Today My Heart Is Broken. RIP Norton, August 1999 – August 2016

polling dogs-7827-EditToday my heart is broken. This morning we had to say goodbye to the best dog ever. It was 17 years ago this month that he and his sister ran out in front of my car on Gaston Avenue. They were only 12 weeks old and totally adorable, but none of the local no-kill shelters would take them because Norton looked like a bit like a Chow and had a dark tongue. We found out years later, he had no Chow in him – he was a mix of Belgian Malinois, Collie, and mutt.  What was I to do?  I brought them home and we ended up keeping them. Rich named them Trixie and Norton after the couple on The Honeymooners.

Bandit, our first dog, whom we lost a decade ago, taught them everything they needed to know about patrolling the yard, chasing squirrels, going to the park, and just generally being dogs.

We had lots of adventures over the years – trips to Lake Cypress Springs and Lake Bonham, to Ellis County to see the Bluebonnets, to Arbor Hills, White Rock Lake, and various trails around town – just the four of us. Whenever I’d go to a conference, I always brought home goodie bags full of treats and toys. We always referred to them endearingly as “the puppies” until the last year, when they finally became “the old dogs”.

But Norton aged more quickly than Trixie. In the end, he could walk, but only sideways and he fell a lot. We added padded rubber mats to the office floor to help him keep his balance and did away with the raised beds when he could no longer climb up on them. We raised his food and water bowl and that helped for a bit. But he was easily confused and he could only turn to the right. He’d get upset and angst and spin in circles in the living room. Or we’d find him (after a brief panic thinking he was lost) stuck between the washer and dryer or under the bar – places he’d gotten into and couldn’t get out of, and just fell asleep. He couldn’t hear or see well at all and combined with the confusion, he was having a very difficult time. We started to find him standing against a wall with his head in a corner; exhausted and confused.  He simply wasn’t smiling anymore.

He did what we asked. Always. He sister didn’t, though, and he was always worried she was getting them into trouble. She was the leader and he followed her everywhere. She was the first in line crossing Gaston that day 17 years ago, with him behind her. Worried. Trixie and Norton always stuck together.  They enjoyed the dog parks but kept to themselves. I don’t know what she’ll do now.

He had a good life. A very good life. We took our last walk together, the four of us, this morning, and “the old dogs” got weiners for breakfast.

Now all we have left of him is his collar, and our memories – both of which we will cherish until the day we die.  Why can’t they live forever?

A friend sent me this today.

Today I made a painful choice
For my little friend without a voice
I held you close against my chest
I saw you relax for your final rest
You looked at me with tired eyes
I felt you breathe just one last sigh
No more pain in the moment of release
Just gentle sighs and lasting peace
It was the hardest thing to let you go
I only did it because I love you so.

Rest in peace Old Man. Rest in peace.

export1320803501Found among the old photos..._10202697458571637_PhotoIMG_0294export379626562_10202075986395221_Photo

Looooong day. Time for bed._10203269917682757_Photo
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Always smiling._10208885889238536_Photo - Copy - CopyAwwww..._10206246023963554_Photo - Copy - CopyHere 20 minutes, and norton have already over done..._10203454271331483_Photo - Copy - CopyLol! Smiling old dog got a back rub._10202600956199138_Photo - Copy - Copy On the road again.... #TrixirAndNorton_10204398730102362_Photo - Copy
Poor Norton. Still letting the cats push him aroun..._10205685462149859_Photo - Copy_1130993709067_Photo_1249163463237_Photo _10201703781490331_Photo_10202320429986158_Photo - Copy _10204202960528245_Photo He was SO mad at me this morning. I got up early ..._10202869074661932_Photo Nap Time_10206936129655765_Photo Poor, pitiful old dogs snuggled in warm, dry towel..._10204853934722193_Photo So, our beloved Chow_Heeler mixes are neither Chow..._4741720334976_Photo They did eventually settle down long enough once w..._1683470000629_Photo 2014-11-07 14.25.53 IMG_41922014-09-29 09.17.37IMG_0305 IMG_4181pollingdogs-7891

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5 Responses to Today My Heart Is Broken. RIP Norton, August 1999 – August 2016

  1. Lottie says:

    Oh, Becky, Oh, Rich, I’m so very very sorry. Love Lottie

  2. bonnie says:

    I am so sorry. They take a piece with us. Sometimes I think I will have nothing left before my time comes. And then I fall I’ll live again and a small piece grows back. But it is never full again.

  3. bonnie says:

    I am so sorry. They take a piece of us. Sometimes I think I will have nothing left before my time comes. And then I fall in love again and a small piece grows back. But it is never full again.

  4. I’m so, so sorry for your loss, you guys. I ache for you.

  5. Tami stanley says:

    Thank you for taking these dogs off the street and giving them a great life.

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