He Was A Good Dog

He was a good dog.


FullSizeRender 2.jpeg

Taken just yesterday, by Megan.

Earlier today, Kelliann, Megan and I held our Snickers, scratched his back and told him what a good boy he was as he took his last breath. He got sleepy, started snoring as he normally did. . . then he stopped.  As difficult as it was, being there with him was the least we could do for a loyal dog that was part of our family for over fifteen years.  On his last trip to the vet’s, we stopped by Wendy’s for a  cheeseburger and a Frosty. Maggie, his companion for 15 years was there also so she could sniff him and understand that he was dead. If that sounds strange to you, please read this short article: What About Man’s Best Friend?


The last few days have been a bit surreal as I scheduled the appointment with the animal hospital almost a week ago and it was emotional knowing that his time with us was almost done. Without going into details, it was time.

This past weekend, our three daughters and their dogs were here for Mother’s Day. We all acknowledged what was on the horizon and it was “Spoil Snickers Weekend” It was the last family reunion with all the members present.


Strong, Young & Fast


Our first “rescue,” Snickers was abandoned in Aiken during the Fall 2003 Steeplechase event. He was taken to our veterinarian who tried tracking his owners down, but they denied knowing him.  She knew that Chip, our 12-year old yellow lab had recently died and Maggie, then six months old, was used to being around another dog. She was wondering if we might be interested in this handsome boy.  He was about the same age as Maggie and was scheduled to be neutered the following day.  Dr. Brown invited me to come and visit this young, skinny black Lab.

Upon meeting him, there was no doubt that he’d be coming to live with us.

The consummate gentleman, he and Maggie were together for fifteen years and while he would typically go through the door before her, he would always (yes, always) stop, turn around and wait for her before he would walk off the porch with her. This might be TMI, but he would usually wait to pee until after she did, and would pee on the same spot.  He didn’t do that with the other two, just Maggie.



Old, Frail & Slow

Our daughter Megan mentioned the other day that she doesn’t ever remember Snickers barking. Everyone agreed.


Snicker’s never lived up to being a retriever. Throw a tennis ball? He could care less.  He loved to go for rides in the car (unlike his younger siblings)  and was always content to occasionally sit at my feet while I smoked an evening cigar on the front porch. He would tolerate the aromatic clouds of Honduran, second-hand smoke and lick my finger after I would dip it in whatever adult beverage I was sipping. Like me, he seemed especially fond of Lagavulin Scotch.

There have been many ups and downs in my life over the last fifteen years and there were times I felt very alone, and deservedly so.  Snickers was unconditional.   He was a good listener and epitomized the “Ministry of Presence.”

Who rescued who?


At the old house, approx 3 years ago.

In his prime, he was young, strong and fast and like many of us, he grew to be old, frail and slow.

He was a good dog and when the day is done and the page is turned, that was enough.

Once his ashes are returned, he will take his place on the shelf next to Chip.

Thanks for fifteen, great years buddy.  I’ll miss you and never forget you.

Note:  I began writing this “obituary” a week ago and edited a little bit each day. If I had waited until today to start, it would be unintelligible.




About Ray V.

Living between Aiken & Charleston,, South Carolina, USA, I like to share what I am looking at, thinking about or listening to. I refer to this as the view out my window. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in black labs, Dog photographs, dogs, rescue dogs, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to He Was A Good Dog

  1. Osyth says:

    Ray, I am so sorry you have had to say goodbye to Snickers. Your touching eulogy to one of your best friends is perfectly wrought. Now that he is resting in all your hearts I wish him free runnings as he waits in his heaven for the time that you will all be reunited. Go softly, kind sir.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Candice says:

    So sad. You have my sympathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. P & J says:

    Sending our love and prayers to you and your family in the loss of your dear Snickers. Rainbow Bridge lies ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is sad. Sorry to hear of your loss. It’s never easy to lose a loved one and Snickers was well loved.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Claudia says:

    Awwww…we just put down my son’s dog Payton Saturday. She was 14. Such a good girl. She still had a little bounce, but she was in pain and was nipping at the baby. She was so much of my son’s life but she was so much of mine, too. I’m so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Quirky Girl says:

    Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Snickers lived a wonderful life with you and your family. May he rest in peace. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Xena says:

    Their life spans are so short that they deserve to have the best and happiest lives possible. Snickers had a wonderful life with you and the rest of his pack. In your grief, remember it’s because of your love for him. Thanks for sharing Snickers with us. (((((Hugs)))))

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Stephen Landry says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Ray. It’s sad when a loved one passes. I’m reminded of a blog post years ago by David Kanigan about the death of a companion: “The poignancy of a dog’s death is that it’s different only in degree, not in kind, from a human’s. … In the end, our dogs’ greatest gift to us is the saddest: they sprint ahead, pointing the way to our common fate.” http://thrive.davidkanigan.com/post/148837903876/in-the-end-our-dogs-greatest-gift-to-us-is-the

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a lovely tribute to a much loved and faithful friend. So sorry for your loss Ray.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so sorry for the loss of of your lovely old boy. Our doggy family bring such joy, companionship and laughter and it’s heartbreaking to let them go. Good night and God bless Snickers.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. E. says:

    My sincere condolences Big. You and your family had his love and he had yours. It doesn’t get any better than that. All the best to you and yours Ray. D.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Moved to core. So sorry Ray.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so sorry for your loss. Such love between you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lisanne3015 says:

    What a beautiful story.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Donna Remaley says:



  16. janowrite says:

    Ray, heartfelt condolences for this difficult loss – but what a wonderful tribute. I thought about your remarks having to do with bringing the other dog along so he/she knows his friend is gone – will bear it in mind when the time comes with our two, who were the only two in their litter and have always been together. It is always so hard to lose a pet, but you all did all you could. Thanks for sharing this story.


  17. okiewinegirl2015 says:

    Ray, thanks for sharing. It’s hard to let go of loved ones in Our Pack, as my husband says.


    • Ray V. says:

      It was sad and I’ll miss his personality, but it was time. The week leading up to yesterday was actually worse than the actual process. I’m glad I was able to be there with him and so are the two girls. My pack is down to three.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. misifusa says:

    Oh Ray, I have tears in my eyes. God bless Snickers. You each rescued the other and there’s no better relationship than that – unconditional love! I’m sorry for your loss…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ray V. says:

      Thanks, Yvonne. The time leading up to yesterday was much worse than the aftermath.. The death rate is 100%. When we choose to love, we choose to grieve. It was time. It was best for him. My daughters, Kelliann Visotski and Megan Visotski wrote FB posts that made mine look lame. Check them out.


      • misifusa says:

        I will check them out. I know what a great writer you are and surely they follow in their Dad’s footsteps. Thank you. Sending hugs. I know how hard it is…and I’m sad for all of you.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Debra says:

    I went to yoga tonight and an “old yoga friend” met me and and burst into tears…she’d just put her faithful companion down. We cried together and now here you are. We must be willing to let them go when they are in pain but it sure is tough. I understand the “who rescued who” comment. What a wonderful, faithful companion. I’m so sorry!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ann Koplow says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful dog. My deep condolences, Ray. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  21. JoAnna says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss and thankful for the good life you gave, Snickers. Spreading your grief out like that is a good idea. It never ends, but it does get softer.


  22. I’m crying with you.


  23. Sunny says:

    Hi Ray, I’m so sorry about your loss. He was a handsome boy, and a very good dog, I am sure. I’ve been there with 4 cats, and many before them, and Daisy, this good kitty girl, almost 11, that we share our lives with now will probably be our last pet. It’s just too hard.


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