through the fish-eyed lens of tear stained eyes

My dog Ferris, who was rescued from a bus stop in Monrovia by my wife Anne almost exactly 8 years ago, had a heart attack and died this morning. It happened very quickly, and I was with her, which is supposed to make me feel better, but at this moment all I can feel is nearly-unbearable sorrow, and the empty space in my life left behind by my awesome dog

Ferris Wheaton

Bye bye, Ferris. I love you and miss you. You were the best dog ever.

A small request: if you choose to comment, please don't post that Rainbow Bridge thing. I know you mean well, but it has always made me uncomfortable.

436 thoughts on “through the fish-eyed lens of tear stained eyes”

  1. I had to take my dog of 9 years to the pound when I was 16. We lost our house and couldn’t find a place that would let us keep a pet.
    This song has nothing to do with my dog, or yours, but I’ve always loved this refrain:
    Oh, Fred, you are a good dog,
    But the women got you runnin’ wild and crazy as a loon.
    Fred, you are a good dog,
    Now you’re chasin’ cars around the bars and howlin’ at the moon.
    It helps me get past the ‘missing my dog’ moments that I still get. By the way, that happened almost 30 years ago …

  2. I’m so sorry, Wil, truly. My husband and I feel your pain quite pointedly. We lost all 4 of our cats (3 of whom we’d had for a decade) in one fell swoop last year when our house burned. They were our best friends. You will probably never stop missing Ferris, but she will live forever in your soul. She will also live on and on via all your tweets and posts about her. I know I will remember her many antics this way.

  3. Wil I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed the posts about Ferris, and I know how much she means to you and your family.
    I lost my cat of 17 years a while back, so I understand your pain. The grief never really goes away, but one day you’ll find yourself smiling when you think of them instead of crying.
    I think as long as we remember them, they can never truly die. I hope that Ferris lives a long and happy life in your memories.

  4. I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss, Wil. She was a wonderful dog, from your stories, and I know she’ll be greatly missed.
    It does get easier, eventually… but don’t rush it, if I may gently advise. (I lost my 17-year-old cat in May, and I’d had her since she was 3 months old… no matter how long we have with them, it’s never long enough.)
    My thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  5. Everyone hides a little part of themselves from other people. You never have to hide anything from your pet. They get into to every crevice of your heart. When you lose them, every little crevice hurts. I’m so sorry. Just try to remember that you filled her heart too.

  6. Wil,
    I’m really, really sorry for your loss. You and your family were lucky to have such an Awesome Dog. My Awesome Dog, Sylvia, was given a few months to live almost a year ago. She’s doing fine, but who knows for how long, since she is 14? Now I consider every day with her to be a gift. I might be more prepared when she goes than you were when you lost Ferris, but it will still change my life when I no longer have all the little routines, games, understandings and confidences that you have living with a dog. I wish all your fans and friends could do something to ease you and your family’s pain, but that’s part of the pain- knowing that it will take as long as it takes. And it’s good to cry. Especially if you have your other dog’s fur to cry into. All the best.

  7. I just with our cat when we put her to sleep. We were lucky (as were you) that her end was quick and seemed relatively painless.
    Like Josh, I figured I wouldn’t be too broken up when she died. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
    The good news is that when you’ve grieved for Ferris there are plenty of great pets out there that need top notch owners like your family. We just picked out another cat at the Animal Rescue League in Boston and couldn’t be happier.
    Actually it would be more accurate to say she chose us as when we got alone in a room with her jumped in my wife’s purse, curled up and looked at us as if to ask “when do we go?”
    Again, my condolences to all of you.

  8. Hey, Wil.
    This all slipped under my radar, so I’m sorry for having taken so long to comment.
    You have my deepest condolences for your loss. It’ll hurt a long time, but the best thing that you can do right now is spend time with your family.
    Take care.

  9. My wife follows your blog and mentioned that you posted about losing a cherished pet. We chatted for a moment about how much that can really hurt (we had to put down a pair of pet rats that both developed cancer) and she commented that in your remarks you asked people not to push the “rainbow bridge” on you.
    The what? Apparently there is this vast mythos regarding what happens to animals when they shuffle off the mortal coil. I had never heard that theory as a kid my family is either drastically realistic or just a little cruel. Being a long time devotee to the four color fun that is Marvel’s The Mighty Thor, to me the rainbow bridge was always that mystical bridge, Bifrost, that connected Midgard (Earth) to Valhalla. Granted I am a geek of epic proportions, but the idea of pets going to Valhalla to hunt all day and feast all night sort of tickled me. So, you have my empathy sir and if it helps just think of Valhalla.

  10. Condolences from our family to yours. Our own Willa is 14 years old and looks a lot like your dear Ferris. So sorry for you loss.

  11. My husband and I lost our first furry baby a year ago today. We had to put her down, and it was the hardest decision we had to make. It still hurts today, and we still look for her, call for her, and miss her terribly.
    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  12. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Ferris had a wonderful life with you and Anne in that she was loved — and she knew it. Thank you for sharing her with us. Hugs to you all.

  13. I just made a Typepad account to comment to this. I’ve read your blog for years but I’m always a big lurker to blogs. I usually don’t feel amazingly bad when someone’s pet died but I feel bad from empathizing for the pain they feel, I used to have a sugarglider that I raised from 2 weeks old that had a stroke while I was holding her and I had her for maybe 5 years. You’ve written so much about Ferris that I think you conveyed her personality extremely well, so I’m really sorry for the way you feel but also because I don’t get to read anything new about Ferris. That is a big pile of lame.

  14. I am so sorry for your loss. My neighbor’s dog(that I was very attached to) just passed away yesterday. It’s a difficult thing to deal with. I know there isn’t much that can make a situation like this easier. Ferris was very lucky to have been rescued by you and she seemed to be a very happy dog. She will be missed.

  15. Hi Wil. I’m another one of those totally random people who has read your work for years but never commented. I’ve been wanting to say something for days now & I finally signed up for an account (like Hermitwise) just so that I could say how sorry I am for you and your family’s loss. It’s funny how you can feel like you know someone you never met and for me that includes Ferris. I’m sorry and I wish I had magic words to make it ok or at least better, even though we’ve never met. I hope it’s a little help to know that lots and lots of people remember and miss her.

  16. I can barely define the shape of this moment in time
    I am sorry for your loss. I always think it’s cruel that we have dogs, the greatest companion on earth, but that they are with us for such a short time (I have 5 of my own, and lost one last summer) I had time to prepare for my loss, which only meant I did all my crying beforehand. There is an empty space where he once was, and there always will be. I can’t explain it, but my life was better because of him. He made me a better me.
    I have a little girl now – born into a house with 5 large dogs. We’ll always have dogs. I don’t know how I’ll explain to her when one of them dies. She’s too young now, and it breaks my heart to know our next dog is very old and ill, and she won’t even remember him. But the pain of the loss is much less than the joy of what they give to us – for how long or how little time.
    Cry all you need to.

  17. I know hundreds of people have said the same thing, but I wanted to say it too.
    Wil, I’m very sorry to hear about your pup. :-(

  18. When I had to put down my 4-year old kitty (cancer), the vet gave me the Rainbow Bridge on scroll. I wanted to punch him. Yes, good intentions, but nonetheless, I stood there with my empty kitty carrier and my stupid Rainbow Bridge scroll wanting to punch something.
    The fact is, pets are family members, they are a piece of us, and losing a pet is like losing a part of yourself. Give it time and keep grieving, that is the only way to move on. Oh, and keep celebrating Ferris’s life, I found that very rewarding myself. It will get easier =)

  19. SORRY to hear about your pup . he looked like a nice dog . asking was he a shelter dog . They are the very best kind . I have a lab / pitt bull . he is 14 and starting to see signs of OLD AGE . I will sadly miss him he was a great dog . At one time I used him as a care dog at a retirement home he LOVED it but I had to stop it was to depressing for me . I ALREADY HAVE A FEW BANDS WILLING TO DONATE ……….and stars CAN YOU HELP
    Hello Beverly here . I hail from Delaware . I started to donate my time to a local animal shelter . I am trying to put my feelers out to get donations like a signed photo or 2 That we can auction off to raise money . As you know most states only get allocated so much money .and the other 85 % is donated by the public .I am sure you all know to well about Michael Vick and what he did . Well there was a story about a woman that tried to poison her cats and one dog . She was from philly . She is going to pay dearly for that . Oh did you know GOD spelled backward spells DOG . If you can’t for what ever reason donate, I completely understand. Thank you for your time and God bless your’s truly Beverly Beverly Gamble 58 north ave Smyrna Del 19977

  20. My deepest condolences, Wil. I, too, have fallen in love with Ferris through your beautifully rendered stories. Dogs are family, and the sweet memories will help you wade through what no doubt feels like insurmountable grief. My thoughts are with you and your family during this heartbreaking time.

  21. Hello sorry for your loss . As of today September 10th we had to put down our beloved comet he was 14 years old . let me tell what a sad day it was to see a man cry . Thats why I started to donate my time at a local shelter in my area . GOD BLESS AND AGAIN SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

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