Thursday morning Matthias and I took Holden to the vet and had him put to sleep.  It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

On May 2, 1999 we took a little husky pup home.  We didn't know what we were doing.  We needed to stop on the way home to buy bowls for his food and water, a collar and a leash.  We lived in a one bedroom apartment on the 4th floor.  We already had two cats, two snakes and a tank full of fish.  We had part-time jobs and Matthias was going to school.  Looking at it logically, it was a very stupid thing for us to do.  But it was probably the best thing we ever did.

Like with Talula, we don't have many photos of Holden as a puppy.

He was the cutest puppy.  People in cars would literally pull over, get out of their cars and come over to talk to us about him.  Someone once asked to take his photo.  Even during this last car ride to Cleveland, someone came over to me at the rest area to ask about him.

Matthias and I both feel such a sense of loss.  I sometimes forget that he's gone.  I wake up thinking I need to go let him out.  I think about taking him for a walk.  His bed is still in the porch.  His blanket in my car.  Clumps of his fur is in the yard.  My brother and my brother-in-law were both right when they said, he was family.  He was.

We've been reminiscing about all the good times we had with him.  We've been looking at old photos.  Friends and family have been sending photos to us and I've been sending photos to them.  I think we have thousands of photos of him.

He was a serious dog.  Well behaved and gentle.  He loved coming with us, wherever we went.

We went for so many walks with him.  One of the reasons that Matthias and I wanted to get a dog was that our favorite thing to do together is to go for walks and hikes.  He would get so excited when we'd go to his favorite places.  I used to like to rile him up.  He wasn't a barker at all, but he'd talk and sing.  Asking him if he wanted to go to the frog bog and rolling down the window for him when we got close always brought a chorus of "woo-woo-woo"s from him.

He loved the snow.  Even when he was old and stiff, when we went out for a walk on a snowy day he'd be inspired to do some running.

And he almost always had snow on his nose

because he used to like to bulldoze through the snow, sniffing for cold, secret clues.  Unlike most huskies he was less interested in running than he was in sniffing.  The few times that he got out of the yard he was always found nearby with his nose to the ground.  But he did like romping around and playing.

And when he ran, you'd never be able to catch up with him.

He used to come everywhere with us.  Visiting friends and family out of town.  But also, he would go to work with Matthias and sleep under his desk or nearby.

He was a very cultured dog.  Got lots of exposure to art when Matthias worked for arts organizations.

And enjoyed being out in the courtyard surrounded by sculpture.

He was always up for anything.

Even when it was something he didn't like doing (he hated water).  He was always curious and loved meeting interesting people

and animals.

And hanging out with his favorite people

He was a picky eater and one of the hard things as he got older was making sure he ate enough; he kept losing more and more weight.  But he was always ready for people food.

And liked to help in the kitchen.

He also liked to help when we worked in the garden.

He and Talula were pals.  She liked him better than she liked our other cat.

It is hard that both of them are gone.

But as sad and as hard as it is, I am so grateful to have spent so many years with him.

I'm going to be taking a blogging break for a bit.  I'll be back in a week or so.


  1. I forgot how much Holden loved signs. Goodbye Holden...you were a wonderful dog.

  2. oh Anne, sending heartfelt hugs. What an extra-ordinary and beautiful being you had the blessings to meet. Much love to you xx

  3. I am so sorry. They are family and it is so hard to let go. Sending love ♥

  4. this is one of the best love stories i've read in a long time.

    i can't find the words to express what i'm feeling.

    sending you love and hugs and some small comfort.


  5. Heartbreaking news. I´m so sad he´s gone and so glad I got to met him through your eyes. Such a loving, lovable dog. Beautiful memories. {{{big big hugs}}}

  6. Sending all my hugs and love. Such a lovely photo tribute.

  7. I'm so sorry Anne. They really are a part of the family and leave a huge gap when they go. I'm glad you wrote this post, I was always wondering about him when you'd mention him in other posts. Every dog has their own personality and it's so nice to read about Holden and how he fit into your lives. You have some fantastic photos in there. Some faves are: chubby little puppy photo, the one where he's lying with someone by the door and the one with the book in it (he looks so innocent yet hiding something lol!). Sending you my thoughts and looking forward to your return!

  8. I am so sorry Anne. It is obvious through your story and pictures how much you loved Holden and how much he loved you. Thank you for sharing him with me.

  9. Oh Anne, what a sweet and sad post. I can see why you loved this beautiful dog so much. What a sweetheart. I can identify with your sorrow, but I'm glad you're able to look at the memories of such a special relationship and the good times you had with Holden. Sending healing wishes to you and Matthias.

  10. Anne, what a sweet tribute to such a wonderful member of your family. The photos show how big a part he played in your life and how much he will be missed. My sympathy goes to you and Matthias as you mourn your dear companion. So sorry for your loss.

  11. Oh Anne,

    I am so sorry for your loss!

    My sincerest condolences.

    Big hug

  12. Oh Anne - big hug. I have tears in my eyes from reading this. So sad. I'm so sorry for you both. We have only had Lottie a few months by comparison but I can already measure the loss she would be. Those photo's show a very happy dog who lived an interesting and well loved life. xxxx

  13. A lovely tribute to Holden. I am sure that you feel empty right now. Thank you for telling us about him. He had a lovely character and I am sure that he was just as pleased that you and Matthias were his owners as you were having him as a pet. Such a beautiful boy. x

  14. Oh Annest of Annes, I'm so sorry to hear about Holden. I know how you loved him. What a loss!

  15. Dear Anne
    I am so very sorry to read of your loss of Holden - what a precious and loyal friend you had in him. The many images you've shared says it all. I can see he was a much loved and adored faithful one. I feel for and with you in your grief but how wonderful you have so many glorious memories.
    Your blog is beautiful.

  16. What a beautiful dog, your heart must be broken. Our dog is getting old and my brothers family dog just passed away - they do become such a part of your way of life. My sister in law says she's missing the simple rituals like letting the dog out or feeding her some scraps. Thankyou for sharing your beautiful story.

  17. Oh Anne, I'm so sorry, I know how heart breaking this is. Your sweet Holden was a beautiful being. It's always so hard to say good bye. Love and Light and hugs. xo

  18. Holden was obviously a special dog. You're so lucky to have gotten to have him in your life, and he was lucky to have you, too.

  19. I'm so sorry about Holden. And so sorry that I've not been around for so long that I've only just read about your loss. Thank you for sharing your Holden photos & stories - he was a gorgeous looking dog & I can see a warm hearted special friend.
    Wish I could give you a hug in person. But I'm sending my love & thoughts along the invisible virtual lines of communication.
    Kat Xx

  20. My name is vivian, from argentina.
    I'm crying, because I understand the pain. My dog Vicky, has gone the 21st August. She was with me for 15 years and today I miss her with all of my heart. She was my baby, my friend, and now I feel so lonely... I hope the Dog's Heaven exist, because they deserve it.

  21. Awwwh... I am so sorry. Those were precious photos and memories you shared. He was lucky to have you and you him.


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