Thursday, June 21, 2007


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A photo by my husband, Brian Grogan-- Huan surveying the water near Sooke, BC.

Huan (pronounced hoon and named after the Hound of Valinor, the Great Hound from J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-Earth) died last week. He was my stepson Sean's dog-- a beautiful big mix of German Shephard and Newfoundland. He also had a loving "mommy", Sean's ex-girlfriend S., and lived partime with both of his "parents", and his "sister" Skeena, a purebred Samoyed.

Sean with Huan and Skeena

S. with sleepy dogs.

He was also our "grand-dog" (as is Skeena) and spent alot of time at our house when recuperating from an accident (he couldn't keep up with Skeena, and needed to be somewhere quiet for a while!) He was good with our cats, who tolerated him better than the speedy, more high-strung Skeena. Huan loved to chase sticks and when he got one you had to have a little tussle with him to get it away to throw again! He also LOVED to get his head scratched and would nudge your hand for more!


Sean and S. found Huan up in Quesnel, BC as a little roly-poly puppy about 10 years ago. Skeena joined the family a little later. Huan had a terrible accident before his first year was out, and was hit by a truck, which broke his pelvis. He was in alot of pain and could just drag his lower body for some time. Sean and S. had to do alot of carrying, and he was a heavy boy! It is only through their patience and determination that he survived!

S. with Skeena and Huan

Lately, Huan had been plagued with a broken tooth, a broken toe, and a benign tumor that had to be removed. But his breathing was labored and they finally found out that he had a tumor pressing on his lung that could not be removed. As his breathing became more difficult, and his pain greater, they had to make the decision to put him to sleep.

His death was dignified and surrounded by love. Sean spoiled him for a few days and then they went to S.'s house where she had set up candles all over the living room, and played Buddhist music. She and Sean held Huan while the vet eased him into his final sleep, and my husband Brian, S.'s husband and baby son were there, too. S. told us that the vet was crying, too (I am, too, as I write this).

Sean brought Huan to our place, and dug a grave beside 4 trees growing together, which I named "The Four Guardians". Huan was wrapped in his favorite Navajo blanket and looked as if he was snuggled up for bed. We had a little ceremony and said our goodbyes. Sean marked the grave with a little wooden sculpture which a local artist had made when Sean's mother died.

Throughout the day we told Huan stories and looked at pictures of him. What a good friend he was!


Anonymous said...

im very sorry for the family loss.

Anonymous said...

I grieve with you and your family. Our "fur children" own our hearts and bring out the very best in us.

Brenda W. said...

Gosh ... here I am crying in my office at work as I read this wonderful, loving story!! Thanks for sharing, Bryanna!!

Spice Island Vegan said...

My condolences! I am so sad that you lost such a wonderful dog. He will always be in your heart.


Anonymous said...

It brings tears to my eyes, Bryanna. These friends touch us so deeply. Hugs, Pat

Vegetation said...

You made me cry. What a special boy he was and still is and what a lovely send off he got. There's nothing harder in life than losing our best and loyal friends. Thinking of you and your family.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

so much love to you and yours. now that Huan is released from pain may he visit you often when you need release from your own.

such a beautiful post.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

thank you soooo much for the tsp/tvp info. it's just the kind of thing I was hoping to gain with that post.

Melody Polakow said...

Awww..... I'm crying too.... what a beautiful tribute to him... it is obvious how much he was loved... *HUGS* to all of you...

Kate said...

I know how hard it is to lose a furry memeber of your family. The pictures are very heartwarming and beautiful.

Dori said...

This post brought tears to my eyes also having put a pet of 12 years down less than a year ago too.
My condolences.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thank you for all your kind words and gthought, everyone!

Veg-a-Nut said...

And I cried as I read of your loss. What a beautiful granddog he was. I am glad he is at peace and out of pain. I believe we will see our fur children again.

Beautiful pictures and beautiful memories!

Silvia said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. That was a beautiful tribute you posted. I know how heartwrenching it is to lose an animal family member. Hopefully having Skeena will help to ease the pain.
Peace & Love ~ Silvia

JH said...

Thus Huan spoke, who never before /
Had uttered words, and but twice more /
Did speak in elven tongue again: /
“Lady beloved, whom all Men, /
whom Elfinesse, and whom all things /
with fur and fell and feathered wings /
should serve and love- arise! Away! /
Put on thy cloak! Before the day /
Comes over Nargothrond we fly /
To Northern perils, thou and I.” /
And ere he ceased he counsel wrought /
For achievement of the thing he sought. /
There Luthien listened in amaze, /
And softly on Huan did she gaze. /
Her arms about his neck she cast – /
In friendship that to death should last.