Sweet Gus


Gus in the Pole Barn yesterday

As many of you already know from reading Jon’s blog, Gus died yesterday.

We euthanized him last night.

He fell asleep on my arm then both Jon and I held him as he died.

I did a good part of my grieving for him over the weekend, before we made the final decision.

Now I feel very sad and relieved.

His illness was gradual and it wasn’t until this morning that I could really grasp just how sick he was.  And all the ways both his and our life, was altered by his illness.

We stopped using Gus’  muzzle over the weekend.  And we did all the things we used to do again, with a freedom that reminded me of what his life was once like.

Yesterday I took him and Fate for a walk in the woods.  Then I watched the two of them chasing each other around the backyard.  In the afternoon all three dogs settled into Jon’s office.  Gus on Lenore’s couch.

I am sad and I miss Gus.  The farm is a lot quieter and not as much fun without him.

I know at some point I’ll write more about Gus.  I want to tell you about what his dying taught me.  But I not right now.  I need a little more time.

One of the good things is that now, when I think of Gus, I don’t think of him being sick.  I think of him being his energetic, playful, entitled self.

And even thought this was my first small dog experience, I’m glad to see that I don’t associate the idea of a small dog with a sick dog. Instead  I see Gus hopping around and being a little, lovable, wild thing.

Last night, after Gus died, Jon and I were sitting on the couch holding each other.  I heard  Fate in the other room making noises in her sleep.  Maybe, I thought, Gus has come to Fate in a dream and they’re playing together.  Chasing each other around and around the house.

It made me smile to think it.

24 thoughts on “Sweet Gus

  1. He was a little ball of energy, so sweet and funny…you did the right thing.
    I’ve had to do that. And we’ll all look forward to the next Bedlam Farm dog!
    I’ll always see the picture of him on a donkeys back 🙂

  2. Dearest Maria,
    My sincere condolences to you and Jon. It’s so hard to go through, but Gus will be always be remembered. Hope that you and Jon can find some comfort from your great memories during this difficult time. Thank you so much for sharing Gus with us. I adored reading about him and seeing his pictures.
    Much love, Donna

  3. As I am facing our old border collie living out his last days, according to our vet, it made my heart smile to know what a splendid home Jon, you and Gus made for each other. Cherish those memories <3

  4. I was thinking about Fate, and wondering how she would miss his presence, her buddy. I am so sorry for your loss. He was a sweet little King. We should all be so lucky to have the life you gave him. Thank you for sharing the journey.

  5. Our sincere sympathy to you and Jon! I am so sorry that little Gus had such serious physical issues, but glad that he had you and Jon, Red and Fate in his life! Do take good care of yourselves! with much love, Jane and Tom

  6. Gus’ short life was meaningful and worthwhile. It made a mark in so many lives. He had a good life while he was here so there should be no regrets. Yet it is sad and there is a hole where he once was. It was right to let him go before he got any worse. He is at peace now and I know you and Jon will find that peace.

  7. Goodbye little Gus. What a spunky spirit he has.To be freed from the body that no longer served him, must be such a relief. You all loved him so well.

  8. How very grateful I am for your tender post. I felt the decision was inevitable …but as with most of the little big man’s followers, prayed hard for miracles. And I was so grateful you gave him a last couple of days of unbridled living❤️
    Having received your “Show Your Soul” posters yesterday, I especially connected with the two of you and Gus’s fierce love of life. And I think the poster will always be intertwined w/ Gus…and the inspiration to be authentic…to “Show MY Soul”!
    I’m almost certain that soon Gus will emerge in your art…perhaps even in a way you may have not expressed before.
    You have both carved out places for Gus in the hearts of people who follow you. What a wonderful gift, Maria.
    And yes, I have utter faith that he visited Fate in dreams. They were soulmates too.
    Much comfort to you as you process this challenging loss. Though it’s never the same for anyone, the loss of a well-loved animal—regardless of how it passed on—is difficult, especially when we two-leggeds envision them growing old alongside us.
    But I believe his strong spirit is well-integrated into Bedlam Farm…and that you will feel and embrace it every day, in the very best of ways.

  9. I’m sorry Maria, I know how much you loved Gus. I know it is a very difficult decision to put a loving dog down, have done it before. Wish you peace in your heart.

  10. Thank you for sharing all of these thoughts with us. It helps me to understand and remember times I’ve made similar decisions. And celebrate their lives.

  11. Even though I knew it was coming it still hurts…I know it was for the best, thankfully we can do something to take away their suffering…he had a great life with you guys…..I am hugging Jasper tighter and thinking of Gus….I will be sending in a donation in honor of Gus…he sure did bring smiles to a lot of people….

  12. It must have been so difficult for you to Make such a decision. Or maybe not. You lived withGus’s illness.
    You knew how it effected Him. You make the best decision for him and you and Jon. Rest In Peace little guy.
    I will miss you too.

  13. Last night I read your posts before bed and then I read an article about how Facebook is stealing our personal information and giving us an illusion of connection in return. I both agree and disagree with the article.
    Last night I dreamed I met Jon somewhere. It was like an indoor jumble sale with tables of items set up. It was a chance meeting and I knew that Gus had just died. I smiled a sad small smile at Jon and he smiled in return and we reached across the table and squeezed each other’s hand. That was all. It was very real. I want to send you both my deep sympathy and Love once again.

  14. So sorry for him and both of you that his life was so short, but I’m glad we all had the experience of enjoying him. And he had a nice life on the farm, even if it ended sooner than we hoped.

  15. I’m sorry you didn’t have more time with your playful, little, cute dog. He made me a smile.

  16. Dear Maria and Jon,
    I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of Gus. He was a mighty little King.
    I enjoyed watching all of his antics. He will be missed. It is never easy letting go of a beloved pet, let alone a young one. You did above and beyond what most people would of done.
    I wanted to express my condolences for you all. Please take care of yourselves.
    Rest in peace little man. You were loved by so many.. and will be sorely missed.

  17. I watched some of the Bedlam Farm videos today, and, with the various photos, can only smile at the amazing life Gus had with you! He learned so much, enjoyed so much from all the Bedlam Farm residents, and was so very loved and respected by both of you. He seemed very much the endearing yet annoying little brother, perhaps denting Red’s dignity a bit, walking (literally) all over Fate. What joy in that little body! The decision to say goodbye is always humbling and sad, while rooted in love and kindness. Here’s to the amazing Gus, the gifts he shared, and the full life he had in the short time he was in your lives. There’s a small dog that left a very big footprint!

  18. Have had to say goodbye to many much loved pets, so sad for you but best for little Gus, and that’s what love is all about. Thinking of you.

  19. I loved Gus even though I never met him, except through your’s and Jon’s blogs. Your love for him was evident in everything you and Jon did. And in the end, you did the best thing you could. How wonderful that you were able to see him as the happy go lucky dog that he was ….

  20. Dear Maria, This is so sad, I’m weeping for all that should have been, a long bright future with Gus. Thank you so much, and thanks to Jon for always doing the immensely brave and generous act of opening your hearts and lives to us. Your experiences with Gus have enriched us all. Annie

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