Her Name Was Montana. And She Was Good

This is an epitaph to a golden retriever. She was better than this man who loved her

Sweet Montana died peacefully at 6:23 tonight, with her great head under my hand.

My heart is so heavy.

The cancer had returned, and so had an infection. She fought so hard, squeezed every ounce of living from her life. She knew she was so dearly loved. She knew it was time.

I am so heartbroken. Heartbroken beyond words. And so grateful.

She came out of nowhere. Her previous owner had died very suddenly of cancer, and I had the chance to rescue her. She rescued me instead, and carried me across these last 6 years with such nobility and courage and grace. Night after night, waiting for me, pure in how she loved — she was so very good.

There’s a vignette in my novel, She-Rain that contains my favorite sentence in the entire book. It speaks here of my heart.

“He wanted her to lie near the clear water”s music until the end of the world.”

Such peace is my longing for her. Mercy I have given her It is so small a gift, given how she has gifted me.

There has been so much death and loss in life of late. I am weary of it. My fortitude — immense since I was a boy — is staggered. But our God who makes such good dogs will see me off the ground.

My love to all of you who have so loved her, and me. I write this through tears as I turn from her one last time. But no, she will walk beside me always. There is no complete absence when there has been the presence of so good a dog.


Date of birth unknown. October 9, 2021.

Thank you staff of Upstate Veterinary Specialists. Your mercy is sure and strong and true.

2 Responses to “Her Name Was Montana. And She Was Good”

  1. Bless you sweet man. You have been loved and you still will always be.

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