Goodnight, sweet prince

Goodnight, sweet prince.”

Those were the last words I said to my beloved dog, Arrow, as he lay dying.

And those were among the first words that came to mind tonight when I saw my friend Norine’s message: “I don’t know how to tell you … Mica’s gone.”

Mica was one of a kind. He had the coat of a llama, the eyes of a doe, and the philosophical soul of a Buddhist. I used to love going for walks with him and Norine, because it was like being with a celebrity. Everyone wanted to get close, touch him, know more about him.

Many of my memories of Mica involve him running toward me at full speed. I also remember him frolicking with Tucker in the snow, and fox-pouncing when I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk. He loved going for walks. He was was a fixture in our neighborhood.

And now he’s gone … just like that.

It’s strange to consider that so much personality—so much energy and life—could vanish just like that, just because of a twisted stomach. As Norine said to me tonight, “I don’t understand.”

But how can we understand? Death may be as natural as life, but still it makes no sense. How can Mozart and Einstein and Mica vanish … just like that?

I did my best to reassure Norine tonight that it gets better. She’ll always miss Mica—just as I still miss Arrow—but eventually the sadness will yield to happy memories.

In the meantime, the Bard’s timeless quote rings true: Goodnight, sweet prince …


  1. Oh what a beautiful dog. Gosh, it’s so hard to say goodbye to our babies, isn’t it. Somehow, dogs most especially. Maybe because they have that reputation of being a little more people friendly than most other pets. My cats are very loving towards me, but if a friend stops by, they hide under the bed for an hour, and then grudgingly come out and sniff the “intruder”. Whereas dogs just come right on up to you the minute you walk in the door, LOL.

    Losing a pet is so hard. I held my cat Jupiter in my arms as he took his last breaths back in 2006, and sobbed as if my heart would never stop breaking. A few days later, I took a huge leap and went driving down to the North Shore Animal League on Long Island and adopted two 8-month-old brother kitties named Willie and Wallace. I was so bereft I just needed to have them. And they’ve been a constant joy to me ever since.

    Some folks think that’s too early to replace a loved pet, others agree with me that you just have to go with what your heart needs. Either way, I hope you and your friend find (or have already found, in your case), new babies to love.

    No house should be empty of a pet for long. Seriously.

    • Thanks for your very sweet comment, Lis, and for your lovely story about Willie and Wallace. Give us some pics! 🙂

  2. I am so sorry he’s gone. I share your sorrow. My last best buddy, as our eyes met, laid his head in my lap a until his eyes closed for the last time. The vet carried him out and put him in the van that was waiting to take him to the grave that I had dug in my backyard. He’s been at peace now for nine years. However, I will soon have to repeat that incredibly heartbreaking experience (this time the last time) with my best buddy again. The hip displasia in my eight year old Shepherd– when it becomes insufferable, will lay his head in my lap until his eyes close for the last time. He will be buried next to my old friend. I can’t go through this again–but the best 16 years of my life were (still is) with those guys and for what its worth, Love never dies!

    • Thank you for your heartfelt comment, and my condolences on your loss, too. You’re right that love never dies. It’s sweet to know that, as long as we hold the departed in our memories, a part of them lives on. My best to you and your Shep.

  3. Thank you for the beautiful memorial, and for lumping mica (deservedly) in the company of Mozart and Einstein!
    I was honored that he wanted to be my companion and I miss him more than I can express.

    • Hey there, Norine! I can’t even imagine how much you must miss Mica … he really was one-of-a-kind, and a wonderful companion. But I hope that my little tribute to him brought a smile or two to your face. (And yes, I do think he belonged there, between Mozart and Einstein—he certainly had as much hair as Wolfgang and Albert, anyway!) I look forward to catching up with you in a couple of weeks, when I get back. In the meantime, take care … and here’s a big electronic hug for you. XOXO

  4. Thanks so much for writing about Mica. Norine and I both know how much you and Esteban loved him.

    You and I might not even know each other had we not been walking our dogs around the neighborhood one day. Mica, who always assumed anybody traveling on foot must have a dog somewhere nearby, saw you. I don’t remember if he’d learned to sit politely yet (he was just a pup) or if he just bounded over and introduced himself to Arrow, but that’s when you and I met. Now you’re one of Norine’s dearest friends.

    As for Mozart, Einstein, and Mica…well, he had Mozart’s playfulness and Einstein’s curiosity, but Mica’s only contribution to humanity was making us happy. He was friend to all that moved. He peed on trees and ate grass, and he “fox-pounced” after bunnies and squirrels, and everything he did, he did with that big dopey grin he always had on his cute little puppy face. Personally, I think the Buddhist comparison was more fitting. We were lucky enough to witness an awakening.

    Mozart’s amusing them with musical games, and Einstein’s figuring out how they exist; now Mica’s making the bodhisattvas happy. We’ll rejoin him eventually.

    • What beautiful words, Jim. I too, look forward to the day when I’ll rejoin Mica and Arrow. Until then, I keep them alive in my heart. May Mica’s dopey grin bring smiles to your face, too. He loved you so, so much — and I know he felt loved in return. What else is there, in the end?

      A big hug to you and Norine …



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