Good dog. Good, good dog.


Our dog Fred passed peacefully Thursday at about 7 p.m. Alix and I were there by his side, along with the amazing Dr. Mary Fluke, who had cared for him since he was a puppy. We told stories and laughed and cried like children.

He had a good last few days. We discovered right near the end that he liked tuna fish, and he must’ve eaten half a tuna’s worth. At my mama’s wise suggestion, we also fed him bacon. (When in doubt, have some bacon.) The food perked him up. Most days lately he hadn’t had enough strength to take his normal walk to the end of the block and back. But on Wednesday, he pulled us down there and then another whole block. On Thursday we took him on one last car ride. He watched out the back window as we drove him through the streets he knew so well.

After I wrote about Fred’s dying days a few weeks ago, I heard from hundreds of people all over the world. Some had stories of their own old dogs. Some had young animals they vowed to love as much as possible. Some people just wanted to say they were sorry for our loss. Alix and I are sorry, too. But also grateful.

I’m writing this Thursday night. Nearly every night for the last 14 years, one of us has let him out before we all went to bed. We’ve spent so many nights standing in the cool air on the street we love, staring at the stars, listening to one of the neighborhood owls, or just watching Fred prance around the yard and catalog all the new smells. He brought us those moments and a million more.

I didn’t know what to do tonight so I walked out in the yard and stared at the stars and thanked him again for coming into our lives.

He was the best dog.



21 thoughts on “Good dog. Good, good dog.

  1. David and I are so very sorry to hear of Fred’s passing. We both appreciate that you shared him with us, through your words

  2. R.I.P Fred. I’m so sorry to hear this such of sad story.. 😥

  3. Rest in Peace Fred. This must be such a sad time. I hope you are all coping ok.

  4. Thank you a thousand times! You can check my post respecting your dog at my blog if you wish. And please tell if I’m crossing any lines and I will delete the post asap !

  5. My condolences to you and Alix on the loss of Fred. I know how it feels and there’s almost nothing harder to bear. Thank you for you wonderful story you wrote before Fred passed. I just read it tonight, along with this post and you are a wonderful writer. I feel like a part of the family!!

  6. I was sorry to hear about Fred passing on. Nowadays, I live in an apartment building that doesn’t allow cats or dogs, but like many of your other commenters, I’ve lost dear pets in the past. I know what a terrible empty space it can leave behind when they go. All any of us can do is to try to give our pets a good, happy life when we have them with us.

  7. HI Tommy,

    I’m new to your blog and the piece you wrote a few weeks ago was the first I read. I’m so sorry about your loss of Fred, but having had cats and dogs that lived to ripe old age, I know you and Alix made the choice that was right for Fred. He had a great life with you and you with him. What a gift.

    Donna Bolls

  8. This post had me in tears. I have a dog of my own and he is my life. I can’t imagine what your feeling right now. Sometimes the best things in life can leave us with the most heart ache.

  9. So sorry about Fred. I hope there is a doggy heaven with lots of shoes to chew.

    Sent from my iPad


  10. Hey Tommy, My name is Lori, I am a neighbor of yours on Thomas Ave, I had the Dalmatians. I saw you or your wife walking Fred many times when I was walking my Boys. I lost my Bruno in June so I haven’t been walking but I’ve thought about Fred as I pass by your house. I was going to ask Rusty how he was doing if I didn’t see him soon. It breaks my heart to know that Thomas Ave has lost another family member.

  11. Oh am so sorry about Fred. He had a great life! May all your warm memories of Fred help you through his passing.

  12. My heart hurts for Alix and you, but what joy Fred brought, and will continue to bring to both of your lives. He was a lucky pup.

  13. I tear up every time I read something like this. My dachshund turns 17 in a few days and has given us so many scares in the last 2 years. My only wish is that she passes peacefully and that I am there with her to say goodbye. I know you are lucky to have had all those moments with him.

  14. So sorry for your loss….

  15. Build a bench for Fred and put it in your yard with an engraved plaque. My bench sits on a lake front trail. It gives his name, birth & death. The bench plaque reads: “I cannot now run with you along Merlot’s Trail, Except in your memories of me; But if you sit here and draydream a moment, You can feel my presence.”

  16. David and I are so very sorry to hear of Fred’s passing. We both appreciate that you shared him with us, through your words. You and Alix are in our hearts and prayers, and also Scarlett (The Amazing Beautiful Black Lab) sends her love too. (She is 12 years old, so we know we will be facing a similar story sooner than later.)

  17. So sad to read this post today, even though it was expected. Thank you for sharing with the world, it really does help to share our lives in this way. I started my blog to just get things off my chest and through that, I’ve found lots of blogs which make me laugh, cry and ponder this curious world of ours. God bless you and your family from me and my family across the pond.

  18. Sorry for your loss but thank you for Fred’s story. We lost our Monty a while back and, like yours, our loving Vet was so thoughtful. She fed hid an ice cream sandwich slathered with chocolate syrup. He LOVED it so he left this world with that thought and us by his side…

  19. I’m so sorry. When we lost our old basset hound (also named Fred), I thought I was prepared – but I was ridiculous and weepy and illogical for a few days without my sweet short drooly friend. Dogs are the best. She was the best. Sounds like Fred was, too. Hope they’re sniffing each others nethers and eating goose poop (and bunny poop, that was my Fred’s fav) and good naturedly chasing cats somewhere warm.

  20. I am so sorry for your loss. I bleed not only for Fred but for my dogs that I also loved and lost and for all the other dogs that had to pass away before us. May we see them again soon, and resume the love and friendships that we all shared with these magnificent creatures.

  21. I’m sorry to hear about Fred’s passing.
    My senior dog had oral melanoma and passed last year.. It must be difficult and my heart goes out to you.

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