dog Bonny died at home peacefully on February 7, 2009, just two months
shy of her 20th birthday. She was an incredible creature. Her story (which I wrote in 2004) inspired millions and forced good change on New York City. Despite her hard
moments, Bonny was eternally happy. She was also eternally loved, and
will now be eternally missed. I've been preparing myself for this moment for years, which helps a lot, but doesn't mean it's easy.
Our dogs' lives are so much more meaningful than many might think, for they infuse our own lives with moments of genuine joy, something in short supply for most of humanity.
My 17-yo cat died when I was 18, so she had been with my almost all of my life. To make it worse, it was my first week of college. Anyway, in a few days, I got to a point where I wanted to stop thinking about her so I wouldn't be sad, but I didn't want to stop thinking about her because I didn't want to forget anything. The way I dealt with it was to write down all the memories I had about her so I could move on without forgetting.
Thanks for the condolences. I'm a big believer in doing anything necessary to make a pet's death the best experience possible for everyone. It's actually something I've written quite a bit about.
I didn't know if you were going to bring this out on the blog but I'm so glad you did. Bonny's story is absolutely amazing and, if you don't mind me saying so at this time of mourning, your writing about it in 2004 is tremendously moving. In fact, everytime I click on a Skloot link, I am blown away by your gift.
Back to Bonny - your Facebook pictures from the link above show a life of love and happiness given to a wonderful friend and companion by some truly special people. The world is all the better for the love and happiness you have shared. As a family of dog-lovers, we send you and yours our deepest condolences and warmest wishes of comfort.
Thanks so much, Abel. I've re-read that story many times over the years (something I rarely do with stories I've written), and it still fills me with as much adrenalin as it did while I wrote it. It was the most difficult story I've ever done because I had to relive the moment over and over again from first draft to publication. That was a good thing for the story -- my anger and sorrow infuse every word of that piece and give it a pretty intense momentum -- but it was very hard on me. At one point during the revision process, I drove several hours to take my computer to a beach so I could finish the story in the sun, feet buried in the sand, listening to the waves to keep me calm.
What's most amazing to me is how relevant the story still is. When I went onto the NY Magazine site today to get the link to post here, I realized that people have been posting comments on the story for years. Most of them are heart wrenching tales from people who found their way to my story after their own dogs were attacked. To this day, four years after the story was published, I still get at least one email a month from readers with similar stories.
Sorry for your loss.
My condolences - it's always heartbreaking that our furry friends don't live as long as we do, since they become as much part of our families and lives as other people. I'll be devastated when my Lani's tine us up... but I remember a quote I once heard about dogs, something about them packing as much love into 10 years or so as we do in 100.
PS That story is incredible - Bonny is so lucky to have survived!
From a vet tech to a former one, I am so very sorry for your loss. No matter how long we have to prepare, it's never enough. I lost my boy to heart disease last June and there's never a day that I don't think of him. He inspired me to become a tech. I am glad that you and Bonny had such a wonderful, long life together and that she served as an inspiration to so many. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
I just had to put down my dog Fletch. He was 85 pounds of happy. Ten pounds of it was a tail that never stopped wagging. Adopted out of an abandoned box by the side of the road I had no idea how big he would get. He survived growing up running free when we lived next to a busy intersection. He had piercing blue eyes and a stare that would scare the devil himself but not an aggressive bone in his body. He had a projectile bark that could knock an apple out of a tree.
Dead at twelve years old from cancer.
I'm so sorry to hear of Bonny's passing. Her story is what brought me to your blog, which I now enjoy reading faithfully. As someone surrounded by many animals, I know what it's like when one leaves us. You'll be in my thoughts as you go through this tough time. Thank you so much for sharing Bonny's story with all of us. She was lucky to have you as her person. :-)
My condolences. It's very sad when one of our companions leave us. Take heart in knowing that you gave her a good life.
"Her story (which I wrote in 2004) inspired millions and forced good change on New York City."
What kind of change? The story was touching and frustrating. I'd like to hear that things have gotten better.
Sklooty, I'm sorry for your loss. It is so painful to lose a beloved pet.
I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's always hard even for those that have lived a long life and are old and ready to go. Dogs are the best companions as far as I'm concerned.
I'm curious what happened to Harry and his dogs. Are they still out on the loose? It's so insane. It seems like it should be common knowledge that dogs in a pack are dangerous. Has any sanity prevailed in the meantime on that issue?
God speed Bonny.
From one dog owner to another I can only offer my deepest sympathies. You never get over their loss but you learn to live with it. The joy they bring us is so worth whatever inconvenience they cause us. May you find another friend soon.