2 November

Saying Hi To Red

by Jon Katz

It’s been a few months since Red died, and I don’t think of him all that often, my life is full and distracting. There are two active and lively dogs here and another coming in less than two weeks, so there is no absence of dogs in my life.

I do miss Red acutely from time to time, and today was one of those times. I was out in the pasture near his grave, and I felt a pang of loss, we did so much good work with sheep together.

I also missed him at the Mansion last night while calling the Bingo game there, he would greet all the players and then lie peacefully by my side for the rest of the game.

I told him Zinnia was coming, and I told him I hope he had entered the life of another human and was going as much good for him as he had done for me.

The first few weeks after Red died, I thought I felt his spirit around the grave. I don’t feel that now, but I’m talking to him more for me now than for him. If his spirit lives, he is fine, because Red was always fine.

He was always with me or near me, and I still feel that something is missing at times. I’m glad we buried him out in the pasture, we spent so much good time out there it’s a way of re-connecting with him, and then moving on with my life.

As I’ve written, I’d rather love a dog than mourn a dog and I have two dogs I love and will soon have another. I think that’s a good place to be.

I doubt I will ever have another dog like Red, but I shouldn’t make any assumptions. I don’t really know. At this point, I’m thinking more about Zinnia, looking forward, not backward.


  1. I feel exactly the same. Particularly after the loss of our third dachshund in three years that left us “empty nesters” after 42 years of having dogs in our lives. Our third one was such a character and I felt him for weeks after but it does fade into a warm place of memories and then the next one comes along to fill the void. I still have pangs of momentarily grief too but it’s natural. If I didn’t I’d worry a bit. Our dogs are such a vital part of our lives how can we not feel those pangs every once in awhile. I so can relate to this you wrote. Excited for you that Zinnia is on the way. I remember the excitement we felt a year ago as we awaited our sweet crazy Meg into our lives. Time does march on but they will always have a nook in my soul.

  2. Jon, i has ever felt all of my beloved animals come to me at different times. I feel the dogs near my knee. I hear their nails on the floor in the other room. I let my mare go recently, she’s coming to me in dreams and I smell her often. They never leave us completely. I also believe that they help our dogs who are with us. I don’t want to be met with resistance when I say this, it’s how my experience has rolled out. I always wish that others can feel the same comfort in their loss.

    I hope all of your past dogs make themselves known to you. And Red. Red is strong, I know he is with you always.

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