Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bonny 29/3/2001 – 21/01/2012

Bonny in the garden
Right now, my human companions are hurting, so I have taken it upon myself to share our sad news. Bonny, our much loved, irreplaceable family member has gone to the Rainbow Bridge.

Bonny at 3 months old
Her 'too soon' release from this earthly realm has left a huge gap in our home and we all miss her painfully. Unlike humans, with whom we choose to share our lives, our instincts are far sharper, so we of course knew Bonny had died. When our human family led us, one by one to say goodbye to Bonny, we all reacted in exactly the same way. We filed past her prone body in hushed silence, eyes averted, tails hanging low and at ease. Briefly, yet reverently, we saluted her departed spirit. We gently sniffed her earthly remains and, with quiet understanding, walked away. We knew that, from now on, we each had a new role to adopt. Most importantly, we knew that it was our God-given duty to console and comfort our grieving humans. We understand, too well, how frail and vulnerable humans become when confronted with matters of death. At times such as these, we take our companionship duties very seriously.

Me as a puppy with my playmate and sister, Bonny
When I came to live with my family as a five week old rescue pup, right before Christmas 2004, Bonny and Tessa (21/11/1997 – 5/5/2010) were here to welcome me and teach me everything they knew. Tessa became a caring, gentle mother to me, while Bonny and I became the best of playmates. In some ways, I now feel like a bit of an orphan, because I've lost my two, first, 'best friends'. I am now solely in charge of my pack and it's a big responsibility, considering I'm by far the shortest around here.

Right after Tessa died, my humans fetched pedigreed Toby to come and live with us, to help us all get over the great loss we felt at her departure. Toby was just an 8 week old pup then. I can say with pride that I valiantly stepped up to the cause, helping Bonny raise him to become the fine young Shep he is today. When our family decided to adopt a few more rescue pups soon after Toby's first birthday, Bonny was absolutely amazing. She tirelessly put up with the little ruffians and helped Toby, little more than a pup himself, and me, to accept them with love. She put Toby in his place with tender persuasion when he became aggrieved and taught him to share and to love our new brothers and sisters. In her quiet, undemanding way, Bonny was our rock. She led by setting an excellent example. If only humans could do the same.

Today, as I type this on Desiree's keyboard, there are now just the five of us to continue Bonny's remarkable legacy. What have we all learnt from her?
  • Until the very end, never give up.
  • Never ever complain.
  • Always put on a happy face and enjoy every single moment of your life.
  • Never get snappy or irritable.
  • Share whatever you have, but if you really want it yourself, then quietly show that for now, you choose to hold on to it a bit longer.
  • Never snatch or grab. Wait patiently at all times and your treats will come to you.
  • If anything annoys you, just quietly walk away.
  • When anyone has been away, even if only for a very short time, welcome them back with every ounce of yourself. Make certain they know, every single day, just how very much you love and value them.
I know Desiree loves to share pictures with you, so I have chosen a few to show you today...

Bonny at 5 months

Bonny and Tessa

Bonny did not enjoy posing for her Christmas picture in that silly hat

She was so beautiful!
Although Bonny loved swimming, she was not as eager as Toby and I to swim in the pool at home
Dams and rivers were her favourite places to cool down on a hot day
Here, she comes face to face with her first herd of cows
Enjoying a bit of a rest after some hard play in the garden
Bonny helping Desiree size up where to position the greenhouse
Bonny and Toby in our Corsa bakkie. We had to replace it with a much bigger bakkie when suddenly there were six of us. Travelling was Bonny's all-time favourite activity. She still got to enjoy one last ride on the morning of the day she passed away.  
And now, it's just us. The next few pictures were taken today...

Looking into Bonny's room from the outside landing at Toby, Milo and Coco who were trying it out for size today. I used to sleep with Bonny quite often, but since she died, I've slept in the kitchen all night with Toby and Milo. Coco and Noodle sleep in our humans' room at night.
Coco, Noodle and Milo relaxing on Bonny's bed today
Coco looks in on Toby, Milo and Noodle lying in Bonny's room
Coco and Bonny spent quite a lot of time alone together. Here's Coco, today, looking into Bonny's room from the landing outside 
Noodle only knew Bonny for a few, short months, but she misses her a lot, as we all do.
It saddens me deeply that so many humans treat their pets with such disdain. It is my fervent hope that humans will grasp the necessary understanding that we are a gift from heaven. We come into your lives for a limited amount of time, demanding nothing and loving completely. Please treat us with respect, otherwise don't get a pet. We are not disposable! Just as you are our responsibility during our lifetime, so we remain yours for the full duration of our lives.

I'm planning to help Desiree out with a couple more posts, until she feels stronger. I do hope you'll come by again, since I'm rather enjoying my role as the household's scribe.

What? You don't still expect me to be up, do you? It's past my bedtime.

Signed: Heathcliff, Alpha Male and Number 1 Dog around here.

(*with grateful thanks to Desiree's blogging friend, Alison)


  1. My heart goes out to you. Bonny was a beautiful dog!

  2. Oh! How sad. Please give Desiree a hug from me and Peanut! We know the rainbow bridge all too well...sigh.

  3. oh, i am truly sorry. i know this loss well, having just lost my 14 yr old yellow lab girl, marigold, last fall. even though i have 4 more loving pups here, she is still missed. and i thank God for those 4 more loving pups to fill my days...

  4. Dear Heathcliff, Thank you so much for your beautiful post today, after Bonny's sad passing. I can just imagine how desperately sad you and your friends must now be feeling, to have lost such a wonderful friend and ally.Everyone out here sends you lots of big hugs and cuddles and we know that you will never ever forget your dear friend. I know that you will all take care of the human family in your home and give them lots of love at this very sad time for them. Please tell Desiree that we are sending lots of loving thoughts her way. Sending big hugs to you, ( the number 1 alpha male) Noodle, Coco , Toby and Milo. I thought Coco was looking particularly sad as she was looking into Bonny's room. It was lovely to see all the photos today. Bonny really was such a beautiful dog.

  5. Nie wiem co Ci powiedzieć, jak Cię pocieszyć, bo to trudne. Stracić kochanego psa, to tak jakby stracić członka rodziny( bo to był członek rodziny).Mogę Ci tylko współczuć i to bardzo i powiedzieć, że jest mi bardzo smutno i przykro. Pozdrawiam Cię i trzymaj się. *** I do not know what to tell you how to console you, because it's difficult. Lose a beloved dog, it's like losing a family member (because it was a family member). I can only sympathize with you and it very much and say that I am very sad and sorry. I greet you and hold on.

  6. A beautiful tribute. The photos are awesome I hope Desiree feels better soon. Give her a big hug or a lick in your case for me. B

  7. O no !!! what a sad sad news darling...i almost must cry....i feel your pain...thinking of you...your friend Bonny is in heaven....o sad.....such a love .....wishing you all the

  8. Bonny was a beautiful dog. Her eyes reveal that she was gentle and docile and had dignity and wisdom. I told Desiree a few days ago that I knew there was a special place where Bonny waits for her dog family and her human companions. Now I know it has a name and that it's called Rainbow Bridge. I choose to believe with all my heart that it's real. For me there is no greater feeling in the world than giving love to a dog and having the dog respond to it. Dog spelled backward is God. When I look at a dog I see God. When I share quiet moments petting a dog I experience God's love. It's the kind of feeling that I want to have inside me always. Bonny knows what we're all going through. In her animal stoicism Bonny understands that everything happens according to God's plan and that no creature is exempt from the inevitable cycle of life and death. I choose to believe that we will all be reunited someday in that place where the old are young again and the sick are well again. Bonny waits there bathed in radiant sunlight. God bless and keep Bonny.

  9. Well Heathcliff, be sure to let Desiree know that we love her and mourn with her. She can take all the time she needs and we will be right here waiting patiently for her with open arms.
    Your picture display was awesome and I hope your term as #1 dog will be a very happy one.
    Your friend Odie in NC

  10. Oh Des this brought tears to my eye's. My heart is with you in this. I know you are aching and I wish i could give you a hug my friend. As Bonnie was loved know that you are too and that she would truly want you to be happy. Big hugs

  11. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss Desiree. It's a special bond we have with our canine family. It's good that you will find such loyal comfort in the rest of your family.

  12. Tears running down my face for sweet Bonny and all of you. Only time will heal this pain but know we all are thinking of you and holding you in our prayers.

  13. I was so excited to see that you were back and then I saw the post and had a cry through the whole thing. It is always so heart wrenching when we lose a pet. One thing is for sure, Bonny had a marvelous life. The best any dog could possibly have. She knew, without a doubt, that she was loved through and through. I know that she touched all of your lives in a positive and loving way as well. Tucker and I are sending our deepest sympathies to each of you along with hugs and puppy kisses.

  14. So truly sorry for your loss, her body may be gone but her spirit will be with you forever.

  15. Oh Desiree, I'm writing with tears flowing. What a lovely, loving, sweet, precious post. Beautiful pictures of your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing. I need to go hug my dog and thank her for being here.
    Big hugs to you and yours.

  16. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad Heathcliff could tell us the news.

  17. What a sad but beautiful post by your beloved canine family. Dogs are such sensitive creatures - they must be missing Bonnie as much as her human family is. Take care.

  18. Bonny was just the most beautiful dog! She will be sorely missed by many! Sounds like especially Heathcliff. I know I haven't known you very long, but I know how much you love-love-love your dogs! Bonny was so regal in her bearing with such gorgeous deep coloring--and it sounds like she was the calm in the dog storm. I hope she went peacefully. Oh, Desiree, you will miss her so. *big hugs!!*

  19. What an absolutely beautiful tribute to our absolutely beautiful dog. Thank you Heathcliff - and I think that many humans can learn the same lessons that Bonny taught you. Thanks for giving our beautiful girl such a stunning farewell. Lots of love xxx

  20. Hi, Dearest Desiree.
    I'm so sorry for your loss!!!
    I could see all the words I want to say has already been sent to you from your lovely frineds, rather than my poor English, my friend.
    Sweet post and really moved by your beauriful words and pictures.
    Seeing my grief when our dog died, my hubby won't let me one. I wish to say my thoughts are for you,
    Love and Lots of Hugs to you, xoxo Miyako*

  21. I am so sorry for your loss, I am sending you many many hugs!

  22. Dearest Desiree,
    Across the miles we send our love. Bonnie was so good and beautiful. She had the power to touch our lives and teach us love though we never were able to see her in person. I know her spirit is alive and that you'll be reunited again. Sending our love for healing, recovery and support, your friends, Jenny, Richard, Elliot, Ozzie and Annie.

  23. I am so sorry to hear of your beloved leaving you. I know how strong these bonds are and how deeply they are felt. My heart goes out to you. This was a beautiful tribute to a life well-lived.

  24. A dog sonly fault is their short lifespan. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  25. Gracefully done and very moving! Thank you.

  26. Desiree, I'm so sorry for your loss, wonderful though that you shared your lives! Lucky dog! Our dog, Maggie, would love to try herding some cows. That is a great picture, as they all are. Best wishes!

  27. Oh Heathcliff, at first I was pleased to see Desiree back on blogger and then very saddened by the news of Bonny's passing. Thank you for your beautiful tribute to Bonny and please tell Desiree that we're thinking of her and the whole family in this time of mourning. Jo (Kenya)

  28. What a beautiful tribute to Bonnie! She was a beautiful dog. I'm sorry for your loss and have you in my thoughts!
    Best wishes, Eva

    1. So sorry to read that Bonny has passed on - she was a lovely dog. I am so glad that she had the most loving human and canine family to take care of all her needs, right to the end. Thinking of you all!

  29. Dear Heathcliff,
    Like Desiree, you know how to tell a story that captures my heart. I'm so sorry that your pal Bonny has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. But I'm sure that he is watching over you and Toby, Coco, Noodle, and Milo. I know this because Dulcy, a cat with whom I lived for seventeen and a half years, told me that after she died. She planted the memories of our life together in my heart. Those memories have comforted me for many long years.

    Heathcliff, your memories of playing with Bonny and sleeping next to him and riding in the car with him will be with you forever. Please remind Desiree of this.

    And thank you for sharing what you learned from Bonny. I know that you will be a trustworthy and reliable Alpha Male. You have so much to teach your buddies. You have the legacy that Bonny left with you.

    Peace to you and meow, purr, purr from Dulcy.

  30. Bonny truly was beautiful! That picture of her at 5 months is stunning!

    I hope you all enjoy your fond memories of her and are soon able to think about her without feeling the horrible pains of loss.

  31. Loosing Bonny surely leaves a great big gap in all your lives. We've only had dogs for a couple of months and I can't imagine what my family will do if something happened to one of them. I really feel for all of you.

  32. So sorry to hear of the loss of your Bonny. I know all the dogs that live in your home are treated so well. I know you'll all miss her.

  33. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful Bonny. I for one know how our pets become 'family'. My heart and prayers are with you sweetie!!!

    God bless and have a most peaceful weekend!

  34. Great writing my friend. Please give Desiree a small little sympathy lick for me.

  35. I am so very sorry about your furry companion. You will meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.

  36. I'm so sorry for everyone's loss and sadness. May your memories and these incredibly beautiful photos bring comfort as you learn to live around the Bonny shaped hole in your lives.

  37. ooooh, i'm so sorry...please give desiree a big hug for me.
    one day...we will all be meeting the rainbow bridge. in the happy that you were able to share the time together.

    (and desiree...thank you so much for all YOUR kind friendship)

  38. Calling by to thankyou for the lovely Welcome Home comment and am so saddened to read your news Desiree. The loss of a pet leaves a gap in the family and an ache in the heart. Take Care.

  39. I'm so sorry for your loss of this beautiful creature, Bonny. Our sweet Maggie died at Christmas time, as you know, and when I am sitting out on the porch I think of her laying beside me. I miss her as I know you will miss Bonny.

  40. Your loss makes me ever more aware of my little Mele and how I know I will have to live without her one day. I am so terribly sorry, Desiree! There is little one can say to ease the hurt of loss like this. Only time...


  42. What a beautiful girl she was. I'm so sorry...

  43. I am so so sorry to read about Bonny,
    I hope that you are ok Desiree.

    We lost our beloved 15 year old springer last year and the pain was terrible.

    I am thinking of you all.

    Take care and you are in my thoughts.

    x Fiona

  44. You've inspired me to take more pictures of my pets. I'm sure my kids will enjoy the pictures even when they're adults.

    Bonny was so beautiful. We're praying for you and thinking of you often.

  45. Hi Desiree, I am so sorry to read about the passing of this beloved family member. I can't tell you how many times I have wished that dogs lived longer lives. Parting with them is so incredibly hard!

  46. She looks like she was a gorgeous dog, and I'm sorry for your loss.

  47. I read this when it you first posted it - and your beautiful photos and words left me speechless and so sad and sorry.

    Bonny was a magnificent looking shepard. I still grieve the loss of my first dog, that waited for me to come home from high school one day - I saw her looking at me through the big living room picture window as I walked up the path to the door - she ran to me as I entered the door and said "Hi Dutchess!" ... she never made it - her hear stopped half way across the room. This was over 35 years ago... seems like yesterday.

    And all the dog since have been grieved for... they make such a huge mark on our lifes and feel them with unstinting love.


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