617 Gotta Have Faith.

I have always been told that one should keep depressing things out of your comic blog, and I strive to do so.  I rarely let you look in on the reality of who I am.  I would appreciate, however, if I could take my mask off for just a moment, and tell you this story, so I can work through my grief in the only way I know how.  If you choose to read no further I don’t blame you.  I avoid this sort of thing too, when I’m surfing around, and I expect no more of you than I do of myself.  I grieve very hard, and with equal measure for any loved one, animal or human.  I hope you all will bear with me, until I can move on.  Today you will all be treated as my dearest friends, and let in for a moment.

Our last family dog, Sadie, passed away Monday.  I stayed with her at night and Mom watched her in the daytime.  Neither of us has had any real rest for a few days, but we didn’t want her to die alone in the yard.  Every day she seemed like she wouldn’t last the night, but I watched the sun rise with her twice more.  I fell asleep briefly Monday morning.  When I woke up my sister just happened to call on the phone and I spoke to her a little while.  I could see Sadie, keeping an eye on Mom, out in the yard like she always did.  Mom came inside and Sadie slowly tried to follow.  Mom helped her in the doggie door, and she waged her tail when she saw me, which she hadn’t done for two days.  She fell over once she got to the bathroom door.  She was clearly exhausted, but she looked up at me and around the area, then made like she wanted to get up and couldn’t.  So I helped her stand, and she staggered back to the back door, which I opened because she couldn’t manage the doge gate.  She took a few steps onto the cool concrete and fell over again.   Mom had ended the call with my sister and sat down next to her.  Sadie let out a few more hard breaths, then slipped away for the last time.  We petted her and wept till Dad got home a few minutes later.  He gave her a few last pats, and said his goodbyes, then the man who raised me, toughest man I have ever, or will ever, know dug her a grave.  The evidence of tears were there when we committed her body to the earth.

We all spent the rest of the day distracting ourselves in our own ways.  Almost everything I do is somehow connected to Sadie.  Not just big things, but the little stuff I never thought about.  Like siting my empty salad bowl on the floor so she could lick it, getting enough jerky from the bag so I can give her some, buying dog food at the store, or having her sleep next to me while I work on comics.  I struggled against sleep till the small hours of the morning.  A few good friends kept me company over the internet till I finally had to try and rest.   I slept in little spurts.  Every so often I would hear her scratch on the bedroom door, hop out of bed like a robot to let her come in, and she wouldn’t be there.  She had me trained well enough I could do it in my sleep.  I watched her die right in front of me, but some part of my mind would not accept that the silence was real.

I finally fell fully asleep at some time after sunrise.  Those of you reading this most likely already know about the very vivid dreams I have.  I found myself in one where Mom, Claws (our cat), Sadie, and I had to get to the basement to take shelter from a storm.  Sadie warned us, like she always did when the weather turned bad, and we all made it there safely.  She was young.  In her prime.  Pacing around like the little dark queen she was.  Making sure we were all accounted for.

I was startled out of sleep.  There was an appointment I had to make in another town.  The dream was still fresh in my mind as I quickly came to terms with being awake, trying to get ready to roll out.  As I combed my hair, memories of a young Sadie washed over me, and I fell apart like sand struck by surf.  The dog who has guarded my family for me when I couldn’t be there to do it myself, is gone.   She watched over us with all her heart, and our hearts will feel her absence for a long time.

Goodbyes are the debts we pay at the end of a journey.  The more grand the journey, the deeper the debt.

Our journey with Sadie was glorious.

Kit (left) & Sadie
Kit (left) & Sadie

My sister left this comment, and I think it deserves to be in the main post:

As my dear brother so pointedly reminded me on Monday right before Sadie passed… “you know she was your dog.” I chose Sadie (and Kit) for our family. My boyfriend (now husband) named the little black bunch of wrinkles “Sadie” for us. He took one look at her and just knew that Sadie was the perfect name. I on-the-other-hand, wanted to name her Precious. I have to say that Sadie suited her through and through…no “Precious” was she.

Stubborn, opinionated and fiercely independent was my Sadie. I have always liked a girl with spunk and she was full of it! She was also loving and sweet to our family and the last time I saw her about four years ago, she remembered me like I had never left home.

I also remember when Mom and I brought Sadie home from the pet store and I hid her in my room. Mom was pretty sure Dad was going to be a little annoyed that we had brought home yet another dog. I remember him shaking his head when he met Sadie.

One of my all-time favorite pictures is of me in my BoSox hat and Airwalks, holding baby Sadie in our backyard.

I grieve like our father, quietly to myself, about the dog who always represented home for our family.

Your Sister


I do not cry often these days. Remembering the puppy who wanted my Doritos during cartoon marathons has made me choke back a few tears between smiles. She was a beautiful pup, JT. She knew she was loved very dearly.

As someone who has stood that watch, I compliment you on showing the finer qualities of a human. I think one of the best things in life is to have loved so long as we have lived, sounds like Sadie did.

My family has had cats for a good 18 years. I was 6 when my sisters brought home a pregnant, starving cat that we eventually adopted. She had 4 kittens in total. We kept them all.

Missy stayed with us until she was 5. She took a ride in the underside of my dad’s truck one morning that he was going to work. When he got to work, she bolted from the truck and it wasn’t until about 2 months later that my dad found out she had been found and taken home by one of the mechanics.

Boo lived to be 6 and died from a snake bite. He was fine the night before and that morning, we found him laying on the back porch. He was one of the only cats I’ve seen stand and fight against a large dog.

Marbles lived to be 12 before dying from disease a few months after we moved to the coast away from the dry heat she had been raised in. This is only other cat I’ve seen brave enough to latch onto a large, stray dog that got just a little too close.

Sharmin lived till 16 and died of old age. This has to be the most relaxed cat I’ll ever see until a thunder storm comes around. Like all of our cats until the stray dogs came around, she was an outdoor cat and had been in more than her share of hail storms.

Each of our cats gave us more kittens than we knew what to do with. One of which came from Sharmin and took a ride one morning with my mom when she was taking me to school. We weren’t even a minute away from the house when mom saw a small cat fall out from underneath the car and immediately run off to the fields. She stopped and went looking but couldn’t find it. After 3 days of field searching, she finally found Callie. Callie became an indoor kitty from that day on and lived to be 8. Callie died from health complications brought on by cat food recalled by the FDA. Since then, mom has always followed the FDA recalls to ensure none of us have that issue. Callie followed her around all day, every day until her last.

Since I can remember, we’ve taken care of many cats, 3 dogs(one was a rescue), 3 gerbils, a tank of fish, and a single ginea pig over the years.

You brought back a wealth of wonderful and painful memories that had come to rest on the edge of my mind. Thank you.

I’ve been there. My Dog, Bandit, passed away in 2008. I am 20. now. I was 18 then. He died on Jan 2. I cried like a baby that day. I had him since I was 2. My earliest memories are of him being housetrained. around the same time I myself was making the leap from diapers to proper undies. The memories still bring a smile to my face. He saved my life once. I almost died of a fever back in third grade. I was so far gone I couldn’t even speak or make a noise. My room door was shut but though he was outside, he knew something was wrong and forced my family through a series of barks and urges towards my door to check on me. Aside from the housetraining, he was NEVER trained. He wasn’t my pet. He was my brother. We grew up together. We played together, heck, we even beat the crap out of each other when we were younger.

All you can do when a “pet” like that passes on is remember them how they were when they were in their prime. I don’t know if they are, but if they are sentient, with complex thoughts and feelings of their own, with an ability to communicate complex thoughts and ideas, I am certain that if they could tell us so, that’s how they’d want us to remember them. In their prime. When we were all at our best and our happiest, or when they were there for us the most and the strongest.

To this day, I swear that Bandit was smarter and more empathic than most people I know. Towards his end, he was unable to walk. Couldn’t control his bladder… He was as a 90 year old man who has seen and done everything he had hoped to do. His mind was as sharp as ever, but his body was finally failing him.

Though those were my last thoughts and images of him. I don’t remember him like that. I remember him as the energetic nutjob he was. During the summer he’d play in the sprinkler with a gusto that would shame the most energetic gradeschool children. He’d watch tv with us and bark at the screen when the show began to suck, voicing all of our thoughts in a single syllable. He’d run up and down the stairs barking depending on who was up and who was down to get a member of the family to watch me or my brother minutes before one of us had a seizure (both of us are epileptics…)… That’s how I remember him.

Do her a favor, remember her the same way. It’s all you can really do. In time, you’ll still feel the pain of her loss, but it will be cushioned by those sweet memories of days gone by.

Hey mate, sorry to hear about your dog. I had a big old german shepherd like that that got so old and weak that he could barely walk or even go to the bathroom. One day I come home from school to see that he had been put down, and they were in the process of digging his grave. It’s always hard to handle someone you love passing away, but you must remember that while she was old and failing, now she’s in a better place

Alex: I have been there, man. My dog, Demon passed away a couple years ago, and I didn’t get to say goodbye like you did. I sort of envy you in a way. Not because your dog died, but because you were able to be there when she did. But, and I hate to represent for people/animals I don’t know, but if Sadie was anything like my dogs, she’d want you to be happy, not sad. So try to cheer up, man.
Jasmin: Sorry for your loss. At times like these, a smile can go a long way and I find the best way to force a laugh out of yourself when you don’t want to is loved ones trying to cheer you up, but I also know loved ones can’t be there 24/7, so I find that webcomics work too. Your comic alone has pulled me out of a few deep depressions (Alex: I didn’t know about those!) Hush up. It’s my turn. Anyway, there have been one or two other comics that I know of that might cheer you up. I would say more, but i can’t think because it’s 3 in the am right now.
Alex and Jasmin: We’ve included in this post a few links to some web comics that might help get a smile on your face, but there may be a couple pet jokes in their archives, so please be careful. Links:
And here’s a clip for you to enjoy.
Jasmin and Alex: We hope things get better for you. Best wishes, your fans.

I’ve lost three pets in the last 5 years, and the pain is STILL there. I know how you feel, and I hope soon the memories will be more sweet than bitter as time goes on.

I respect you MORE for having these emotions over your lost companion than people who try to act stoic about it. Or worse, those who don’t care at all. *Hugs*

Never had a pet myself, but I’ve always been a dog lover. My condolences.

Also, what happened to 616?

In a way, I envy you. You were there for your pet, no, friends last dying breaths. And while it isn’t easy, you are there to the end. I missed that for my dog, J.J., and my cat, Scooter, and wish I had been there. When my mothers cat, Kativa, passed, my brother told me that it was as if the light was taken from her eyes, and she was gone. That was before J.J., and I think it scared me into not seeing J.J. go.

I have so many regrets about not being there when my grandmother died, and when my best friend died before I could apologize to him, for fucking up our friendship in high school. So no matter how hard it is, how much it hurts, BE THERE. Because, I believe, in a way, it’s…what’s the word? Not easier, that’s for sure, but smoother. Crap I can’t think of the word, but I hope you understand when I say these things.

I think it’s silly, and a little dark, but whenever I start remembering Daniel, and my grandmother, my cat, and my dog (the one who helped me learn to walk, and even though she was a Collie, scared away the biggest dogs, two Rottweilers once, and a horse, protected me, and drove me crazy when I tried to walk her), I pick the hardest metal, turn it up as loud as it will go in my car, and usually smoke a cigarette, staring into space, letting my mind wander, drift, but never settle. I usually pass the excuse to others, that I like the metal, and it’s true I do, but the more and more I think about the universe we live in, the one so conformed to rules and life and death, physics, and quantum mechanics, the more I want to escape.

But then my phone rings, or I arrive at my destination, and life hits me again. I hope you deal with your pain and suffering a lot better than I do, my friend. Because it can eat you, and knives become lovers before friends do.

Just taking a cursory look at the comments that have come before mine, I can easily tell that there’s really very little that I meaningfully add to what’s been said. So, I will simply offer my condolences on the loss of a loved member of your family, and say that Sadie must have been truly happy to have been part of such a loving home.

Been to that spot all too recently myself. After our black lab had to be taken to the vets, delaying just wasn’t fair to her, it was very bad for me, always looking for her, expecting her. But it was worse for our remaining dog Daisy, her daughter. Over a month later she was still looking around for her every time she was fed or went out for a “walk”, or went to her bed.

You have my condolences, and I’m sure even now, she still stands guard proudly, over the family she loved, and that loved her. Happiness and pain, much like children that is what the small furry creatures in our life bring.

It is a sad story. so i feel i should add my own, not to dwarf your own but to represent another that has loved an animal(s) and lost. i grew up with a cat called blackjack. this was the smartest cat ive ever met, it knew how to open doors, it played fetch, boxed, and generally loved our family. when blackjack was 20 years old( i was aprox 16) he got outside, and got fleas really bad. so we had to bath him in flea bath, his immune system wasnt up to it any more and he got poisoned, so we put him down instead of making him suffer for weeks and then dying. i cried the entire night and much of the next day. when i was still a teen we had a dog named Augie. man was he amazing, he was so loving, and could play fetch till he died(that may sound wrong, but its the truth). we would have to quit throwing things and make him come rest by us because if we threw something, no matter how tired, how dehydrated, how out of breath he would fetch it. he loved it and loved us unconditionally. well he got heartworms really bad. so we took him to the vet, the dogs heart was fried baiscly from the worms and he was retaining way to much fluid. he was bloated to twice his size. when the doctor came into the room Augie got up to go visit. the doctor looked at us and said “that is one strong dog, any other dog would lie their unmoving, and he is still moving around” and man was he strong my dad once as a joke threw a log for him to fetch(keep in mind this was a boston terrier, think of the size of a bulldog but smaller) now when i say a log. i do mean a log. it was 5 feet across and over 6″ around. the dog damn near got hit in the head by it chasing after it. but the second it landed. he picked it up, and nearly tilting over because it weighed so much brought it back to my dad. after a few toss’s my dad was warn out well before this dog was. he was a fighter, but a lover as well. alas he even survived the heartworms, but not the trash he got into. yet i still miss him. i had a cat, truly this cat was mine(as much as anyone can own a cat). we called him hobo. because he was a stray and adopted us because we were nice to him pet him and fed him. never have u found a more friendly cat. he was clawed, yet i taught him to not use them on me when i pet him and he was enjoying it. what a purr that cat had! i once had this horrid nightmare about him dying, so i woke up and ran downstairs screaming his name, tore the front door open and their he was, waiting for me. i sat down and pet him for several hours(despite the fact it was a school night). obviously these antics woke my mom, so she came down to see what the bother was. and when i told her what i dreamed it wasnt a matter of going back to bed. this was family and id dreamed he had died. unfortunatly as an outside cat their comes risk’s and he got hit by a car while we were on vacation. we tried to nurse him back to health, but as any animal will do when close to death, they will leave their loved ones to go die away from them so they dont bring disease to them. i cant say im really over these animals, they were amazing to me. i cant say that when our current dog snicker dies, that i wont be devistated. but i will still remember all the great things about him, and even the anoying things, with a smile. because he is a unique individual that is apart of my family.

As my dear brother so pointedly reminded me on Monday right before Sadie passed… “you know she was your dog.” I chose Sadie (and Kit) for our family. My boyfriend (now husband) named the little black bunch of wrinkles “Sadie” for us. He took one look at her and just knew that Sadie was the perfect name. I on-the-other-hand, wanted to name her Precious. I have to say that Sadie suited her through and through…no “Precious” was she.

Stubborn, opinionated and fiercely independent was my Sadie. I have always liked a girl with spunk and she was full of it! She was also loving and sweet to our family and the last time I saw her about four years ago, she remembered me like I had never left home.

I also remember when Mom and I brought Sadie home from the pet store and I hid her in my room. Mom was pretty sure Dad was going to be a little annoyed that we had brought home yet another dog. I remember him shaking his head when he met Sadie.

One of my all-time favorite pictures is of me in my BoSox hat and Airwalks, holding baby Sadie in our backyard.

I grieve like our father, quietly to myself, about the dog who always represented home for our family.

Your Sister

That vigil is the one thing that no pet owner wants to have to go through, won’t put off on someone else, and above all is the sign of someone who truly makes them part of the family. For that, I congratulate and thank you.

My story is a little different. I was living in Honduras with my family, when our dog Garra, a Gorgeous German Shepherd, was hit by a taxi. After skidding to a stop on the road, we brought her to a vet, where my mother refused to let me stay by her side so I could go to school, and instead stayed there throughout the days of recovery. The doctors there all said that the only reason Garra survived was because Mom was there with her the whole time.

So Garra lived, and the only sign she showed for her troubles was a dent in her skull. Three years later, however, a day came when she unexpectedly started to have difficulty breathing; she started gasping, her tongue and gums changed color… she was very obviously suffocating. Mom got the call and immediately came home. Garra saw her, crawled over to her, licked her hand, and then, just… stopped breathing.

Garra was, as most german shepherds are, incredibly intelligent, and very loyal. She was stubborn as a mule, but gentle and playful as a puppy when she could be. She was actually working her way through a search and rescue course when the accident happened.

Every pet we have ever owned has been a member of our family, and as such we celebrate their lives and mourn their deaths. I’m always comforted by the fact that there are others like us, who are willing to share their lives with those so willing to give theirs up to us.

Thank you for sharing.


As a fellow owner of a pet I do know what it feels like to lose a pet. But I don’t know what it feels like to lose it forever(besides my pet fish K.C. RIP). But let me tell you this, your dog lived a long wonderful, happy, life because when I was at a friends house one time a couple of years back, she had a brand new week old puppy…by the time I was at her house it was asleep but later on we found out it was dead. That was the saddest sleepover I’ve ever been too and there was nothing I could do. Her prarents bought her another one but there seemed to be a whole in both our hearts that night. And several times my pet decided to run away and I’d thought Sasha whould never come home and she would get hurt or worse!(I’ve seen plenty of dead animals on the road I couldn’t handle it if it were her) I went to school those couple of days with a feeling i’ve never felt before, I felt as if someone punched me in the chest then stole my heart from my very throught. I wanted to puke but all I did was crouch down and held my knees over the large dark hole I already had because other things going on. But thank god gave me a break and my baby had came back skinny and unharmed!!! I was so relieved so when she grows old I’ll be able to go through it just as you. But don’t feel to bad you know…you treated Sadie with respect, gave her love, a good warm home, food & water. What else could any dog/pet ask for? She’s probably livin it up in doggie heaven you know? I also want t thank you for sharing this with us and for updating regularly even though you’re going through this.

Fluffy & Sasha~ :3

I’ve come along a bit late, but I still want you to have my condolences. When we allow a little fuzzy dog or cat into our lives, part of the price we pay is that in all probability, we will outlive our little friend and family member and have deal with their death. The love and devotion of a little creature is as real as real can be so the price is probably worth it. I’ve seen tragedy and death in my family, but I’m not here to “top” you in any way. Allow me to share with you that not long ago my devoted little mutt, Eleanore Roosevelt, a Shitzu-Chihuahua, a fiesty but sweet-natured little companion, after 17 years of life, started having health problems. Her health unwound so fast it was shocking. In the name of sparing her unnecessary suffering, I asked her vet to end her life humanely and was with her to the last, wrapping her in a favored blanket and having her remains cremated. Her cremains will be disposed of in a dignified, worthy fashion. The death of this little dog was scarcely less affecting than anything else I have experienced, which takes nothing away from the other losses I or anyone else has had to bear.

They write their names in our hearts, our beloveds do. And though their bodies leave, the worth of them goes with us, everywhere our souls go.

I grieve for your Sadie. And I remember all my own, the dead and the living. We had, and have, imperfect times, yet still shining. They enrich my life, each and every one.

Clearly, she enriched your lives too.

Wow, there’s a lot of comments on here. It’s nice to see how many people love their pets. My wife and I are the same, and I understand the feeling. The dog I grew up with, Pepper, passed away when I was fifteen, and my wife’s beautiful golden, Taz, passed a few months ago. The two of us are managing to cope with the loss of her dog (who she had for years before knowing me).

I don’t want to say it gets easier with time, but the pain does fade somewhat.

reminds me of our old dog, Dredd. Giant bull-mastiff, kept us safe as houses in a country where every window was barred. he was a friend that would take it all and more and loved you with a passion that few humans could match.

miss you like crazy old boy

Six years late. Don’t care.

I think cats and dogs are very brave, to entrust their well-being to such large, dangerous, powerful creatures as humans.

And I think humans are very brave, to dare to love these small beings who we KNOW will leave us in only a few short years.

So great courage is everywhere. I try to remember this whenever I am confronted with evidence of some particularly egregious contemptibility in human behavior.

Mom of Xena the Cat, who is fine. For now.

It’s been many years since all of these tales of furry friends with tails. I understand that time has given you more things to think about, but the pain is still there. There is nothing I can say to really help with that; it’s the nature of life. But I feel sympathy for you, regardless of whether or not it makes any difference. I wish you well, and hope that you have learned to live with your loss, as I understand that it’s the nature of life to give briefly, and then take away, everything we want, everything we need, everything we love, and everything we hate. I understand this as well as anyone can, without experiencing what you have experienced, because I am also alive and so have also received the gifts of life in the temporary fashion it provides them. And though I cannot understand what you’re going through, as my experiences are different, I do my best, as you all do. Thank you all for sharing. I hope things work out for you all as well as they can.

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