beautiful dog. You will cherish your memories forever.

  6. a reader Says:

    so sorry for your loss.

  7. monica Says:

    Im so sorry…its so sad…my dog is so old and im waiting for the inevitable…
    Kisses with all my love.


  8. Deirdre Says:

    What a beautiful photo of Kaiser Solse. I was his gramma and remember him growing up on Fletcher St. He caught the eye of everybody who walked his way. Lots of funny memories of his visits at our home including our 5# cat, Puth, backing him up against the wall, she with the menacing look – he,at 85#, bewildered and cautiously extending a paw of friendship which, of course, was never accepted. No scratches or bites were ever exchanged. he was a gentle giant. He was one of a kind.

  9. sosser Says:

    i just wanted to say two things…

    my sincere condolences to you for the loss of your dear pet.

    and, allan russell, you are hilarious. if i ever feel sad i want an email just like your comment. it could not fail to cheer me up!

  10. Drea Says:

    🙁 my condolences.

  11. the scholar Says:

    many thanks to all of you for your comments. it really does help.

  12. joji Says:

    i’m really sorry to hear that.

  13. technabob Says:

    here’s to kaiser – you will be missed.

  14. Claire Says:

    What a regal dog! You have my deepest sympathies.

  15. Beth Younger Says:

    Oh, Gigi, I’m late to the post but I’m so sad about Kaiser. I know how hard it is to lose a loved one, and Kaiser looks like he was very special–and I’m sure he knew what a lucky guy he was to have you for a mom.

    My dog is the love of my life–I can’t imagine her not being here. I know you will suffer for awhile, but know that he loved you and he also knew you loved him.

    Hang in there . . . that picture of him is great.

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