Home > Miscellaneous, Pet Adoption, Photos > Goodbye Gabe.

Goodbye Gabe.


This past Friday my friend Beth had to say a heartbreaking goodbye to her beloved Great Dane, Gabe.

Gabe was a big, beautiful Harlequin. He had a big heart, a gentle spirit and the most adorable and endearing face I have ever seen. She adopted him from the Minnesota Valley Humane Society, where we both volunteered as dog walkers, when he was about 4 years old.

You know how they say that dogs pick us? Well, I believe he had her at “Hello.” I’ve never seen a dog bond to someone as quickly as he did with Beth. He loved her deeply and with utter devotion. I believe he would have followed her to the ends of the earth.

When I visited them last weekend, I knew his time was near. It broke my heart to see him struggle to hold his back legs up so he could get a few pets and ear rubs from me. What a beautiful wonderful soul. Yup. He had me at “Hello” too. I know Beth, her husband, and her daughters are missing him terribly. Maybe that’s why this posting on a friend’s page resonated so much with me today when I saw it.

‎”Dog’s lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you’re going to lose a dog, and there’s going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can’t support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There’s such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and for the mistakes we make because of those illusions.” ~ Dean Koontz, from “The Darkest Evening of the Year”

Godspeed Gabe. May your legs once again be strong when you stand to greet your momma at that Rainbow Bridge.

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  1. August 28, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Unbearable pain when these sweet, devoted angels have to return home. I adopted a black lab almost 3 months ago & I can’t be without her.

    So sorry you lost Gabe, I know he adored you until the end.

    • Mel
      August 28, 2011 at 11:16 PM

      Thanks Dubba. So agree.

  2. August 28, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Sorry you lost Gabe. He’s an angel now looking down making sure things are ok. God bless.

  3. August 28, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Heart breaking. Hugs to gabe’s family.

  4. August 29, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    So sorry to hear about Gabe. Our heart goes out to his family.

    Beautiful quote. Thank you for sharing.

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 6:39 AM

      Thanks 24 Paws. I hope that Beth and her family feel some comfort in knowing that they gave a shelter dog a great home and lots of love.

  5. Karen Hollebrands
    August 29, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    A touching tribute, Mel. I’m glad you got to spend special time with Gabe. It surely was a treat for him and meant alot to his family that you visited.

    And I agree with 24 Paws of Love…. Beautiful quote and thanks for sharing.

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 6:37 AM

      Thanks Karen. I remember when Beth first brought Gabe into the playroom at MVHS and he put his head in her lap. He wouldn’t leave her side that whole time. I knew it was a done deal then. He was a really lucky dog because he was loved by so many.
      I love that quote too. I think it is so true.

  6. August 29, 2011 at 7:51 AM

    The fact that you’re going to outlive your dog is one of the major reasons my mother always refused to own pets. She didn’t want to get attached, and then lose it. She felt losing people was hard enough, we didn’t have to bring in “optional” attachments.

    I went through my own brief (mercifully very brief) experience of fear and panic when my dog was sick last week. I know when his time comes, in 7-10 years, I’ll be a complete and utter mess. But I can’t imagine our home without him in the here and now.

    Great Danes are awesome dogs and I’m sure Beth is quite heartbroken. The only consolation is that, without Beth, Gabe would have been just another shelter dog either euthanised or living out his days in a kennel without his One Special Person. Beth saved a life, and that act is eternal.

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 10:26 PM

      How interesting Lori. I can see your mom’s point, and actually don’t blame her, but I don’t think I could give up having a dog or cat because of the pain and loss I will someday feel. They bring so much to my life.
      I know how scared you were last week. I am so glad that you didn’t have to face a difficult decision so soon.
      I hope that Beth is comforted by the fact that Gabe had a life filled with love instead of a bleak one in a shelter. He really was so very lucky.

  7. August 29, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    Such a nice tribute… my heart goes out to Beth on the loss of her beloved Gabe.

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 10:15 PM

      Thanks Pup Fan.

  8. TK
    August 29, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    This is a beautiful tribute to Gabe. Is a good reminder to all of us.
    We purr fur the comfurt of Gabe’s fambily and hopes that they remembers, even as it hurts, how very very lucky him was to has been let to pick such wonderful peepoles.

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 10:15 PM

      Thanks TK. He was a lucky dog and I have no doubt they feel lucky too. He certainly was loved and adored. What more could a dog ask for?

  9. August 29, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    I am so sorry to hear about your friend’s loss. It doesn’t matter how long we have with our animals. One year or twenty, the time is always much too short. My heart goes out to her family. I am sure they have many wonderful memories of Gabe to look back on. He will be greatly missed.

    I love the quote you included and I think it depicts it all so accurately. It’s a brave thing to do, really, fall in love with a friend you know you will likely outlive.

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 10:14 PM

      SOOOOO agree Kristine. They have lots of lovely and funny memories Kristine. I hope they can remember him with a smile. I don’t know how many times he ran right through the screen door, but it was definitely more than once. 🙂
      P.S. I loved that quote too. I like that you called it a brave thing to do. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it’s so true.

  10. August 29, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Great quote…I can’t even imagine what it is going to be like to loose Bruno. Our thoughts are with Beth. Godspeed to Gabe.

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 10:11 PM

      I really love Dean Koontz. He’s a big dog person. His quote was spot on in my book. I can’t even imagine what it will be like when I lose Daisy and Jasper, but I know it will be painful to experience.

  11. August 29, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    So sad – much love to Gabe’s family. And a good reminder to all of us to hug our pups, take time to appreciate how special they are, and don’t forget for a moment that we’ll be facing this one day too.

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 10:07 PM

      Thanks Amy. I hope Beth and her family are feeling a lot of love today. I think times like these make us appreciate our pets so much more. I know I definitely had many thoughts about how I will handle it when I have to say goodbye to Daisy and Jasper. 😦

  12. August 29, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Spend those few moments to with your dog and your special peeps every day to let them know how much you enjoy being near them. Our dogs teach us to love unconditionally and when we lose them its’ a huge gaping missing part of each and every day. Dogs are the best teachers of loving life and the fact that we lose them so quickly is heartbreaking.

    I try to make it a lesson for myself and to share with others to seize the moment every day.

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 10:03 PM

      Beautiful message JT. I have tried to do that for my dogs and cat. They just leave us too quickly.

  13. August 29, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    I’m so sorry for Gabe’s passing. They’re just not with us long enough, but they add so much to our lives while they’re here. Wishing peace and comfort to Gabe’s family. xo

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 9:43 PM

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks Kristin.

  14. August 30, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    My sisters and I are very sorry to hear about sweet Gabe and we send many purrs and hugs to his loving family.

    • Mel
      August 30, 2011 at 6:43 AM

      Thanks Brian. I hope all the nice comments by folks will make Beth know that she is not alone.

  15. August 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    What a handsome boy and such a lovely story about how they found each other 🙂 Sending hugs to your friend Beth. Thank you for the beautiful quote, their time with us is definitely too short!

    • Mel
      August 30, 2011 at 9:27 PM

      So agree Julie. He really did bond with her almost immediately. He was an amazing dog.

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