Morgan and Arthur

You’ve probably already heard enough about my dog who just died, but this wouldn’t fit into my Sunday column, and I’ve always liked the story, so I pass on this deleted passage:

    Her full name was Morgan le Fay, which she didn’t deserve, because she was a good dog. She was dubbed that on the day we got her. I’m fond of Arthurian lore, and for some reason, as we were driving the small black creature home that day — she wedged herself under the car seat in the last display of timidity I can recall on her part — I thought of the habit Arthur’s evil half-sister had of turning herself into a carrion crow (in T.H. White’s version of the story) — about the same size, and precisely the same color. I mentioned it to Andy and the other kids, and they liked it right away, the name having no negative connotations to them.
    Anyway, sometime during the first year we had her, a huge, “yaller” male stray — the biggest, strongest dog I’ve ever tried to hold on a leash — decided to come live with us. Despite his humble origins, he had a regal bearing, and was undoubtedly a warrior. We agreed to keep him while Pets Inc. found someone to adopt him, and we chained him to a post on the front porch. He tolerated this, until the mood would strike him to go on a quest, at which time he would casually break the chain and leave for a day or so. When he returned he bore such wounds of battle as a chunk out of his haunch, or a nearly detached ear. He completely ignored these, but allowed us to take him to the vet.
    Why did we chain him to the porch? To protect him from little Morgan le Fay, who despised this powerful interloper and would attack him with total abandon if he wandered into her backyard. So we called him “Arthur” until he was adopted and went off to his own Avalon.

14 thoughts on “Morgan and Arthur

  1. Nancy Brock

    I am not a crier. I don’t cry at movies. I don’t cry over books. Your article made me cry. Now my sinuses are all messed up for the day! I knew when I saw the headline I shouldn’t read it. It was a beautiful piece. I am glad you realize what a favor your sweet dog did you because no matter how sick they are if YOU take them to the vet to end it you feel like a murdererer. I know-been there!!

  2. Beth Coble

    I don’t know normally “blog”, but your column touched a nerve–I had just gotten home from church, settled down to read the paper, and came away weeping after reading about your dog. We have 2 dogs, from the animal shelter, who rule the roost at our house. Boy, how you can get attached to them. We had put down our 9-year-old chow last year and it was one of the hardest things I had done–never done it before; can really relate to your son’s loss and I know the dog waited until he got there. You’ve got me tearing up again!! Anyway, this is one of your best columns. Enjoyed it immensely.

  3. Claudia Wolverton

    I, too, came away in tears after reading your column this morning. Our 7-month old Border Collie, another delicate beauty of stunning intelligence, must undergo two serious surgeries over the next two months. Many people are shocked at the amount of money and after-care time my husband are prepared to invest in what is, after all, “just a dog” (speaker to remain nameless). But those who know what it is to love an animal with all your heart and to feel the immense joy that comes from having that love returned a thousandfold… well, they know. My heart goes out to you and your family during this time. But when one has been lucky enough to know the love of a dog, the pain of saying goodbye is worth the joy of having also known that love.

  4. Mike C

    Brad –
    A wonderful column – we understand. We had to put down our Shepard-Husky queen Heidi in January after 13 years of love, devotion, and companionship.
    I don’t know if you’ve seen Kipling’s “Power of the Dog” – I keep it around as a small gesture to send to folks who’ve just suffered such a loss.

  5. CPeake

    I don’t usually read the long editorial(sorry) but the word “dog” caught my eye. I read each word with tears streaming down my face. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. The poem “Rainbow Bridge” has been a source of comfort to me when I have faced this. Thanks for sharing the sweet, but sad story.

  6. George E

    Thanks for writing the story of your families’ dog. Just a month ago, I had to make the decision to euthanize the “best dog I ever knew”. At 50 years old, that was the toughest decision I have ever made. Lucky, my constant companion for 15 years, had been through 2 surgeries, one serious, as we tried unsuccessfully to stop the spread of cancer. Our dogs were very different, but our story is the same. Thanks again, I had not cried since the afternoon I buried Lucky…until yesterday!

  7. Diane Norris

    Brad, sorry about Morgan. It may take awhile to get over it. The love for a dog sometimes exceeds the love in a marriage. Its because we care for a family dog so deeply as they can’t care for themselves quite so well. And they don’t for anything back except to be with us

  8. Janet

    I had to keep the appointment three weeks ago for my 15 year old Brittany, Toby. I cried for two weeks trying to make the final decision. Finally, he put his head on my lap and told me it was time. He was not actively ill (if you count having thyroid problems + a heart murmur + seizures that were all controlled by twice daily medication), but was just bones, and was so tired.
    I cried and cried, thinking I would never be happpy again. But, amazingly, one week later I found myself with a 7 month old puppy. I’ve had her two weeks now and she brings me lots of joy.
    My Toby is with me always in a cedar box on my dresser…

  9. Tina Matheson

    I caught your byline, “The Best Dog I Ever Knew”, on a fluke; a quick sideline link at the bottom of my web browser. But, being a dog lover also, I had to see what it was about. I don’t normally write to people in this manner, but I had to tell you what an eloquent and loving piece that was! I could feel Morgan’s presence the whole way through, and yes, I shed more than a couple of tears at her passing, despite having never met her. Though it wasn’t really the happy piece of news I was looking for (I go in search of some “good” news each day), it left me with a sad little lopsided smile, and a bigger heart. It will do for today. Thank you for sharing Morgan with us, and my deepest sympathies to your family. I suppose reporters and editors don’t often get fan mail, and though I live in Southern Nevada, I will be watching for your writings in future.

  10. Jeff S

    Just read your article about Morgan. I also read all the wonderful responses and cried through all of it. I have two sweet dogs. The older one, Pepper, a Lab mix, has developed bone spurs in her shoulder. The last two years have been difficult to watch my “little mountain goat” hobble more than walk. She used to be such a fast runner and loved nature walks and hiking. Treatment allows her to go for a short walk everyday but she has to lay down quite often to rest. She has been my best bud these 9 years and a total delight as I have struggled through some tough times. I worry how much longer she has. She has always stuck by me and I know I will stick by her till the end. Thanks for your article. Maybe I can stop crying now.

Comments are closed.