Farewell Abigail

34 comments on Farewell Abigail
1 minute

The family I grew up in, we’re dog people. We had a couple hounds when I was very young, but then we got a Labrador retriever and stayed with the breed from then on. The first was Missy, and then came Shadow. The last of them, Abigail, was a rescue. She died recently. It was cancer. She was 12.

Here are photos from the day Mom and Dad brought Abigail to my house so we could meet her. It was March of 2011. That’s my brother in there, also with my dear friend Gracie, who passed in 2013.

Abigail’s muzzle almost immediately began turning white. By the time she died, her face was largely white. Here’s a black-and-white film photo I made of her in 2014, her muzzle about half white.


Abigail was a quiet and gentle soul, a perfect companion for my quiet, homebody parents. Since Dad died, it was just Mom and Abigail at home. Now it’s just Mom.

My, but do we become attached to our dogs. We’ll all miss Abigail. Thanks for indulging me today as I remember her.


34 responses to “Farewell Abigail”

  1. J P Avatar

    Sorry for this loss to your family. Abigail sounds like she was a sweetheart.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      She was a gentle soul.

  2. Gerald Greenwood Avatar

    I’m really sorry for your loss Jim. I completely understand how hard it can be. You’ve got some lovely pictures of her.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have had 3 dogs in my life over the last few years. I lost Daisy at the age of 16 about 4 months ago, and it still hurts me. I still can’t even write about it. But the other two are an endless source of joy. I’m told I just have a huge stupid grin on my face when I’m out with them and watch them running in the fields.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m sorry to hear you lost Daisy. I remember seeing photos of her over on Instagram. She looked like a dear old girl.

    2. Jon Avatar

      Thanks for sharing this nice tribute to Abigail, she looks like she was a sweet pea. Our rescue dog is about that age now, and I’m very mindful of giving her extra treats and pats every time I walk by.

      1. Jim Grey Avatar

        Thanks Jon. She was a lovely girl.

  3. Dani Avatar

    Abigail was such a sweet dog. Hugs.

  4. Dan Cluley Avatar
    Dan Cluley

    Pet cancer just sucks.

    Good friends had to put down a dog last month and we’ve lost 2 cats in the last 5 years.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      And while they suffer, there’s so little you can do for them.

  5. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    What a nice tribute to Abigail in words and pictures!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you my friend!

  6. Mike Avatar

    Sorry for the loss. When the picture first popped up I thought it was an old picture of my black lab. We lost him to cancer also, back in 2016.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Mike. Labs are great!

  7. Kurt Ingham Avatar
    Kurt Ingham

    It always hurts to say goodbye –
    unconditional love

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It hurts Mom more than the rest of us, as it was her dog, but we will all miss her.

  8. JoHawkTheWriter Avatar

    Dogs have a sneaky way of touching the softest part of our hearts. Thank you for sharing Abigail with us.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      She had such a lovely, gentle spirit.

  9. Marc Beebe Avatar

    This I understand too well. Labradors are puppies for life, and it always seems like the end comes too soon no matter how old they are. 14 is a pretty good age for a dog, but not long enough for its owner. Our two labs are both 9 now, and I know what the future holds for them. Well us as well of course, but its harder with a pet because they have no understanding of why it happens.
    My condolences on your loss.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Marc. We were fortunate to be a Lab family.

  10. Theadora Brack Avatar

    What a beauty. I’m so sorry. Sending big hugs. (Ah, critters leave such big voids.)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Don’t they though?

  11. Karen Bryan Avatar
    Karen Bryan

    They always leave a big hole in your heart when they leave us. Thanks for passing this along; my condolences to you and your family. What a lovely dog.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you Karen. She was a dear.

  12. fishyfisharcade Avatar

    Sorry for the loss Jim. We’re cat folks here, but have suffered similar losses – our last was early this year when Luigi, our 19-year-old ginger Tom, was lost to us. He wasn’t the first cat we’ve had to say goodbye to and won’t be the last – we rescued Stan, a black and white tom, later in the year – but it never gets easier when their time is up. While they all leave holes in lives when they’re no longer around, take comfort in the fact that they also leave many, many happy memories.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Oh gosh, 19! Luigi is a great name for a cat.

      1. fishyfisharcade Avatar

        My eldest son named him. He was into Super Mario Bros. at the time. :)

  13. mikeyterrazas Avatar

    Sorry for your loss. It a emotional time when our pet pass away. I guess cause we treat them like family.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      We do for sure. Mom never wanted to be away from home for more than a few hours so she could care for Abigail.

  14. Peggy Avatar

    What a lovely, gentle looking pooch. I miss having a dog around for walkies on a lovely day. Not when it was cold or raining or very early, but the pay off with smooches almost made it worth it for me. I think one day I will have another dog, in the meantime, I love looking at photos of other people’s.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Margaret and I sort of miss having a dog. We do not, however, miss having to race home at day’s end to let a dog out. Our son Zach leaves his little dog Obie with us when he goes out of town. Obie’s a great dog, but after he goes back home we realize we do not miss daily dog care. Maybe we’ll get a dog again after our nest empties of kids.

      1. Peggy Avatar

        Or a cat :-)

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Margaret is so allergic that even the shots don’t counteract it!

          1. Peggy Avatar

            Well that sucks

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