Friday, January 30, 2009

RIP Izzy Finlay (1995 -2009)

Today, my wonderful Anatolian Shepherd (who was part of my life for almost thirteen years) died peacefully in my arms. She had just been diagnosed with bone cancer.

I made the decision many years ago that I would not let her deteriorate or go through any unnecessary pain when there was no hope of her getting better. So there was no inner struggle or conflict about knowing what needed to be done.

She was happy to the end - still guarding the house with vigor.

Izzy had an astonishing talent for friendship, was fiercely maternal and powerfully confident in her role as a guard dog - a job she took very seriously. She adored babies of any species: cat babies, dog babies, human babies.... it didn't matter. If she encountered a baby all she wanted to do was be with it and protect it and take care of it.

I want to say right here that I am grateful beyond expression to all the wonderful doctors and other staff members of Woodland Central Animal Hospital who loved her too, praised her lavishly and gave her the very best of care from the moment she was brought in as a rescue until she breathed her last.

Finally, to those who have been so supportive of me today through emails, phone calls, prayers and presence, thank you. I feel surrounded by care and compassion and sympathy in the very best sense of that word.

I'm going to rest for a while now.

With love to you all,


  1. I am so very sorry.

  2. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your special friend and companion. She was lucky to have you in her life. Peace!

  3. My sincere sympathy for the loss of your dog...

  4. Thank you, Susan Kay and Teresa and Classof65. The sympathy truly means a lot. My heart hurts so, so much.

    And, Classof65: I appreciate your comment the other day about Beautiful Joe. And, I agree. Maybe we need more "preachy" books! Glad to have you visit. Hope you stay!

  5. It's not about making a hard decision, though, is it? It's about knowing we gave a dog a lovely life and that we prevented pain and suffering at the end. Well done, you. And well done Izzy for giving you such pleasure and happiness while she was with you.

  6. Ellie, I am sorry for your loss. Thinking of you during this sad time.

  7. Ellie --my heart hurts because my much loved (and only) dog, Molly, will also likely predecease me and that will be so sad -- but better for her than the other way around. Izzy, I think, still knows how much you love her. ... tears.

  8. Thank you, Lisa and Nan and Susankay.

    And I agree. It's better that Izzy went first. She was so exquisitely sensitive that it would have been VERY hard on her for me suddenly to disappear from her life. This way I was with her up to the moment of her last breath --- telling her over and over again what a good dog she was.

  9. Ellie, I am so very sorry for this shocking loss. Izzy's life truly began the day you and she found one another. Look for the brightest star in the sky tonight--it will be her love shining on down. Be gentle with yourself these days, this really is a huge loss.

  10. Few words, Ellie ... but huge heart and kindred experience ... You'll feel so raw for a while ...

    You gave your Izzy the gift of a gentle dying. I often wonder why we don't offer our fellow humans such a merciful release into our own deaths when a disease becomes terminal and intractably painful ...

    Bless you ... Bless Izzy. xoxo


  11. Thank you, Terri and Jaliya for your kind and loving and understanding words.

    Terri, I really like the idea of looking for the brightest star and considering that to be Izzy's love.

    And, of course Jaliya, I completely agree with you about "the gift of a gentle dying". I don't know why we don't offer it to our fellow human beings either.

  12. Oh Ellie, my heart aches for you.
    They truly are amazing beings, our dog-faced beloveds.
    Watch for her in your dreams, she will come visit you.


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