And then there was one…

This is the kind of post no pet parent wants to share. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write to say my beloved Norman joined his brother Sam yesterday evening. He had just turned 12. To say my heart is broken and devastated would be an understatement. I’m far too heartbroken and emotional at the present moment to do any justice expressing how much Norman meant to me beyond the fact that I loved this boy deeply. Perhaps with the passage of time I can do a proper and fitting memoriam. He was pure love, inside and out, and I already miss his gentle spirit so very much. Both my heart and my house are empty missing his presence.

Photo courtesy of DelaFoto Photography

This is probably my most favorite photo that I ever took of Norman. He loved that moose squeaky toy so much and use to bring it to me whenever I returned home, prancing around with it in his mouth, snorting. I would chase him saying, “that’s my toy, Norman, you give it to me.” He would snort and turn his head inviting me to chase him whenever I would reach for it. It was a fun game that I loved playing with him and he seemed to love it as well. Yesterday he brought me that moose after I’d returned from a quick trip to the post office. As was our normal practice, I said to him, “you give me that toy, Norman” and he dropped it at my feet rather than trying to keep it from me. Little did I know at that moment, I think he was trying to tell me his time on this earth was soon to end. Rest in peace my dear boy. Run free with your brother, Sam.


Elsa and I will need some time processing this enormous loss. When I can better deal with it emotionally, I hope to return to blogging. Till then…

Live, love, bark! ๐Ÿพ


142 thoughts on “And then there was one…

    1. Thanks Melissa and Mudpie. He was a very special dog who never knew a stranger.

    1. Thank you, Ellen. He was a very special dog who totally loved everyone he met.

  1. Oh NO!!! I’m so sorry for your loss. I had come to love this hunky fellow through your blog and I’ll miss him sorely.
    With tears in my eyes,
    take care,

    1. Many thanks for the kind message, dear Pit. Norman was one of those dogs that people truly liked, in person and virtually; he was very special.

  2. We are so sorry to read that Norman has gone on ahead. May all the good memories take some of the edge off your terrible sadness.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. I have so many incredibly wonderful and precious memories of this amazing dog who brought such joy and love to my heart and all who knew him.

  3. What a fine-looking fellow Norman was. I can just imagine the two of you playing with the squeaky moose, as you described it. I’m certain he has the toy with him now, ready to play with you when he sees you again. Godspeed, Norman.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. Norman absolutely loved that moose, now when I hold it, it comforts me.

  4. We’re very sorry to learn of the loss of your Norman. I know how hard it is to lose an animal friend. Wishing you peace and comfort in good memories.

    1. Many thanks for your kind and comforting condolences. I very much appreciate it.

  5. I am so very sorry to read about your handsome, funny and loving Norman.
    I send you and Elsa gentle hugs
    Cecilia aka Mom to Angel Madi

    Near and dear
    Oh so handsome
    Mom’s best man
    Amazing brother to his siblings
    Never ever NO never forgotten

    1. Many thanks for the gentle words of comfort, Cecilia. They mean so much to me.

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Brian. We appreciate the gentleness of your condolence.

  6. this is my first meeting of Norman, came to say so sorry for your loss and as a human owned by a dog, my heart hurts with yours. so beautiful and handsome Norman.

    1. Many thanks for stopping by with your sweet message. Norman was a very special dog and my only regret is you didn’t get to know him better.

  7. Oh Monika and Elsa, we could hardly believe it when we saw your sad postie this morning. We’re so very sorry of the passing of your purrecious, deeply loved boy. He brought so much joy and made us smile effurry time we saw his sweet face. He will be missed very much๐Ÿ˜ฟSoft Pawkisses to comfort you๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜ฝ๐Ÿ’ž
    Fly free beautiful Soulโœจ

    1. Many thanks for your tender and gentle thoughts of comfort. It means the world to me.

    1. Thanks for all the hugs and love during this time. I very much appreciate it, Sue.

    1. Thanks, MK. Norman was my best friend; I will miss him every day until I can join him and Sam.

  8. Such sad news. We are in disbelief. We always thought of Norman as a young lad. We send you our deepest sympathy and lots of love.

    Hugs and Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber and Mom too

    1. Thanks for the message of condolences, Kathy, it’s truly hard for me to believe he’s really gone.

  9. Devastating news, Monika. I am so sorry for your heartbreak. We were so happy last week celebrating his birthday. Dear Norman, such a warm and loving guy, he will be greatly missed. Take care of yourself during this sad time. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ ๐Ÿ’•

    1. Thanks for your tender thoughts, Eliza. I appreciate it beyond my ability to express it. I knew Norman’s time was limited, it’s rare for big dogs to live long lives but had hoped he would have stayed with me longer. He was such a special gift to the heart, each and every day he was with me.

  10. Monika, our deepest sympathy to you and Elsa on the loss of your beautiful Norman. I understand, and feel your loss too. I think our animal companions do try to tell us when they know their time is growing short. ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿพ โค๏ธ

    1. Many thanks, Lavinia. Norman was so special and loving, even to the end.

  11. We’re so sorry and a bit stunned to be reading about Norman’s passing. He was such a sweet, loveable boy who gave so many people joy through his therapy visits. Our paws are crossed for you and Elsa and we send warm hugs to you both.

    1. Many thank, Millie, Walter and Cindy. Norman had a special way of connecting with people, whether in person or virtually. I’m so grateful to everyone for letting me share him with them.

  12. Heartbreaking news, Norman was so very special, no other quite like him for giving his
    love and his heart to so many others … we miss him, your sweet boy. Hugs to you and sharing the sadness of his loss.

    1. Thank you, Ann. Norman was so special, it was a joy to be able to share his special sweetness with people in person and virtually.

  13. Such sad, sad news. He was such a handsome, loving, funny guy. There are no words. You’re in our thoughts and in our minds Monika and we mourn with you the passing of Norman.

    1. Thanks so much for the kind and tender thoughts of comfort. Both Elsa and I are so blessed to have such caring friends especially at times like this.

    1. Thanks so much, Paulette. Your gentle thoughts of comfort mean so much to me.

  14. Oh noโ€ฆwe are so sad to see thisโ€ฆ.sending you hugs and prayers..thank you for sharing him with us all. ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

    1. These special creatures affect us all deep in our hearts and Norman was no exception. I very much appreciate the gentle thoughts of comfort beyond my words. Many thanks, Kate.

  15. Your intriguing post on the WordPress feed caught my attention, and I couldn’t help but stop by to say hello!

    Your writing has piqued my interest, and I’m eager to explore your future posts!

    Spin3: Although I couldn’t find the elusive follow button, I’ve decided to bookmark your blog for easy access!

    Consider me a dedicated reader, eagerly awaiting your next compelling piece of content!

    Thanks – TheDogGod –

    1. Thanks for stopping by. The follow button is on the right side, about half way down.

    1. Thank you so much girls, and mom. We appreciate beyond words the loving thoughts of comfort everyone has sent. It means the world to me.

  16. Oh Monika, I wish with all my heart that this was all a horrible nightmare that we’ll wake up from. My heart is broken for you. And for Elsa. There are no words, I know, that will ease the pain. Sending you both warm, gentle hugs. ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

    1. Thank you for your caring comment. I’m still in disbelief he’s gone and miss him terribly.

    2. Thank you, Sue. It’s the day each of pet parents dread when our beloved fur-child leaves this mortal world. We are better from having them in our lives. Appreciate your gentle, warm hugs.

  17. Nose nose nose mee Sweet Norman…mee Poochie <3 Love <3…..
    How cuud this happen Miss Monika??? You must bee heart broked. An poor Elsa wunderin where her British Brothur from another Mothur went…..
    Pleese accept mee deepest sympaffiess.
    Mee iss devvystated two…..
    ***hangss head*** BellaDharma

    Dear Monika & Elsa as soon as I saw the TITLE I knew….I am typing thru my tears…..I am so so sorry. Stormin Norman has gone to be with Sam. They were both such exception Dogs. I can imagine how quiet your place is now. At least Elsa is there to keep you company an help you thru this difficult time.
    I'm behind words. Just KNOW I send all my {{{hugs}}} & <3 <3 LOVE <3 <3 & if you want to chat; just email me.
    With respect & love & Sympathy, BellaSita Mum aka Sherri-Ellen

    1. Thanks so much Sherri-Ellen for the hugs and love at this sad time. Your friendship and comfort means the world to me.

  18. Oh no! This is so very sad. My heart is breaking for you. Sending you so much love. So so sad โ™ฅ๏ธ

    1. Thank you for your loving comfort. I greatly appreciate it. It’s a testament of the loving connection Norman made with everyone he encountered, be it in person or virtually.

  19. Oh no. We will miss the antics of that boy forever. RIP, N. You loved well and were well-loved by so many. Prayers for your family to heal. xoxo

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake and Mom

  20. Wow…my heart just aches for you and the whole family. So shocked, and so sorry for you. Norman will be missed not only by you, but by all the people whose lives he touched. Rest in love, sweet Norman. The world is a better place because you spent time here.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind thoughts of comfort. Norman was such a special sweet boy and it was a privilege sharing him with the world, in person and virtually.

  21. Oh that sweet soul, Iโ€™m so so sorry. I never met him but I feel like I knew him from your wonderful descriptions. Hold tight to elsa and his toy. You two have more to do on this earth. Iโ€™m just so sad for you and all the people he meant so much to. โค๏ธ rip Norman

    1. Thank you so much for the tender thoughts of comfort. They helped me get through the first day without my special boy and will provide solace in the days ahead when I need them most.

  22. No, no, nooooo….Oh, Monika, I write this with tears streaming down my face…I am so, so sorry…I know how heartbroken you are, this is so devastating…I was just looking at his beautiful birthday pics…you and Elsa are in my thoughts at this horribly sad time….Norman, you brought so much joy to so many. Run free, you handsome boy. Find my FiveSibes and enjoy some amazing zoomies.You will always be in your momma and Elsa’s hearts…Keep an eye on them, you beautiful furangel. Sending big teary hugs to your mom… ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’“

    1. Thank you for the kind thoughts of comfort, Dorothy. I know Norman touched the lives of so many people beyond me. He was so special and I so miss his soft fur in my face, that huge black nose and those soft comforting eyes.

  23. Oh NO:(
    I was shocked to read this.
    My deepest sympathy to you and Elsa.
    Sending a ton of hugs, which is not nearly enough to comfort you with this devastating loss.
    Dalton & Benji add their licks ands soft aroos.

    1. I made you a memento and tried to send it to your G-Mail address, but it got sent back to me as ‘delivery failed’ because they think I pose a threat to you…LOL! BOL!
      Anyways I will post it shortly to my blog and you can snag it from there…or if you have another address you could let me know.

      1. Thank you, Ingrid. I appreciate it so much. I’ll email from my personal email address.

    2. Many thanks, Ingrid. I appreciate the comforting thoughts and caring you and everyone else has sent.

  24. monika what in the WORLD???????!!!!! I am gasping, completely gasping with the shock. I don’t have the words that will properly convey how heartbroken I am for you. I am sooooo sorry! I am just in complete shock. Sending much love and my deepest, most heartfelt sympathy.

    1. Thank you, Caren. Trying to navigate the loss of special dogs and cats is one we both know. I very much appreciate your gentle thoughts of comfort.

  25. I am so shocked and sad to read this. I am so, so sorry, Monika. Norman was so adorable, and I know how much you already miss him and his sweetness. I will miss his sweet face as well. My heart is with you, I wish there were words to make it better but I know there are none. โ™ฅ

    1. It was a shock to me as well, one that will take a long time to overcome. Norman was the most affable, loving, special boy that touched the heart of everyone who met him, whether in person or virtually. Thank you for your thoughts of comfort.

    1. Thank you Sandee. I’ve always known how special you thought Norman was. And you weren’t wrong.

  26. Oh Monika, tears sprung to my eyes and my heart fell when I read this. He was such a charming, sweet soul. Can’t imagine the pain you have. I know you loved him sooooo much! Elsa will so miss him too! I am so very sorry, my friend, and wish I could run over to your house and give you a hug. I hope you feel my heart hugging you. Love and prayers for comfort! <3 <3

    1. Thank you, Carolyn. His passing is unbelievably hard even though I knew in my heart it would be here in the near future. For a big dog to have lived to reach 12 is quite the accomplishment yet I still am having a difficult time accepting. He was so undeniably special and while I adore Elsa, he was my world.

      1. I understand, even though we may understand when our dogs grow old, we still are not ready to let them go! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™ Be kind to yourself and give yourself time! Lots of love!โค

  27. I was really not expecting this Monika. Please accept my condolences on your loss. As I have still not come to terms with losing our beloved Ray this past January, i can well imagine that Sam will be in your daily life routine for quite some time. Relish in your memories of him. The time to move forward will come in due course, and only you will know when that time will be. Big hug. Colin.

    1. Thank you Colin. Everyone who’s lost a special dog can readily understand the loss. Even though Norman was 12 and I knew his time on mortal earth was finite, when the time comes for them to leave, it leaves you completely ill-prepared for raw emotions and black holes of pain. I’m still trying to sort out Sam’s passing from 3 years ago and sadly, now there’s another bookend that completely surrounds me.

  28. Oh Monika. I am without words. No one, mostly you and Elsa, was ready to let that big gentle soul leave so soon. You do what you need to do and we are all here sending you as much love as you can receive. My heart goes out to you as I offer my deepest condolences. Hugs and more hugs, sweet lady.

    1. Time is not the friend of our pets and our special connections. It marches quicker than we can comprehend and reminds us to savor them each and every day.It’s hard to figure out what to do with one’s love once they’re gone.

      1. No, it is not. Their time is so much shorter than ours. And yet, we keep on bringing them into our lives because we know that the love we share with them brings us so much joy and it’s worth the pain of losing them. Oh Monika…. sending you an extra dose of love and hugs. xoxo

  29. noooooooooo
    oh my dog, he will be sorely missed as he was all love to us. Poor you and elsa to suffer this loss… I’m so sorry… so sorry
    Love, LeeAnna

    1. Thank you, LeeAnna. I still cannot believe he’s gone. Elsa and I are trying to adjust to the immense void his passing has left.

    1. Chia is trying to comfort me as my tears flow with yours. He brought happiness and joy to so many who needed it. I can’t even begin to tell you how sad I am for you. And yes, sweet Norman was passing the Moose “baton.” Love, Amy

      1. Many thanks, Amy. While I love Elsa dearly, Norman was the center of my world. It’s hard to think he’s actually gone, but the quiet in the house will be a constant reminder of a very special dog. I’ve been sleeping with Mr. Moose and find I’m carrying him around with me, just like my precious boy. I keep hoping it’ll help fill the empty space inside.

    2. Thank you for your condolences. Norman was a bigger than life family member, his absence is most pronounced.

  30. Oh my heart aches for you and your family…..I know that pain and I know it hurts me when I hear someone I care so much about is feeling it. Norman was SOOO one of a kind. We all will miss that boy but nobody could miss him more than his Mom………

    Love and Hugs, Pam and Teddy

    1. Many thanks, Pam and Teddy. Norman truly was one of a kind; we’re learning to navigate in the absence of his gentle soul.

  31. oh no…. we are so sorry… oh why we are so far away.. I would like to be there and to sit with you.. no words just tears….. hugs to you… we will watch the sky tonight to send a kiss to your beloved boy…

    1. Many thanks for the digital hugs. We feel everyone’s tender love and am grateful this boy brought us all closer.

    1. Thanks Helen. He was the kindest, most gentle giant I’ve ever known. Elsa and I are struggling soldiering on but will do our best.

  32. oh no. I am just so sorry i don’t know what to even say other than i hear your pain and know as a fellow pet lover how much it hurts. I know you know he will live forever in your heart but knowing that doesn’t ease the pain right now. Courage to you in bearing the loss and moving through it. Be as gentle with yourself as you can.

    my deepest sympathies to Elsa and you

    1. Thank you. I’m sorry I couldn’t respond yesterday. Just too raw, but wanted you to know how much I appreciate your tender comment.

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