Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I am not really ready to write this. But I guess it is time.

Our Dalmatian Mercury died on Saturday August 1st. He had been battling cancer in his lymph nodes and tongue and he had just deteriorated so much there wasn't anything to do. I held him in my arms as he got the shot and the doctor let me have some private time to say goodbye.

Mercury came to us a few months after we had to have our first Dalmatian baby Gryphon put to sleep due to renal failure. We weren't expecting to adopt another Dal for a little while, but he was a rescue from a kill shelter in NYC and while we were transporting him and another Dal pup, I fell in love. Merc was what they call a 'liver' spotted Dal. He had beautiful chocolate brown spots instead of the normal black ones.

Merc was with us about a month or so when we rescued Tigger and ended up adopting her also. We don't adopt all the dogs we rescue, most were just fosters being primed for their new homes but these two touched our hearts. They have grown up together. Tigger was just 11 months and Merc was 6 months when they came to our family. Now Merc was just shy of 10 and Tigger is 10 1/2.

He was a very mellow dog. A couch potato, well at least until you got the leash or the food bowl out. He had his priorities! He didn't lick faces or jump at you. He would sniff and decide you were okay. He loved being a lap dog and would lay on Jim's lap while they were both on the couch watching TV together.

Mercury bonded with both of us, but in different ways. I think he thought of Jim as more like a 'brother' but he knew me to be 'mom' and the one to listen to. Well being a Dalmatian he listened when he felt like it.

I am worried about how my gal Tigger is going to be. She doesn't seem upset at the moment, but Mercury has been gone for a few days at a time before - when he was at the vets for surgery. I hope she will be okay. Mercury was a little depressed for awhile after Jim died. He would lay on the couch with me and then right around 10pm he would get up and move to the front door, lay down along it and wait. About an hour later he would get up, come over to the couch and climb back up beside me. He was waiting for Jim to come home. That was the time that Jim usually came back from work in the evenings. I cried when Merc did this. It was like Lassie waiting for Timmy.

Mercury was a wonderful friend and a good dog. I was ready for his death, because of his illness, but it sure doesn't make it any easier.

I can only hope that somewhere, Jim has scooped Mercury up in his arms and is giving him hugs while Gryphon dances around to see who this new guy is.


Thomas Atkinson said...

That last image brought a tear to my eye. They do live on in our hearts, don't they?

Rach said...

Oh, Betsy, I'm SO sorry. Mercury was truly a wonderful baby and I know he'll be missed for quite some time.

HUGS for you and Tigger.

Sharon said...


I know you were, indeed, "mom" to Mercury...and cared for him so well these last months. I, too, hope Tigger will not be too adversely affected by this loss -- and trust that Tigger will now ease your grief and comfort you...

Linda said...

Oh Betsy, I am so sorry...

Big hugs. Big BIG hugs.

TigereyeSal said...

I am sorry for your loss. I have no doubt that all your boys are together again.