Monday, May 7, 2012

Nellie

{Farewell, Old Friend}

If you've been reading bigBANG for any period of time you may remember a blue merle blur in many of the shots of the farm; that's Nellie, our beloved farm dog, who lay her sweet head to rest for the last time on Thursday. She was fifteen years old, stone-deaf, nearly blind and riddled with cancer but still excited for one last gleeful, rickety game of fetch with my dad the morning we put her down.

Nellie started her life as a ranch dog in Montana, but after repeatedly scattering a hundred head of horses during morning wrangle (dyslexic herding instinct, or DHI, as my mother calls it) the apoplectic foreman happily bade my two naughty sisters abscond her to the east coast, unbeknownst to my parents until they picked the girls up at Newark Airport (Surprise, mom! We got you a crazy ranch dog that's never been inside a house before!). Nellie may not have been cut out for ranch life, but she sure hit the jackpot as a Jersey farm dog of leisure, herding children, chasing fat ponies, and keeping the white tail population in check. Come haying time, she'd "herd" my dad all the way up the hay fields and all the way back as he mowed and baled, up and back, up and back, all day long, not leaving his side until they came inside at the end of the long day, her soft white socks stained brilliant green. Devoted doesn't even begin to describe our Nell. 

We miss you with all our hearts, Nellie-kins. You were the best damn farm dog in all the land. No doubt you're already chasing Lemon around in circles up in the great green pastures of the sky.

49 comments:

  1. Tears. Saying goodbye is much too difficult. Hope you and the fam are doing okay!

    ReplyDelete
  2. more tears. i can tell you love animals as much as i do and you always write so beautifully about them. so sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tears for this sweet pup. She no doubt lived a beautiful life.. What a lovely story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh Lily, I'm so sorry. Thoughts with you today.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This breaks my heart. I'm so so sorry for your loss. We recently lost our family Airedale and it liked to kill us all. Thoughts with you. xxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. She sounds like the perfect dog. What a beautifully written tribute, Lily. My sympathies to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  7. oh lily, what heartache you must feel. my thoughts and sympathies are with you today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. :(

    Sad... but I'm sure she led a full and happy life.

    x the wasp

    ReplyDelete
  9. You write the most loving posts to/about your animals. I love that. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hugs to you all. I am so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Aw, thanks for the all the tender comments, everyone. What a great group of animal lovers! xo

    ReplyDelete
  12. So sorry for your loss. It is always heartbreaking to say goodbye to our furry friends/family members.

    ReplyDelete
  13. They are never with us long enough. Nellie will live on with you in your heart and will keep a watchful eye over you . This I am sure of. Peace, and Blessings to you all…. Nadia M

    ReplyDelete
  14. We lost our 16 year old tom cat, Alaska McGillicutty, last Thursday too. Our hearts are completely broken. Maybe Alaska McGillicutty and Nellie are romping in the sweet hereafter together.

    ReplyDelete
  15. crying as I type. so glad she was able to have such a happy life. I'm going to go hug my dog now.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful elegy, Lillette. So much fuzzy love to you and the sissies. xxxooo

    ReplyDelete
  17. It sounds like Nellie had a wonderful life.
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    Dogs are the best..... I'm glad she had so many happy times with your family.
    I'm certain that she is in that great green pasture running with Lemon.
    Peace to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  18. shedding a couple of tears over here. so sorry, lily, and my heart goes out to you and your family. losing a pet is completely heartbreaking, but the memories are never lost. xoxo joanna

    ReplyDelete
  19. <333 that is so tough. she sounds like a total sweetheart! *huggg*

    ReplyDelete
  20. Such sweetness.....I am crying over your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  21. you always write the best memoirs for your four-legged besties. makes my heart swell and my eyes pour.

    ReplyDelete
  22. a little waving-good-bye from berlin too. though I never met her, she sounds like an adorable dog!

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a wonderful life you all gave to sweet Nellie. Her eulogy is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am sorry for your loss. May she rest in well-loved peace.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. What joy animals bring to our lives. Peace be with you.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ahh I bet she had a lovely life and will be having a blast with lemon.

    ReplyDelete
  27. mayadog. she's there too, just going for a little ramble with her new friend, nellie.

    xo.

    ReplyDelete
  28. My heart....dear, sweet Nellie! And darling little Lemon! Oh, my heart is sad with and for you, Lily. xoxoxo

    xoxo
    c.

    ReplyDelete
  29. stumbled across your lovely blog and landed on this first post....broke my heart, that face!! they are such a part of the family....thoughts :-(

    ReplyDelete
  30. oh, nellie. her sweetness and loyalty are so transparent on that face. thinking of you, lily.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Bless her sweet heart~~There is Nothing like the love of a dog. Feeling for you right now my friend and sending you Loads of Love <3

    ReplyDelete
  32. ohhhhhh, sweet sweet Nellie. I am so sorry. Dog love is so painful because you know they will leave us-- but oh, what a life you gave her and what a love she gave you. am crying. must stop now. xoxo, e

    ReplyDelete
  33. Dammit!! I was so not prepared for this sad state of affairs!! Shoot- Well...15 is a good long life and no doubt she had a great one as described. So, so sorry. Losing a dog sucks ass. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ain't no companion like a blue eyed merle.

    love to your family.

    ReplyDelete
  35. My heart is breaking for you! So so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Tears. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sweet Nellie, what a beautiful life you had. So loved. Her haywire herding instincts were her greatest gift-- they landed her with her rightful family! ;) We should all be so lucky to find someone who loves us for our "faults" as much as our virtues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woody will happily play with her up there...he's the one-eyed Springer Spaniel who smells really bad but means really well. He knows where all the yummy dead things in the woods are, so track him down when you want a snack, Nellie. :)

      Delete
  37. Sleep well, sweet puppydog.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I don't even know where to begin with all these lovely comments. THANK YOU ALL for the outpouring of love! What a tender group of doglet-lovers you all are.

    Just, just....thank you. Nellie is totally feeling all the love in doggy heaven. xo.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh that sweet face. Big hugs to you guys, what a loss! <3

    ReplyDelete
  40. Just catching up in the blogosphere, read your post, and shed some tears. I am so sorry for your loss. It's the hardest thing to lose a furry family member. Sending good thoughts and hugs to you! xo

    ReplyDelete
  41. So sorry for your loss. She was beautiful. I lost my dog two months ago. It's so hard. Love to you.

    ReplyDelete
  42. much love to you and your blue dog, lily. i'm so sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh, I m so sorry. She is surely up there somewhere with Lemon and my cats, my dogs, hamsters, birds and parrot. She's in good company. This is what pet owners have to go through so often, because they never live long enough. A hundred million years wouldn't be enough in my opinion.
    Hugs Lilly.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hey Darling,

    So sorry to hear for your loss. My 16 year old girl pass on just before christmas last year. The vet came to the house, i set her up over looking the garden and she said good bye. The sun was shinning and it was the way i had imagined. Still it was hard she had been everywhere with me; two uni degrees, two long term relationships, the high, and lows. This year I had my first camping trip with out her, first boat trip with out her and I am slowly getting used to Sunday mornings with out her. I am glad though she is no longer in pain and happy when i think of all our wonderful memories.

    It is nice to be reminded of the bond others share with their friends. Your post is heart felt. The sun shines again x

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm so sorry. She looks like a lovely girl. Hang in there, I know it can be difficult.

    ReplyDelete

Your turn: