Yesterday began so well.

The day before Adam had moved the meat chickens out to the new pen he built in the paddock. The night brought with it freezing rain and howling winds and neither of us were confident the five week old birds would be all fine. But they were. Adam's pen looks excellent. Not such a fiasco farming moment. OK then.

Early afternoon we both noticed Max, our black dog, standing out in the rain, not in his kennel, and could not be enticed back in. Shortly after, he seemed to have something wrong with his hind legs, and his pupils were dilated. I rang the vet. Adam took him straight down. 

They immediately gave him morphine and pumped his stomach, suspecting he'd eaten something poisonous, while Dad and I raced around trying to see if he'd found rat poison or snail bait or something – but there's nothing like that left around here. I don't think we'll ever know. 

He didn't make it. 

Adam brought him home, and with Dad dug a hole against the hedge where all the other very dearly loved farm dogs from times past lie. It was teeming with rain. In our hearts too.

We loved our dog.

We showed him to Holly, our other dog, before we buried him, hoping she'd understand and not try to find him. They were puppies together and when I saw Adam go up the paddock this morning with just Holly, my heart broke. 

Heaven help us if we ever harden our hearts and not let a dog in, on the grounds that when they die it's dreadful. It's hard to remember that animals come and go out of our lives. He just wasn't around here quite long enough, that Maxie. 

I imagine he's playing in the paddock with all the other dogs who've imprinted themselves on the people who've farmed here. A happy rabble. Good boy, Maxie.










57 Comments on “heartbreak

June 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Oh gosh. I’m so sorry xoxo

June 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm


June 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm

So terribly sorry to hear. Hope the kids are alright. There’s life and death on the farm but dogs are different. Heard a quote the other day about why dogs are so special. They come into the world already knowing how to give utter unconditional love and devotion so they don’t need to hang around so long to work it out like us humans. Max must have been super special to have has such a brief visit. Xxx

June 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm

So sorry .Maxie sounded and looked like a gorgeous doggy friend.
We got kelpie cross puppies when we moved to the farm, sadly he was a tyre biter and he ran under a rear wheel, about 6 weeks later.
His sister seemed to search for him for a few days.

June 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Hugs to you and your family xo It’s just hard sometimes isn’t it?

June 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss, how devastating for you all. Could it have been a snake bite? πŸ™ xx

Melanie @ M&M
June 6, 2012 at 11:58 pm

So dreadfully sorry for your loss. I know just what you mean. We lost our beloved Etta just a month ago and beauty that moves lost her dog a few weeks before that. It is heartbreaking. And there will always be a Max-sized hole in your lives, but he is playing with all the others in (what we like to call) The Elysian Fields.

June 7, 2012 at 12:01 am

Oh. Beautiful Maxie.
It’s so hard when a beautiful friend dies. So hard. Much love to you xx

Ngo Family Farm
June 7, 2012 at 12:21 am

Oh no. πŸ™ I’m so very sorry. Wishing you and your family much peace as you remember your sweet Maxie – it always helps to have each other. xx

June 7, 2012 at 1:46 am

I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am for you. We just had a scare with one of our pets, so I know you are broken hearted.

Penny Hannah
June 7, 2012 at 2:13 am

It’s even worse when you don’t know why.. So sorry for you all.

Sarah @fignutmum
June 7, 2012 at 4:48 am

I am so sorry, hugs.

June 7, 2012 at 5:12 am

Thinking of you with tears in my eyes. Our precious pets are such a part of our families and losing them hurts so much, especially when it is sudden. Lots of hugs across the ocean.

Mrs Homespun
June 7, 2012 at 5:17 am


June 7, 2012 at 5:18 am

Oh Fi, how terribly sad πŸ™ thinking of you all xx

June 7, 2012 at 6:18 am

Heartbreak indeed. I cried more than I ever had when we lost our boy in similar circumstances last year. It’s the suddeness and the not knowing why – and just missing the heck out of them. Take care of yourself xxxx

Michelle S
June 7, 2012 at 6:31 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. Maxie looks like a beautiful puppy who was well loved. : (

June 7, 2012 at 7:05 am

Sorry πŸ™

I like the idea of him playing with all those other much loved farm dogs. He was one one lucky dog to be part of your life and that farm – even if it was far too short a time.

I hope your all OK….

June 7, 2012 at 7:23 am

So sorry.

So glad you have such great memories.

Sending love to everyone.

June 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

I’m sorry you lost your lovely dog. Could it have been a tick? The hind legs are the first sign of paralysis from a shellback. Sad times :(.

June 7, 2012 at 7:51 am

Very sad but you wrote it beautifully. Give Holly a cuddle from me πŸ™‚

June 7, 2012 at 8:17 am

I know how you feel – there’s a dog shaped gap in the scenery and a cold sadness when you keep expecting them to be there and they are not

June 7, 2012 at 8:43 am

Oh no, how very sad. The photos are brilliant, he was a handsome dog. I am sure he will be so missed by all…

Darren (Green Change)
June 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

So, so sorry to hear that. His time may have been shorter than seems fair, but what a time it was! All that space, the beautiful scenery, and a loving family.

June 7, 2012 at 9:40 am

Best bet if you come and give her a cuddle please. (And me!) And theres a hot lunch in it for you too. xx

June 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

That was out first thought too Anna, but the vet was pretty sure it was something he ingested. Thanks.

June 7, 2012 at 9:44 am

Yep, even for dogs that arent yours. I thought of Any too, yesterday. Thanks honey.

June 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

I’m so sorry you’ve lost him. Gee, you have some lovely photos of him to remember him by. I wonder if he got a snake or spider bite? As you say, I guess you’ll never know. RIP, Max.

June 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

I’m so sorry you have had to say good buy to Maxie πŸ™
We went through losing our old boy a few months ago and it was just terrible. My heart goes out to you and your family, these times are never easy on anyone.


lily boot
June 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

I’m so terribly sad for you that you lost Maxie. We lost two of our dogs almost two years ago to a still unknown poison – I have never ever felt grief like it. Our Simon was 8 and Toph was 18 months. It broke our hearts and even today I expect them to be around my feet. There’s no easy way to get through it. No one thing to do to make yourself and family feel better. But I’m with you about not hardening your heart against future doggies even though losing them is so so sad. Four months after Simon and Toph died, we brought Fu home. She doesn’t replace the others. But she’s another doggie to love dearly, and look after, and laugh over. And these are important things to do πŸ™‚ Sending you and yours love.

June 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm

So sorry to hear about the loss of your dog Maxie. Hugs,

June 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I’m not a dog lover but gosh, your post made me cry. I’m so sorry you lost such a loved member of your family. xx

June 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I’m so sorry. Heartbreaking indeed. What a beautiful boy. They are irreplaceable in their own ways aren’t they. You convey your feelings so well. So sorry again. xx

June 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I’m so sorry for you all. Such a loyal and loving companion. May the memories of him warm your heart and in time, heal your sorrow.. xx

June 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Ah, such an awful shame. He looks like such a gorgeous, happy dog and I’m sure he’s having a whale of a time somewhere up there chasing eternal rabbits. Best wishes. Jess

June 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm

We have a dog, one that we love very much. So your post has me in tears. I’m so very sorry. x

June 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm

You form such a strong bond with a loyal dog. He was such a handsome and regal dog. You and the family are in my prayers!

June 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Oh thats so sad, animals are such a bit part of our lives. Much love to you and your family.

June 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm

So sorry Fi, still remember the loss of our dog as one of the hardest days of my life.
Thinking of you x

June 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm

So sad for you Fi its always horrible to lose our friends especially our canine friends. Hugs to you and your familyxxxxx.

June 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm

So sorry to hear about your Max. They don’t take long to imprint on our hearts do they. Hugs to you and yours. ooxx

June 8, 2012 at 5:42 am

I’m so sorry. We’ve had dogs ever since we were married, and we’ve lost 4 over the years. I still miss them, and it doesn’t matter how long they were with us. Olly was here over a decade, Sid only a couple of months.

We’ve mostly had dogs in twos or threes, but Olly was the only one at the end. When he died the house was very empty, even with three young children. Coming home to a completely quiet house took some getting used to.

We have Stan and Mabel now, and adore both of them. But I still miss the others.

Thinking of you all. x

June 8, 2012 at 6:48 am

My Nan called it The Happy Hunting Ground, the glorious place where all the four-foots go, and where all of the eight dogs from my childhood are now happily chasing rabbits and having endless amounts of fun. Think of the nice memories. xxx

June 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Taking five minutes to pop in and see what you have been up to only to read this sad sad news… much love to you all

June 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Oh I’m so sorry to hear about this Fiona, how sad πŸ™ What a gorgeous dog, at least he will be remembered by you forever. x

June 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Oh Fi, how awful. Thinking of you and the loss you are all feeling. Cath xxx

Nancy in Canada
June 9, 2012 at 4:48 am

it’s so horrible when someone you love is ripped out of your life… He was a beautiful boy. (btw I love that misty pic at the end.. )

(ditto what Catriona said)

Massive hugs to you. share your grief with Holly, she’ll understand.

Bee Girl (AKA Melissa)
June 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Oh man…I’m so sorry. Be kind to yourself and allow your heart to heal.

June 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm

So sad for you Fi – hope you’ve had lots of hugs over the weekend. Poor Maxie – he was a fine looking boy!
Peace and hugs
Greenie x

June 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

Fi, I’ve only just seen this. I’m so sorry for your loss. He was a beautiful boy. I love the picture of the two dogs looking into the trough. Gorgeous.(((hugs)))Angie

June 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

You guys rock, you really do. Thank you.

Alex C
June 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Hi Fi,
Big hugs, sorry to hear about Maxie boy. He and Holly had a fine time adventuring and I bet he loved the move to the big farm. How sad. Losing doggie friends is very sad. I will give my “Lightning” an extra big hug and pat tonight.
love, Alex

June 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I’m sorry, Fi. Sending a hug 45 minutes down your way, via the Bends. What a beautiful boy. xo


Wow ~ just catching up on your blog….I am so sorry for your loss. This happened to our lab recently…she was fine at 3:00 and at 5:00 she died….we could not find a reason and she was only two. The loss of a pet is heart-breaking and only time heals it. I found a quote that I really like so I will share it with you…. I know what you are going through!!
“The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.”
Ben Hur Lampman

June 18, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I have just found your blog & read your post with tears rolling down my face. I completly agree with you about the ‘hardening up’ concept. It hurts so much when they go, but inly because they bring so much joy. I will be a regular reader.

rhonda jean
June 20, 2012 at 8:34 am

I am so sorry. He looks like such a good boy. (((((hugs)))))

July 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I just found your lovely blog today.As I looked at the posts I came to this sad one.
I’m very sorry to hear about your dog.Such a sad thing!
A couple of months exactly the same thing happend to our dog.Abbey was just 3 years old and healthy .Very suddenly she couldn’t stand on her behind legs.we went to the vet, she couldn’t move, her eyes dilated too.They also thought she was poisened first, got some medicine. butthen found out it weasn’t poison. But wat it then was…….we also never will now because only a couple of hours later she died.


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