All That Is Golden

I just came back from paying a shiva call for Atticus Goldring, the 14 year-old Golden Retriever, Mattie and Roy, my former neighbors, lost over the weekend.

Atti was riddled with arthritis, barely able to walk, so they took him in on Saturday to that big, vast park in the sky.

It’s where I met him, years ago, when I found him off his leash eating remnants of a tuna sandwich in the midst of the Great Lawn.

I remember Mattie running up the hill yelling at him like he was her son, and of course he was, just with a tail and two extra feet.

We sat side by side, on the sofa, telling teary tales about Atticus’s chronic antics, surrounded by pictures of him, in his Halloween costumes when he was the Phantom of the Opera and Deputy Dog.  Mustn’t forget the time Roy dressed him up as Miles Davis, his favorite musician, in a turtleneck and beret.  Did Miles ever even wear a beret?  I remember asking.  Roy answering, he wasn’t sure, but Atticus could carry it off either way.

How they loved him, and as we all know, when an animal departs, so do our hearts, losing a comrade who never left or judged, always there to comfort and keep us company.

Mattie kept saying, “Oh, did we do the right thing?  Should we have waited a little longer?”

Evidently Atti had rallied a bit, seeming better, though it happened before…that optical illusion of wellness that’s oh so fleeting in its hopeful light.

It reminded me of something my old vet had said to me, when I took my beloved cat, Inky, in feeling, it was time to let her go, but she too, had a moment of comeback, causing me to pause thinking, she’d somehow be okay again.

And Gerry Johnson, in his sweet, calming voice said, “Wouldn’t you like to go out when you were feeling a little better, a little less pained and confused?  Don’t you wish someone could do that for you?”

When I said this to the Goldrings they seemed relieved as they tenderly held Atti’s collar, while passing around tuna on Ritz Crackers.

“It was Atticus’s favorite snack,” Roy said. “Our Atti…he just so loved his tuna.”  


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, Family, friendship, grace, humanity, humor, Love, New York City and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to All That Is Golden

  1. Awww! How marvelous that you said just the right words of comfort!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    Very sweet!

    Hal Rubenstein from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alva Chinn says:

    All I can say is this so touched my heart. It is such a heart wrenching loss of a beloved, who loved you unconditionally and was always glad to have you near. My wishes for your friends is that each day when tears well up that the laughter and joy of so many shared fun moments fill their hearts and minds to the brim with Atticus’ love enfolding them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ross de Marco says:

    I was at a barbecue recently , the hosts have just gotten got a new puppy a mixed breed . ( rescue ) I sat with her on my lap a good while . She was so full of life and energy , licking and frolicking in my arms – I couldn’t stop laughing . But at one point I thought of how one day she too would pass on . I don’t think I will ever get over losing my own four legged friend . Probably why I never got another it’s so hard letting go . Retrievers are such a wonderful breed too . RIP Atticus .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. micklively says:

    So sad we have to part with dear friends, but so reassuring to know we can send them on their way painlessly and quickly. I wish someone could do the same for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Perfect words! My coworker just lost her Golden Kona at 13. She did not think she was a dog, in fact, I think she channeled her inner Jewish woman living the life in Boca Raton. I say this because she loved to swim, but refused to get her head wet. All I could picture was a bathing cap with a big flower on the side and a full face of makeup.
    Rest in Peace Atti ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I lost my Siamese cat, Monkey sixteen years ago. She was almost 24 years old. Several cats have come and gone, but I still miss her.
    Your vet’s words were excellent and I’ll remember them. So glad you shared them with your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to have a cat named Inky.
    My current feline will turn 9 in Sept (at least, I think it’s 9 not 10). She may have 8 or 9 good years left … or be gone tomorrow. I will hope for closer, much closer to 9.
    I have never taken an animal to be put down. We took one in for surgery and we’re told it was too late, so the vet put her down without us there, but never planned on that.
    With Tamika, we shall see. Don’t want harsh, needless suffering. Perhaps, she will go quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

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