Phoebe, RIP

Now we are down to nine.

Back on the 18th January we had a scare in that we lost Hazel for a few hours; I wrote about that here.  The reason that comes to mind so clearly is that on the 19th we took our dog, Phoebe, down to see a specialist vet in Phoenix.

Phoebe in healthier times

Phoebe had been showing signs of blood in her stools but otherwise was a fit and happy dog and still eating well.  Our local vet thought that a colonoscopy might throw some better light on the problem.  In fact, the specialist in Phoenix rapidly identified swollen lymph glands, gave Phoebe a scan and diagnosed lymphoma.  It was a bombshell, more so as the specialist didn’t give Phoebe’s chances at much more than 7 to 10 days.

A loving Phoebe right to the end.

One of the recommendations from the specialist was to put Phoebe immediately on a grain-free diet and we have subsequently learnt the dangers of many grain-based dog foods.  We declined chemotherapy as her liver had already been compromised.

The change of diet plus boundless love and attention extended Phoebe’s life until yesterday morning when, around 3.15 am she had a seizure and entered a coma.  By 7.30 am Phoebe was very weak and not registering the world around her.  But she wasn’t in pain, and to the best of our knowledge, had not experienced pain during her last journey.

Last hugs before the last sleep.

Sometime around 9am Phoebe slipped away and Jean and I buried her a little later.  She lies in peace, under the shade of a tall Ponderosa pine.

Lilly, Phoebe and Paloma - Phoebe will live on in their memories.

Phoebe was such a sweet, loving dog.  Jean found her back in the Summer of 2004 when Jean was living, with her late husband Ben, in the coastal Mexican town of San Carlos.  Jean had been running a dog rescue operation for years just out of her love for dogs.

Jean came across this young, female dog, about 4 months old, running through the village of Santa Clara about 12 miles from San Carlos.  The dog was really thin and didn’t seem to belong to anyone so Jean brought her back to San Carlos and placed her in the lot where she looked after her rescue dogs while they were waiting for adoption by caring humans.  Jean found that this little black dog was totally friendly and loving to all.  But within a few weeks some of the bigger dogs in the lot started to pick on her and, Phoebe, as she was now known was taken back to Jean’s house and that was that.

And a final footnote.

Back to Phoebe’s seizure around 3am on Thursday morning.  Something woke me around 3.10am and I rolled out of the bed to make tracks for the bathroom.  Pharaoh sleeps on his blanket just inside the door to the bedroom and is always dead to the world until 7am, give or take.

But not yesterday morning.  He was sitting on his haunches, facing the closed door and totally alert.  He knew something was wrong in the room where Phoebe was, despite there being no sound at all.  Jean and I like to think that the last message that Phoebe sent out to her world was heard by Pharaoh.

23 thoughts on “Phoebe, RIP

  1. Tears spill as I read about Phoebe Paul, my thoughts are with both Jean and yourself.. Jean gave her a wonderful life and Phoebe’s own love and devotion to you both will I know leave a huge hole to be filled..

    Im sure your other Four-legged will also miss her so much as well.. I have no doubts that Pharaoh felt her departing Spirit Paul.. But like all our animals that we humans make that connection through that bond of love Paul, she will remain within your hearts and will as all your others who have departed this physical realm, will one day bowl you and Jean over when that reunion day comes along as they will once again run to greet their family home with tails a wagging :-).

    My thoughts and prayers are with you xx ~Sue


  2. I have no words. She was such a sweet gentle soul who was in charge. I am sorry Jean and Paul, I know how much this hurts, i still haven’t been able to start again with another pet. I still feel the pain. Hugs to both of you and please give Pharaoh a kiss on the head for me.. I know he will miss her. They all will. Love to all of you
    Linda and Gordon


  3. A sad story, but a happy one too. Phoebe’s life has enriched yours and Jean’s and in turn ours, your readers. Our animal friends never stop teaching us, do they?


  4. Dear people, I read all your comments out to Jean over our morning cup of tea. It meant a great deal to her, and therefore to me as well. Out of sadness comes joy, the joy of being connected with so many open hearts. Thank you all, Paul xx


  5. Paul and Jean,
    I, along with the others, offer my condolences. Such a precious pup, you brought each other joy, keep the happy memories.


  6. I am so sorry to hear about Phoebe. Im glad that she was at home and it was peaceful for her. She was a very loving dog, and I know you’ll miss her very much. I’ll check in later to see how you’re doing.



  7. Was Phoebe the one we talked about…the one that “grumbled”? I’m sure she is in doggie heaven telling all the other doggies what wonderful masters she had here on earth.


  8. Pets

    Did you hear about the girl
    Caught an undercurrent whirl?
    She was rescued by a dog,
    Blind as he would be in fog.

    In a street a pig played dead,
    ‘Cause his mistress, ill in bed,
    Needed help…not near a phone;
    ‘Cept for him, she was alone.

    Once there was a fire at night,
    Burning quietly, but bright,
    While the family slept fine;
    Kitty woke them just in time.

    Make your pet an honored guest,
    Just in case he’s put to test.

    These “honored guests” bless us every day and for me, more than the death of beloved humans, reminds us that earth is just a place we’re to learn from every living thing, especially from our pets who (yes, “who”) seem to know more than we do about what’s really important. Perhaps that’s why it’s so difficult to lose them.


    1. Dear Marcia, what a wonderful contribution to our parting to lovely Phoebe. Thank you so much. You may be interested to read tomorrow’s Post (i.e. Sunday). Take care, Paul


  9. Dear Paul and Jean,

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Phoebe (what a nice name) was beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing Paul, for there will be times for each of us when we must let go of our beloved dog friends and we will need kind words and love to soothe our hearts. I like the poem shared above, and all the kind words for Phoebe. She was blessed, for sure.

    With sympathy,
    May Peace fill your hearts,


    1. Michelle, sharing is so easy when Jean and I ‘feel’ the many arms that are extended in our direction. You and so, so many others give real purpose to loving these wonderful animals. Thank you, Paul


  10. So sorry to read this. I also felt my eyes well-up with tears. It is lovely that so many people understand the power of having animals in our lives. Having 2 dogs myself, it is hard to think about how I would possibly cope with the loss of one of them. Our little jack russel was a rescue dog who has gone from strength to strength and has such an amazing love for life. It fills me with joy everytime I see him run with abandonment, across the long stretches of grass in one of our parks here.
    It must be a relief to think that Phoebe drifted peacefully away in her sleep.


    1. Eleanor, a double pleasure to have your comment. First for offering such sympathetic thoughts and second for having my dear sister call by Learning from Dogs. Do hope you pop in from time to time, fondest love, Paul


  11. It’s amazing how reading about the loss of a dog brings us to a place of community. I am sorry for your loss of Pheobe. I know all too well the sadness you are feeling and void that losing a dog brings as we just lost our precious Golden Retriever, Sadie Mae on January 10th. We are still grieving and now realize our lives will never be the same. Thank you for being the king of people I admire and respect….dog lovers.


    1. Michelle, yes perhaps both literally and metaphorically the loss of love can offer us something that can only be a product of that lost love, love on a higher plane, such as the love from shared experiences. I think I just about followed what I have written – hope it makes sense to you!

      Please feel free to write something about Sadie and have me publish it – would be a privilege. Paul


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