Saturday, March 24, 2012

Shamrock, still smiling after all those years.

Shamrock Hegarty  January 1999 - March 2012
Photo taken March 14, 2012

We met you at the Kitchener pound on St. Patrick's Day 1999.  Took you for a walk.  Or rather, you took us.  That never much changed.   Four year old Daughter begged.  I had been somewhat serious about the pound outing.  You were named before we left the parking lot after making the application to adopt you. That mandatory three day wait to adopt was exciting and terrifying.  I was expanding my circle of dependents, willingly. The small Canadian Hegarty clan of 2 humans (me, Daughter) and one cat (RIP Cadbury) was about to include a canine.

This past St. Patrick's Day, our fourteenth together, I wondered about the upcoming ultimate decision I was facing.  Because you did give us warning dear girl.  I thank-you for that.  We all knew it was getting close. And last week, after you had perked up again - perking up at this stage was measured by your ability to get up and down the steep old staircase in our house - I briefly thought back to the days when you could still hear me speak but you were showing clear signs of slowing down.  The days when I'd say, "It'd be mighty helpful if you just up and died on us one day so that I don't have to face the ultimate decision."

Of course, the ultimate decision is making the appointment.  The one with the needle.  The one with the public portrayal of tears, even if that public is the home visiting veterinarian.

You and I communicated well for 13 years.  I didn't always agree with you, nor you with me.  But I guess you agreed with me on the ultimate decision and conveniently died this weekend on our front porch.  The very same porch we sat on together for many an racing through your elder years while I meandered into middle age.  

I don't know how I'll cope with losing two dependents in one year...Daughter to University and you to the ultimate dogapalooza in the sky.  But I won't think about that now.  I'll think about your goofy smile, your crooked ears and your never ending supply of adoration for your clan.  And the formidable number of complete strangers that stopped me over the years to tell me how beautiful my dog was.  Perfect, even in death, you were.


  1. Bawling my eyes out.
    The ears did me in. Completely.

    1. We had some great laughs over her ears over the years tho, eh? xo

  2. Shine on, dear Shamrock, in memories treasured so fondly. Susan in Waterloo xoxo

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your dear ole friend. My thoughts are with you both,
    Jackie & Ole Baxter

    1. Oh I am bawling. Give Baxter and yourself a big ole squeeze for me plz. Thx. xo

  4. Not a dry eye in the place...

  5. Oh my, Orla, I feel for you, I really do. I said goodbye to Devo in his 14th year so i know this is a very difficult time.

    What you wrote here in tribute to your dear Shamrock gave me goosebumps. It's really beautiful.

    Caring hugs to get you through this, dear pal.
    Urs xox

  6. Oh Orla I am so sorry I only just now caught up with this very sad news. I know exactly how it feels. They are serial heartbreakers because their lives are mere fragments of ours.

  7. Thanks Antonia. It has been tough but also a serious time of reflection. This morning was the first morning I felt comfortable in my dogless house.


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