Waking Up


Yesterday we had to let go of our little girl pug, Francoise. She had been hit with a very aggressive form of intestinal cancer. It was time to end her suffering. She was six years old.

Most of the morning I sat with her in the sun next to her favorite lemon tree, reassuring her that we loved her, we would take care of her brother, Rascal and the Little Dude and that it was okay for her to go. It was a beautiful, sad day because I don’t know about you, but most of my days are a blur of activity and worrying and thinking. They’re like dreams on fast forward.

But as I scratched Francoise’s fuzzy ears next to the lemon tree, and then later, placed my hand on her head while the vet administered the euthanasia, I’ve never been more awake, more in tune with the present moment. And I’m so happy, so privileged to have helped someone I loved to let go.

I still tear up when I see Francoise’s leash and harness by the hall door, or when I think about how she’d sit with her hind legs spread-eagled. But then the tears ebb when I see Rascal and the Little Dude come tearing around the corner, off to carry out some mischief. (Last night I caught them trying to get into one of the toilets.) I remember to live in the present, to go running after them without any thought about what I should be writing or what I should be doing. Francoise taught me that. She was a wise little soul.

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10 thoughts on “Waking Up

  1. Francoise, I am holding you in the light. Mary, I am so sorry for your loss but am glad that you had that crystalline moment of being with her.

  2. What I will miss most about Francoise, my little pug niece, will be how dignified she could be in the face of Rascal’s rascality. She truly was a special little girl. I’m glad you got to spend her last day with her, Mary. Much love surrounds you.Jen

  3. Mary and Ryan and “little dude” and Rascal,I have no doubt that Francoise will be with you a lifetime.Anyone that has the distinct pleasure of having dogs or cats knows that they are not just pets…but part of the family.My heart was breaking reading your post..but knowing how much she loved all of you was a wonderful feeling. She knew how much she was loved too.Sandy

  4. Thank you so much everyone for all of your kind words and thoughts. The world seems like a much better place with all of us out there spreadin’ the love.Mary

  5. Oh Mary – I’m so sorry to hear the news. Francoise made a loving presence in your life, and you are richer for that. I know what you are going through. My ex-jerk actually put our lab down last week, and he didn’t tell me until 4 days later. I didn’t even get to say good-bye.

  6. Mary, I’m crying for you. It’s so hard to lose a member of the family.When our Abbey died three years ago, we sat with her and stroked her head and told her to go on ahead and play while she waited for us. I think they do feel your love for them and I know Francoise is happier where she is–and I suspect she’ll be keeping an eye on all of you

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