Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hurry Up, Bisbee!

Bisbee, our standard poodle, died in our arms this morning. We had taken him to the hospital for an operation on his cancer, but the doctor called us almost immediately to tell us that the cancer had spread and that there was nothing more they could do. Any remaining time (a couple of months, if that) would be a downward spiral and full of pain. So we called our son Brett back in New York, made a decision together, and then Leigh and I went back to the hospital to be with our dear friend.

Bisbee was happy to see us. We got kisses and gave him his favorite biscuits (one from each of us Leigh, Brett and I). Then we held him tight.

Now there is a horrible gash in our hearts and an emptiness in our home. But there also are strong memories -- 11 years of them!

Bisbee shared so much with Brett, Leigh and I. Importantly, Bisbee was a partner with us in our journey to this Sonoran desert we now call home. In fact, Bisbee and Leigh made the drive out here from New York. Stopping off for MacDonald hamburger lunches and Chili's dinners -- I know Leigh and Bisbee will forever recall the wonderful adventure they shared! When Bisbee arrived in Tucson, it took him a while to understand the cacti, the absence of grass and the critters. But he loved his walks, his fleece, his ball, looking out to the mountains and Tucson city in the distance, sharing the peaceful magic of a Tucson sunset with us on our patio each evening.

Back on January 29, 2008, at the time of Bisbee's first cancer operation, I wrote another post, worried about the possibilities of the cancer metastasizing but hopeful in his chances for recovery. Well, we have had more than another year with our precious Bisbee, one filled with love, laughs and many sunsets. How could we ask for more?

Blessings to our Bisbee! We know some part of your spirit will stay with us; I already felt your presence in our bedroom when I bent down to pick up your fleece. Now, as we move ahead physically without you., we'll push away the sadness. We'll smile and recall all the joy we shared together. And we'll see you again, good friend.

("Hurry up, Bisbee!" is a phrase of special meaning to Leigh, Brett, Bisbee and I. Happy memories!)


hazel colditz said...

monica....i am so saddened to hear of your loss! i am sitting in the sun outside w/venus14yrs/lance4yrs by my side.
blessings to you and your family as you find solace in one another...and friends, new/old!
much love and compassion coming your way from McCall, Idaho,
Om Mani Padme Hun...Bisbee.

Jewelles said...

Oh Darlin I am so sorry. I firmly believe our pets will meet us as we cross over.
The hole that it leaves in your soul never fully heals until we can giggle again at the memories. I have a garden where I planted some flowers and placed some statues made some windchimes. I have a bench to sit and just think. hugs darlin
Julia http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=42224&order=&section_id=&page=1

joanna said...


I'm so sorry for your loss. It is good that you got to be with Bisbee at the end. Our pets are such important people in our lives.

Joanna (Paul's wife)

Carolyn Anne Anderson said...

Lost my Lab of 13 years in November.

I have a painting I painted this our last night together in the studio- stayed up all night with him at my feet, in the morning I had to put him down. I imagined him jauntily prancing healthy and whole- to the bridge of flowers to wait- chasing rabbits and having a gay ol' time while he does.

You can see it here

It says how I feel better than words.

My heart is with you- the loss of a dog does leave a big whole. Hopefully maybe you'll find some comfort in making some art.

"muttbutt" on twitter

Susan said...

Monica - I can still see Bisbee the first time I came to your home in October. He was the official "greeter" waiting with a smile on his face at the front door. He was so exuberant and playful as he trotted around with us showing me his home. I remember he jumped up on the bed and I said, "Well, I can see he is spoiled!" and Leigh said, "Of course, what else are dogs for but to spoil them?" I agree completely! Since Bisbee was black, I loved that too as I had just left my black Lab, Lucy, behind in Chester Springs. Bisbee's welcome made me miss her a little less.

Monica Surfaro Spigelman said...

You all understand and your words thoughtfully help in grief. Leigh and I go on, with sadness but with good memories. Trite to say this, but I mean it: great love & connection can really hurt. Yet without it we are just a bit less human, so I'll accept the pain and treasure the love we had with Bisbee. Today I look a bit differently at family and good friends and bless all the time I have with them.

Vera Marie Badertscher said...

I missed the news about Bisbee until this evening (on twitter). I feel so sorry for what you are going through. I lost a beloved dog over 3 years ago and there are still moments when I think of her and it hurts. I'm actually ready to try to find a new dog, but can't because my son is living with us with his dog and we can't be sure how that one would act with another. So I keep waiting.

Susan said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Bisbee. Greg and I lost our lab, Otis, to cancer last summer. I feel for you and know how real the mourning for our canine companions is. We'll light a candle for you tonight.

Monica Surfaro Spigelman said...

In all this I'm sorry I've probably reopened wounds in those who also have lost their beloved four-legged friends. But all your good thoughts have made Leigh and I feel that we will get through this. Thank you all....and, Susan, I will go light a candle, too. Thanks for reminding me to do a simple but beautiful honor for Bisbee. Truly - thank you all for taking the time to write to me; blessings to you all.

Michelle said...

You joked with our IABC group that Bisbee was a pest. But he was sweet and friendly, a dear heart. So sorry for your loss but he will be with you always.

susan s roe said...

Hi Monica,

I just read your post and was truly sadden to hear about your loss! Bisbee was very lucky to you as an owner.