A Summer of Firsts

There’s a first time for everything. Especially in grief. And I think those first times are the hardest.

The first time we went to our local Farmers’ Market without Stuart, I made myself go. I didn’t want to, but I had to. The alternative was to stay at home and sleep and cry. Again. Over and over again.

The first time we visited my mother-in-law hundreds of miles away, it was so strange to leave the crate at home. No packing up Stuart’s provisions and the bags of necessities – treats? Check. Brushes? Check. Towels in case it rains? Check. Did we pack enough food? Check.

I still look around when I come through the front door expecting to find him sleeping or Arrooo rooing at us, “Where have you been? Did I give you permission to leave? It’s about time you got back. I missed you by the way. Just in case you were wondering.”

Last week was the first time I noticed his spot at the top of the steps leading to the back yard. If you look closely, you can see the circle left by his water bowl. To the left of the rabbit. Indelibly etched into the cement.

I hope it lasts forever. Just like the incredible memories of an unforgettable friend. He’s gone. And I have to accept that. And I’m learning to accept that it’s much better to remember the good times, smile at his silliness, celebrate the love he shared, and thank doG he came into our lives at all. Even though he left way too soon. And way too abruptly.

water bowl

‘Tis better to have loved and lost Stuart than to never have loved and been loved by him at all.

water bowl two

Sniglet loved him too. She must have felt his presence that day. In “his” spot.

Snigs at the back door

Bless you my precious friend.

A Sad Day


About The Scottie Chronicles

Winston welcomes you to The Scottie Chronicles - a blog that began in 2009 as a voice for Stuart, a more than memorable black, brindle and white Scottish Terrier who captured hearts around the world. Stuart passed suddenly in December 2015 from cardiac hemangiosarcoma, a nasty cancer that took him far too early. If you love Scotties, please follow along. Arroooo!
This entry was posted in dog photography, dogs, grief, love, pets, Scottish Terriers, The Scottie Chronicles and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to A Summer of Firsts

  1. Lee says:

    No matter how many years they have with us, they always leave too soon.
    Sweet William The Scot

  2. Toby's Peeps and Banks says:

    Oh my heart….they are always with us.

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. the “firsts” are so incredibly hard, I know…..oh I know…….((((hugs)))) DakotasDen

  5. I love the water bowl mark……and I send you hugs…..those “firsts” are really tough…….

    Hugs, Pam

  6. Gail and Kipper says:

    Love that water bowl mark! I hope it stays there forever for you. The “firsts” are very hard. Hugs to you!

  7. Kismet says:

    Stu, tell Kyla that we still love her.

  8. Leah says:

    I visited my Mother a couple of weeks ago. It was so strange not to wonder how my Little Mac was doing back in Houston and not to call and check on him. I still look for him in the bathroom doorway, expecting him to be standing there looking at me. I still look for and reach for him laying on the bed at night and, I confess, I do still pat the bed sometimes . . . even now. I miss him more than words can say! But I also believe that to remember him with smiles and chuckles and heart swells honors him and the courage and determination he showed in the middle of some serious health challenges, all his life. And, finally, the splenic hemangiosarcoma. He may be gone “with skin on” but he will always be in my heart. As Sweet Stuart will always be in yours! Just wish it didn’t have to hurt so much! 💔

    • No confessions necessary here. You’re among folks who know and understand. I pat the sofa where he slept next to me while we watched TV. Almost every night. BoBo slept there too. In the same spot. I curl up and sleep there, too, with my head where his used to be. There’s a mascara stain on the slipcover. And I’m not washing it out.

      I had no idea about Mac’s splenic hemangiosarcoma. If I forgot, I hope you’ll forgive me. It’s such a nasty disease – all cancers are – but this one is extra wicked, as you know. Watch this space in the months to come because I have an announcement to make that I hope will make a difference.

      Stay Scottie Strong!

  9. that firsts nearly broke my heart… and even today I sometimes have this moments that it feels like the first day without…. :o( hugs to you…

  10. Jackie says:

    I ❤ that water bowl mark. So many great memories you have of him. Hugs to you.

  11. Two French Bulldogs says:

    It sure is an empty feeling. He will always be in your heart. When I see a butterfly I know it’s my Benny
    Lily & Edward

  12. theguster says:

    May you always find comfort in the water bowl mark and know that Stuart is watching as you gaze upon it as he sends his love with his ArroOOOO!

    McDuff & Mom

  13. lauramarec says:

    Precious water ring! So lovely! We are with you! Stay strong and feel our love and understanding shoulders holding you up!
    Love and prayers,
    Riley-Puppy and Tessie-Girl and their Mum

  14. nordhuesn says:

    Lovely words, well said.

  15. sue ellen says:

    Just take one small step at a time…that is all one can do . The water bowl mark is wonderful. I also hope it is there forever. ♥

  16. I understand so very well. This passage, from The Book of Barkley – explains how I shared that feeling when I came home that first time to an empty house. (sorry it’s long but I hope it helps comfort you).

    “As I come home tonight, I understand that he is not here. Still, as I step up the steps, I desperately want to hear the soft “woof” of a black lab, waiting in the kitchen for me to step in. But I can only approach, in that utter quiet that is now the house, sensing those who are absent who inhabited this place but exist now as only ghosts of my past, living on the breath of memory.
    I stand outside the door, hearing hushed wind, hand on the doorknob, hesitant to open the door to every memory, more hesitant to leave them behind. I stand there silently, my presence not detected by dogs forever silent, motionless, trying to blend in with the house, the dark wood and trees, listening to the living presence of a home, all the lives and love and heartache that went into it, that formed these four walls, that now form me.

    I listen, as a churchgoer does, to chants in ancient languages that no one understands, but listens to anyway, the words a peace that flows like water. There is no bark but that of the trees, and the baleful sound of a wind that speaks the name of one departed. I listen for things I’d dream of, if only I could sleep.

    I open up the door to go on in. I have no words for what I am feeling. I have no name for the quiet that waits inside. But that is OK. There are no words for the shafts of light between the trees; of the trinity of earth and sky and water. There are no names for the bones that lie in quiet mourning, bringing riches to the earth. There are no names for the rocks that direct a stream’s flow, for the fur and leaves that line an eagle’s nest. Yet they are, and always will be. Strong. Necessary. Waiting. ” – LB Johnson

  17. gentlestitches says:

    I’m a deep little bugger because the dogs and I were just about to get up and get the boy off to school and I thought “what is the best advice I can give him on getting through life?” The answer? “Have a damn good laugh (or cry) and move on” Personally , I can deal with anything except loss of my critters. While I am being deep, I believe Stuart was a very special dog, he united people and taught many different lessons, to many people. You are doing well, peeps of Stuart. It is very hard to lose a best friend. ❤❤❤

  18. rjkeyedup says:

    Hi Peeptress…. Mommy just got home from a few days away; we had fun at K9Clubhouse Pet Hotel. We are glad you went to the farmer’s market.
    Mom says Sniglet was sitting next to Stuart’s spirit! She is sure of that.
    xxoo arrrooooooo Ozzy & Callie

    • I’ll never forget that day she came over – under the fence – to sit there. The spirit lives on! Thanks to you, you precious Ozzy and Callie! Tell your Mommy that I picked up those things she and I have talked about. Finally. Gotta get them in the mail!

  19. Fozziemum says:

    Oh that watermark..do you see ..do you..Stu has left his own watercolor for YOU! what a gift..it hurts those firsts..and they sneak up..like nasty little ninjas..big hugs to you sweets xxxx

  20. Piglove says:

    Hugs my sweet friend. It is so hard this grieving process. We completely understand and it takes time. Especially when you look everywhere and you see your loved one. We see the places where Mouse Girl slept. Where she hid in her special place in the closet – mom has never moved the towels yet 😦 – her blankie. We understand and send you major hogs and snout kisses sweets!! XOXO – Bacon

  21. There are snuffle marks on the French door in the kitchen which will never deliberately be cleaned off. I keep everyone’s tags. Still have the daily diary I kept of Josh!s battle with Addison’s so I could talk to my Vet accurately. And everyone is resting in their urns ( including the Chows) in a Black & White Scotch case in the guest room ( my late husband is in a cleverly designed box in the dining room). You are singing to the Choir. Your post today was beautifully expressed. Xxxxx

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