Monday, August 17, 2015

Rest In Peace, Conner Dog

Conner J. Dog  March 15, 2003 - August 16, 2015
Yesterday afternoon our beloved Conner Dog succumbed to heart failure and we had to have him put down. It was very sudden and very unexpected, with everything changing in the course of an hour. There were many tears, and it will be quite a while before the house feels normal again. We all got to give him final hugs and say our goodbyes, but it still doesn't feel real. He was part of our family for 12 years. All three of us have holes in our hearts.

There are lots of great Conner stories to tell, and over the next few weeks they will be told. But this post is all about how important that fuzzy little cocker spaniel was in my life. Many of you know that he was my constant companion over the past 8 years. He woke me up in the mornings, often far too early. We took 4 or 5 walks together every day. I fed him, and he played fetch with me. And he knew exactly what to do to pry an extra Beggin' Strip out of me. When I got McDonald's breakfast for the family, Conner got a Sausage McMuffin. He would lay his head on my thigh to beg for food. We GOT each other. He was my buddy.

But none of those things were his most important contribution to my life. When life fell apart for my family back in 2007 and we moved back to Tampa, I was very scared and alone. Marilyn and Will loved me, but they were gone to work and school every day. My neighbors were afraid of me. We had no internet and no social media, and this blog didn't exist yet. Almost no one even had my phone number because I assumed none of my friends would ever want to talk to me again. For the better part of 2 years I was alone all day, every day. Except for my faithful dog -he was always by my side. To Conner, I never stopped being a good guy and his love was totally unconditional, just as long as there was food. When Marilyn and Will took trips without me, Conner was always here. On days when it was hard to imagine life ever being good again, Conner would lick my elbow and beg to be rubbed. When ever I was tempted to give up, he was always pulling me out of my chair and taking me for a walk. Conner Dog was my life-support for nearly 2 years. And our bond was so strong because of it.

There is no replacing a family member like Conner. You don't move on and you don't get over it and you don't forget. You just remember- and love. We are thankful that he did not suffer. We are thankful that we got to say goodbye. And we know our lives will never, ever be quite the same. RIP, C-Doggy. I hope that doggy heaven is filled with endless Beggin' Strips. And maybe even your own ice cream bowl.


  1. Anonymous8/17/2015

    So sorry for the family's loss, hugs for you all!

  2. So sorry for your loss. It is always hard to lose a pretty, especially one that has seen you through hard times.
    Praying for you all.

  3. Sorry to hear of the loss, brother. We had to put our 12 y/o black lab down last November and there's still a huge void in our family. She'd been with us through several moves, the births of our children, and like you said - so unconditionally loyal and faithful through everything. I largely hated my time living in Illinois and when it felt like everyone I knew and loved was so far away, she was right there. As you know, my youth ministry stint was a rough ride. I'd come home some days literally in tears while no one else was there. But my pooch would just come over and lay at my feet, almost like "It's okay man, God's got this!" I wish I could love people like our dogs love us, which is more like Jesus!

    1. Thanks so much for those words of reassurance, Drew. Conner never let me down. I wish I could love like that as well.

  4. Anonymous8/16/2016

    Thanks be to God who brings into our lives those who accept us without reservations. Connor needed to be the touch of the Lord's hand where so m many of us couldn't or wouldn't. I grieve with you, Marilyn, and Will as you feel the gap once fiiled with barks of love and undying acceptance. Celebrate Connor as the Divine gift of God's love just for y'all...


    P.S. Maybe he'll find Marley in heaven and they can be friends...


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