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Showing posts with label Rowen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rowen. Show all posts


Well, it's been about 2 and 1/2 months since the death of Rowen, my Siberian husky.  It's been a tough loss to deal with.  While the "sharpness" of her death has faded, there is still heartache.

But, my wife and I decided that it was time to move on and get a new dog.  Not as a replacement (because Rowen will never be replaced), but as a successor.  And after looking around for a bit, we found Corbin, a rescue husky from Iqaluit.  He's pretty wonderful; a mix of joy and "joie de vivre" and damn bright, too.  We knew we wanted to help another dog and a rescue husky is about the best way we could honour Rowen's memory. 

It's a profound mix of joy and sadness that's very difficult to put into words.  My wife and I still miss Rowen terribly and a new dog doesn't change that.  In some ways it brings her death back to the forefront and I'm not ashamed to say that I've cried a lot over the past three days.  We both missed having a dog but we both missed the unique qualities that made Rowen Rowen.  Her personality was very unique and that loss will be something that we'll carry for the rest of our lives.

Corbin's personality is unique, too.  And though we've only been with him a short time, it's very clear.  Already we're seeing the differences; he doesn't like to "flatten the grass."  Rowen always went around and around before lying down.  Corbin just "plunks" right down.  He's very inquisitive about the world around him; Rowen, being an older dog, was far less nosey.  He's very keen on burying toys, something Rowen had no interest in at all.  And he's fascinated by his reflection in mirrored surfaces, something Rowen never cared about.  Some of those differences hurt a bit, because they're a reminder of what's been lost.  But, at the same time, they are a wonderful reminder of what we've gained, too.  Corbin is a gentle dog, about 11 months old, and full of love.  He's a good fit for us and it'll be fun, though poignant, to see him grow up.

Physically, he has one "droopy" ear that gives him a lot of character when he looks around.  And one heckuva bushy tail that curls right to his back.  Rowen had a "husky" tail, of course, but not like this.

And the one big physical difference?  It's weird to rub a doggie's belly and touch a penis!  I've had "girl dogs" all of my life, so that's definitely new!

Von and Corbin March 2014


Moggy and Corbin 2014-03-01

Corbin 2014-03-02

Rowen August 1 1998 to December 16 2013

Our dog, Rowen the Siberian Husky, has died.  This is a loss that I will feel for probably the rest of my life.  It might sound odd, but it's about as equally difficult for me as the death of my mom in '94.  I certainly haven't cried as hard since that time 'til now.  It is amazing how connected we can become with animals.  This is a tough loss, partially made hard by the knowledge that I will never see my dog again.

In many ways we were really lucky.  She was quite healthy right 'til the end, only dealing with a bit of arthritis in the past few years.  She was still spry and playful but had developed what most likely was initial kidney problems in early December.  We were in the process of trying to resolve them (blood work, urine samples, you know the drill) when she had a seizure in the early hours of December 16th.  That was almost guaranteed to be a brain tumour.  So, after talking with the vet at the emergency hospital, we decided to put her down.  Rowen was never alone and both Sammy and I were with her right 'til the very end.  She died in my arms, very peacefully.

Here are a few photos of her life.

Rowen the young and feisty Siberian Husky, taken at Perfect Books in Ottawa

A thoughtful young Rowen the Siberian Husky, taken at Perfect Books in Ottawa

Rowen the Siberian Husky walking in a field in Ottawa

Rowen the Siberian Husky and Sam Boswell in Ottawa

Rowen the Siberian Husky in Ottawa, Ontario

Close-up on Rowen the Siberian Husky

Rowen the Siberian Husky and Von Allan in their Ottawa-based apartment

Close-up on Rowen the Siberian Husky and Von Allan in their Ottawa-based apartment

And here are a few taken hours, as it turned out, before she died.

Rowen and Samantha Boswell, taken the day that Rowen died

Rowen and Von Allan, taken the day that Rowen died

Rowen th Siberian Husky, taken the day that Rowen died

One thing I really like about being an atheist is I get to face the world as it is rather than being clouded with faith.  I'll take evidence-based reasoning over anything else any day of the week.  Besides, asking "How do you know that?" when it comes to religious matters has been and continues to be a very useful tool for me.

I will say that evolution can be cruel sometimes; evolving these emotions and this "thinking machine" brain of ours can make loss and grief difficult to deal with.  I miss my dog.  Yes, I miss the abstract stuff (the companionship, the routines, etc...) but I truly and very deeply miss HER.  The unique things that made her a truly remarkable and wonderful individual.  We may eventually get another dog, but the "stuff" that made Rowen unique is gone forever.  I'm glad I knew her and I'm glad she was part of my life.  But I wasn't ready to say goodbye and I find not being with her far harder than I ever thought it would be. She had a remarkable personality; a very loving dog, a dog with a sense of humour, and she was definitely a bit (more than a bit!) of a smart ass, too.  In other words, she was a character.

It's a bit odd to see the world just move on despite our grief.  I've experienced that before, of course, but it was kinda brought home again since Rowen died.  Not that I'd expect things to stop, of course.  It's a weird world we've made, full of amazing things.  Human beings have a remarkable capacity to love but we also have a remarkable capacity to do harm and injury to each other.  I think if we could "suffer the death of our neighbour" maybe, just maybe, the world would be a better place.  Maybe a little less bloody and a little less cruel. I guess what I'm saying is be good to each other, be compassionate to other people, as hard as you can.

And here's to you, Rowen.  I'll miss you forever.

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