34 Comments

My condolences. Definitely giving my grand old lady extra cuddles, pats, and pets in memory of Athena.

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Mar 7, 2023Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

Sending so much love and healing to mend your broken heart. ❤️‍🩹

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Mar 7, 2023Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

Leo and Athena cuddling together is almost too much to handle! Thanks for sharing. Hope you're taking time to rest and grieve

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Mar 7, 2023Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

So sorry to hear about Athena. I've had a special affinity for dogs ever since watching Lassie as a toddler (or perhaps even earlier!). Each loss (12 so far in my lifetime) is painful. So, I truly understand your pain and grief. Sending love your way Jan! ❤️

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It's almost impossible to say goodbye. They are amazing creatures and you have captured Athena in the photos. So sorry to hear this news. But it's a beautiful tribute.

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Mar 7, 2023Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

My heart hurts for you. I love the grand old lady photos. Those white snouts! Those ruffles in their coats that can no longer be reached for grooming! Rest in Love, Athena. And thank you for giving so much love.

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Mar 8, 2023Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

So sorry. It is so hard. They are so dear.

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Mar 8, 2023Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

Bittersweet. I have an older dog, 14. He is not a grand ole gentleman, but a cranky old, increasingly anxious dog. I try to give him what he asks for or guess what that may be. As I am also aging, I understand that we don't always know what we need and are just cranky. I try to have the same compassion for him that I wish from others. I appreciated your story and how owning a dog, or two is especially demanding of attention and compassion when they have come from a background of neglect or abuse. I was not my dog's first owner, although I got him at 11 months. He already had some baggage. Dogs are unique companions; they love without limit and teach us to do the same.

I will give him some extra snuggles tonight, after a difficult day. I am sorry there are no more chances for you and Athena to do that. You were a good mama.

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Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your loss- Athena was a beautiful, sweet gal. All I can say is I know how you feel. Sending you hugs...

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Oh goodness,I cried.

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Mar 8, 2023Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

I read an article once “The Heartbreak of an Old Dog.” But in this post, I am touched much more with the amazing being Athena was not just at the end but throughout--and the loving web of life she wove with you and Leo and Tom.

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Mar 8, 2023Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

Dear Jan, thanks for sharing. It’s time for me to get another best friend. I lost Logan six years ago. He was just shy of his 16th birthday. We have a large photo of him in our dining room. Check out: https://sowhatpresson.substack.com

Again, thank you! God bless you!

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Mar 8, 2023Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

So moving. Having had a horse farm I’ve taken in many dropped dogs and came to love every one. Seems like I’ve had to put down more buddies than anyone. If you had collected all my tears you would have flooded Joe Creek. Great story.

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Very sorry to hear about Athena, Jan. Remember you gave her a good life, for which she was clearly grateful. Not that it makes the loss any easier; of course it doesn’t. Nothing like a dog’s love though. I’m glad you still have that. Sending hugs 🤗

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Oh, so sweet and sad. I'm sorry you were away (we had been home only two days from a 10-day trip when our last dog died and it was heart-wrenching even though we were there at the time). As others have said, take time to grieve, as long as it takes.

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So sorry to hear about Athena, but thank you for sharing what must have been so hard to write! Your post about her hit a spot and unlocked a space specially reserved for my 3 dear, dear doggy companions. Each of them, when he or she passed away, marked an tremendous moment of loss I still feel today,. Each has his or her own special place in my heart. Max was a handsome, noble Doberman who came to be my playmate and companion when I was a very little girl . We were kids together and when he was old and sick I sat up all night with him in case I lost him,but when he finally died, he lay down quietly, in a garden in a bed of lilies all by himself. We found him there. Somehow the flowers around him made it easier to bear. My second was a mutt , a mix of heaven knows what. We heard some happy yips, as we were passing a small farm and picked the friendliest of the litter. I really believe they choose you! He was taken home at Christmas so my aunt named him Crismusbonus as we were huge Asterix fans. What he lacked in pedigree he made up in intelligence and curiosity. I pretended I had brought him home for my grandmother, but of course that was rot😁. She was very sporting about it as she loved dogs too. He parked himself beside her every morning for his biscuit and shared his loyalties between her and myself. We had many precious moments and I lost another playmate when he passed away, leaving a gap that was not filled for years and years.I got married, had children and moved to another city. No dogs in the mix. And still I yearned for a dog and so did my seven year old- In spite of a house full of children- my own and their friends ! And then somehow little Alice came into our lives. She was a rescue dog who was very special to the people who had to give her away. They wrote copious loving notes on her diet, preferences, habits, and behaviour. Years later, I still have those notes. She was surrounded by love and displaced from it to come to a home with a toddler of one and a little girl of seven. It was love at first sight except for my poor husband who was not used to pets! She soon wormed her way into his soft heart 😂After the two rough and tough gentlemen I had brought up, she was all girl and a revelation ! Now I had 3 little girls in the house🥰! She was fluffy and white and dainty and bright eyed and incredibly intelligent. We also wondered if she thought she was human or we were her pack of dogs💕. She positively flounced and stalked off in a huff if any interested male came sniffing round her nether regions which we were told was how dogs make friends. If I was working she would sit across the room and try to hypnotise me into dropping my work. And she was a jealous little brat, but she showed in very funny ways. She never bit or growled. She knew that would bring disapproval on her head and that she couldn’t stand. So, if she was on my lap and my toddler came along, she would put out her forepaws and give my poor little baby a good push so she sat in surprise on her nappy bolstered bottom, on the floor. I could go on forever.... the loss of Alice felt like the loss of a child and I totally get how you could not replace any of your dogs with another. They each have a space of their own in the elastic world of love. I’m now dog-less. I can’t brave yet another part of my core to be wrenched out. Thank you Jan for a beautiful requiem and a special space for sharing.

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