Saturday, December 22, 2018


Thistle on his thirteenth birthday

I'm sitting beside Thistle as I write, something I've done regularly for the past twelve years. But this time is different. Thistle is fourteen, and we're soon going to have to say good-bye to him.

I'm writing through tears, but I'd rather do it now, when he's with me, toasty-warm and with his side rising and falling beneath the blanket. He's in his favorite place, at home on the couch, and he's lying on the *best* couch cushion. I feel like I need to write about him and to let the world know he was here.

The kids were twelve and nine when Thistle joined the family. He was reunited with his littermate Pepper, our other sweet dog, at the time. He fit in immediately.

My son and I brought him home, and we took him around the house, showing him all the places he could go. We both remember he seemed to smile when we encouraged him to jump onto a bed.

Thistle means so much to each of us. He's our buddy, a family member, my writing assistant,

a cookie lover, a sun worshiper, a book model,

a book eater, a bookend,

a pillow,

a camping companion,

a squirrel taunter, a cuddler,

and so much more. His sister Pepper was his best friend and partner in crime. His favorite activities: hanging out with the kids, taking walks (unless it was too wet or too cold),

chasing squirrels and birds,

eating chicken and hot dogs, curling up with someone on his couch, having his ears rubbed, and lying beside me while I write.

Good boy, Thistle. You'll be in my heart forever. Thank you for all you've given us and for making the world a sweeter place. I love you, and I'll miss you so.

* * *

I wrote that yesterday. Thistle has now moved on, and it hurts so much. I hope he's somewhere where he can run in the sun with his sister.

Thistle VanderMeer
November 22, 2004 - December 22, 2018


Faith Pray said...

Oh, Dawn! My heart aches for you. What beautiful words, and beautiful memories of Thistle. Sending much love.

Kjersten said...

What a beautiful tribute to sweet Thistle! But also so so difficult and heartbreaking. Much love to you Dawn!

Unknown said...

And Thistle was a love machine! What a lovely tribute. This is such a hard time and we will get through this together.

Jemi Fraser said...

Oh, my heart breaks for you! Thistle was such a sweetie. I know he and Pepper are enjoying chasing those squirrels somewhere! Sending you hugs!!!

Toni Prothero said...

What a beautiful tribute to Thistle. So sorry for your loss. Thistle and Pepper will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Barbara Davis-Pyles said...

What a beautiful tribute for a beautiful soul. Sending lots of love and hugs your way.
...Thistle and Pepper together forever and ever.

DMS said...

I know what you are going through and my heart goes out to you. Thistle sounds like an amazing dog. Sending hugs! This is a beautiful tribute to Thistle!

Margaret Nevinski said...

Oh Dawn, this is heartbreaking news. Thistle was the best critique group buddy, patiently listening, waiting for a treat, and then snuggling down into his bed. I love that he was such a special part of your family. Hugs to Thistle, and hopes that he is in a warm sunny place where he can run and fly and chase his dreams. Love to you all.

Dawn Simon said...

Thank you, friends. Your kind words are very much appreciated.

Romance Book Haven said...

So sad. My heart aches. Beautiful tribute to him. Hugs.